Frequently Asked Questions
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
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 Presrvation 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.
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 owern to go through the Design Review process. A property listed on the National Register may be eligible to receive federal government-supported funding for qualifying rehabilitation projects.
Learn about the National Register of Historic Places
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, e-mail or call the Historic Presrvation Office at (509) 625-6985.
Our Office is in the process of making copies of all nominations available on this website for public use. Until this project is complete, hard copies are available in the Northwest Room at the Spokane Public Library in the Northwest Room. Contact the Northwest Room at (509) 444-5338 to learn about acquiring a copy of a nomination.
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 punding 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 Development Website.
The Historic Presrvation Office only keeps files on properties that are listed on either the Spokane or National Register of Historic Places. Read the House History Guide for tips on how to conduct research outside of our office.
The Historic Preservation Office does not maintain or archive architectural or floor plans for historic properties. The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC) Joel E. Ferris Research Library has a small collection of house plans as part of the Kirtland K. Cutter and W.W. Hyslop Collections. To learn more, e-mail the MAC or contact an archivist by phone at (509) 363-5342. Floor plans for historic properties may also be found in archived Spokesman-Review articles. To learn more about how to search Spokesman articles for a particular address or home, contact the Northwest Room at the Downtown Spokane Public Library at (509) 444-5338.
While our office keeps historic photographs of listed properties, the best resource for historic photographs is the Libby Collection at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, which is filed by street address and subject. To find out more, e-mail the MAC or contact an archivist by phone at (509) 363-5342.
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.