A historic district, according to the City of San Antonio’s Unified Development Code, is "an area, urban or rural, defined as an historic district by city council, state, or federal authority and which may contain within definable geographic boundaries one or more buildings, objects, sites or structures designated as exceptional or significant historic landmarks or clusters, as defined herein, including their accessory buildings, fences and other appurtenances, and natural resources having historical, architectural, archaeological, and cultural significance, and which may have within its boundaries other buildings, objects, sites, or structures, that, while not of such historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural significance as to be designated landmarks, nevertheless contribute to the overall visual setting of or characteristics of the landmark or landmarks located within the district."
San Antonio currently has 31 different locally designated historic districts, ranging in size from the Leon Springs Historic District (3 parcels) to the Mission Historic District, which extends for approximately seven (7) miles on the city’s south side. Not to be confused with National Register Historic Districts, of which San Antonio has 20, local historic districts are adopted by ordinance at City Council and include legal enforcement of compliance with adopted development codes that are specific to historic properties. Find out more about the advantages of historic designation (PDF).
Historic district eligibility is determined by the sixteen (16) criteria for evaluation as specified in the Unified Development Code. These criteria are based on the four National Register criteria for eligibility including association with significant events, association with significant people, architectural significance, or ability to convey information about history or prehistory (archaeological sites). Areas recommended eligible for historic district designation must meet at least three (3) of the criteria. See the link below for a full list of eligibility criteria for historic districts.