Historic districts are geographic areas that have a concentration of thematically related historic resources. In general, historic districts have historic significance to the City of Portland, at a minimum, and they are usually also significant at the regional, statewide or national levels. Like historic landmarks, there are two types of historic district: 1) "local" historic districts, designated by the City; and 2) "National Register" districts, those listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Portland has 15 historic districts, primarily located in or near the Central City. All of Portland's historic districts are listed in the National Register.
The City’s goal in creating historic districts is to help residents protect and enhance the appearance of neighborhoods that reflect important aspects of our history due to their architectural or historic character. By regulating changes proposed in these areas, we hope to discourage the alteration or removal of historic features and design elements that could affect the overall appearance of neighborhood. This doesn’t mean that properties are frozen in time and can’t be changed – all buildings change over the years and we don’t intend to keep that from happening. Basically, the main difference between owning property in a historic district and any other part of Glendale is that when owners in a district apply to do work on their house or building, the Historic Preservation Commission reviews the proposal instead of the Design Review Board. That way, the City’s historic specialists are involved to make sure we don’t lose the character that makes Glendale’s historic districts such special places.
Look at Decatur
Benefits of Local Historic Districts
- Protecting areas of historical significance through Historic Landmark Commission review of demolition, relocation and building permits using design standards created for the neighborhood and adopted by the City Council
- Providing a city property tax abatement to promote rehabilitation of contributing buildings and non-contributing buildings if the project will restore them to contributing status
- Application for Tax Abatement for Rehabilitation of Property in a Local Historic District
- Encouraging better design
- Retaining an existing house, which is a good conservation practice and saves energy
- Maintaining our cultural heritage
- Resulting in a positive economic impact from tourism