Determining Local Historic Properties

Local historic designations include both historic district properties (neighborhoods or groups of properties) and historic landmark properties (individual properties with a high level of historical significance). The designations are mapped on the City’s DurhamMaps application. Instructions for determining whether properties have a local historic designation are as follows:

  1. Go to the DurhamMaps Interactive GIS website.
  2. Click the three-line menu in the upper left-hand corner. Select “Layer List”.
  3. A new window will appear on the right side of the screen, scroll down the list until you see the “Planning” section. Select “Local Historic Districts” and “Local Historic Landmarks”. Click anywhere on the map to close this menu. Once these layers are displayed, the districts will show either a red for Historic Landmarks or blue border for the Historic Districts.
  4. Enter the property address or parcel ID in the search box in the upper left-hand corner. Addresses must be entered as street number, abbreviated directional, and street name with no punctuation, and should not include the type of street. 
    • For example: 2100 West Lakewood Avenue should be entered as “2100 W Lakewood”.
  5. The property, when selected, will be highlighted green and the tax data information will display in a results window on the left of your screen.
  6. In the results window on the left, click “Advanced”. Scroll down until you see the historic districts listed for this parcel. 
    • Note: If you do not see a listing for the historic district, and the property is not located within a historic boundary, then the property is not considered a historic property. 
    • If you are unsure, please contact the City-County Planning department at [email protected].
If the property in question is designated as a local historic property that means that any time you would like to make modifications to the property (structure and site included) you will need to follow the steps for obtaining a certificate of appropriateness (COA) prior to pulling necessary permits and beginning work. Click here to learn more about the COA process.