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What is the Office of Historic Preservation?

How the City of San Antonio makes sure we don’t sacrifice the past to make way for the future.


The Tower Life Building

Over the past year, we’ve gotten to share exciting news about some upcoming historic developments bringing big changes to San Antonio’s skyline.

From the new Hemisfair hotel to Civic Park, there’s no denying that there seems to be a sort of renaissance coming to the 210. However, you may be surprised to know that building in the heart of the Alamo City comes with its challenges.

What is the Office of Historic Preservation?

The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) is dedicated to protecting the historic, cultural, architectural, and archaeological resources that make our city special. Along with the Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC), the OHP oversees a design review process for exterior alterations to historic landmarks and districts.

What is the Historic and Design Review Commission?

The HDRC reviews applications for the designation of local historic districts and landmarks. Before construction on projects can begin, developers must first seek approval from the commission. In many instances, board members will often discuss a proposal several times — as well as recommend design changes — before a project is approved.

Here are some projects that were approved this year:

How to get involved

Want to make your voice heard on an item seeking approval? The HDRC meetings occur on the first and third Wednesdays of each month and are open to the public. Those who attend can sign-up to speak in favor of or in opposition to any item for up to two minutes.

Don’t have the time to look through the agenda every other week? No worries. You can always count on us to provide you with all the need-to-know information regarding new developments, right here, in our newsletter at 6 a.m.