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Historic Places vs. Historic District: What's the Difference?

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

This Victorian-style house is found in Los Angeles' Angelino Heights Historic District.

An email from a concerned resident in Silver Lake’s Child’s Heights neighborhood inspired us to look into the difference between Historic Places and Historic Districts. It turns out there are major distinctions between a protected community (Historic District) and one that is merely dubbed “historic”—often for marketing purposes. According to the Los Angeles City Planning Department, “The City’s local historic districts program aims to identify and protect the distinctive architectural and cultural resources of Los Angeles’s historic neighborhoods. Designating a neighborhood as a local historic district—also called a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ)—means that any new projects in that neighborhood must complement its historic character.” Although Child’s Heights is listed under Los Angeles’ historic places, because it is not classified as an official historic district owners of properties have the right to do what they want with their houses. The result? Historic craftsman homes on Edgecliff and other streets are being replaced by multifamily condos—developments that prompted the email from the resident.

What does this mean to you and your neighborhood?

Learn about the City's Historic District program here.

Learn more about historic places in Los Angeles here.


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