Historic preservation and cultural heritage Introduction

San Antonio’s wealth of historic and cultural resources tell the 11,000-year story of our city’s long and diverse past. Our heritage, both tangible and intangible, reflects America’s melting pot of ideas, traditions and peoples.

We recognize the importance of this diverse and culturally significant history and want to ensure its continued preservation. To do so we must maintain and support our historic neighborhoods, reinvest in our historic buildings and sites, perpetuate our cultural heritage, and invest in on our UNESCO World Heritage Site and buffer zone. By working together, we can protect San Antonio’s identity and ensure an inclusive and sustainable historic and cultural future for our community.

As a city rich in history and culture, we recognize the opportunity to invest in our historic resources and enhance the character and quality of life in our city. Historic preservation has proven economic and social benefits at the local level, and we look forward to providing new opportunities and incentives for those who are interested in investing in the historic building fabric that makes San Antonio unique.

To fully realize these opportunities, we must also acknowledge several challenges that require a collaborative community approach: consistent pressure from new development, balancing preservation of neighborhood character with healthy growth and addressing perceptions that preservation is onerous and expensive.

Along with property owners and stakeholders, we must work to increase clarity and consistency in our historic preservation policies and procedures. We must promote the benefits and opportunities that preservation provides to property owners, stakeholders, decision makers and key organizations. We must also be open to discussions with our residents on ways to improve cultural and historic preservation processes and overall effectiveness.

The City needs to ensure that the identification, designation and protection of historic and cultural resources are an integral part of our community planning, development, and permitting processes. The Historic Preservation and Cultural Heritage (HPCH) goals and policies meet six key historic preservation and cultural heritage issues for our city.