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Established through a legislative act in 1971, the Maine Historic Preservation Commission is an independent agency within the Executive branch of state government that functions as the State Historic Preservation Office. Its Director is the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). The Commission is responsible for the identification, evaluation, and protection of Maine’s significant cultural resources as directed by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.
The Commission consists of eleven members made up as follows: The Commissioner of Transportation or a representative of the Department of Transportation, and the Commissioner of Conservation or a representative of the Department of Conservation, to serve ex officio; and 9 representatives from among the citizens of the State who are known for their competence, experience and interest in historic preservation, including at least one prehistoric archaeologist, one historic archaeologist, one historian, one architectural historian and one architect, to be appointed by the Governor. The Commission meets on a quarterly basis to review and approve nominations of historic properties to the National Register of Historic Places, the agency’s annual operating budget, and to make grant awards for historic preservation projects.
The Commission is one of the seven member agencies and organizations of the Maine Cultural Affairs Council (CAC), which was established by the Legislature in 1991. The CAC is comprised of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, the Maine State Library, the Maine Arts Commission, the Maine State Museum, the Maine State Archives, the Maine Historical Society, and the Maine Humanities Council. It is charged with coordinating budget requests, providing a forum for interagency planning, and acting as a liaison for interactions with other state agencies.
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