Making Historic Preservation a Local Concern

The city of Portland wants more local control when it comes to determining matters of historic preservation.

1 minute read

February 16, 2019, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Snowy Residential Neighborhood

J. Stephen Lee / Shutterstock

"Portland is rewriting its historic preservation rules to reassert local control over what’s worth protecting and what’s just old," reports Elliot Njus.

"The proposed code would let the city designate its own landmarks and districts, a practice that was abandoned years ago when a new state law required owner consent for any historic designation," according to Njus.

Meanwhile, the city has been deferring to "the National Register of Historic Places as the main arbiter of what’s protected from demolition or radical renovation."

Preservationists and neighborhood organizations are pressuring the city to reform the preservation rules as affluent neighborhoods like Eastmoreland and Laurelhurst seek historic designations in the face of increasing market pressure for demolitions and infill.

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