Historic Landmark Preservation Commission

The Historic Landmark Preservation Commission was established in 1999 to adopt and disseminate criteria for the designation of historical, cultural, architectural, archaeological, paleontological and natural landmarks and the delineation of historic districts; provides recommendations on landmarks and historic districts; and increase public awareness of the value of historic preservation.

The Commission consists of 12 members and 1 youth member who are appointed by the City Council.

General Information

Eligibility for designation as a historic landmark in Waco

Applying for Historic Landmark Designation

Contributing Historic Structure List

Incentives for Owning a Historic Property

Long-Term Requirements of Owning a Local Historic Landmark Property

Certificate of Appropriateness


Will designation as an historic landmark protect my property from demolition?

Will my taxes increase?

Will I always need to hire an architect?

Is there grant money available to renovate my historic home?

Does designation affect…
changes to the interior of my property or the use of my property?


Certified Local Government Designation

The Certified Local Government Program is a local, state and federal government partnership for historic preservation. It is designed to help cities and counties develop high standards of preservation to protect a wide range of important historic properties.  Local governments that participate in the CLG Program act independently to develop and maintain a successful preservation program.  Certification includes enforcing state or local historic preservation legislation and appointing a historic preservation or landmark commission.  Certified Local Government status allows a municipality to review all proposed National Registration nominations for properties within the boundaries of the CLG's jurisdiction.  The City of Waco was certified as a CLG in 2005.

Cities and counties, which have been “certified” by the THC and the National Park Service, are eligible to apply for grants. The grants are to assist local governments in documenting and promoting the preservation of historic and archaeological sites. Examples of what Texas CLG grant money has been used for include surveys of historic areas within a community to establish National Register historic districts, cemetery surveys, educational workshops, preservation plans for the protection of local historic resources, and walking tour brochures for historic districts and areas.

Preserve America Designation

The Preserve America Communities program recognizes and designates communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.

The City of Waco was designated as a 2007 Preserve American Community.  This prestigious designation gives the City of Waco eligibility to apply for Preserve America Grants; the right to use the Preserve America logo on signs and promotional materials; notification to state tourism offices; and listing in a Web-based directory that showcases the City of Waco’s preservation efforts and heritage tourism destinations. Waco will also be featured in National Register Travel Itineraries and in “Teaching with Historic Places” curricular materials created by the National Park Service.

The Preserve America initiative is a national effort to encourage and support community efforts to preserve and enjoy America’s priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the nation’s past; strengthened regional identities and local pride; increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets; and support for the economic vitality of our communities.

Preservation Excellence Awards

The Waco Historic Landmark Preservation Commission created the Preservation Excellence Awards program in the spring of 2005 to increase the community’s awareness of the importance of historic preservation to the City of Waco through recognition of outstanding efforts by individuals, businesses, private institutions, and public entities.

The Preservation Excellence Awards program is the only one of its kind in McLennan County.  The first ceremony took place on September 14, 2005 at the Madison Cooper House.  Since its establishment, awards have been presented to local preservationist annually.

Preservation Excellence Awards and locally designated historic landmarks differ in their intent.  The Preservation Excellence Awards are intended to encourage, praise and thank local property owners and citizens for their commitment to historic preservation.

Candidates are chosen by the Historic Landmark Preservation Commission and nominations are accepted at any time.

Categories & Classifications


Nomination Form

List of Previous Recipients

Map of Local Historic Landmarks

View Waco's Historic Landmarks in a larger map

Helpful Links

Planning & Zoning Department >>