Historic Preservation in Juneau

Historic Preservation Frequently Asked Questions

 

There are many benefits to owning a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places or owning a property that is within a neighborhood that is listed on the National Register. Juneau has two neighborhood listed – Downtown Historic District and Chicken Ridge. In addition to enjoying the historical and architectural character of your building or neighborhood, you may be eligible for federal tax credits, to assist you with restoration of rehabilitation projects. In addition to the federal tax credits, historic property owners are also eligible for planning and development grants through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. There is a formal nomination process that must be approved by the U.S. National Park Service before a property or neighborhood can be listed. Visit the National Park Service website for more information.

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationalregister/index.htm

The National Register nomination process usually starts with the State Historic Preservation Office. Contact SHPO or check their webpage for National Register information, research materials, and necessary forms to begin the nomination process. If your property is on federal or tribal land, contact the Federal Preservation Office or the Tribal Office.

To be considered eligible, a property must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. This involves examining the property’s age, significance, and integrity.

Age and Integrity: Is the property old enough to be considered historic (generally at least 50 years old) and does it still look much the way it did in the past?

Significance: Is the property associated with events, activities, or developments that were important in the past? With the lives of people who were important in the past? With significant architectural history, landscape history, or engineering achievements? Does it have the potential to yield information through archeological investigation about our past?

The exterior facades of properties located within the Downtown Historic District must comply with the Downtown Historic District Design Standards and Guidelines.

Preserving the integrity of the Downtown Historic District is a high priority for the community because it saves a key part of Juneau’s heritage, enhances quality of life and also supports economic development. For this reason, the design guidelines are provided as a means of protecting historic resources and promoting compatible new construction within the historic context.

For questions concerning the design guidelines contact Allison Eddins at allison.eddins@juneau.org or 586-0753 ext. 4131.

The review process begins when the applicant submits design drawings to the Community Development Department. A Preservation Planner will conduct an initial review of the drawings with the applicant at the time they are submitted. Once a full application is received, the plans will be reviewed at the next Historic Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC) meeting. These are public meetings and take place the first Wednesday of every month. If the next meeting is more than a week away, a Design Review Subcommittee meeting may be held to review the plans. Plans will be reviewed for compliance with the Downtown Historic District Design Standards and Guidelines. In general HRAC will review plans in order to determine the following:

  • The proposed work preserves, enhances, or restores, and does not damage or destroy the exterior architectural features of the subject property within a historic district;
  • The proposed work does not adversely affect the special character or special historic, architectural, or aesthetic interest or value of the property and its site, or the historic district;
  • The architectural style, arrangement, texture, color, arrangement of color, and materials used for existing and proposed structures are compatible with the character of the existing property and its site or the historic district.

Within the borough there are nine state and locally recognized historic neighborhoods – Casey Shattuck (The Flats), Chicken Ridge, Douglas Townsite, Downtown Historic District, Indian Village, Juneau Townsite, Starr Hill, Telephone Hill, and the Tidelands.

Juneau has two nationally recognized neighborhoods – Downtown Historic District and Chicken Ridge. These neighborhoods are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.