A Message from the Historic Preservation Director
Shanon Shea Miller
Welcome to the City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation website. The Office of Historic Preservation promotes the identification, evaluation, rehabilitation, adaptive use, and restoration of the City's historic, architectural, and archeological heritage. San Antonio is a world-renowned preservation city and is a designated Preserve America community.
This website features detailed information about the City's preservation program, including locally designated historic districts, the City's Historic and Design Review Commission and the design review process. In addition, you will find information about federal and local incentives for owners of historic buildings and rehabilitation practices that can help preserve these properties.
We strive to preserve our history for so many reasons. We preserve out of a need for memories and to understand our past. Ask anyone what they love about San Antonio and the answers you'll likely hear will almost certainly involve historic preservation: the Riverwalk, downtown neighborhoods such as Monte Vista or Dignowity Hill, a local historic site such as the Missions or the Steves Homestead, thriving commercial areas such as Southtown, and the like. Our city has been shaped by our colorful history and our built environment helps to tell that story.
We preserve to protect our quality of life, our pride of place and our sense of community. We preserve so that we can pass on to future generations San Antonio’s rich past. In order to do that, we, of course, need to save local landmarks, but also we need to preserve the eclectic mix of residential and commercial architecture unique to our community. At the end of the day, we want our neighborhoods and commercial districts to continue to tell the story of our history to those who come after us. This can best be done by preserving the condition of our historic resources and by giving them new life and new purpose by making them our homes and places of business.
Taking care of our built environment does more than just save old buildings. It provides a sense of belonging, a collective memory and a sense of pride in our past. Preservation is not about longing for the past or resisting progress. It's about building on the past toward the future. A preservationist is by definition looking forward and impacting the future.
We hope you enjoy exploring the Office of Historic Preservation website. Please sign up for our email newsletter and get involved in our many activities throughout the year.