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Historic Preservation in Bellingham

Local Historic Preservation

Bellingham's Local Historic Preservation Ordinance (BMC 17.90) identifies improvements, objects, features and sites, within the City, that reflect special elements of Bellingham's architectural, cultural, archeological, aesthetic and historical heritage. Since that ordinance was written, a number of buildings, including several that are owned by the City, have been listed on the Local Historic Register (PDF).

Financial and Other Incentives

The City of Bellingham encourages preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings and offers financial and other incentives to help property owners accomplish these goals. 

National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the official federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture. From the federal perspective, a property owner can do whatever they want with their property as long as there are no federal monies attached to the property. The City of Bellingham currently has historic buildings, historic districts and thematic nominations featured on the National Register.

Historic Resource Survey and Inventory

Over the years, the City of Bellingham has been awarded different grant monies, and it has utilized those funds to complete a historic resource survey and inventory on some of the older neighborhoods throughout the city and in some instances nominate a district of that neighborhood to the National Register of Historic Places.  

Bellingham's Historic Residential Architecture

See examples of common features, elements, and styles found in Bellingham's Historic Neighborhoods. 

Building Elements
Building Elements and Character-Defining Features    High Resolution Image (PDF)

Styles and Summary
Architectural Styles & Summary Statistics    High Resolution Image (PDF)

Architectural Terminology
Architectural Terminology    High Resolution Image (PDF)

Additional Websites and Resources

There are many websites and resources that will assist you in your historic preservation adventure. Take a virtual tour of Bellingham's former Highway 99.

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