Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation Program

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​​​​​​​​May is Preservation Month! 

​Celebrate Ann Arbor's historic places during National Preservation Month! Click here​ to take a tour of our historic building styles and eras. 

New Application Process

​Applications for review by the Historic District Commission (major work) and applications for minor work that has been designated to staff for approval must be submitted online ​using the City's new online permitting system STREAM​ (stream.a2.gov.org​). ​ For additional instructions, click Applications Form and Fees​ in the left sidebar. 

​Hayden House Preliminary Report Available

​​The Robert & Erma Hayden House Study Committee has completed a preliminary Study Committee Report that is available for public comment.  City Council formed the committee to advise them on the designation of the Haydens' house on Gardner Avenue as a local historic district.  Robert Hayden wrote some of the most powerful Black history poems in the English language and was appointed to two terms as the Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress (later called the Poet Laureate), the first Black American to hold this position.  Click here​ ​to view the report, and please forward any comments to [email protected] 

​Planning Staff Working Remote ​

Many City Hall staff continue to work remotely. For assistance with HDC questions or applications, please contact Jill Thacher via email at [email protected] or by phone at 734-794-6265 x42608. 

​Meeting Update

On January 1, 2022, the Historic District Commission returned to in-person hybrid meetings. Applicants, owners, and public commenters may attend virtually via Zoom or attend in City Hall. 

  • Regular meetings of the Historic District Commission have returned to Council Chambers, second floor, of City Hall, 301 East Huron Street.  
  • Regular meetings are broadcast for viewing online and cable television, and participants may attend virtually via Zoom. 
  • Applicants, owners, and public hearing comments may be made in person at the meeting, or via Zoom or by phone during the meeting.
  • While masks are not currently required upon entry to Larcom City Hall, City Council, board and commission meetings continue to require in-person meeting participants to wear masks covering nose and mouth. Masks are available at the guest services desk in the lobby of Larcom City Hall​​
  • Working sessions will be held in-person immediately following regular HDC meetings, on an as needed basis. In-person attendance is necessary to watch or participate in working sessions. 
  • Please be mindful that the return to in-person meetings is required for compliance with the Michigan Open Meetings Act. Temporary provisions that allowed electronic participation since March 2020 expired on December 31, 2021. The City of Ann Arbor remains very sensitive to the on-going and ever changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

​​Staff Services ​​

  • Information on the City's historic districts
  • Review of building permit applications for property within historic districts
  • Assistance with applications for work in historic districts
  • Assistance with historic district regulations

Information on the DTE Meter Project in the Old West Side Historic District

​DTE has launched a program to remove gas meters from within basements and mount them on the exteriors of houses. The process that DTE will follow and guidelines for locating the exterior meters is consistent with existing Historic District Commission rules. For each property, the property owner or DTE or its contractors may apply for a staff approval if the proposed meter location 1) does not impact significant architectural features, and 2) is on the rear of the house or occasionally the side near the rear (if the rear is not possible) or if the meter is not visible from the street or sidewalk.  All other meter configurations (on the sides of houses where they are visible from the right-of-way) require an application to the HDC (not staff) that is signed by the property owner and must be approved by the commission.  

The design guidelines followed by the HDC (see links below) for mechanical equipment state that it is appropriate to install mechanical equipment (including meters) in a location that is not visible from a public right-of-way and that they must be installed in a way that historic materials and features are not damaged or obscured. 

If a property owner or occupant has concerns about the proposed location of a gas meter on their home after meeting with DTE representatives, please contact Jill Thacher at [email protected] ​

Current Historic District Commission Packet

Historic District Commission agenda and packet information is now available at the City of Ann Arbor's Legislative Information Center. 

  • Access the calendar page​.
  • Select "Historic District Commission" from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.
  • Click on the "Search Calendar" button. 
  • Staff reports can be found by clicking the "Meeting Details" link for each meeting date.

Is This Property in a Historic District?

  1. o find out if an address or parcel number is in a historic district, follow these steps.

    1. Click to go directly to eTRAKIT or go to the City homepage and click on eTRAKIT under "Working In".
    2. Next, click the PROPERTIES box.
    3. Enter all or part of the address in the search box, or change the search field to search by parcel number or owner.
    4. Double click on the correct address in the results box.
    5. Click the LAND USE tab for historic district and other information. ​

See maps of each historic district​.​

Application Process

See more information about the HDC Application Pr​ocess.

Design Guidelines

City Code Relating to ​Historic Districts;         By-Laws

State Public Acts 

Site Navigation

​Planning & Development Services
301 E. Huron Street
Ann Arbor, MI

Historic Preservation Coordinator
Jill Thacher
734.794.6265 x 42608 [email protected]

Administrative Assistant to the HDC
Mia Gale
734.794.6265 x 42665