Architectural Review

The Architectural Review and Environmental Compliance Unit administers the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program and provides architectural review for federal and state projects or project funding affecting historic resources based on conformance with theSecretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

The California Office of Historic Preservation is the point of contact within the state for property owners wishing to use the federal historic preservation tax credit. OHP may also provide technical guidance before a project begins to make the process as expeditious and economical as possible.

Explore the links below for information and guidance on the following programs and topics:

Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program

Certified California Tax Incentive Projects, 2005 - Present

Becoming a State or Local Certified District

California Certified Districts

State Historical Building Code

Discussion on "Best Practices"

Preservation and Sustainability

California Sustainable Tax Credit Success Stories

Incentives and Grants for Historic Preservation


Attention Tax Consultants: New 2016 forms available

Beginning Monday, December 2, 2019, all certification applications received in SHPO offices must use the forms labeled “Rev. 06/2016 v2” in the upper right hand corner. The cover sheet of each part must be the NPS-provided 2016 form and must bear the applicant’s original signature. As in the past, applicants and consultants who have developed their own versions of the narrative pages that follow the cover sheets may continue to use their versions.

The forms are online at To successfully download the forms:

  1. DO NOT open the forms in a browser tab or window

  2. DOWNLOAD the forms and SAVE them to your computer. Choose "Save Link As..."

  3. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader

  4. Open the forms in Reader


2019 FederalTax Incentives Report Released

2019 Federal Annual Tax Report coverThe 2019 Federal Tax Incentives for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings listing all Tax Incentive projects by state, was released by the National Park Service.  California ranked twelfth in the nation in terms of certified expenses, with $206,099,108 of qualified rehabilitation expenditures. Pennsylvania was first in qualified rehabilitation expenditures with $584,278,642.
A complete printed report for 2019 is available now for download.

For 2019 and earlier Tax Credit projects and annual reports, visit the Certified California Tax Incentive Projects page.


Seismic Retrofits Exclusion from Assessment

A letter from the State Board of Equalization of July 2010 summarizes the changes to the new construction exclusion for seismic safety improvements, which can be found under "Local Incentives" on the Incentives and Grants for Historic Preservation page and the Disaster Preparedness Planning page, at the bottom under "Resources".

Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Evaluator Training Available

The Safety Assessment Program utilizes volunteers and mutual aid resources to provide professional engineers and architects and certified building inspectors to assist local governments in safety evaluation of their built environment in an aftermath of a disaster. The program is managed by Cal OES with cooperation from professional organizations. Cal OES issues registration ID cards to all SAP Evaluators who have successfully completed the program requirements. Training for this program is now eligible for Homeland Security Grant Program funding.

Local free training classes sponsored by CalOES for the disaster Safety Assessment Program are made available on a periodic basis.  It will certify licensed architects, engineers, construction managers and others for evaluating properties post-disaster.  Non-licensed participants are welcome to attend as well and will be given a certificate identifying them as qualified coordinators.

To review which classes are being offered currently, visit the SAP CalOES website.

Matrix Chart of the Ten Standards for all Historic Treatments

Compare and contrast the ten Secretary of the Interior's Standards as they relate to the four treatments of Restoration, Preservation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation.

Download 11 x 17 PDF Standards Matrix Chart