HISTORIC PRESERVATION MAP INITIATIVE

The Alabama Legislature established the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) in 1966 to foster the understanding and preservation of Alabama’s heritage. In fulfilling its mission, the AHC has collected valuable information on Alabama’s man-made environment including historic houses, churches, schools, bridges, cemeteries, commercial buildings, farms, etc. These architectural survey files include paper survey forms; photographs (i.e. prints, contact sheets, slides and negatives); maps; measured drawings; blueprints; and accompanying materials.

While great strides have been made to maintain and organize these paper files, they have only been accessible by visiting the AHC’s main office. In addition, these files are unique and no back up existed for them.There is no way to replace a file if it is lost or damaged.

The AHC has been diligently working to convert paper files associated with Alabama’s historic architectural resources into a web-based system utilizing GIS technology to increase the information’s accessibility to the public and to ensure their long-term preservation.

Easily accessible historic resource locations within a Geographic Information System (GIS) is an invaluable tool for those interested in Alabama’s built environment. The present project consists of digitizing and constructing a GIS database for AHC's Historic Preservation Division Programs. GIS is a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing data that is rooted in the science of geography. The AHC now has available an ArcGis geo-database to display spatially the many thousands of historic resources across Alabama. 42 counties have been plotted thus far: Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Bibb, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Cleburne, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Escambia, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Henry, Houston, Marion, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Pickens, Randolph, Russell, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington, Winston, and Wilcox.

The new Alabama Historical Commission Historic Preservation Map Initiative will enable the public to explore these resources virtually and understand why these resources are culturally important to Alabama, particularly in the communities in which they exist.

Our GIS map includes maps for all of the Alabama Historical Commission's many historic preservation programs. Listed below are the map layers included in the AHC’s online GIS map gallery.

Click HERE to begin exploring the interactive map.

ABOUT THE MAP

The resulting map will show you layers for each program:

  • Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage
  • Historic African American Schools
  • Black Heritage Council Markers
  • The National Register of Historic Places
  • Preservation Easements
  • Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program
  • AHC County Surveys
  • Alabama Historic Cemetery Register
  • Places in Peril
  • AHC Historic Markers
PROGRAM LAYERS

The attribute tables within each layer include detailed information that the AHC has regarding each site. For most properties, attachments are available that provide a downloadable PDF of the original submitted documentation.

While every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the data, some factors are beyond our control. Properties may have been demolished or moved since properties were originally documented, and addresses may have been changed or points placed on the map have been inadvertently entered in error. In addition, the information contained may be outdated. The AHC’s maps should function as a research tool, not an up-to-the-minute inventory about every historic and/or architecturally significant property in the state. This tool allows researchers to investigate and review potentially significant properties according to the best data that is available in the Alabama Historical Commission’s files.

The absence of a property from this database does not imply that an unidentified property lacks historic or architectural importance. On the other hand, properties included in the map are not automatically assured grants or any other assistance or protection. We are certain that many historic properties exist across the state that have not yet been submitted to our office.

RESEARCH REQUESTS

The Alabama Historical Commission maintains files for the Alabama Register, National Register, Cemetery Register, and Architectural Survey programs. To use the AHC research files, make your appointment at least two days in advance, Monday through Friday, between 8:30am-11:30am and/or 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The AHC is closed state holidays. *Please note, the Alabama Historical Commission's Main Office is closed to the public at this time due to COVID-19.

CONTACT

For more information about the Alabama Register, contact Hannah Garmon at 334-230-2644 or hannah.garmon@ahc.alabama.gov.

For more information about a GIS map, contact Eric Sipes at 334-230-2667 or eric.sipes@ahc.alabama.gov.