DETROIT HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION
The Detroit Historic District Commission is a city agency
that was formed by Detroit Ordinance 161-H in 1976. Its purpose is to ensure the preservation of historically
and culturally significant areas of the City which are designated by the City Council as Historic
Districts. The Commission is made up of seven Detroit residents who are appointed by Mayor Kilpatrick.
These dedicated volunteers are generally residents of historic districts and represent such professions
as architects and realtors. The Commission
staff is located within the City of Detroit Planning and
It is the Commission's job to ensure that changes
proposed in historic districts preserve
important historic characteristics and are compatible with the historic buildings. This is achieved
through the city's building permit process. When proposing a change to the exterior of a property
such as landscaping, paint colors, windows, or doors the homeowner or contractor submits an application
for building permit to the Commission for review. If the work is appropriate
the Commission, or in some instances the Commission's staff will issue a certificate of appropriateness
which allows the Buildings and Safety Engineering Department to issue a
If the proposed work is not appropriate the Commission will deny the application but will always offer
suggestions on how to change the scope of work so it is appropriate.
The Buildings and Safety
Engineering Department will not issue a permit if the work has been denied.
In addition to reviewing applications for building
permits the Commission investigates cases
of demolition by neglect, administers facade easements, comments on the designation of proposed
historic districts, and comments on city projects.