How Old is Too Old? Completing and Updating Historic Resource Surveys

Municipal governments use historic resource surveys to inform local designation, CEQA review, and neighborhood planning. However, many surveys are hitting their 30-year mark and fail to fully include significant historic sites or districts. This 75-minute session, followed by a 15-minute open forum and QA period will examine the process of digging out dusty resource surveys from the 70s, 80s, and 90s to fully include resources previously overlooked, particularly modernist structures or landscapes. Architectural historians with experience in updating surveys will weigh in, along with city staff from local governments that recently updated their old survey.

Learning Objectives

  1. Determine the existing catalogue of resources in older surveys and quickly determine a broad view of the identified themes, periods, and styles
  2. Re-evaluate the resources in older surveys with recent planning updates and broader cultural or geographic considerations in mind
  3. Use updated methods – including the use of new technology – to update or augment existing surveys and manage data
  4. Examine how a new or updated preservation ordinance can impact and inform how an updated resource survey is conducted

Documents & Downloads


  • Bridget Maley, Architectural Historian, Architecture + History (a + h)
  • Jan Ostashay, Principal, Ostashay & Associates Consulting
  • Amy Minteer, Land Use and Environmental Law Attorney, Chatten-Brown & Carstens, LLP, CPF Trustee