Home > Regulatory and Economic Resources > Historic Preservation > About Historic Preservation

About Historic Preservation

Historic Preservation is a critical county function that helps communities maintain a higher quality of life by preserving its cultural heritage and historic resources for future generations; establishes a context for future development; encourages green building practices and sustainable growth; and provides economic development through heritage tourism.

Federally-required environmental reviews are performed for housing grant applications involving structures over 50 years of age. The office surveys and identifies eligible sites and prepares the research for designation submittal and continues efforts to do public outreach and education on our community’s rich heritage.
In 2016, the nine-member Mayor's Advisory Work Group submitted recommended changes to the County's Historic Preservation Ordinance to the Board of County Commissioners.


  • Sarah Cody, Chief
  • Jeff Ransom, County Archaeologist
  • Tamara McDonald, J.D., Historic Preservation Specialist

What is historic preservation?

Historic preservation involves recognizing the locations, sites and resources from our history that have survived, determining their significance and worth to us now, and maintaining, utilizing and caring for these important locations, sites, and resources to ensure their survival in the future.

Any action that identifies, safeguards, restores or improves historic resources is known as historic preservation. The identification, assessment, designation and maintenance of historic buildings, objects, sites, assets and districts are the goals of historic preservation initiatives at the national, state and local levels in the United States.

What is historic designation?

The preservation of historically significant structures, settings and locations is significantly aided by historic landmark designation, which can protect buildings and sites from alteration and demolition. 

In Miami-Dade County, the Historic Preservation Board has the authority to designate local historic sites under the process found in the County’s historic preservation ordinance, which is designed to protect, enhance and perpetuate properties of historical, cultural, archeological, paleontological, aesthetic and architectural merit.

Properties with historic designation require review by the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) or the Historic Preservation Board prior to making certain changes. Most review is done at the OHP staff level without any fees and generally takes one to two days.

Designated properties are also eligible for the County’s historic preservation ad valorem tax exemption program. This program can exempt certain County ad valorem taxes for qualifying construction projects.

Designated properties under nonprofit or government ownership may also be eligible for various historic preservation grants.