Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Historic Preservation (MHP)


Historic Preservation

Committee Chair/Advisor

Jon Marcoux

Committee Member

William Cook

Committee Member

Emily Pigott

Committee Member

Barry Stiefel


The National Register of Historic Places is an inventory established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 that identifies architectural and archaeological sites significant to American history. The National Register was created to encourage the documentation, evaluation, and protection of America’s historic resources. Over 96,000 historic properties, sites, and structures are currently listed on the National Register. Despite the number of historic places listed on the National Register there is still an overwhelmingly low number of sites listed on the National Register relating to underrepresented communities. This thesis assessed the definition of significance laid out in the National Register nomination for and process of eligibility to the ways historic Gullah Geechee communities define significance. An assessment of 805 sites listed significant by the stakeholders of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Management Plan compared how historic Gullah Geechee sites are defined significant by their respected communities. Out of the 805 sites listed as significant, only 92 sites are listed on the National Register. This thesis also compares the way the National Register defines significance versus how Gullah Geechee communities define significance. Applications of previously submitted Gullah Geechee sites have favored becoming listed on to the National Register relating to Criteria C, which correlated to being connected to high architecture also known as “Big House” or plantation homes. This thesis explains how the need for a broader definition of significance should be formulated by the National Register to become more inclusive when addressing historic Gullah Geechee sites of significance.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.