Five Steps to Designating Your Property Historic


link_trainerStep #1 - Research Your Property

Determine the age of the potential historic resource. This can be done through researching records at Building Services or at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society

Determine the architectural style of the resource. Bring photos of the resource to the Historical Society to aid in identification.

Is the property listed on the Florida Master Site file? The Historical Society has this information.

Step #2 - Contact the HPB

Obtain an application form from the Preservation Planner at Construction Services. The liaison and/or the Historical Society staff will help you with the form.

Bring the legal description of the property and proof of ownership (warranty deed or tax record) with you. The legal description can be found on the deed to the property, or it can be researched through the Broward County Tax Appraiser’s. The filing fee for the HPB is $100.00 per application.

Go over the Criteria for Historic Designation with the HPB liaison or the Historical Society and determine which of the criteria would apply to your property

Step #3 - Collect the Necessary Documentation

You will need 15 copies of the following documents to be included with the application:

  • a current survey of the property (one copy signed and sealed).
  • photographs of the resource; of all elevations, and of important historic details.
  • if possible, supply plans and elevations (architectural drawings).
  • supply a written narrative (see Step 4).

Include letters of support. You can research past ownership at the Historical Society or through Tax records. Provide any available anecdotal history of the property. Talk to neighbors or former owners if possible.

Step #4 - Prepare a Narrative

Write a short narrative about your property. Include any anecdotal history about the resource. Tell why you think your property meets one or more criteria for historic designation. Include this narrative with your application.

Step #5 - Attend the HPB meeting

The Historic Preservation Board meets every first Monday of the month. Applications must be complete at least 3 weeks in advance of that date; otherwise they will be put off to the next months meeting.

The meeting will be quasi-judicial, which means that if you speak you must sign-in and be sworn.

The chairman will call the meeting to order when a quorum is present. When your case is called staff and the HPB consultant will present their memos on your case. The chairman will ask the applicant, you, to present your case. Rely on your research and the narrative you have written. If you do not wish to speak, you can have someone speak for you.

The chairman will ask the board members if they have any questions for the applicant.

The chairman will then open the public hearing, asking if anyone wishes to speak for or against the designation.

After the chairman closes the public hearing, the board will discuss the application and take a vote.

If the HPB majority is in favor of designating the application, the board’s recommendation will be sent to the City Commission for a vote on the designation. If the majority of the commissioners approve the application, your property will be officially designated

Criteria for Historic Designation

From the City of Fort Lauderdale ULDR:

Sec. 47-24.11. Historic designation of landmarks, landmark site or buildings and certificate of appropriateness.

B. Historic designation.

6. Criteria. The criteria for the designation of property as a landmark, landmark site or historic district shall be based on one (1) or more of the following criteria:

a. Its value as a significant reminder of the cultural or archeological heritage of the city, state, or nation,

b. Its location as a site of a significant local, state or national event,

c. Its identification with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the development of the city, state, or nation,

d. Its identification as the work of a master builder, designer, or architect, whose individual work has influenced the development of the city, state, or nation,

e. Its value as a building recognized for the quality of its architecture, and sufficient elements showing its architectural significance,

f. Its distinguishing characteristics of an architectural style valuable for the study of a period, method of construction, or use of indigenous materials,

g. Its character as a geographically definable area possessing a significant concentration, or continuity of sites, buildings, objects or structures united in past events or aesthetically by plan or physical development, or

h. Its character as an established and geographically definable neighborhood, united in culture, architectural style or physical plan and development.