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Exterior Alterations to buildings built before 1946

Exterior alterations to buildings constructed before 1946 (rated either Historic Contributing or Historic Non-Contributing) require historic review either by staff or the Landmarks Commission. Examples of alterations include: additions, alterations to any existing exterior feature or element of the building, new window or door openings or changing the size of existing window and door openings.  The Landmarks Commission reviews alterations visible from the street.  Staff reviews minor alterations not visible from the street.

See Albany Development Code Article 7 for code criteria related to exterior alterations.

The Use of Substitute Materials 

Replacing original materials (usually wood) with "substitute" materials requires review by the Landmarks Commission. This includes replacement of windows, doors, siding and trim, porch columns and railings, and decorative elements.  Substitution of a non-original material for a compatible material is reviewed by staff and considered an exterior alteration.

See Albany Development Code Article 7 for code criteria related the use of substitute materials.

New Construction 

New structures within the historic districts over 100 square feet require historic review. Projects visible from the street go to the Landmarks Commission for review.

See Albany Development Code Article 7 for code criteria related to new construction.

Demolition or Relocation 

Demolition of historic landmarks is an extreme and final measure. All Properties within the historic districts require demolition or relocation review. The Landmarks Commission reviews these requests.

See Albany Development Code Article 7 for code criteria related to demolition or relocation.

Design guidelines for Albany's residential historic properties

The purpose of these guidelines is to help property owners and contractors choose an appropriate approach to issues that arise when working on historic buildings or properties, so that projects satisfy the standards and review criteria in the Albany Development Code.

These guidelines are also intended to help property owners and others understand the special features and characteristics of Albany’s historic structures, and incorporate that understanding into designs for rehabilitation work, alterations, additions, and new construction.

Projects Exempt from Historic Review


  • ALL projects


  • Painting
  • General repair and maintenance
  • Replacement of existing elements if it is done with the same materials
  • Replacement of composition shingle roofs to composition shingle roofs
  • Landscaping

The Community Development Department guides growth and development within Albany by balancing the needs of current residents with those of future generations to ensure that the community remains a vibrant and desirable place to live, work, and play.

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