Historic Preservation

The purpose of Mesa's Historic Preservation Program is to facilitate public knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the City's historic past, promote better awareness of its architectural and cultural history, and foster civic and neighborhood pride so that future generations will have the opportunity to appreciate and understand Mesa's unique cultural heritage.

Mesa's efforts to preserve its history is documented each year in an Annual Report.

The Historic Preservation Office provides the historic planning function for the City of Mesa.  Please visit the Mesa Historical Museum to learn more on the history of Mesa.  The Historic Preservation Board meets monthly to provide input and direction to the City's historic preservation efforts.

There are two types of historic districts and properties:  National Register Properties, and locally designated properties.  The procedures and requirements for local designation of historic properties are provided in chapters 23 and 74 of the Zoning Ordinance (Title 11 of the Mesa City Code). 


Types of Applications/Review Process

Historic Overlays.  An historic district overlay helps maintain the integrity of an established, older neighborhood.  An historic landmark overlay is used to help maintain the integrity of an individual property with historic significance.  Creation of a district is a zoning action requested by property owners and approved by the City Council following a public hearing.  Once a district is in place, property owners must receive approval from the City's Historic Preservation Officer before exterior remodel and repair work can be done.

Certificate of Appropriateness.  Within established local historic districts or landmarks, a certificate of appropriateness is required from the City's Historic Preservation Officer prior to doing any repair or remodel work on the exterior of a structure.  These applications are handled administratively by staff.  If the applicant does not agree with the requirements of the CHPO, the decision can be appealed to the HPC.

Demolition Permit.  Before a structure in a historic district or landmark can be demolished it must receive approval from the Historic Preservation Officer.  Typically, unless there is an immediate hazard, the request will be denied which will trigger a 6 month review process to look for ways to save the structure.  At the end of that review period, if a plan has not been established to save the structure, the structure may then be demolished.

Section 106 Review.  Section 106 Reviews are reviews of properties to see if development taking place in the area utilizing federal funding or providing for telecommunications (cell towers) will negatively impact any historic or archeological resource.  106 Reviews are done administratively by the Historic Preservation Officer.

Historical Fiction Writing Contest

The Mesa Historic Preservation Board sponsors a writing contest for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students living within the City of Mesa. 

The Contest is now open from October 13, 2014 to February 12, 2015

This contest will provide students the opportunity to learn about some of Mesa's history, as well as practice their writing skills. Students will create a fictional story around an historical event either on  the life and times of the Hohokam Indian Culture, or on the Mesa Grande Park.

Click on the following links to learn more about the writing contest and how to submit your essay:    Contest Flyer, Contest Rules and Student Entry Form.

All entries must be delivered or postmarked on or before February 12, 2015.

Historic Preservation Program

Since 1984, four comprehensive historic resource surveys have been performed in Mesa. The purpose of each survey was to identify and document each remaining pre-1945 building in Mesa's original townsite and outlying areas, provide historical information on the origins, evolution and significance of each building, and to evaluate their eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lost But Not Forgotten

Historic Properties of Mesa

Mesa Postwar Modern Single Family Subdivision Development, 1946-1973