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Nomination Process for Landmarking, Local Historic District Designation or Thematic District Designation

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How Does Local Historic Landmark, Local Historic District or Thematic District Designation Occur?

Eligibility: To be eligible as a landmark or to part of a local historic district or thematic historic district, the property or structure must be at least 50 years old. The property should be in good standing with city ordinances and regulations. Owners must comply with all applicable building codes, city ordinances, and regulations. A structure that is not compliant must have a detailed plan and time frame to correct noncompliance or violations.

Application: The Joliet Historic Preservation Commission, any individual, or group may apply for landmark or historic district designation. The nomination must include written documentation identifying the property or area and illustrate its historic significance. Documentation can involve original deeds, newspaper articles, documented recollections of original owners or their family members, etc. The nomination and approval process for a property or structure will require indication of owner consent and acknowledgment of guidelines and need for a certificate of appropriateness for any exterior modifications from the owner of each property or structure at the time of nomination/designation. Nomination forms for a landmark or historic district can be found here.

Process: The nomination is filed with the Commission. A public hearing is held. The Commission then makes its recommendation to the Joliet City Council. The City Council must approve the designation before it can be recognized as an historic district. This process must be completed in 180 days after filing.

What Types of Properties Qualify to be Landmarks or within a Local Historic District?

A landmark or a district (a group of buildings within distinctive boundaries) has certain distinguishing characteristics:

  • significant value as part of the cultural heritage of the nation, state, or our local community
  • similarity of architectural design, dates of construction, or land use
  • representation of a significant type of style or architecture
  • notable work of a master builder, designer, or architect
  • association with important persons or events of national, state, or local history

A property or structure nominated to a historic thematic district must fit one of the four established themes. Or, owners can work with the JHPC to create a new thematic category.

How is a Local Historic District Maintained?

The residents of the local historic district and the District Committee of the Joliet Historic Preservation Commission work together to formulate a set of design guidelines. The adopted guidelines are used by the Commission to determine whether proposed property changes, demolition, or new construction is appropriate to and compatible with the historic nature of the district. These types of permanent changes require the concurrence of the Commission by the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness.