What is Historic Preservation?

Historic preservation is a conversation with our past about our future. It provides us with opportunities to ask, “What is important in our history?” and “What parts of our past can we preserve for the future?” Through historic preservation, we look at history in different ways, ask different questions of the past, and learn new things about our history and ourselves. Historic preservation is an important way for us to transmit our understanding of the past to future generations.” – National Park Service

Historic Preservation includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Designation of historic sites (includes federally, state, and privately owned properties)
  2. Documentation (includes written, photographic, and technical documentation, as well as oral histories)
  3. Physical preservation (includes stabilization, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction)

How does Preservation affect me?

In the City of Chicago, there are 59 Landmark Districts. If you own a building within one of these areas, it means there may be restrictions on what you can and cannot do with your property. Some buildings in Chicago are listed individually and can also carry restrictions. These areas and buildings are designated as being historically important and will therefore need review by the City for construction and alterations. Some properties may qualify for tax credits or other programs to help with rehabilitation. Check to see if your property is on the list with this interactive map.

Where can I learn more about Preservation?

Chicago & Illinois

Landmarks ILpreservation chicago logo



Historic Chicago Bungalow.jpg


Masters of Science in Historic Preservation






preservation action


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