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Glossary of Terms

Terms relating to historic properties are from National Register

Acquisition Type Identify what type of map was used to find the UTM References (zone, easting, and northing).
Acreage The total amount of land on which an inventoried property is located measured in acres.
Arch/Eng/Builder The architect is the person(s) or architectural firm that designed the inventoried resource. The engineer is the person(s) or engineering firm that designed the resource or guided its construction. The Builder is the person(s) or company that constructed the inventoried resource.
Back End (BE) The Back End stores the entered data/information. Periodically, the Database Administrator will ask you for your BE and supply you with a new, updated version.
Building A building, such as a house, barn, church, hotel, or similar construction, is created principally to shelter any form of human activity. "Building may also be used to refer to a historically and functionally related unit, such as a courthouse and jail or house and barn.
Building Type - Historic Use/Function This term refers to the use/purpose of a building, distirct, object, site, or structure at the time it attained historic significance.
Building Type -Current Use/Function This term refers to the use/purpose that a property, or portion of it, currenlty serves or will serve in the near future.
Cladding The siding or sheathing material covering the outside of an inventoried resource.
Classification The type/category of inventoried property/resource: building, district, object, site, or structure.
Contributing resource An inventoried property/resource (building, site, structure, or object) that adds to the historic significance of a property.
Date recorded The date that information on the inventoried property was recorded in the field.
Default Settings/Values Default values, once entered, are automatically set in the database and do not have to be entered on every Site Information record. Default values inclde the name of the neighborhood in which the survey is taking place, the field recorder(s), and the location of the image files.
Description of Phyisical Appearance The description of physical appearance includes details about an inventoried property's historic features and current condition are described (including dates of construction, additions, and remodels - if applicable).
Description Section The description section contains descriptive information on inventoried properties. The information includes the following: Building Type (Historic and Current Use), Plan, Structural System, Number of Stories, Cladding Type, Roof Type, Roof Material, Foundation Material, Integrity, Style, and Form.
Determination - level of significance/ Status Determination is the geographical level, local, State, or national, at which an historic property has been evaluated and found to be significant.
Digital images For database purposes, digital images are to be taken at High Resolution (minimum of 1280 X 960), color, jpg format. After the images are downloaded, rename each file according to 7-digit code (see Image Protocol).
District A district possess a significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development. Examples include the following: business districts, industrial complexes, residential areas, and transportation networks.
District Status/ Determination District status is the determination given an inventoried property after the survey/inventory and research are complete. The determination includes LR, NR, SR, or INV.
District/Thematic Nomination Name A district or property listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the Washington Heritage Register has an official name. The name that appears on the Site Information form must be consistant with the officially listed name.
Eligible Registers Determination of whether an inventoried property/resource is eligible for listing on the local, State, or national level, and what type of designation, determination or documentation.
Field Recorder(s) This is the person or persons who performed the field survey.
Field Site Numbers The Field Site Number is the alphanumeric code assigned to an inventoried property by consultants during the field survey process.
Field Survey Form This form is used during field surveys and property research to retain pertinent information regarding the property/resource. It contains all of the fields found on the database and is laid out in a similar format to facilitate data entry.
Find Site This is a tool by which a record can be found in the database. Sites are listed alphabetically by Site Name: Historic
Form Form refers to a building's use and its shape, appearance, or configuration.
Foundation This is the underlying base, support, or substructure of a resource.
Front End (FE) The Front End is the user part of the database in which survey/inventory information is entered.
Historic property An historic property is any prehistoric or historic district, building, object, site, or structure.
Historic Resources Inventory Database The Historic Resources Inventory (HRI) database was designed in 2003 for City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Office of Historic Preservation. This application runs on Microsoft Access 2000 and consists of a Front End and a Back End. It has been designed specifically for local survey/inventory projects and is compatible with Washington State's Historic Property Inventory database.
Historic significance The reason(s) that a property has been evaluated and found to meet eligibility requirements.
Identification Section This is the first section on the Site Information form and contains the following fields: OAHP No., Date Recorded, Neighborhood, Site Name: Historic, Site Name: Common, Field Recorder(s), Owner's Name, Address 1 & 2, City/State*/Zipcode, Field Site Nbrs, Status, the image, and image information.
Integrity This term refers to the authenticity of a property's historic identity, as evidenced by extant physical characteristics from the property's historic or prehistoric period.
Inventory number This number is automatically assigned to each record as the record, and the information it contains, is added to the database.
Local significance This term refers to a property that is important to the history of its community.
Location Section The Location Section contains information on the inventoried property's physical location. This includes the following: Address Number, Prefix Direction, Street Name, Suffix Type, Suffix Direction, City/County/State/Zip Code, Tax No./Parcel No., Township/Range/Section/1/4 Section/1/4 1/4 Section, Acreage, Quadrangle or Map Name, UTM References, Spatial Type, Acquisition Type, Plat*/Block/Lot, Survey/Inventory, Classification, Eligible Registers, District Status/Determination, Contributing, and District/Thematic Nomination Name.
Narrative Section The Narrative Section of the site information form is for post-field work research. The following information is included in this section: Year of Construction, Architect/Engineer/Builder, Determination/Status, Statement of Significance, Description of Physical Appearance, Study Unit Theme, and Major Bibliographic References.
