The City of Excelsior Springs designated its first historic district, the Hall of Waters Historic District, in March 2007. There are now four National Register Districts and three local Landmarks Districts inside the downtown area. In addition, there are six individual property listings on the National Register and nine individual local Landmarks Register listings.
LOCAL REGISTER LISTING
My property has been designated as a local historic landmark or as part of a historic district. What does this mean?
When your property has been designated as a historic landmark or as part of a historic district, the City and Historic Preservation Commission officially recognize that your property has historical and cultural value to the City of Excelsior Springs and that your property is an important part of Excelsior Springs’ historical and architectural heritage.
To help protect the City’s historic properties from inappropriate changes or destruction, the Historic Preservation Commission must approve in advance any alteration, reconstruction, demolition or new construction affecting the designated properties.
I own a designated property. Should I tell the tenants in my building about the property’s historic status?
Yes. You should inform each of your tenants that the property is listed on the local historic register and/or is located in a historic district and as such is subject to the provisions of the historic ordinance. The Commission must approve exterior alterations in advance. If a tenant makes exterior alterations without receiving HPC approval before the work, the building owner, as well as the tenant, will be held responsible.
NATIONAL REGISTER LISTING
What is the National Register of Historic Places?
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of significant historic buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts. Resources listed in the National Register meet criteria defined by the National Park Service that have local, state, or national significance in one or more of the following areas: History, Architecture, Archaeology, Engineering or Culture.
How does listing affect my property rights?
Listing in the National Register is primarily honorary, providing recognition of a place’s historic importance. National Register listing also provides protective review of Federal projects that might adversely affect the character of the historic property. Also, certain federal and state investment credits are available to encourage the rehabilitation of historic properties Listing in the National Register does not place restrictions or limitations on the use or maintenance of a property.
I don’t think my property is historic. Why is it within a National Register district?
Since boundaries are drawn to be contiguous, National Register historic districts commonly contain both older and newer properties. All properties within a National Register historic district are defined as “contributing” or “non-contributing” to the district. To be considered “contributing,” the property must relate to the historic context of the district and retain its historic character.