Historic Preservation


Established inPreservation Day Celebration Image 3 with Cephas House 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Month is co-sponsored by local preservation groups, state agencies, business, and civic organizations across the country.

This year's theme is People Saving Places. Historic place-savers pour their time, energy, and resources into protecting places they care about, often without recognition. Preservation Month 2022 is for them, a national high-five to everyone doing the great work of saving places in hopes that it will inspire and empower others to do the same.

Visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation for resources, stories, and special events to help celebrate Preservation Month this year!

his year, come join the San Marcos Preservation Day Celebration as we shine the spotlight on the undertold stories of San Marcos at our free Preservation Day Celebration at the Cephas House (217 West MLK Drive) on Saturday, May 21, 2022 from 10 AM - 2 PM! Learn about the evolution of historic preservation and hear stories from:

  • Johnson Planning & Preservation Consulting
  • Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos
  • Dunbar Heritage Association
  • Local Archivist Beth Grayson

Stick around for a 30-minute walking tour of the Dunbar Historic District followed by a guided tour of the Calaboose African American History Museum! Light refreshments will be served.


Learn how the Community Development Block Grant Entitlement program may assist with Historic Preservation or contact CDBG staff by visiting Current Open Applications

San Marcos is fortunate to have many neighborhoods rich in historic value and citizens committed to retaining the City's heritage. In total, there are 7 locally designated historic districts. The Downtown District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. The districts contain a variety of Victorian, Classical Revival and Craftsman architecture as well as many homes constructed in the 1940s following World War II.

The historic designation does not change the zoning of the property and has no effect on permitted land uses.

Local designation of a historic district encourages the appreciation and preservation of the physical evidence of our past. All structures in a local historic district, as well as structures designated as local landmarks, are placed under the review of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). The Commission consists of seven citizens appointed by the City Council to serve three-year staggered terms.

Local Historic Districts

Local Historic Landmarks

Historic Resources Surveys

State Tax Credits for Historic Preservation

The State of Texas offers a Historic Preservation tax credit for the rehabilitation of certain historic properties. For more information on the Texas Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, visit the Texas Historical Commission.

Federal Tax Credits for Historic Preservation

The federal government also provides tax incentives for the rehabilitation of certain historic properties and for historic preservation easements. For more information on federal tax incentive programs, visit the National Park Service.

Is My Property in a Historic District?

Historic Districts Map 2017 (PDF)