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Ladd Field National Historic Landmark
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To obtain additional information regarding cultural resources on U.S. Army Alaska contact Lisa Graham.




The National Register, National Historic Landmarks, and Historic Districts

The National Register of Historic Places was established under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) and is an official list of significant state, local, and national historic properties. To be eligible for listing on the National Register, properties must meet certain criteria and possess “integrity”—the essential physical features which illustrate the historic significance. National Register properties may be single buildings or sites or may include multiple properties in a district. According to the provisions of NHPA and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), federal agencies must take into account the effects of their undertakings on properties which are eligible for listing on the National Register.

A National Historic Landmark is a historic property or district that has been recognized for possessing exceptional value in interpreting the heritage of the United States. Fewer than 2,500 of these landmarks presently exist across the United States. National Historic Landmarks (NHL’s) are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places; however, only a small proportion of National Register properties are National Historic Landmarks. What sets the NHL’s apart is their significance on a national level and their recognition by the Secretary of the Interior specifically for that significance.

Ladd Field National Historic Landmark (World War II, 1941-1945)

In 1985, portions of the original Ladd Field were designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of Ladd’s World War II contribution to cold weather testing, its role as an air depot, and its use as the transfer point for ALSIB Lend-Lease aircraft. The Ladd Field NHL is a multiple property district encompassing the core permanent buildings around the North Post, the airfield, the Birchwood hangars, and Butler warehouses. The Ladd Field NHL facilities are currently in use by the Army and are subject to the full range of Army regulations and mission priorities.

Ladd Air Force Base Historic District (Cold War, 1947-1961)

In 1947, Ladd Field was renamed Ladd Air Force Base. It played a significant role in Cold War air defense, strategic reconnaissance, and Arctic research. The Ladd AFB Historic District recognizes the significance of Cold War events at the base between 1947 and 1961, when the installation was turned over to the Army. Although the footprint of this district overlaps the Ladd Field NHL, it is a separate entity. Unlike the WWII resources, the Cold War district is not a National Historic Landmark. Properties in the Cold War district must be managed as recognized historic properties under NHPA and NEPA but are not designated with NHL status. These facilities are also currently in use serving present-day mission requirements.



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