In the past weeks, with all the talk of Montgomery Hospital and building preservation, I've noticed that quite a few people don't have a handle on what the National Register of Historical Places is, or even that Norristown has buildings and districts listed on it. With a listing comes a certain amount of protection for these resources.
From the NRHP website: "The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources." Pennsylvania also has a register, administered by the PA Historic and Museum Commission. To be considered for the NRHP, a building must make the state register first. The process involves 2 applications, one to the state, then once a building is accepted, another to the National Park Service, which involves extensive research.
But many residents are surprised to hear that we've also got individual buildings listed on the National Register:
2. The General Thomas J. Stewart Memorial Armory (pictured at top), on Harding Blvd., is
now the home of Greater Norristown PAL. It was built in 1927-1928 to
serve as an armory for our local National Guard unit, constructed of
yellow brick on a concrete foundation, with decorative stonework and a
parapet, in the Classical Revival style. It was named for a Norristown
resident who went on to become the state adjutant general of the PA
National Guard (Stewart Middle School was named for him, too). The
building was added to the NRHP in 1991.
is listed on the PA Historic Register, and has been deemed eligible for
the NRHP, meaning it needs only the final paperwork. It would be a
shame to let it get this close to becoming one of our crown jewels, like
Rittenhouse, GNPAL, and Globe Knitting Mills, only to be demolished and