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State and Local History & Heritage Guidelines

  1. Ask for a volunteer to be chair of the History & Heritage activities for the Section/Branch.
  2. The chair whould then work with other volunteers on a variety of projects. The amount of help available will determine the number and scope of the projects your group undertakes.

  3. And don’t forget to let ASCE's History & Heritage Committee know what you are doing by sending the Committee a letter outlining your activities so that you can apply for its annual History & Heritage Section Citation. Be sure to include examples of any products produced, articles written, workshops given, etc.

  4. Here is a list of possible activities - some can be done by just one person; others are better done with several volunteers helping out.

    • Nominate national, regional, local, and state Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.
    • Conduct appropriate ceremonies for the formal designation of Local, State, and National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.
    • Prepare an inventory of historic civil engineering works located within the Section boundaries. The State Historic Preservation Officer in your state can help with this activity. As an example, the Minnesota Section is producing online calendars highlighting local civil engineering landmarks.
    • Collect and catalog information, memorabilia, documents, artifacts and publications relating to local civil engineering projects and personalities of historical interest.
    • Develop, record, and maintain the history of the Section in both words and photographs. Publish items about the history in the Section newsletter to inform members.
    • Present historical programs at Section, Branch and Student Chapter meetings and for community organizations.
    • Develop contacts with other organizations or agencies interested in history within your region such as local historical societies.
    • Collect biographical information and make oral history recordings of prominent engineers and "elder statesmen" of the civil engineering profession within your region.
    • Encourage the preparation of papers and articles on civil engineering history for publication by ASCE or other publishers.
    • Prepare a state or regional guide to Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks and recruit student chapter members to assist in the work. Sections have applied for SPAG grants to produce such products.

Local/State/Regional Landmark Designation Procedure 

One of the responsibilities of a Section’s History & Heritage Committee is to make a study of early civil engineering works in their area and recommend to the Section’s Board those projects which the committee believe to be worthy of designation as a Local Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Landmarks designated by a Section must be within the geographical boundary of the Section. The local landmark should be designated so as to indicate the Section’s geographical location: e.g., a "Seattle Historic Civil Engineering Landmark"” All Sections within a state should collaborate to designate a landmark as a State Historic Landmark: e.g., a "California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark."

"Historic" is taken in its age context, so Sections are encouraged not to designate projects that are less than 50 years old.


The Sections should provide an appropriate plaque to commemorate the project. ASCE Headquarters will work with the Section to produce a plaque and has been authorized to contribute up to $200.00 toward the cost of a local landmark bronze plaque. After a Section's Board has approved the designation, it should complete a nomination form and send it to ASCE for its records. The Section must then plan and conduct the plaque presentation ceremony.