A view of St. Augustine from the Castillo de San Marcos. Source: 1885 St. Augustine City Directory
Historic Preservation is a multi-faceted field that includes:
- Building Rehabilitation and Preservation
- Historic Sites
- Other Related Fields
The Core of Preservation
While it covers many areas, historic preservation, at its core, is geared towards preserving the past through protecting historic items both above and below ground:
Historic preservation as the city knows it today began in 1971 when the City Commission created five local Historic Preservation Zoning Districts and established a related ordinance. The latter allowed the city to regulate architectural modifications to buildings in the districts and to regulate commercial uses of buildings in these districts.
The Historic Architectural Review Board
The Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) was established three years later in 1974 to protect the architectural character and integrity within the HP Districts. The board was given the authority to review applications to renovate existing structures and applications to construct new buildings. The board’s scope has since expanded to include:
- Reviewing projects in the three Entry Corridors and building demolitions (50 years or more) throughout the city
- Establishing City landmarks
- Reviewing National Register Nominations
- Similar tasks
In the years following the creation of the HP Districts, the city has seen seven districts and multiple individual structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with one district and several properties listed as National Historic Landmarks. Three Entry Corridors have also been established, and design review for these areas falls under the review of Historic Preservation Staff.
Historic Preservation staff reviews design projects within the HP Districts and Entry Corridors for both new construction and alterations to existing buildings. When reviewing these projects, the staff looks to see that the projects are compatible with the district and for the building (for alterations).
Projects Within the Districts
For projects within the HP districts, and for some Entry Corridor projects, this process can include the Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB) review and approval. Along with construction projects, staff reviews all full and partial demolition of buildings fifty years old and older throughout the city.
Workshops & Events
Beyond plan and demolition review, staff plans preservation workshops and events, are involved with grant-funded projects to include the restoration of the historic St. Augustine Waterworks and develop preservation publications and plans like the recent Historic Preservation Master Plan. For more information on recent projects, view the Incentives page.