Local Designation Process

Historic-Cultural Monument Application

The designation of Historic-Cultural Monuments begins with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning’s Office of Historic Resources. To nominate an important building or place as a local landmark, submit an application. (The Office of Historic Resources has prepared a helpful guide to nominating Historic-Cultural Monuments.)

Cultural Heritage Ordinance

The City's Cultural Heritage Ordinance details the process for the designation of new Historic-Cultural Monuments, along with the procedures for review of projects that may affect existing Monuments.

The Ordinance, first adopted in 1962, was one of the first landmarks preservation laws passed by a major American city. It was most recently amended in 2018. The full text of the Ordinance is available here.

Cultural Heritage Commission

The five members of the Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) are appointed by the Mayor to consider the nominations of sites as City Historic-Cultural Monuments. The CHC also reviews proposed project work that would affect any of the City’s existing Historic-Cultural Monuments. The CHC meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m., usually in Room 1010 of City Hall.

For a summary of the role and duties of the Cultural Heritage Commission, click here.

Read about the commissioners here.

The Historic Designation Process

The Department’s info brief on the historic designation process walks through the Cultural Heritage Commission and the City Council’s review of a Historic-Cultural Monument nomination.

Criteria for Designation

During the review of a nomination, the Cultural Heritage Commission determines whether a building or place is sufficiently historically or architecturally significant to qualify as a Historic-Cultural Monument. This summary outlines the criteria for designation and lists typical questions considered during the designation process.

Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ covers the protections and benefits conferred by Historic-Cultural Monument status, the property owner’s role in the designation process, and other aspects of the City’s landmarks preservation program.

Monument Plaque Program

Property owners of City-designated Historic-Cultural Monuments may purchase a bronze plaque to be placed on the Monument. For more information, see the City’s guide to the bronze plaque program or contact Lambert Giessinger: (213) 847-3648, lambert.giessinger@lacity.org.