Frequently Asked Questions

How can I list my property on the Spokane Register of Historic Places?

What does it mean to be listed on the Spokane Register?

What does it mean to be listed on the National Register?

How can I find out if my property is listed on the local Spokane or National Register of Historic Places?

Where can I get copies of Spokane and National Register nominations?

Is there funding available for the rehabilitation of my historic property?

How do I find out more about the history of my property?

Where can I find historic photographs of my property?

What is the Demolition Ordinance?

How can I list my property on the Spokane Register of Historic Places?

In order for a home to be eligible for listing on the Spokane Register, it must be at least 50 years of age or older, and possess integrity of architectural design, craftsmanship, and historic character. To apply for listing on the Spokane Register, a nomination is completed for the property and submitted to the Historic Preservation Department. Consultants may assist you in writing the nomination for a property.

Learn more about the Spokane Register of Historic Places

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What does it mean to be listed on the Spokane Register?

A property listed on the Spokane Register, either individually or as a contributing structure in a district, is bound to a  Management Agreement with the City of Spokane, which states that any construction work or modifications made to the property must be reviewed prior to the start of work. In this process called Design Review, Historic Preservation Office staff reviews the work to be done and issues a Certificate of Appropriateness to insure that any alterations to the property do not adversely affect the building’s historic character and appearance. Properties listed on the Spokane Register are also eligible for special valuation, which results in reduced property tax for qualifying rehabilitation.

Learn more about the Design Review or Special Valuation

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What does it mean to be listed on the National Register?

A property listed on the National Register, either individually or as a contributing structure in a district, is not bound to a Management Agreement, and renovating a National Register property does not require the property owner to go through the Design Review process.  However, if the property is within a National Register Historic District it may be bound by the City’s Demolition Ordinance.  More information about the demolition ordinance can be found below.

Learn about the National Register of Historic Places

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How can I find out if my property is listed on the local Spokane or National Register of Historic Places?

To learn if your property is listed on the local Spokane or National Register check out our Historic Properties of Spokane page.  You can search by historic name, address, neighborhood or historic district!  If you still have questions just shoot us an e-mail or call the Historic Preservation Office at (509) 625-6300.

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Where can I get copies of Spokane and National Register nominations?

Right here!  In order to find Spokane Register nominations, simply navigate to the Historic Properties of Spokane page, select the property you’re interested in and click on the “Nomination (pdf)” link at the bottom of the page.

There are several ways to obtain a copy of a National Register nomination.  Either search the National Park Service’s website directly, search Washington State’s Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation database (called WISAARD), or contact our department directly.

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Is there funding available for the rehabilitation of my historic property?

Income and property tax incentives are available for the rehabilitation of properties listed on either the National or Local Registers.  The Historic Preservation Office does not provide funding for the rehabilitation of any property, but both public and private groups have low-interest loans available for interested property owners.  Visit the Business and Development Services Website for information on commercial renovation, and for information on housing programs through the City of Spokane, visit the Community Housing and Human Services Website.

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How do I find out more about the history of my property?

The Historic Preservation Office only keeps files on properties that are listed on either the Spokane or National Register of Historic Places.  However, check out our “How to Research Your Property” page for tips on how to conduct research on properties in Spokane County.

You can also read the House History Guide for tips on how to conduct research outside of our office.

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Where can I find historic photographs of my property?

While our office keeps some historic photographs of listed properties, check out our “How to Research Your Property” page for information on how to find historic photographs of your property.

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What is the Demolition Ordinance?

In 2005, the City of Spokane enacted a demolition ordinance addressing the demolition of significant historic buildings located downtown or in historic districts (SMC 17D.040.230). The ordinance was designed to prevent the loss of historic buildings with economic development potential. It allows permits to be issued for demolition of historic buildings when the building will be replaced with another structure. It also includes exclusions for demolitions based on public safety issues or documented economic hardship.

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