Historic Preservation - City of Galena

Historic Preservation

In 1969, the City of Galena designated the original town limits and additions as they existed on December 31, 1859 as the boundaries of the Galena National Historic District.  The boundaries of the originally approved district were then modified in 2013. The modifications were intended to remove undeveloped areas and non-contributing properties from the Galena National Historic District.  Approval from the United States Department of the Interior National Park Service of the modified boundaries can be found here.
Within the district, which includes all of the downtown and much of the residential area of the City, exterior changes to structures must comply with the Historic Preservation Ordinance.  Minor changes to buildings, such as repainting or replacement of existing exterior materials with like materials will be reviewed by the Building Official and either approved, approved with conditions, or denied.
The Galena Historic Preservation Commission designated Sherwin Williams Historic Exterior Colors as the approved exterior colors in the National Register Historic District.  The color chart is available at the office of the Building Official at City Hall.  
Requests for major changes to a building exterior, and appeals of denials of a requested minor change are heard by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).  The commission meets once monthly.  Meetings are at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, and are open to the public.
To appear on an HPC agenda, completed Certificate of Appropriateness applications must be received by the Building Department at least 9 days prior to the meeting date. This allows the informational packet to be mailed to HPC members in time for the Commission members to review the application materials and visit the site prior to the meeting.  At the meeting, the HPC will hear the request, and will either approve, approve with conditions, or deny the request.  If the commission approves a request, the owner may apply for a Building Permit as early as the next day.  There is an appeal process available to anyone aggrieved by a ruling of the HPC.
It is important that persons considering a change to a building contact the Building Department to discuss the project.  Please allow adequate time for plan review, and, if necessary, a hearing by the HPC.  
Fencing, stairs, roofing materials and exterior paint colors, also must conform to the city's Historic Preservation Ordinance.
The Historic Preservation Commission meeting calendar and more information about the commission is available through the following links.


The City of Galena
101 Green Street
Galena, Il 61036
T 815.777.1050
F 815.777.3083
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About Us
The City of Galena is located in the unglaciated area of Northwest Illinois. Our rolling hills, history, 19th century architecture and opportunities for year round outdoor recreation attract nearly a million visitors a year. Galena is a safe, healthy and vibrant place to raise a family, start a business or enjoy retirement. Click here for a short video about Galena’s unique lifestyle.
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