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Criteria forDesignation of Historic Landmarks

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Adopted  April 3, 1978 - Revised June 30, 2008


All structures, sites, and areas that are reminders of past eras, events, and persons important in local, state, or national history; or which provide significant examples of architectural styles of the past; or which are unique and irreplaceable assets to the County and its communities are eligible for consideration as a Sonoma County Historic Landmark.

Criteria for Evaluation

The following criteria are designed to guide the Landmarks Commission in evaluating potential properties for designation as an Historic Landmark. These criteria are based on criteria for entries for the California Register of Historic Resources and National Register of Historic Places:

The quality of significance in Sonoma County, California, or American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, association, and

  1. that are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
  2. that are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or
  3. that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
  4. that have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.

Ordinarily cemeteries, birthplaces, or graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past 50 years shall not be considered eligible as an Historic Landmark. However, such properties will qualify if they are integral parts of districts that do meet the criteria or if they fall within the following categories:

  1. a religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance; or
  2. a building or structure removed from its original location but which is significant primarily for architectural value, or which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with an historic person or event; or
  3. a birthplace or grave of an historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no other appropriate site or building directly associated with his/her productive life; or
  4. a cemetery which derives its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with an historic event; or
  5. a reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and presented in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan, and when no other building or structure with the same association has survived within that area; or
  6. a property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own historical significance; or
  7. a property achieving significance within the past 50 years, if it is an important element to the environment of a particular community.