California Points of Historical Interest are sites, buildings, features, or events that are of local (city or county) significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific or technical, religious, experimental, or other value.

Points of Historical Interest designated after December 1997 and recommended by the State Historical Resources Commission are also listed in the California Register.

No historical resource may be designated as both a Landmark and a Point. If a Point is subsequently granted status as a Landmark, the Point designation will be retired.

Criteria for Designation

To be eligible for designation as a Point of Historical Interest, a resource must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The first, last, only, or most significant of its type within the local geographic region (City or County).
  • Associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of the local area.
  • A prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in the local region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder.

Procedures for Designation

1. Download a Nomination Packet, including TAS Bulletin 13.  Only use the DPR 523 Forms applicable to the nominated resource.  If you need assistance contact Registration Unit staff.

2. Obtain written consent from the property owner(s) for the nomination.  Written consent from the property owner(s) is required for designation. If a plaque is requested, written permission of property owner(s) to place the plaque on his or her property must be stated in the letter.

3. Complete application according to instructions.

4. Submit cover letter, written consent from property owner(s), nomination, photographs, and maps to OHP for review. 

5. Nominations will be reviewed by OHP staff.  Those that do not have written consent from the property owner(s), are inadequate or are not prepared according to the instructions will be returned to the applicant for further work.

6. OHP notifies all applicants, property owners and appropriate governmental jurisdictions of the time and place of the SHRC meeting.

7. If approved by the SHRC, the nomination is forwarded to the Director of California State Parks for final approval.

Effects of Designation

  • Limited protection: Environmental review may be required under CEQA if property is threatened by a project. Contact your local planning agency for more information.
  • Local assessor may enter into contract with property owner for property tax reduction (Mills Act).
  • Local building inspector must grant code alternative provided under State Historic Building Code.
  • Registration is recorded on property deed.
  • A small enamel directional sign (no text) available through local Caltrans district office. Owner may place his or her own marker at the site.

Owner Consent

Written consent of property owner(s) is required for designation.

Local Government Notification

Local government will be given 60 days to comment on application before the nomination is considered by the State Historical Resources Commission.