The Troy City Council has designated as local historic
districts a select group of neighborhoods whose architectural
character reflects some particular aspect of our rich
past. The map below indicates the boundaries of our
existing historic districts. Each of these relatively
small geographic areas includes within its boundaries
individual buildings and a streetscape that convey
to residents and passers-by alike a local heritage.
Each is a point of pride, not only for those who reside
or work within it, but also for all the citizens of
Troy. Each has been formally surveyed and evaluated
using nationally recognized criteria, and each is
protected by ordinances established in recognition
of the importance of historic preservation. Each enhances
Troy’s reputation as a city committed to preserving
its exceptionally rich heritage of historically significant
and aesthetically distinguished architecture.
For more information Contact:
City of Troy, Planning Department
Download in PDF format:
The application for Minor
Repair & Maintenance Work on an historic building.
The application for Certificate
of Appropriateness in Troy's Historic District.
Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation
Secretary of Interior Standards for the Treatment
of Historic Properties
Technical Preservation Briefs
Troy's Local Historic Landmarks
1. The Burden Iron Company Office Building
2. The Gasholder House
3. The Herman Melville House
4. The Poestenkill Gorge Historic Park
5. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s West
|GUIDELINES FOR OWNERS
OF PROPERTY IN TROY’S HISTORIC DISTRICTS
Congratulations! You are the owner of a property
in one of Troy’s historic districts. Or perhaps
you are thinking of buying a house or commercial property
in a neighborhood that has been designated as a historic
district. A growing number of people are choosing
to invest in Troy’s architectural heritage,
and with good reason. Living or working in a neighborhood
with historic significance and a palpable sense of
place offers satisfactions that are reflected in rising
property values. But preserving and enhancing the
quality of our historic districts is a responsibility
for the City of Troy, especially for the property
owners in those districts.
WHAT IS MY ROLE AS A PROPERTY OWNER?
The preservation of Troy’s rich architectural
heritage depends on the willingness of owners to exercise
proper care in the maintenance and management of their
properties. The Historic District and Landmark review
Commission exists to aid property owners in discharging
this responsibility. If you are planning any modifications
to the exterior of a building within the boundaries
of one of the historic districts, you are required by
law to have the project reviewed by the Commission and
approved by the Planning Department before work can
commence. While this procedure may sound burdensome,
it is actually quite simple, and its purpose is to help
you preserve the investment you have already made in
a historically significant property. For advice on preparing
a proposal for the Commission, contact V Zubkovs at
ARE THERE ANY TYPES OF WORK THAT DO NOT REQUIRE
THE COMMISSION’S APPROVAL?
Interior work and ordinary exterior repairs and maintenance,
such as replacing broken window glass or repainting
the same colors, do not require the Commission’s
approval. The exception for interior work is if it affects
the exterior, such as the blocking up of a window, in
which case the project must be reviewed by the Commission.
The City’s Bureau of Code Enforcement can tell
you whether a permit is needed for work you are considering.
Typically, using ladders and scaffolds in the City right-of-way
requires a barricade permit. Replacing (rather than
repairing) a window or door requires a building permit.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FACTORS THAT THE COMMISSION
CONSIDERS WHEN IT REVIEWS MY APPLICATION?
The Commission reviews your proposal to evaluate the
effect of the proposed changes on the architectural
and historical character of your building and/or the
CAN THE COMMISSION MAKE ME RESTORE MY BUILDING
TO THE WAY IT ORIGINALLY LOOKED?
No. The Commission reviews only changes that the property
owner proposes to make.
WILL THE COMMISSION MAKE ME REPAIR MY BUILDING?
There was concern when the Historic District and Landmark
Ordinance was passed in 1986 that certain owners might
allow their historic buildings to deteriorate to such
a degree that the buildings would be in danger of losing
their significant features or even of falling down.
