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Statewide Historic Preservation Planning in Pennsylvania

Statewide historic preservation plans are a guide for planning and decision making. They are intended to encourage broad participation in planning for historic and cultural resources, identify the challenges unique to each state, outline realistic goals to meet those challenges, and inspire communities, agencies, organizations, and individuals to action.

While the State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) take the lead in developing the plan, the plan itself is the result of collaboration. In Pennsylvania, PA SHPO directs the commonwealth’s statewide historic preservation planning process. 

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In the planning process, PA SHPO is the convener of many groups whose interests intersect with historic and cultural resources.

Pennsylvania’s statewide historic preservation plan and the process to develop the plan satisfies PA SHPO’s preservation planning obligations as set forth under the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended and the Pennsylvania History Code.

This National Park Service website has information about statewide historic preservation planning for all U.S. states and territories including planning standards, requirements, and tips.

Planning for Preservation in Pennsylvania, 2024-2034

Pennsylvania’s current statewide plan, #PreservationHappensHere, will expire in December 2024.

The National Park Service requires that State Historic Preservation Offices have an approved plan in place at all times as part of the federal funding requirements.  This means that the planning process for the next plan begins about a year before the current one expires.

In Pennsylvania, developing a statewide historic preservation plan is a process that can be broken down into four major steps before a plan is ready to be published: survey, outreach/engagement, analysis, and reporting.

PA SHPO launched the planning process for the next statewide historic preservation plan in September 2023. The next plan is expected to be approved and in place by December 2024 and extend through 2034.

Online Survey

Logo for statewide planning survey

PA SHPO launched an online survey in September 2023 as the first step in the planning process.

Click here to take the survey! 

An online survey is one of the best ways for us to collect information from a broad and diverse group of Pennsylvanians about the historic and cultural resources in their communities and historic preservation practice throughout the commonwealth.

We will use the data collected through this survey to inform the final statewide plan and create the foundation for the next step in the process: outreach.

Additional Information and Resources

Pennsylvania's Current Statewide Historic Preservation Plan: #PreservAtionHappensHere

The current plan, #PreservAtionHappensHere, was adopted in 2018 and has been extended through 2024. The plan was published online and in print in two formats: an executive summary and the full plan.

Cover of the 2018-2023 statewide historic preservation plan with title and authorFour goals are identified in the 2018-2023 statewide historic preservation plan:  

  1. Implement the statewide historic preservation plan (PDF) as a resource that provides solution-oriented steps for preservation outcomes.
  2. Use the power of planning to transform Pennsylvania’s historic places  (PDF) into vibrant and diverse communities.
  3. Position Pennsylvania (PDF) to better respond to new preservation challenges and opportunities in the 21st century with proactive planning and education.
  4. Invest in the future of Pennsylvania (PDF) through the commonwealth’s historic places and the people and programs that protect and celebrate them.

The following sections of the plan are included as appendices:


For more information about Pennsylvania’s statewide historic preservation plan or the planning process, please contact Shelby Splain, Education and Special Initiatives Coordinator at