Get involved! We need volunteers to help with various projects. Donations can be made to the Anacortes Museum Foundation to help us with our work but please clearly designate them for the Preservation Fund.
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For your personal residence there is only Special Valuation, which is a 10-year forbearance of the property tax on your improvements. To be eligible, your house must be in the Anacortes or National Register of Historic Places.
Financial assistance for individuals is currently limited to low-interest loans and state and federal income tax credits for income-producing properties. There are more possible sources if your restoration involves low-income housing. Please refer to our incentives page.
New additions should be designed and constructed so that the character-defining features of the historic building are not radically changed, obscured, damaged, or destroyed in the process of rehabilitation. New design should always be clearly differentiated so that the addition does not appear to be part of the historic resource. See the Secretary of the Interior’s guidelines for new additions.
The Washington State Historic Building Code, chapter 51-19 WAC, provides an exception from the State Building Code and the Uniform Building Code when authorized by the Anacortes Building Department under rules adopted by the State Building Code Council. We suggest that you work with us, but it is not strictly required. Likewise, it is advisable that your property be on the Anacortes Register of Historic Places even though this too is not a strict requirement. The code does demand compliance with all safety requirements, no exceptions.
Ordinance 2530, Section 4 defines the duties of the Preservation Board. Briefly they are to:
We can advise you about good ways to restore and maintain the character of your historic property. Further, we can enlist the assistance of state and national experts when it is appropriate - this is a benefit of our being a Certified Local Government entity.
Local governments that establish a historic preservation program meeting federal and state standards are eligible to apply to the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the National Park Service for certification as a CLG. The Certified Local Government Program is a preservation partnership between local, state and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation at the grass-roots level. The key reasons to become a CLG are:
CLG funds may be used for a wide variety of projects such as historic survey work, community planning, local design guidelines, archeology, public education and National Register nomination development as well as direct participation in the review and approval of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.
An historic preservation easement is a legal agreement that enables a historic property owner to establish certain preservation restrictions while retaining possession and use of the property. There are three general types of historic preservation easements: façade, interior space, and development rights. There is a federal tax credit if the easement is given by donation and the property is on the National Register. Follow the links starting on our incentives page if you want to know more.
Section 106 refers to a particular part of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 that requires every federal agency to take into account how each of its undertakings could affect historic properties. Section 106 Review is a review process designed to ensure that historic properties are considered during federal project planning. Any project involving federal funds is subject to Section 106 Review. This applies to properties on or eligible for listing on the National Register.
Please see the About the Register page of our website.
The Anacortes Historic Inventory is part of the Washington State Inventory of Cultural Resources that documents historic properties (buildings, structures, sites, districts, and objects) across the state. Records held in the Inventory document a variety of property types. All permit applications for properties in the inventory are subject to review by the Preservation Board.
Anacortes properties eligible for historic designation must be at least 50 years old and be important for representing broad patterns of Anacortes’ history, for conveying high architectural or artistic values, or for their association with the life of a historically important Anacortes resident.
The difference between an historic place and just an old one rests in the meaning it brings as a place that defines and marks our history. For example, a building may be historic because it was designed by a well-known architect or was the first county courthouse or is the place where a significant event occurred. A building may also be historic because it signifies patterns of community development, incorporates local materials and innovative methods in construction, or because it is typical of a significant era in Anacortes’ history.
Some of the Board’s recent activities include,
Our historic buildings are our most tangible connection with the history of our community. These buildings are not hidden away in a museum display case but part of our daily experience, reminding us of our roots. In addition to encouraging civic pride and safeguarding the City's historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage, preservation helps to stabilize and improve property values. Maintaining the beauty and accomplishments of the past strengthens the city's economy by attracting tourists and new residents.