Historic Preservation

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The City of Palo Alto values its historic resources and understands the need to preserve and protect its culturally, historically and architecturally significant places in order to create a vibrant and sustainable community that fully reflects Palo Alto’s diverse past. 

The City of Palo Alto’s Historic Preservation Program began in 1979 and currently boasts four National Register Districts and hundreds of individually significant resources. The City of Palo Alto Planning & Development Services Department and Historic Resources Board (HRB) designate, review and promote historic resources. 

There are many ways to protect, preserve, interpret and celebrate our shared historic resources.  In Palo Alto, design guidelines, the Secretary of the Interior's Standards, historic walking tours and community outreach events are just some of the ways we accomplish this goal. The facts surrounding the ownership of a historic property can sometimes be misrepresented and we are here to straighten out any misconception. 

If you have specific questions regarding design review, what modifications can be made to a historic property, historic listing status for a property, how to research your home, the benefits of preserving historic places or what an Historic Resources Board (HRB) meeting entails, please read through the Project Review page.