Historic Preservation Commission

Department in Charge of This Board 

Planning Department

About the Board

Grand Rapids' historic neighborhoods and landmarks define the character of the City and who we are. Preservation protects our shared history, and promotes a sense of place and a high quality of life. It stabilizes neighborhoods, increases property values, and addresses livability concerns. It also makes good economic sense!

We make sure that our city's historic neighborhoods remain beautiful by:

  • Reviewing applications for exterior renovation of structures within any of the city's six historic districts, or for the many designated historic landmark buildings.
  • Meeting with owners and inspecting properties to resolve design issues
  • Giving advice and guidance to owners and renovators
  • Contributing feedback on City projects affecting the historic landmarks and districts

Apply for Boards and Commissions

Planning to renovate a historic property? Use the links below for instructions and forms for all your project needs. 


Certificate of Appropriateness for an Existing Structure

Certificate of Appropriateness for New Construction 

Historic Demolition Request


As of July 1, 2018

Historic Preservation Fee Schedule(PDF, 54KB)

Annual Reports

2015 Annual Report(PDF, 2MB)

2014 Annual Report(PDF, 3MB)

2013 Annual Report(PDF, 2MB)

2012 Annual Report(PDF, 8MB)

2011 Annual Report(PDF, 9MB)


Other Resources

Preservation Briefs

Preservation briefs provide guidance on preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring historic buildings.

NPS Preservation Briefs


The Commission uses these Standards and Guidelines to carry out their review responsibilities.

Secretary of Interior Standards & Guidelines

State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

SHPO provides technical assistance and incentive programs.

Michigan's State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

We meet on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 5:00 pm.

Download the Meeting Schedule

Download the New Construction and Demolition Schedule(PDF, 83KB)

Meeting Agendas

We use a third party application called Legislative Management to manage board meetings and agendas. You'll leave our site to see the calendar or review past meeting details. See more details below or learn How to Use Legislative Management.

Schedule and Agendas

You'll see a quick description of the board and a list of its members at the top of the page. You can also find meeting minutes, agendas, and other important documents on this page.

Note: scroll near the bottom of the page. The meeting schedule, minutes, and agendas are below the listing of board members.

Cancellation and Reschedule Notice

The meeting scheduled for June 6, 2018 was rescheduled for June 20, 2018. Download the reschedule notice below for full details.

Reschedule Notice

Development Center
1120 Monroe Ave. NW
Meeting Room 201

  • 7 members
  • 4 members are Grand Rapids citizens
  • 1 member must be a registered architect
  • 2 members may be appointed from a list submitted by the Kent County Council for Historic Preservation or other similar groups
  • Members are appointed by the City Commission on the first Monday in January

Kerry Baldwin

City Commission Appointment
Ward 2 Resident
Term ends 1/6/2020

Mara Braspenninx

City Commission Appointment
Ward 2 Resident
Term ends 1/6/2020

Peter Bruinsma

City Commission Appointment
Ward 2 Resident
Term ends 1/3/2022

Matt Dixon

City Commission Appointment
Ward 3 Resident
Term ends 1/1/2021

Jennifer Gavin

City Commission Appointment
Ward 3 Resident
Term ends 1/3/2022

Lisa Miller

City Commission Appointment
Ward 3 Resident
Term ends 1/4/2021

Christopher Reader

City Commission Appointment
Ward 1 Resident
Term ends 1/3/2022


Residency Requirement

You must live within Grand Rapids city limits to be a part of this commission. 

Term Limits

Each member's term is 3 years.This board is subject to the Service Limitation Policy.


This is a volunteer board. Historic Preservation Commission members are not compensated.