Most of you who have visited the Tonawanda Castle are well aware of its origin as the Tonawanda Armory for the National Guard. Here’s a less known fact about the Castle’s history: It is included on the National Register of Historic Places. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably heard very little about this register aside from what its name implies. I did a little research and was actually quite intrigued with what I found, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few interesting facts.
The NRHP, as an organization, is much newer than most of the places that it tracks and lists. It was founded in 1966 under the National Historic Preservation Act and has since registered over one million buildings and places. Additional landmarks can be added to the list through nominations by historians and current owners. There are four main criteria under which new places may fall. They can either have contributed to a significant event in history, be associated with a particular person who is of historic importance, have an architecture or design that is characteristic of a certain period, or yield important information about prehistory.
Here at the Tonawanda Castle, we always try to keep the history of this unique building in mind. It is an honor to have our building included on such a respectable listing and we are thankful to those who have dedicated their careers to preserving and protecting historic landmarks like this one!