Join the Heritage Register

Historic photo of Downtown Olympia. 4th Avenue and Capital

Olympia's Heritage Register

In effect since 1983, Olympia's Heritage Register showcases and protects over 400 buildings and 5 districts around the city. Applications to designate a building, site, object, or district on the Register are accepted year round. There is no cost to apply.

How to Apply

Before you begin the application process, you will need to gather the information needed to fill out the application form. Thanks to our proximity to State agencies, help on researching your property is close at hand at the Southwest Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives.

Application Process

  1. Submit your completed application form to the Historic Preservation Officer.
  2. Meet with Historic Preservation Officer for an initial tour of the property.
  3. Hold a public meeting with the Heritage Commission at the property for initial review.
  4. Take part in a formal public hearing at a regularly-scheduled meeting of the Heritage Commission.
  5. If approved, receive formal notice that the property has been listed on the Olympia Heritage Register.
  6. For individually listed properties, work with the Historic Preservation Officer on the text of the bronze plaque.

Benefits of Being on the Register

In addition to the pride of living or working in a piece of Olympia history, owners of properties listed individually or in a historic district have access to these benefits:

  • Bronze markers for buildings listed individually
  • Building code relaxation
  • Free advice and educational program
  • Tax incentives

Tax Incentive Information

All individually listed Register properties and most buildings in designated historic districts qualify for property tax relief for approved rehabilitation work under the Special Valuation program. This program is managed under a joint effort between the City of Olympia and Thurston County. For more information on how Special Valuation works, contact the Historic Preservation Officer.

Rehabilitation of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places may also qualify for income tax relief under the Federal Historic Tax Credit program. This program is managed by the State of Washington’s Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

Questions?

Contact Historic Preservation Officer, Marygrace Goddu, at 360.753.8031 or mgoddu@ci.olympia.wa.us