The Historic Landmarks Commission provides leadership and expertise on maintaining and enhancing Portland's historic and architectural heritage. The Commission identifies and protects buildings and other properties that have historic or cultural significance or special architectural merit. The Commission provides advice on historic preservation matters, and coordinates historic preservation programs in the City. The Commission is also actively involved in the development of design guidelines for historic design districts. The Historic Landmarks Commission consists of seven members, none of whom may hold public elective office. The Commission must include a historian with knowledge of local history; an architectural historian; an architect; two members from the following: landscape architecture, real estate, construction, community development, urban planning, archeology, law, finance, cultural geography, cultural anthropology, or related disciplines; and two members at-large. All members must have demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge of historic preservation. No more than two members of the Commission may be in the business of buying, selling, leasing, or developing real estate for profit, or be officers of such a business. Members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.
Historic Landmarks Commission powers and duties
- Establishing or removing Historic Landmark and Conservation Landmark designations for specific buildings or sites in quasi-judicial reviews;
- Recommending the establishment or removal of Historic Landmark and Conservation Landmark designations to the City Council in legislative actions;
- Recommending the establishment, amendment, or removal of Historic Districts and Conservation Districts to the Planning Commission and the City Council;
- Recommending and developing design guidelines for Historic Districts and Conservation Districts to the City Council;
- Reviewing development proposals for Historic Landmarks and Conservation Landmarks and in Historic Districts and Conservation Districts;
- Reviewing demolition and relocation requests for certain Historic landmarks and buildings in Historic Districts;
- Providing advice on historic preservation matters to the Hearings Officer, Design Commission, Planning Commission, Portland Development Commission, other City commissions and committees, and City Council; and
- Initiating and coordinating historic preservation and public outreach programs in the City, including reviewing recommendations for national register status and making recommendations to other governmental agencies regarding historic preservation programs and issues.