Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation

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The Recommended Vision & Policy Framework for Downtown Ann Arbor (pdf), prepared in 2005 by Calthorpe Associates, calls for policy that encourages the renovation of historic buildings by:

  • Preserving the structures of exceptional merit and build upon this unique Downtown fabric
  • New development should reflect the existing historic neighborhood through its architectural vocabulary
  • Creation of an adaptive re-use ordinance

In 2006, City Council adopted a work plan (pdf) for the Historic Preservation Criteria project and appointed an advisory committee to work with staff to clarify historic preservation criteria for the downtown.  Committee meeting notes and public workshop materials are provided on the Project Archive page.


On June 18, 2007, City Council approved the recommendations developed by the Downtown Historic Preservation Advisory Committee. 

On September 24, 2007, City Council approved the implementation schedule for the historic district design guidelines.

Implementation Status

January 2008:  Field work started on the Old West Side reconnaissance survey.  As weather permits, field work will continue through mid-March.  A contract with Winter & Company was approved by City Council to format the historic district design guidelines publication.

February 2008:  Winter & Company began formatting the historic district design guidelines and adding text to coordinate with the downtown design guidelines. 

June 2008: The final draft of the historic district design guidelines is complete and has been forwarded to the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, the Historic District Commission and State Historic Preservation Office for review.  The HDC is scheduled to take action on the guidelines in August.

July 2008: Staff has completed photographing the Old West Side historic district and is in the process of entering the field data into a database and conducting historic research on potential non-contributing properties.


Updated July 24, 2008