Historic at last!

From this point on, Palmerton will always be renowned for its distinction as a historic district.

The borough's application for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places was approved earlier this week by the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Board, according to Peter Kern, president of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce.

"The preservation board will now forward its recommendation to Washington, where we expect final approval before year's end," Kern said. "This is the culmination of three years of work on behalf of several community organizations, most notably the Palmerton Area Historical Society."

Initially, the borough was rebuffed in its efforts to gain inclusion as a historic district last October after the historic preservation board felt the borough's application needed additional documentation. The board felt it needed more detail about the community being a planned community, and wanted to see more detail on the documentation.

Palmerton's nomination is based upon the town's history and design as a well-planned, Industrial Company Town, which is believed to make it the first in the state to be approved under that criteria.

The district is roughly bounded by Tomb Street, Princeton Avenue, Mauch Chunk Road, Edgemont Avenue, Third Street, Fireline Road, Fifth Street, Lafayette Avenue, State Road, Avenue B, Columbia Avenue, Eighth Street and Avenue A.

Freudenberger previously said the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission approved a Keystone Historic Preservation Grant for $10,000 toward the National Register nomination in the summer of 2011. The Palmerton Area Historical Society contributed $10,000 as well, he said.

In September, Lansford received its designation as a historic district, joining Jim Thorpe as the only towns in Carbon County for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of properties recognized for their significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture.

The National Register Program was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archaeologic resources.

National Register properties include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects. They can be significant to a local community, a state, an Indian tribe, or the nation as a whole.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the commonwealth's official history agency. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Bureau for Historic Preservation maintains the commonwealth's inventory of historic properties and prehistoric sites and manages the National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania.