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Deadline extended: Have a passion for enhancing Portland's historic and architectural heritage? Consider joining the Historic Landmarks Commission

News Article
Red brick building with restaurant at ground level on street corner
The City of Portland is seeking applications for a public-at-large member to serve a four-year term on the Historic Landmarks Commission. Persons of color are encouraged to apply. Applications are due Wednesday, Nov. 16.
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Purpose and roles of the Historic Landmarks Commission

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 with historic or cultural significance or special architectural merit. It provides advice on historic preservation matters and coordinates historic preservation programs in the City. It also helps develop design guidelines for historic districts.

Commission activities include:

  1. Establishing or removing Historic Landmark and Conservation Landmark designations for specific buildings or sites;
  2. Recommending the establishment, amendment, or removal of Historic Landmark and Conservation Landmark designations to the City Council;
  3. Providing advice on the establishment, amendment, or removal of Historic Districts and Conservation Districts to the Planning and Sustainability Commission and the City Council;
  4. Recommending design guidelines for Historic Districts and Conservation Districts to the City Council;
  5. Reviewing development proposals for Historic Landmarks and Conservation Landmarks and in Historic Districts and Conservation Districts;
  6. Reviewing demolition and relocation requests for certain landmarks and buildings in Historic and Conservation Districts;
  7. Providing advice on historic preservation matters to the Hearings Officer, Design Commission, Planning and Sustainability Commission, Prosper Portland Board of Commissioners, other City commissions and committees, and City Council; and
  8. Initiating and coordinating historic preservation and public outreach programs in the City, including reviewing recommendations for placement on the National Register of Historic Places and making recommendations to other governmental agencies regarding historic preservation programs and issues.


To be eligible for the Historic Landmarks Commission, members must live, play, worship, work or do business in the City of Portland.

The Historic Landmarks Commission consists of seven members, none of whom may hold elective office. The Commission must include at least two members who have professional experience in historic preservation, local history, architectural history, or architecture. At least three of the additional members must have professional experience or working knowledge of historic preservation, local history, architectural history, architecture, landscape architecture, real estate, economics, construction, community development, urban planning, archeology, law, finance, cultural geography, cultural anthropology, cultural resources management, or related disciplines. Up to two at-large members are included on the Commission. All members must have demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge of historic preservation. Members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

This is an open recruitment for one position and the City will accept applications from individuals for the at-large category. The City will retain all applications for consideration in future vacancies.

Desired attributes

We want people from every part of Portland here to share their voice on this committee, especially people who have not been involved before. If you want to serve your community and to help government make better choices, then we want to see your application. The attributes listed below are what will guide our selection process. It is helpful to be specific in your answers. We do not expect you to be or have everything listed.

  • You believe in the value of public participation in government processes.
  • You are an advocate for racial equity: you want positive and long-lasting outcomes for racial and ethnic communities who have been left out before.
  • You have a passion for protecting Portland’s unique history.
  • You can work collaboratively and effectively with people representing diverse interests in serving the public good.
  • You are available to attend all meetings and participate in the discussions.
  • You can share opinions respectfully.

Terms and time commitment

  • The Historic Landmarks Commission traditionally meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month, beginning at 1:30 p.m., at 1900 SW 4th Avenue. Most meetings last between three and four hours. Since March 2020, all meetings are held online via Zoom, though hybrid meetings are expected to begin in Spring 2023.
  • Members serve a term of four years.
  • Members are expected to prepare for meetings on their own time and arrive ready to discuss agenda items. Meeting materials for review are typically sent one week in advance.

We remove barriers

Please let us know if there are barriers to your participation. When we return to in-person meetings, dinner will be provided if the meeting is expected to exceed four hours. Also, parking validation will be available for the parking garage at 1900 SW 4th Ave.

Volunteer ethics

Those who serve on this advisory body are considered to be public officials, which means that you must serve fairly and ethically. We will provide training on this once you are appointed. Part of following Oregon’s government ethics laws means you must tell the group when you or a relative may financially benefit (or avoid fees) by your recommendations. This is called a “conflict of interest.” If you tell us about potential conflicts of Interest that does not mean you cannot serve. In fact, many committees have potential members with conflicts of interest. We appreciate your inclusion of possible conflicts of interest on the form included with the application.

Application process

Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022.

Application information and materials are available here.

To talk with someone about this opportunity or to receive assistance completing the application, please contact the staff liaison, Hillary Adam, at or 503-823-8953.

Voluntary and confidential demographic information

The City is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity. It uses the demographic information provided to help ensure that advisory body appointments represent a broad cross-section of community. Your information will not be used during the recruitment or the selection process. State and federal law prohibit use of this information to discriminate against you. The City will treat this information as confidential to the fullest extent allowed by law. Questions about this may be sent to

General questions

For general questions about the City of Portland's Advisory Bodies program, the recruitment process, or other upcoming advisory body opportunities, please email

We encourage you to apply

For more information about the Historic Landmarks Commission, please visit its website.