While National Register designation provides honorary benefits as well as access to financial incentives, it does not provide any protections for demolition or major alterations that can destroy the character of a building. The power to limit the ability to demolish is held on the local level through local designation and ordinances. Local designation of mid-century modern properties may also be the most logical step in the process to protect properties that do not appear to meet the criteria for eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Local designation is not required to focus on a minimum age (50 years is the National Register standard). Therefore, communities may accept the significance of mid-century modern building or neighborhood that is less than fifty years old more readily because their associative value to the community is stronger.
Local listing is a way to develop pride in a city’s mid-century modern building stock. However, if local designation is also not possible, consider seeking a formal determination from the Utah State Historic Preservation Office. This will support advocacy efforts regarding the historic value of the building.
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