Historic Design Guidelines

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Design Guidelines

Using the Historic Design Guidelines

The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) is pleased to announce that the City of San Antonio Historic Design Guidelines were adopted by City Council on November 8, 2012. The OHP worked with a volunteer steering committee and consultants Clarion Associates and Hardy Heck Moore, Inc. to plan and execute the Historic Design Guidelines. The draft document was advertised and made available for public comment through two public meetings prior to creation of the final draft. We appreciate all of the community feedback on this initiative.

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!

The adopted Historic Design Guidelines are available to view and download at the links below.  Hardcopies are also available at the following public libraries: Central Library, Landa Branch, San Pedro Branch, Mission Branch, Carver Branch, and the Bazan Branch.

Guidelines Policy Documents


In 2015, the HDRC approved a clarification document for windows which addresses common issues related to window repair, replacement, and products used in new construction. The document includes information about historic wood windows and specific examples as they relate to the Historic Design Guidelines.

Infill Construction

In 2017, OHP kicked off a public discussion regarding infill design at the Historic Homeowner Fair Infill Design Workshop.

Read more about Infill Construction

District-Specific Guidelines

Mission Historic District Design Manual

Adopted by Council on December 13, 2018, the Mission Historic District Design Manual acts as district-specific design guidelines for the Mission Historic District, serves as a consolidated resource for design requirements within District, articulates the unique and character-defining features of the district, and demonstrates best-practices concerning land development in sensitive are.

School of Aerospace Medicine Historic District Design Guidelines

Adopted by Council on October 3, 2013, the School of Aerospace Medicine Design Guidelines recognize the historic importance of the Brooks School of Aerospace Medicine Campus and San Antonio’s legacy in the development of the Man-in-Space Program. They also encourage sensitive development that conforms to the setting of existing buildings, the conservation of historic resources, and investment in the campus.  The former Brooks School of Aerospace Medicine is a local historic district.

Downtown Design Guide

The HDRC reviews projects in the Downtown Business District using the Downtown Design Guide. The DDG informs the design of new towers, infill projects, parking structures, and more.