Designation of Heritage Preservation Sites

Designating Heritage Preservation Sites

Our City's Comprehensive Plan recognizes that both the economic vitality and the unique character of the community is dependent upon the protection of our historic resources. Designation as a Heritage Preservation Site means that the site or area has historic significance that is still evident today.

The Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) is charged with cataloging and recommending to the City Council any areas, places, buildings, structures, lands, districts, or other objects to be designated as Heritage Preservation Sites. There are currently many individual houses and buildings, several areas, and one district (the Excelsior Downtown Historic District) designated as Heritage Preservation Sites.

Demolition, new construction, or significant exterior alteration of a Heritage Preservation Site should take into account the historic nature of that site. Consequently, all significant exterior changes to the site must be approved by the HPC. The mechanism for obtaining this approval is the Site Alteration Permit.

Currently Designated Sites

The City of Excelsior currently has many current Heritage Preservation Sites (PDF), both individual Landmarks (PDF) and the Downtown Historic District (PDF). These individual addresses, areas, and the Downtown Historic District (PDF) require Site Alteration Permits for any exterior work. Site Alteration Permit applications are filed with City Hall, reviewed by the HPC, and approved by the City Council.

The Excelsior Downtown Historic District contains 74 structures and one site (the Port of Excelsior). 59 of these structures plus the Port of Excelsior are categorized as contributing to the historic character of the area. These 58 structures and one site are good examples of particular architectural styles, are the work of prominent local architects / builders, or are examples of a common vernacular style and are notable for their massing and ornamental trim details.

The other 16 structures in the District are categorized as noncontributing. These structures have historic features that have been significantly altered or new construction has occurred. While these properties are classified as noncontributing to the character of the area, any rehabilitation work or new construction still requires a Site Alteration Permit. This is so that the commission can evaluate how the project will impact the historic character of the surrounding area.

Read the 2002 Historic District Designation Study (PDF).