About Historic Preservation
What is the State Historic Preservation Office?
Answer: The Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office works to strengthen communities by identifying and investing in the historic places that define the state’s character. For more information about the roles and responsibilities of the SHPO, visit About the State Historic Preservation Office.
What is historic preservation anyway?
Answer: The National Park Service describes historic preservation as a conversation with our past about our future. It provides us with opportunities to ask, "What is important in our history?" and "What parts of our past can we preserve for the future?" Through historic preservation, we look at history in different ways, ask different questions of the past, and learn new things about our history and ourselves. Historic preservation is an important way for us to transmit our understanding of the past to future generations.
It is the act of protecting and preserving sites, structures, objects, or districts which reflect elements of local, state, or national cultural, social, economic, political, archaeological or architectural history.
- What is the State Historic Preservation Office?
Identifying and Protecting Historic Resources
How do I designate my property as historic?
Answer: There are three main types of historic designation in the State of Connecticut: Local Designation, State Designation, and National Designation. Each type has a separate process for “listing,” which can be found on their respective pages. For more detailed information about what designation means in practice, see the FAQs for State Register and National Register programs.
What are the Standards for the Treatment of Historic Buildings (the “Standards”) and how do they protect my historic building?
The Standards are a series of concepts about maintaining, repairing, and replacing historic materials, as well as designing new additions or making alterations. The Standards offer four distinct approaches to the treatment of historic properties—preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction with Guidelines for each.
For more information about the Standards and how they apply to your property, visit https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards.htm.
How does my town become a Certified Local Government (CLG)?
Answer: The CLG program is a preservation partnership between the National Park Service, the State Historic Preservation Office and a local municipality, that provides funding and technical assistance. Please contact Mary Dunne at (860) 500-2356 for more information.
Where can my local historic district commission get training?
Answer: The State Historic Preservation Office holds joint workshops with the CT Trust for Historic Preservation periodically throughout the year on a variety of topics essential to the administration of local historic districts. Commissioners can also contact Mary Dunne at (860) 500-2356 to set up individual commission training in your town.
- How do I designate my property as historic?
Funding Opportunities for Historic Properties
How can I learn more about the grant programs the SHPO has available to municipalities and non-profits?
Answer: The SHPO offers a range of grant opportunities to help municipalities and non-profits identify, document, designate and preserve their historic resources.
What if I’m not a non-profit or municipality? Am I eligible for any funding?
Answer: The SHPO administers three historic rehabilitation tax credit programs for the rehabilitation of private, owner-occupied homes and other privately owned historic buildings.
What is a tax credit?
Answer: Tax credits provide a dollar-for dollar reduction of your income tax liability. This means that a $1,000 tax credit saves you $1,000 in taxes.
- How can I learn more about the grant programs the SHPO has available to municipalities and non-profits?