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Thread: Historic preservation - historic site/structure plaques

  1. #1
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    Historic preservation - historic site/structure plaques

    I'm looking for information about designating historic structures with plaques. What company do you use for the plaques? Can you provide an example of the ordinance/resolution for this program? Do you have the property owner pay for the plaque? Et cetera.

    Any information is greatly appreciated.

    I've recently been tasked with historic preservation duties in my office due to staff turnover, with no training. I'm excited about this challenge, but I'm struggling!

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I don't have a lot to offer, but I can tell you that here, the property owner pays for the plaque. I live in an historic home in an historic overlay district. My neighbor has a plaque (from the state preservation office) but I don't. The only reason is they chose to pay for it and we (or rather, the previous owner) did not. Indeed, our house is the older of the two.

    Sorry I have nothing to offer ont he other questions.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    There are many different approaches to "signing" the buildings. Most people immediately think of the metal plaque affixed to the structure. Other options include other materials (I have seen many wooden signs for instance, particularly on wooden buildings). Another option is to set the marker into the sidewalk in front of the building, in which case maybe stone might be used, or metal. Still another option is to mount signs in front of the buildings. One way to do this is to put them on the opposite side ofthe street so that you can see the entire building or block as you read the marker.

    District signage intended to inform the public, such as interpretive signage, is usually paid for by the public. Markers on individual buildings may go either way. I have often seen a local histoical society cover the cost of these signs as a way to recognize buildings and create an incentive for people to list them, or restore them.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    I have never heard of the government paying for this kind of signage. Occassionally, maybe a district sign at a prominent corner or two, but even that is often a local non-profit. Usually individual property owners are responsible for such signs, though local preservation non-profits may offer assistance or help in arranging a neighborhood wide order. Was this something you were asked to do by the powers that be or just a call from a property owner not knowing where to go?

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the replies. I had no idea that the government doesn't usually pay for it. We have a number of structures on the National Register and we also have a number of contributing structures to historic districts. My initial thought was that we need signage for these structures so people will know where they are located/know of their importance. Plaques could also encourage preservation of homes and encourage others to do so as well.

    As I said, I'm completely new to historic preservation planning so I'm trying to figure out what to do.

    Thank you for the information!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Government actually does pay for these things and your State Historic Preservation Office may well have funding available for this purpose, especially if it's a Certified Local Government community. IIRC, federal programs like Preserve America and Save America's Treasures also funded this kind of thing, though I think both of those may now be defunct.

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