The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) is Georgia’s state historic preservation office, or SHPO. Every state has a SHPO, established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, As Amended, often referred to simply as the NHPA. HPD has several key functions as part of the national historic preservation program. First, through the Section 106 compliance program (named for the section of the federal implementing regulations of the NHPA), HPD functions as a watchdog over federal agencies doing business in the state, helping to insure that they respect our most important historic resources. Second, we administer various economic development programs that leverage private capital to encourage business growth, especially in our many smaller towns and communities. Finally, through programs like the National Register of Historic Places, Certified Local Governments, and others, we work with partners both inside and outside state government to encourage regional and local planning, neighborhood conservation, downtown revitalization, heritage tourism and archaeological site protection.
Each state's historic preservation office receives financial assistance through the Historic Preservation Fund of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and provides matching state funds to carry out the national historic preservation program. The National Park Service establishes broad policies, programs and standards for state and local participation in the national program. Each state then tailors its own SHPO to address the special character and needs of their state and complement the national program. In Georgia, the General Assembly authorizes or mandates a number of specific preservation programs such as a state property tax freeze, state rehabilitation grants, archaeology protection and stewardship of state-owned buildings.