One of the giants of modern historic preservation has passed. William Murtagh is known not just as the original Keeper of the National Register, but also as the force that brought it to creation. While the National Register’s 1.4 million listed buildings represent only a small fraction of the existing eligible historic buildings, it is nonetheless the standard recognized by both private and governmental agencies for the establishment of a building or site’s historic importance. Along with the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, the National Register if a big part of the backbone of modern preservation practice.
This is a great article on the life and accomplishments of William Murtagh.