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Portland, Oregon

One of the most popular housing destinations for Portland residents is one of the many historic homes throughout the city.

Historic Portland homes, and their corresponding historic neighborhoods, are highly sought after yet come with their own unique needs and expectations, which can surprise some homeowners. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

  1. If I remodel the interior of my home, will I need to do a Historic Resource Review?

Interior changes are not subject to the same guidelines as exterior ones. To be clear, Historic Resource Review is only required for interior changes that result in an exterior alteration, such as relocation of windows or doors.

  1. Can I paint my historic house the color that I want?

Your home’s paint color selection is not a part of the design guidelines, so you can paint and complete routine maintenance as needed.

  1. Are there limits on plants and landscaping?

No. Fences, street walls, patios, and plant selection are not subject to Historic Resource Review as long as they do not exceed 18 inches.

  1. Can I build onto my historic home?

Yes. Any expansion or building of a house in this historic district must be scaled and sized to fit the immediate character of homes and buildings around it.

  1. Can I install solar panels or skylights in historic districts?

Yes! City Code section 33.445.320.B.11 for historic districts provides an avenue to exempt solar panels and skylights from Historic Resource Review.

  1. Do I have to allow for “open house” times for my historic home?

Not at all! There are no requirements for you to open your home for public tours unless you want to!

Help Preserve Portland’s History

As a historic homeowner, you play an important role in the preservation of this city’s history. By knowing the right steps to take to help maintain and preserve your historic home, you will be rewarded with years of enjoyment while helping to protect the valuable history of Portland’s neighborhoods.