Frequently Asked Questions


 What projects need a permit (otherwise known as a Certificate of Appropriateness) from the Historic District Commission?

  • Demolishing or moving a building in a historic district
  • New construction visible from a street
  • Additions, alterations, or reconstruction visible from a street
  • Signs
  • Fences, walls, and parking lots visible from a street
  • Sandblasting

 Where Do I Find the Certificate of Appropriateness Application?

If you're working on the outside of your house and it can be seen from the street, you will need to file the Certificate of Appropriateness Application for review by our Commission.

 Is there a fee?

There is a modest fee for a Certificate of Appropriateness as well as an application for reviews by the Historic District Commission. Please note that you will need to be at the meeting to explain your project.

 Can I paint it orange?

Yes.  Orange or any other color.  Painting and paint color as well as interior renovations are not regulated by the Town's historic district ordinance.

 Can I provide continued protection for my historic building when I no longer own it?

Yes.  Maine Preservation offers an Easement Program that preserves historic properties in perpetuity through voluntary agreements with owners recorded in the property deed.  Your deed of easement to Maine Preservation will specify important features of your home and will include regular inspections for all future owners, and a protocol to deal with proposed changes. The easements are monitored by Maine Preservation and underwritten by a management fund.

To apply for a Preservation Easement, the following are required:

  1. A property listed in, or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
  2. An application form submitted to Maine Preservation accompanied by documentation of the building, photographs, and a fee of $300.00. Application
  3. An initial inspection of the property by Maine Preservation and acceptance of the application.
  4. Preparation of the easement deed by Maine Preservation, with approval of both parties.
  5. A tax deductible donation (endowment) to the Maine Preservation Easement Fund.

 How can I find out if my historic property is listed or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places?

The Maine Historic Preservation Commission (MHPC), a state governmental agency, has been designated as the State Historic Preservation Office, and oversees the administration of the National Register program in the State of Maine.

To find out if your property is eligible for the National Register or is already listed on the National Register, you should contact the National Register Coordinator at the MHPC at (207) 287-2132 x 2 or e-mail Christi Mitchell at or alternatively, read about the National Register of Historic Places Program

 Are there any programs available that can give me advice and guidance on my preservation project?

Yes.  Maine Preservation offers free, grant funded, assistance and recommendations to owners of historic buildings in Maine by our Field Service Advisor who provides guidance on restoration, reuse, and energy conservation. Their advice can help get a project off the ground, find resources, or steer a project in the right direction.

Maine Preservation has raised over half a million dollars to fund this program and the Advisors have already helped more than 300 projects in communities across the state.

Contact Field Service Advisor, Christopher Closs, at (207) 809-9103 or

 Can I improve energy efficiency in my home while retaining its original historic features and materials?

Yes. Historic buildings have great potential to achieve substantial energy efficiency improvements that save money while preserving historic character.  A common sense, simple and holistic approach to energy efficiency works well with historic buildings as well as with other existing buildings. When considering improvements to historic buildings, it is vital to use careful planning and a flexible approach to solving energy, building code, and rehabilitation issues.

Maine Preservation was commissioned by the Maine State Planning Office to write energy guidelines for older homes and buildings with a grant from the US Department of Energy. These guidelines have been incorporated into the Maine Uniform Building & Energy Code. Guidelines for Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings.  In addition, the National Park Service has also released Preservation Brief 3, Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings.

 I have inherited a family estate of historic significance that I want to sell, but can’t afford the renovations. Are there any options available to save this property?

Yes.  Maine Preservation has launched a Revolving Fund established in 2009, which seeks to acquire significant endangered historic properties throughout the state and catalyze their rehabilitation by re-selling to new private owners who agree to rehabilitate them under Preservation Easements. Upon resale, proceeds are returned to the Revolving Fund for reuse on future properties.

Maine Preservation successfully lobbied the legislature to include $1.25 million for a state revolving fund to supplement private dollars, which was approved by the voters in a statewide referendum in June 2010.

 Are Historic Tax Credits available to restore or refurbish my private residence?

There are currently No Historic Tax Credits available in Maine for historic private residences.  To qualify for Federal or State Historic Tax Credits, a historic building must be used for “income producing” purposes.  Income producing buildings are those used in trade or business or for the production of rental income.  To find out more information on Historic Tax Credits or to speak to a Historic Tax Credit Consultant, visit our on-line Directory of Preservation Professionals to find an expert who can assist you with important questions regarding historic tax credits for your historic property.

 What is the National Register of Historic Places?

The listing of a property or neighborhood on the National Register of Historic Places is chiefly an honor and has no impact on what you can do to your house or building.  It does, however, stop the Federal government from using Federal money or issuing Federal permits on a Register site without clearance from historic preservation officials.  It also makes it easier for commercial and multi-family properties to qualify for tax credits for rehabilitation work.