National significance This refers to the importance of a property to the history of the United States as a nation.
Neighborhood City of Seattle is comprised of communities/areas that are defined by boundaries. These boundaries are based upon a community's history and development pattern.
Number of Stories Buildings are divided into levels or stories (measured from floor to ceiling). Story or level heights for residential construction varies from 8' to 12' high while commercial buildings are usually a minimum of 13' high.
OAHP No. This number is assigned by Washington State's Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. This field is filled in only if the if the inventoried property has previously received an OAHP No.
Object The term "object" is used to distinguish from buildings and structures those constructions that are primarily artistic in nature or are relatively small in scale and simply constructed. Although it may be, by nature or design, movable, an object is associated with a specific setting or environment. Examples include the following: boundary marker, monument, milepost, fountain, and sculpture.
Owner Information Owner information refers to the inventoried property's current owner and his/her address.
Plan Plan is the footprint or imprint of the building or structure on the land.
Plat*/Block/Lot Plat is the legally registered name given to a piece of land when it is subdivided into smaller blocks, which are then further divided into lots.
Print Site Information Print Site Information is the method by which database users print a record. Warning: do not use the File-Print method because all of the records in the database will print.
Property Property is defined as an area of land containing a single historic resource or group of resources (for example a potential district).
Reports Reports is a method of searching or organizing database information based on defined criteria. These reports can be exported to Excel or Word.
Resource A resources is any building, object, site, or structure that is part of or constitutes an historic property.
Roof Material The type(s) of material used to cover/protect an inventoried property's roof.
Roof Type The shape of the inventoried property's roof.
Site A site is the location of a significant event, a prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or a building or structure, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, where the location itself possesses historic, cultural, or archeological value regardless of the value of any existing structure. Examples include the following: battlefield, ruins of a building or structure, trail, village site.
Site Image Data Log The Site Image Data Log is used to maintain an accurate list of the electronic image (scanned photograph or digital image) files as they are renamed. This Log is to include the following: Property/Location Address, Neighborhood or Project, Field Site Number, View, Survey # & File Name (7-digit file name code), and Field Survey Image No. See Appendix 5 for more details.
Site Information screen Users will enter data gathered during survey/inventory projects in the Site Information screen.
Site Name: Common the name by which the property is commonly known. Often this refers to the name by which a building is currently or popularly known.
Site Name: Historic Site Name: Historic refers to the name that is associated with an inventoried property during its period of significance. This is usually the name by which it was known when it was constructed.
Site/Location Address The Site/Location Address is the inventoried propety's address according to the United States Postal Service. The address has been divided into 9 separate fields.
Spatial Type The Spatial Type of an object or a property is defined as a Point (i.e. residence), Line (i.e. Road), or Polygon (i.e. cemetery).
State significance This refers to the importance of a property to the history of the State where it is located.
Statement of Significance The Statement of Significance is the reason a property is important.
Status Each property is assigned a Status classification. This classification is an evaluation of the property's eligibility.
No - Age These are properties that, at the time of the survey, did not meet the age criteria. It is possible that the property may be eligible for further study at a later time.
No - Altered These are properties with physical features so altered that there is a loss of integrity and physical fabric that no further study is warranted. These are also properties that represent no distinctive architectural style and no further study is warranted.
Yes - Hold These are properties that have had the initial survey work done on them,, but have not had the complete inventory form filled out. Some fieldwork was performed, but additional information is needed before the inventory of this property is complete. It is possible that the property may be eligible for further study at a later time.
Yes - Inventory These are properties that merit the filling out of a full Inventory form and include an assessment by the surveyor as to the property's potential eligibility for local and/or National Register listing.
Structural System The Structural System is the method or type of construction used to build the inventoried resource.
Structure The term Structure is used to distinguish from buildings those functional constructions made usually for purposes other than creating human shelter. Examples include the following: aircraft, carousel, fence, gazebo, highway, railroad grade, and trolley car.
Study Unit Theme The Study Unit Theme refers to a trend or pattern in history or prehistory relating to a particular aspect of cultural development, such as agriculture or transportation.
Style Style refers to the architectural style of inventoried properties. The list includes general categories and subcategories that more definitively describe a resource's style.
Survey/Inventory Survey/Inventory refers to the activity of reviewing and researching an historic property to determine its eligibility.
Tax Lot Tax Lot is the number assigned to a piece of land by the government. This number along with the property's legal description based on Township, Range, and Section references identify the legal location of the property.
Tax No./Parcel No. Every parcel or piece of property in King County has a 10-digit tax/parcel number that distinguishes it from other parcels in the County.
Twp/Range/Sec/ 1/4Section/1/4 1/4 Section The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a legal land reference system set up to ease the inventory and transfer of property in the western United States. This system divides land into legally definable areas. Townships are 36 square mile areas of land that contain 36 sections (each is one-mile square). Sections are further divided into four- 1/4 sections defined by quadrant (NE, NW, SW, SE). Each 1/4 section is divided into four -1/4 sections.
UTM reference The UTM reference is a set of coordinates (easting and northing) that indicate a unique location on the earth according to the Universal Transmercator Grid appearing on maps of the United States Geological Survey (
Year of Construction The year in which construction on the inventoried resource was completed.




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