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Local Historic Districts

A Local Historic District is an entity that protects the integrity of a historic resource or group of resources.

In 1970, the state of Michigan passed the Local Historic Districts Act, PA 169, which safeguards a community's heritage by allowing local governments to adopt an ordinance that contains design review guidelines based on national standards. A Historic District Commission is selected to implement the ordinance, and provide support to each resource. The Washtenaw County Historic District Commission (WCHDC) oversees thirteen Local Historic Districts, including one room schoolhouses, historic homes, farmsteads, and more. For a printable guide to Washtenaw County's historic districts, visit our Jauntful page for a shareable map of resources.

Conant_Farm_barn.jpgEsek_Pray_House.jpgPopkins_School_2008.jpgGordon Hall 5 Nov 2010 003.jpgDelhiNW.JPGMilton_Kittie_Geer_House.jpg

Conant Farm                      Esek Pray House                    Geer School                    Gordon Hall                  Delhi Bridge Geer House

Local Historic District Designation

The Washtenaw County Historic District Commission is always accepting applications for potential Local Historic Districts. For more information, browse the Local Historic District Tool Kit and contact us at 734-544-6747.

Potential Local Historic District Designations

Thornoaks Neighborhood

Click to view: Thornoaks Neighborhood Study Committee Report and Thornoaks Neighborhood Supplemental Material.

The Ann Arbor Township Board passed a resolution on August 15, 2016 to allow the County to create a Study Committee to conduct this work and authorized the Township Supervisor to execute a service contract to this effect. Ann Arbor Township asked the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, through the Washtenaw County Historic District Commission, to conduct this work on their behalf. Washtenaw County staff also secured a Certified Local Government Grant on behalf of the HDC to underwrite a portion of the cost for staffing the requested Study Committee.

Following the provisions of Section 3 of the County’s Historic Preservation Ordinance the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners appointed a Historic District Study Committee by resolution on January 18, 2017. After six months of research and evaluation, this Preliminary Report was released to the public for review and has been distributed to other commenting bodies, including the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office and Michigan Historical Commission. A public hearing took place September 12, 2017 in accordance with PA 169: The Local Historic Districts Act.

Washtenaw County Historical MarkersL.C.Allen Marker

In some cases, historic sites do not fit the criteria for a historic district, but still hold historic significance.  In these cases, a historic marker could commemorate the history of the site.  The Washtenaw County Historic District Commission oversees the establishment of Historic Markers throughout the County.  Markers designate sites, buildings, structures and objects of historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural significance.  If you are interested in a historic marker, please see the Guidelines for Historic Markers and contact us at 734-544-6747.

We are currently mapping Washtenaw County’s historic markers, and need your help.  When you see a marker, please upload a picture at its location to the Washtenaw County Historic Markers CrowdMap.  We would love to see pictures of you and your family visiting Washtenaw County’s historic sites!

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