Historic districts of any size can benefit from a historic marker program.
A great example of a successful program is the Banner and Shield Program administered by the Mobile Historic Development Commission. Serving as an award for excellent restoration of a historic property and as a public education tool, the Historic Building Marker Program is one of the Mobile Historic Development Commission’s most visible and important programs. Buildings must be located within one of Mobile Alabama’s seven locally designated Historic Districts or be individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A building located in a district must be 75 years of age in order to qualify for marking. In the case of an individual listing, a building must be at least 50 years of age. While a building must reach those age plateaus in order to be considered for marking, a building must have also retained its original architectural character and be well restored or maintained.
The colorful markers are composed of two parts: the banner bears the name of the MHDC and beneath it the original owner’s name followed by the name of the present owner. The colorful shield displays the symbols of the six flags that have flown over Mobile – the French fleur-de-lis, the British Union Jack, the Spanish Royal Banner, the flag of the Republic of Alabama, the 3rd National Flag of the Confederate States of America, and the flag of the United States.
Markers are awarded twice a year, in June and December. Application deadlines are March 1st and August 1st, respectively. A Committee of the Mobile Historic Development Commission reviews applications. Committee members review the property in terms of guidelines and will make recommendations to the property owner should maintenance work be required.