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Historic Preservation Planning 


Like Politics, all Preservation is local. For that reason, historic preservation is most effective in places where it is fostered and managed at the community level. To help municipalities and local organizations achieve these goals, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) offers technical assistance, advice, and educational programs on a variety of planning and revitalization strategies and initiatives:

  • Developing preservation plans,
  • Establishing local historic district ordinances
  • Investigating alternatives for preserving key buildings
  • Promoting heritage tourism and commercial and neighborhood revitalization

Guidance for Historic Preservation Planning

The Municipalities Planning Code calls on counties and municipalities to include provisions for preserving historic places and archaeological sites in their comprehensive plans and zoning. To help local governments fulfill this responsibility, the SHPO has developed its Guidance for Historic Preservation Planning (PDF), recommending steps toward developing an effective comprehensive historic preservation plan.

The SHPO has likewise drafted language that may be incorporated into planning documents to help planners identify areas where there is a high probability of finding significant archaeological sites. Download the Planning Guidance for Archaeological Sites (PDF).

Statewide Historic Preservation Plan

Many of the goals and objectives of Pennsylvania's statewide historic preservation plan, #PreservAtionHappensHere (PDF) involve encouraging and supporting local preservation programs and initiatives.

County and Regional Plans

More and more, planners are incorporating historic properties and cultural resources into regional and county plans. So be sure to refer to these plans to see what they are recommending that municipalities can do to preserve their local landmarks and distinctive sense of place:

Community Preservation Partners

Depending on your community and the issues you are facing, you may also want to consider contacting our statewide and regional partners for assistance in identifying and preserving historic places: