The Leveraging Federal Historic Buildings Final Report (Spring 2021) presents the findings and recommendations of the Leveraging Federal Historic Buildings Working Group, which consists of federal and nonfederal stakeholders, and was established by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) in 2019. The ACHP’s 2018 triennial report to the President In a Spirit of Stewardship: A Report on Federal Historic Property Management recommended the ACHP convene the group to help the agency assess the status of outleasing and develop recommendations for overcoming obstacles to outleasing, to advance utilization of the nation’s historic federal buildings.

Outleasing is defined as the leasing and use, by nonfederal partners, of federal historic buildings (or portions thereof) not needed in the near-term by federal agencies. The legal authority to outlease historic properties is available to property managing federal agencies under Section 111 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 54 USC § 306121, and other agency-specific authorities. Historic buildings are defined as those which are included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places.

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Photo Montage Cover of Leveraging Federal Historic Buildings Final Report

Outleasing Success Stories

Watch Episode 12 - Federal Historic Buildings of Preservation Perspectives, ACHP's Historic Preservation Podcast, to learn about the successful outlease of 38 historic buildings at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leavenworth, Kansas, a National Historic Landmark.

Click on the links below to read more about the federal agency preservation outleasing success stories included in the report.



Development of a Report on Historic Leasing as a Preservation Stewardship Solution for the National Park Service (NPS). As part of NPS's partnership with the NPS, the ACHP contracted with a consultant to develop a report to advance leasing of NPS historic property, often in remote locations or poor condition. NPS successfully leases historic property via their Business Services Directorate and can lease property under various authorities (e.g., 54 U.S.C. § 102101 ("Part 18") and 54 U.S.C. § 306121). The report provides market insights and recommendations on historic leasing at the NPS, including via public-private partnerships, and was completed in early 2024. The ACHP prepared an executive summary of the report content in April 2024.


The ACHP plays a key role in fostering the preservation of historically significant buildings under federal ownership or control through its oversight of the Section 106 review process and by carrying out its responsibilities under Executive Order 13287, “Preserve America” (EO). The EO requires that every three years federal agencies report to the ACHP and the Secretary of the Interior on progress they have made in identifying, using, and protecting historic properties under their ownership or control. 

On February 15, 2018, the ACHP conveyed its fifth triennial Section 3 Report to the President, In a Spirit of Stewardship: A Report on Federal Historic Property Management, in accordance with EO 13287. One of the 2018 report’s six findings stated, “Fostering and encouraging the reuse of historic facilities by federal agencies or others creates cost-effective preservation outcomes.” Accompanying this finding was a recommendation to convene an inter-agency working group, “to develop success stories and guidance on consolidation and inter-agency collaboration for co-location in federally owned historic buildings and preservation and training for relevant agency personnel.” The 2018 report also suggested that the ACHP’s Office of Federal Agency Programs survey property management agencies to identify obstacles to reusing or “outleasing” historic properties under NHPA Sections 110 and 111 and develop recommendations for overcoming those obstacles.

In response to the recommendations in the 2018 report, on October 11, 2019, former ACHP Chairman Aimee Jorjani established a Working Group of federal and nonfederal stakeholders. Membership included representatives from six key federal agencies that manage significant and complex property holdings (i.e., General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture/Forest Service, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and U.S. Postal Service), as well as leadership from two nonfederal preservation stakeholders that are members of the ACHP (i.e., National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and National Trust for Historic Preservation). 

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