Historic Preservation Program
Preserving and celebrating Cedar Rapids’ historic landmarks is an important component of City planning. Cedar Rapids is home to:
- Nine nationally recognized historic districts
- Nearly 50 nationally recognized historic landmarks
- Two local historic districts
- Three local historic landmark
- More than 1,000 individual historic properties throughout the city
Local Historic Districts & Landmarks
The City offers funding incentives and outlines home repair guidelines for properties located within local historic districts and local historic landmarks. The programs and requirements below apply specifically to property located in local historic districts, as well as local historic landmarks:
Before You Build: Certificates Required in Cedar Rapids Local Historic Districts
A Certificate of Appropriateness or a Certificate of No Material Effect is required before obtaining a building permit for any exterior work other than painting, including new construction.
To obtain the certificate, an application must be filled out and submitted to the Cedar Rapids Community Development Department.
Please note: the Certificate of Appropriateness is not a Building Permit. The Certificate of Appropriateness is a review to ensure the proposed work is in harmony with the District Guidelines. Building Permit information and contact can be found by visiting the Building and Trades page.
APPLICATION FOR EXTERIOR MODIFICATION
Funding for Home Repair Projects – Historic Rehabilitation Program
The historic rehabilitation program is a competitive funding program that financially supports homeowners' restoration efforts on historic properties. A grant or zero-interest loan may be available based on area median income and Housing and Urban Development requirements. Projects may be eligible for up to 50 percent of the project costs - up to $5,000 - on home restoration projects. After February 1, 2017, the funding becomes “first-come, first-served” until funds are no longer available.
Applications received after June 15, 2017 will not be considered until February of 2018.
Examples of restoration work eligible for funding include:
- Historic window repair
- Wood door refinishing
- Painting of wood or stucco exteriors
- Front porch repair
- Exterior chimney repair
- Recreation or maintenance of ornamentation and architectural features of historical significance
Eligible projects would also have to be consistent with the Cedar Rapids Guidelines for Historic Districts and be approved by the City’s Historic Preservation Commission. Please read the full program guidelines before applying:
Window Workshop Video Series
The introduction video below provides an overview of a video series designed to be a resource for property owners as they restore historic wood windows:
Complete Window Workshop series includes:
- Tools and Materials
- Window Parts
- Safety First
- Inspecting Old Windows
- Maintaining Old Windows
- Working with an Old Sash
- Frame Repairs
Researching Your Property: Historic Surveys and Resources
Providing resources and information to property owners extends the City’s efforts at preserving our historic treasures.