Landmarks and Landmark Districts are unique and irreplaceable assets to the city and its neighborhoods and provide examples of the surroundings in which past and recent generations lived. The intent of Landmark designation is to protect, preserve, enhance and encourage continued utilization, rehabilitation and, where necessary, adaptive use of significant cultural resources.
To be recommended by the Historic Preservation Commission for landmark designation, buildings, districts, places, structures, or objects must demonstrate value as an example of city, state or national heritage such as: a site of a significant historic event, identification with a significant culture or person, exemplary architecture, work of master architect or designer, representation of a significant theme, and a unique or distinctive visual feature. Since 2012, the HPC has prioritized inclusion on the current Landmark Work Program for properties that represent underrepresented communities – with strong cultural and/or social associations, property types including landscapes, buildings of Modern design, and sites located in geographically underrepresented areas of the city. In 2020, the HPC adopted Resolution No. 1127 Centering Preservation on Racial and Social Equity, which states goals for how the Commission and the Planning Department can develop proactive strategies to address structural and institutional racism and center their work and resource allocation on racial and social equity, focused on preservation, and applies to prioritization of Landmarks.
The landmark designation process can be initiated by the HPC, through the Work Program or through community-initiated nominations, or by the Board of Supervisors.
The process includes a series of public hearings at the Historic Preservation Commission and the Board of Supervisors – public comment opportunities available at all hearings. Final approval of a Landmark or Landmark District requires a majority vote at the Board of Supervisors.
Community-sponsored Landmark Designation
A landmark designation can be submitted by the community. Preservation staff will make an initial review in consultation with the applicant, and bring forward the nomination to the HPC for their direction.
Review the requirements to submit a community-sponsored Landmark designation. Questions can be answered by emailing CPC.Landmarks@sfgov.org.