To help prevent such “demolition by neglect”,
the Landmarks Ordinance requires that designated properties
be kept in good repair. This provision is similar to
the Bureau of Code Enforcement’s requirement that
all City of Troy buildings must be maintained in a safe
condition. If you are interested in making repairs to
your designated building, the Planning Department staff
is available to give you expert technical advice.
WILL LANDMARK DESIGNATION PREVENT ALL ALTERATIONS
AND NEW CONSTRUCTION?
No. Landmark designation does not “freeze”
a building or an area. Alterations, demolitions and
new construction continue to take place, but the Commission
must review the proposed changes and find them to be
appropriate. This procedure helps ensure that the special
qualities of the designated buildings are not compromised
or destroyed. In addition, new construction may occur
when an owner of a vacant lot wishes to construct a
new building on the site. The Commission has approved
such proposals when the design of the infill was appropriate
to the character of the historic district. Such an example
is the MOSS Bookstore at the corner of Second and Congress
HOW CAN I FIND ARCHITECTS OR CONTRACTORS WHO
HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH HISTORIC BUILDINGS?
When selecting an architect or contractor, you should
keep in mind that there is a growing number of professionals
who are accustomed to working on historic buildings
or with renovation methods that are sensitive to the
historic character of old buildings. Ask professionals
about their experience with landmark buildings and whether
they are familiar with the Historic District and Landmark
Review Commission application process. Request references
and look at completed projects. The Commission does
not recommend restoration professionals. Owners of historic
buildings in your neighborhood and City of Troy Planning
Department staff (518-270-4623) may be able to provide
information about area contractors.
I OWN A DESIGNATED BUILDING. SHOULD I TELL
THE TENANTS IN MY BUILDING ABOUT THE BUILDING’S
Yes. You should inform each of your tenants that the
Historic District and Landmark Ordinance protects the
building and that the Commission must approve alterations
in advance. If a tenant makes alterations without receiving
Commission approval before doing the work, the building
owner will be held responsible.
I WANT TO SELL MY LANDMARK BUILDING. MUST I
TELL THE COMMISSION?
No, you do not need to tell the Commission that you
are selling your building. Landmark designation places
no restrictions on an owner’s right to sell his/her
IF I SELL MY BUILDING, SHOULD I TELL THE NEW
OWNER THAT THE BUILDING IS A LANDMARK?
Yes. Even though the Commission informed the owner
of each property when they were listed, it will help
the new owner to comply with the Historic District and
MY DESIGNATED BUILDING IS NOT CAPABLE OF EARNING
A REASONABLE RETURN. MAY I DEMOLISH IT?
The Commission has a hardship provision. You may apply
for a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish your
designated building or to alter it inappropriately on
the grounds of “insufficient return” or
WHAT ARE THE CITY’S PROVISIONS REGARDING
The Commission discourages demolition of the historic
fabric of the community.
ARE LANDMARKS OWNED BY NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATIONS AS OTHER LANDMARKS?
Yes. The criteria for approving permits for work on
buildings owned by not-for-profits are the same as the
criteria on other buildings.
IS BEING DESIGNATED A TROY LANDMARK DIFFERENT
FROM BEING LISTED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER?
Yes. The National Register of Historic Places is a
list of buildings of local, state or national importance.
The National Parks Service through the New York State
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
administers this program. The National Register has
no connection to the City of Troy Historic District
and Landmark Review Commission, although many of Troy’s
individual landmarks and historic districts are also
listed on the National Register. For more information,
contact the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation
and Historic Preservation, State Historic Preservation
Office, Peebles Island State Park, P.O. Box 189, Waterford,
New York 12188-0189, 518-237-8643.
HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF
Members of the public are encouraged to call the City
of Troy Planning Department to discuss questions or
concerns about the effects of designation. The staff
of the Planning Department is experienced in working
with owners to help them meet their practical needs
while preserving the architectural and historic character
of the city’s landmarks.
This text is based on the New York City
Landmarks Preservation Commission's publication "What
Landmark Designation Means for Building Owners."