Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

July 17, 2014

Randy Simons
Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868

Updated Historic Preservation Tool Available to New York State Municipalities

The New York State Historic Preservation Office and New York State Department of State, in partnership with the Preservation League of New York State, have developed an updated model local preservation law to help municipalities preserve historic resources in their communities. The model law is available on the agency's website here.

"Historic preservation efforts work best when they start at the local level," said OPRHP Commissioner Rose Harvey. "A strong local historic preservation law can help communities preserve their special character, and I encourage municipal governments to use this template as part of a strategy to help historic buildings and neighborhoods form the core of prosperous and attractive villages, towns and cities."

"Proper local government review of projects that would alter a community's historic properties is the key to ensuring that New York's communities retain their unique character and remain special places for the benefit of this and future generations," said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. "The Department of State is proud to be part of this initiative to update and improve the Model Law used by municipalities around the State to protect their historic structures and historic districts. Our agencies have worked closely to ensure that the Model Law can be used by towns, villages and cities of any size."

"In more than 250 communities across New York State, a local historic preservation law serves as the backbone of historic resource protection," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League of New York State. "We are introducing a revised and expanded Model Preservation Law to allow municipalities to update their existing laws, and to encourage new communities to evaluate and implement historic resource protection. While not every community is ready to enact historic resource protection through this form of municipal law, those that are will now have access to the updated language that will help them achieve their preservation goals."

The new model law details procedural steps for local landmarking decisions and review of proposed alterations to historic properties, and new standards for municipal process and public participation in the protection of historic resources.

The new model law incorporates standards and practices that have developed over the last two decades. It offers municipalities options for implementing historic resource protection at the municipal level, including measures for protecting historic buildings, public spaces in building interiors, and/or historic landscapes.

The law meets the requirements of the federal Certified Local Government (CLG) program, and communities that adopt the new Model Law will be CLG-program compliant, allowing them to access federal funding to assist in historic resource protection at the local level. For more information on adopting a local preservation law and participating in the Certified Local Government Program, contact Julian Adams, CLG Program Coordinator at (518) 237-8643 ext.3271. Visit

The development of a revised and expanded Model Preservation Law for local municipalities continues a partnership between the Preservation League of New York State and the State Historic Preservation Office that dates to the late 1980s, when the League and agency collaborated to develop the state's first model local historic preservation law.