Salt Lake City

Historic Preservation

Planning Division | (801) 535-7700 |

Living in a Local Historic District

Living in a Local Historic District

What does it mean to live in a local Historic District?

Local Historic Districts are designated by the City to protect and maintain the historic character of neighborhoods. Any property that is located in a local historic district or is a locally designated landmark site requires planning approval when making exterior changes to the property. Please view the Zoning Look-up Map to check if you are located in a Local Historic District.

To understand what is allowed and what resources are available to you as a property owner in local historic districts, we recommend contacting us at

What are the different local Historic Districts?

Salt Lake City has fourteen local Historic Districts. All of Salt Lake City’s historic districts are listed in the National Register, but not all National Register districts are locally designated.

*Douglas Park, Harvard Heights, Harvard Park, Upper Harvard Yale Park, Normandie Circle, Princeton Park.

What is a historic resource and why it’s important to Salt Lake City?

Historic resources are buildings, structures, or objects that are determined to be significant to the history, architecture, archeology, engineering, or the culture of Salt Lake City, Utah or of the United States. Once a historic resource is identified, it may be nominated and designated as a local or national historic resource.

Historic resources are important because they are tangible evidence of Salt Lake City’s past, helping us to know where we have come from and who we are today. When historic resources are lost or allowed to deteriorate, a part of our history disappears.

Historic preservation provides opportunities for residents and visitors to experience and learn about the importance of our past, as well as to live and work in surroundings that provide a sense of place anchored by collections of older buildings, residential neighborhoods, commercial areas and landscapes. This sense of place drives community pride, encourages neighborhood and commercial reinvestment, and results in a sustainable community with cultural vitality.

Can I make alterations to the exterior of my property?

All exterior work for properties located in a local Historic District, with the exception of paint color and minor maintenance, requires approval before work can take place and before a building permit is issued. Historic approval comes in the form of a Certificate of Appropriateness. 

Please verify with Planning Staff if a project needs a Certificate of Appropriateness before beginning any work by emailing

View the step-by-step process for obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness.

Are there any restrictions on remodeling the interior of my house?

Salt Lake City does not require a Certificate of Appropriateness for work in the interior of a historic structure. However, there are substantial tax savings to be gained by remodeling interiors of National Register properties according to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.

Learn more about financial assistance for historic preservation.


Where can I find information on preservation techniques to repair my historic building?

The National Parks Services has produced over 50 technical Preservation Briefs related to the appropriate repair and maintenance of old buildings to help historic building owners recognize and resolve common problems.

Preserving Historic Masonry

Masonry in its many forms is one of the most important character-defining features of a traditional building. Brick, stone, adobe, terra-cotta, ceramics, stucco, cast artificial stone, and concrete are typical masonry construction materials used across the city, reflecting its sequence of settlement and development, as well as personal means and architectural style. 

Unpainted historic masonry should remain unpainted! This is because painting historic masonry can severely damage the structural integrity of the masonry unit. Painting can often trap moisture which can lead to extensive damage.

The Planning Division is here to answer questions regarding painting or removing paint from historic masonry. For questions please contact us at

Preserving Historic Wood Windows

In 2016 and 2017, Salt Lake City hosted Bob Yapp, who is a preservation contractor and previous host of About Your House. Bob Yapp hosted a lecture series of dispelling the myths and common misconceptions of historic wood windows. This lecture series included a great deal of discussion on: energy efficiency, construction and components of history wood windows, the rehabilitation process, economic incentives of historic preservation, and pointers on window repair for a specific case study.

View Lecture: Dispelling the Myths and Common Misconceptions of Historic Wood Windows

In addition to the theory discussion, Bob Yapp hosted a hands-on window repair workshop in 2017. The workshop demonstrated the repair and restoration of traditional wood double-hung sash windows. This workshop series was recorded to provide the knowledge tools and techniques to interested citizens, organizations and individuals seeking to repair and enhance the energy efficiency of their windows.

View workshop: 2017 Hands-On Window Repair Workshop


There is a range of local resources available to residents located in a Local Historic District. Learn more by visiting our Resources page.

For questions regarding historic preservation please contact us at

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