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What is the SHPO?

The Kansas State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) fosters the preservation of the archeological, architectural, and cultural heritage of Kansas. The SHPO does not itself preserve properties, but seeks to assist property owners and heighten the awareness of decision-makers to the benefits of historic preservation. The preservation office serves as staff for the State Historic Preservation Officer, who also serves as Executive Director of the Kansas Historical Society.

The preservation office also administers state and federal preservation programs within Kansas. Professionals on the staff have training in archeology, architecture, architectural history, and history. Historic preservation assistance is provided at no charge to federal, state, and local governments; planning, engineering, architectural, and other consulting firms; local historical societies and other non-profit organizations; private property owners; and any interested organization, firm, or individual whether or not their properties have been listed in the State or National Registers of Historic Places. The SHPO administers the following program areas: Survey, National Register of Historic Places & Register of Historic Kansas Places (the state register), Review and Compliance, the Certified Local Government (CLG) program, the Heritage Trust Fund grant program, Federal and State Rehabilitation Tax Credits, and the Historic Preservation Fund grant program.

In addition to these programs, the SHPO is responsible for developing and implementing a statewide strategic management plan that addresses key critical issues in preservation. The plan is updated every five years. The office also provides public education and outreach through the publication of a bimonthly newsletter, Kansas Preservation, which can be received by any interested party free of charge. The SHPO is advised by the Historic Sites Board of Review, which is a governor-appointed board of eleven professionals from various fields. The Historic Sites Board of Review meets quarterly and reviews nominations for inclusion in the State and National Registers.