In 2013, City Council approved the creation of the Whitcomb Street Historic District. Once the district was formed, property owners were able to take advantage of significant financial incentives from the State. The following is one family’s story.

Our house was built in 1893 and is located in the Whitcomb Street Landmark District established by the city council in 2013. After it was designated as a district, we completed various home improvements including the removal of asbestos siding and refinishing/repainting of the original lap siding around the home. Because we were in a historic district, our project plans required review by the City’s Landmark Preservation Committee. Their review was not onerous and added only a couple weeks to our project duration (~4 months). They provided some very good suggestions on ways to ensure that our exterior improvements would be compatible with the character of the homes on our street.

We were especially happy to be able to take advantage of several of the financial incentives available to properties in a local historic district. Before we started construction, we met with a qualified local builder for a free design review that was worth up to $2,000. Going over our plans with a qualified consultant was a great way to get feedback and improve on our project. All we had to do was fill out a simple application and submit it to the city to receive the free consultation.

Finally, after the work was completed, the city staff came out to review the work and to certify that it was eligible to receive state tax credits. These tax credits, which cover up to 20% of the total project construction costs, are applied to your state income taxes and can be carried forward (in years where the State deems those credits eligible) for up to 10 years. Over time, this means that was saved 20% on our out-of-pocket project costs.

We are happy to live in a historic district and were pleased with the process and the support we received for our home improvements.


John Volckens
126 S Whitcomb St.