Historic Preservation is an approach to conserving structures, sites, and objects which represent a physical connection with people and events from our past. Historic preservation utilizes various land use planning strategies, governmental programs, and financial incentives to protect historic resources. The preservation of historic structures and sites helps to create an unique environment and sense of place in our City. This cultural richness strengthens the local economy by promoting tourism and encouraging investment. Here you will find a variety of information about the City of Decatur’s historic preservation program.
Historical and Architectural Sites Commission (HASC)
HASC was created by the Decatur City Council as a means of encouraging the preservation, conservation, restoration, and rehabilitation of historically and architecturally significant structures and areas of the city (See Chapters 30 and 31 of the City Code).
The Commission meets on the Third Wednesday of every month at 4:00p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The Council Chambers can be found on the Third Floor of the Decatur Civic Center, located at One Gary K. Anderson Plaza, Decatur, Illinois 62523.
Certificate of Appropriateness (C of A)
All property owners within the local historic districts wanting to make changes to the exterior of their structures must receive approval from the HASC in the form of a Certificate of Appropriateness.
The completed C of A should be submitted by the 2nd Wednesday of the month with supporting documents such as pictures, materials, and drawings of the current and proposed changes.
Download the Certificate of Appropriateness Brochure for more information about the application process.
Historic Preservation Guidelines
The Secretary of the Interior created the The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. These guidelines give detailed instructions on the federal rules and regulations for any designated historic property.
In addition to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, the Historical and Architectural Sites Commission has created its own standards for the City of Decatur. These Preservation Design Guidelines, along with the Secretary of the Interiors’s Standards help to guide decisions made by the Commissioners.
Decatur’s Historic Districts
Two historic districts have been designated within the City of Decatur. These districts are governed by the Historical and Architectural Sites Commission. Any changes made to the exterior of any structures with these districts will require a Certificate of Appropriateness. Funding may also be available for the rehabilitation any historic structure.
The City of Decatur has officially designated three National Historic Districts. While there is no local governmental authority over these districts, structures within these boundaries may be eligible for funding in the form of grants or tax incentives.
Available Funding and Incentives
Currently, there are two main forms of funding or incentives for historic properties. They are as follows:
State and National
- Property Tax Assessment Freeze Program (for Historic Residences)
- Historic Preservation Tax Credits (for Businesses)
Historic Preservation and Corridors Planner
- Near Westside Restoration and Preservation Society
- West End Neighborhood Association
- Historic Decatur Foundation – (217) 421 – 9000
- Macon County History Museum & Prairie Village
- Macon County Conservation District
- City Center Decatur