Historic Preservation

Historic OlympiaMallory House, Then and Now

Olympia's history is all around you! Our historic downtown storefronts, neighborhoods that have been home to familes for over 100 years, and shorelines long used by Coastal Salish tribes all tell the stories of the people and events that shaped our City.

View a complete listing of Olympia's Historic Properties

Walking Tours of Historic Olympia

Step back in time! Use the guides below to take a walking tour of one of Olympia's great historic neighborhoods and time periods.

Printed Walking Tour Guides are available at Olympia City Hall (2nd Floor), 601 4th Avenue E or Request a mailed copy: Heritage Commission, 360.753.8314, cpdinfo@ci.olympia.wa.us  Guides are also available at the Visitor and Convention Bureau, 203 Sid Snyder Ave SW.

Historic Property Owners

Rehabilitating a local historic homeMaking Improvements

If you own a building on the national, state or local Heritage Register, or live within a historic district you are required to meet with the Olympia Heritage Commission or the City Preservation Officer before obtaining a building permit for alterations to the exterior of the property.

Download the Alteration Review Application

At the meeting, Committee members will discuss the proposed project in an effort to protect the integrity of the property while attempting to respond to the applicant's needs. Committee members then make a recommendation to the building official for approval or denial of the building permit.

As part of the review, staff and committee members will take a visual survey of the property, or in some cases make a formal visit. Please be aware that proposed demolition of historic properties may require a more extensive review.

In reviewing projects, the Committee considers the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and various City Codes governing preservation, primarily 18.12.090 - Heritage Register - Alteration and Construction and Design Guidelines.

For information please contact the historic preservation officer at 360.753.8031 or by email at msadlier@ci.olympia.wa.us

Not sure if you own a historic property? Start by Researching the History of your Home. You may also Learn About and Apply For inclusion in the historic registry.

Tax Incentive for Historic Rehabilitation

Did you know? There is a Local Tax Incentive Program designed to encourage the preservation of historic resources. You can save on property taxes for 10 years! Learn more...


Contact Michelle Sadlier, 360.753.8031 or msadlier@ci.olympia.wa.us