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National Register Districts
Upper Bluff National Register
East Side National Register

Local Districts
Upper Bluff District
Raynor's Addition
Local Guidelines
Thematic: Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Vernacular, Catalog House
Whitney Terrace

How Is a District Established?

The Joliet Historic Preservation Commission, any individual, or group may nominate an area within the city of Joliet for historic district designation. The nomination must include written documentation identifying the area and illustrating its historic significance. The nomination is filed with the Commission. A public hearing is held. The Commission then makes its recommendation to the Joliet City Council. The City Council must approve the designation before it can be recognized as an historic district. This process must be completed in 180 days after filing.

What Types of Properties Qualify to be an Historic District?

A district is established because a group of buildings within distinctive boundaries has certain distinguishing characteristics:

- significant value as part of the cultural heritage of the nation, state, or our local community
- similarity of architectural design, dates of construction, or land use
- representation of a significant type of style or architecture
- notable work of a master builder, designer, or architect
- association with important persons or events of national, state, or local history

How is a District Maintained?

The residents of the local historic district and the District Committee of the Joliet Historic Preservation Commission work together to formulate a set of design guidelines. The adopted guidelines are used by the Commission to determine whether proposed property changes, demolition, or new construction is appropriate to and compatible with the historic nature of the district. These types of permanent changes require the concurrence of the Commission by the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness.

What Restrictions Apply in an Historic District?

Designation of a local district does NOT force residents to bring their houses or buildings up to an architectural standard. The Commission review considers on a case-by-case basis whether proposed changes to properties:

- are compatible with and appropriate to the historic structure,
- will highlight or enhance historic exterior features, and
- harmonize with neighboring properties.

There are no restrictions on routine maintenance of structures.

What Are the Benefits in Becoming a Local District?

Buildings in the historic district are afforded protection against inappropriate alterations or demolition of historic structures through special ordinance and building permit processes. This can encourage community reinvestment in traditional neighborhoods. Residents in the district can receive assistance with grants and technical information related to preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration. A “Joliet Historic District” plaque can be displayed on the structures in the district.

Why is a Local Historic District Important?

Designation on the National Register of Historic Places recognizes an area’s historic and cultural importance. The local district goes beyond mere recognition by assuring that an area maintains its integrity by requiring sensitive and knowledgeable review of major exterior property alterations or demolition.

It is important to enhance and protect neighborhoods or areas of Joliet which are valued as historic, aesthetic, cultural, educational, and economic assets. A local historic district is a way to foster community involvement in Joliet and provide a heritage for our families.

View a Timeline for Local Historic Preservation District