Formed by Detroit Ordinance 161-H in 1976, the Detroit Historic District Commission’s purpose (DHC) is to ensure the preservation of historically and culturally significant areas of the City which are designated by City Council as Local Historic Districts. Appointed by the Mayor, the Commission is comprised of seven Detroit residents who live in local historic districts.

The Commission is staffed by the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department. In addition to administering building permit application review for all exterior changes to a building or site in a designated district, HDC staff works closely with residents on a broad array of design and maintenance issues.

It has been demonstrated that the preservation of cultural, social, spiritual, economic, political, engineering and architectural history often stabilizes and improves property values, strengthens the local economy and fosters community pride. Currently there are 138 local historic districts with the City of Detroit.


Jennifer Ross
Audra Dye


Tuesday and Thursday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

  • Email property address to HDC staff to confirm location within a Local Historic District.
  • Any exterior change to a property (structures and landscape) within a Local Historic District requires review and approval by the HDC before a permit can be issued.
  • Refer to: What You Need To Know About Local Historic Districts,” available here in hard copy or online
  • Color charts for exterior painting can be obtained only in the Planning Department.
  • For more information on the Historic District Commission and copies of its guidelines, please visit http://www.detroitmi.gov/Government/Boards