A local historic district is an entity that protects the integrity of a historic resource or group of resources.
In 1970, the state of Michigan passed the Local Historic Districts Act, PA 169, which safeguards a community's heritage by allowing local governments to adopt an ordinance that contains design review guidelines based on national standards.
A Historic District Commission is selected to implement the ordinance and provide support to each resource. The Washtenaw County Historic District Commission (WCHDC) oversees 13 local historic districts, including one-room schoolhouses, historic homes, farmsteads, and more. For a printable guide to Washtenaw County's historic districts, visit our Jauntful website for a shareable map of resources.
The Washtenaw County Historic District Commission is always accepting applications for potential local historic districts. For more information, browse the Local Historic District Toolkit and contact us at 734-544-2954.
If your property is located in a Local Historic District, changes beyond ordinary maintenance to the exterior of properties or landscape, and any additions or new construction, should be reviewed by the Washtenaw County Historic District Commission (WCHDC) prior to the beginning of the project. Find out more about this process here. You can find the Application for Work here
In some cases, historic sites do not fit the criteria for a historic district, but still hold historic significance. In these cases, a historic marker could commemorate the history of the site. The Washtenaw County Historic District Commission oversees the establishment of historic markers throughout the County. Markers designate sites, buildings, structures and objects of historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural significance.
If you are interested in a historic marker, please see the Guidelines for Historic Markers (PDF) and contact us at 734-544-2954.
We are currently mapping Washtenaw County’s historic markers and need your help. When you see a marker, please upload a picture at its location to the Washtenaw County Historic Markers CrowdMap.
We would love to see pictures of you and your family visiting Washtenaw County’s historic sites!