Historic Preservation

Alameda is an architecturally and historically rich community with over 10,000 buildings constructed prior to 1930. In order to preserve and document Alameda's rich heritage, the City adopted the Historical Preservation Ordinance and created the Historical Advisory Commission in 1975. In 1980, the City adopted a Historic Preservation Element in its General Plan. The Historical Preservation Ordinance established procedures for identifying and designating City Monuments, the Historical Building Study List, and Historic SignsLink to Street Naming Policy.


Historic Preservation Links:

·        Historical Advisory Board

·        Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties

·        California State Parks Office of Historic Preservation (OHP)

·        National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP)

·        California Preservation Foundation (CPF)

·        Alameda Architectural Preservation Society (AAPS)

·        Staff Presentation on Design Review and Certificate of Approval processes (Feb. 5, 2015)

·        A Legacy of Enterprise and Innovation - Presentation by Woodruff Minor (Nov. 5, 2015)


Historic Resources Inventory

The Historic Resources Inventory consists of the Historic Monument ListHistoric Buildings Study List and the Historic Signs.



Each property on the List is preceded by an uppercase letter in parentheses which indicates the type of historic resource located on the property.


N - A historic resource of the highest quality, eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, usually because of its architectural significance. These are of the highest priority for inclusion on the list of Alameda Historical Monuments.

S - A historic resource distinguished by its architectural, historical, or environmental significance, eligible for inclusion in the State Historic Resources Inventory, and of secondary priority for inclusion on the list of Alameda Historical Monuments. Many of these are also eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Others would be eligible if design integrity were restored.

B - A resource which, due to its scale, massing, materials, style, and other features, is similar to a nearby "N" or "S" resource and serves as Background support for it. These resources are eligible for inclusion in a group or district nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

E - A resource which, by itself, might be insignificant, but which, together with its neighbors, forms an Environment which is distinguished by its continuity, its setting, its urban design features, and its integrity.  This resource derives its significance from its association with neighboring resources.

H - A resource which may have Historical importance because of its apparent age or location, or may have architectural importance because of its similarity to other buildings done by important architects and/or builders. Historic research should precede further evaluation of this resource.


Some of the buildings and resources have been further studied by the City or private individuals. The form or report may be on file with the City Planning Department, and is indicated by a lowercase letter following the address.


n - Included on the National Register of Historic Places.

np - Nomination form for National Register of Historic Places designation has been prepared.

s - A State Historic Resources Inventory form has been prepared.

sg - A group State Historic Resources Inventory form has been prepared.

ap - An Alameda Historical Monument report has been prepared.



In April 1978, staff of the City Planning Department began a comprehensive survey of Alameda’s architectural and historical heritage.  The goal of the survey was two­fold: identify Alameda's heritage, and compile an initial list of buildings and other resources from which the Historical Building Study List could be compiled.  One full­-time staff person, several consultants, and more than 100   volunteers began a systematic investigation of both the history and the architecture of Alameda.  The survey was supplemented by archival research, primarily of building permit records.  Based on this architectural and historical information, the survey staff, an architectural historian, and a graduate student of architecture evaluated the City’s architecture.



The criteria used in evaluation were designed to fit the needs and particular circumstances of this project. They are based on a combination of the criteria for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, for inclusion in the State Historic Resources Inventory, and for designation as an Alameda Historical Monument.  These criteria can be divided into the broad categories of architectural significance, historical significance, environmental significance, and design integrity.


Architectural significance has to do with the style of a historic resource, the reputation and ability of the architect, the quality of the design, its uniqueness and its execution, and the materials and methods of construction.


Historical significance comes from an association with the lives of persons or important events which have made a significant contribution to the community, state or nation; or from an association with broad patterns of cultural, social, political, economic, or industrial history; or the urban development of Alameda.


Environmental significance has to do with the continuity or character of a street or neighborhood with a historical resource's setting on the block, its landscaping, and its visual prominence as a landmark or symbol of the city, neighborhood or street.


Design integrity has to do with alterations which have been made over time to the original materials and design features of the resource.



From a regulatory perspective, the List is significant for two reasons:

(1) The State Historical Building Code applies to all properties on the List. This offers some flexibility in building codes to preserve important historical features.

(2) No building on a listed property may be demolished without prior approval of the Historical Advisory Board.  This is pursuant to Section 13-21.6 of the Alameda Municipal Code which requires that the demolition and removal provisions relating to City Monuments shall also apply to structures and other resources contained in the Historical Building Study List.


The List is maintained by the Historical Advisory Board.  Revisions to the List are filed with the Permit Center.  Affected property owners are notified prior to the Historical Advisory Board taking any action to change the List.  A property may be removed from the List by Board action if, in the considered opinion of the majority of the Board, a structure has been altered to such an extent as to have removed all historic value or context.  In using this List, please note that most addresses listed are based on field observation. Occasionally a corner building will have addresses on two streets. Sometimes both are listed; sometimes only one. Regardless of how it is listed, the entire parcel associated with an address is covered by the listing.