Preservation Tools


Local Technical Assistance

Whether you are a first time home buyer in a historic district or a professional architect working with a landmarked property, the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) has resources and information available to assist you.

The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) is available for consultation with applicants regarding proposed rehabilitation, new construction, and other projects dealing with historic properties.
architectural detailFor large projects and new construction OHP staff recommends applicants meet with the Historic and Design Review Commission’s Architecture Review Committee (ARC) prior to attending an HDRC meeting. This is an informal, non-binding body that provides feedback to current and future applicants on proposed projects within historic and RIO districts and for local landmarks. Once applicants have meet with staff and attended the ARC meeting, it is recommended but not required, that the applicant submit an application for Conceptual Approval by the HDRC. Conceptual Approval is HDRC approval of the "concept" of the project in order to give the applicant feedback about the design and scope of the project prior to completion of 80% construction documents and significant investment by the applicant. Final Approval of an application requires 80% construction documentation for review by the HDRC before a Certificate of Appropriateness can be issued.
The HDRC and OHP staff also offer numerous public education opportunities throughout the year.  Please contact the Office of Historic Preservation for more information.

Before You Get Started...

fenceThe OHP reviews everything from retaining walls and landscaping to new construction and additions so before you get started planning your project, be sure to read about the application process. Staff recommendations are based on the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, the City of San Antonio's Unified Development Code (UDC), and any additional design guidelines adopted by a historic district. These are important resources for all applicants to review prior to starting your project.



Historic Design Guidelines


The City of San Antonio Historic Design Guidelines were adopted by City Council on November 8, 2012.  The Historic Design Guidelines provide historic district residents, property owners, professionals working with historic properties, and potential construction applicants a background history of the City's historic districts, an understanding of architectural design principles, and guidelines which promote predictability and ensure compatibility between new development and the existing historic environment.  Successful historic design guidelines help to reinforce and preserve the character of our historic districts! For more information, click on the link below.

Historic Design Guidelines


Additional Preservation Guides

In order to assist the owner of a historic property with making decisions about appropriate treatments or changes to his/her building, we have developed a Preservation Guide that references appropriate examples throughout San Antonio's historic districts.


Historic Window Information

Windows are character-defining features of historic properties and can often be repaired for less than the cost of replacement windows. Check out the following material on historic window restoration and repair.


Other Historic Preservation & Research Information