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Historic Preservation Commission

"This Old House" magazine voted Plainfield's Van Wyck Brooks Historic District one of the best places in the country to buy an old house! 
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Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission

“The purpose of this Ordinance is to promote the educational, cultural, economic and general welfare of the City through the preservation of historic building, structures, places and districts, to develop and maintain appropriate settings for such resources and to document and promote the public enjoyment of such resources which impart a distinct aspect of the City and which serve as visible reminders of the historical and cultural heritage of the City, the State and the Nation.”

About the Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission

In 1979, spearheaded by citizen activists and neighborhood associations, the Plainfield City Council enacted its first historic preservation ordinance, and in 1980 established a Historic Review Committee to guide the City’s historic preservation policies and programs. By 1981 the first four historic districts had been designated – Crescent Area, Hillside, North Avenue, and Van Wyck Brooks. These districts also were successfully nominated to the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. The historic preservation ordinance was revised and strengthened in 1986 and 2002 to create the current Historic Preservation Commission.

Members of the Historic Preservation Commission are City residents appointed by the Mayor of Plainfield and confirmed by the City Council.

The Historic Preservation Commission serves to identify and protect Plainfield’s historic homes, religious and commercial buildings, historic sites and entire districts throughout the city. Historic preservation helps in strengthening the sense of connection to the community's past and creating a distinctive environment and sense of place for our community. The Commission intends to foster civic pride in the accomplishments of Plainfield’s past, promote the use of historic districts and landmarks for the educational, cultural, and recreational welfare of its residents, and help to insure the harmonious and efficient growth of the City.

Historic preservation designation helps to support the local economy by promoting tourism and encouraging investment, which results in revitalizing neighborhoods and stabilizing, and in many instances even increasing, property values. Buyers know that the qualities that make a particular area attractive will be protected over time. Real estate agents use historic district status as a marketing tool to sell properties. Click here to read about working with the Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission.

Plainfield, NJ Links

Plainfield Public Library Local History Collection
Historical Society of Plainfield
Van Wyck Brooks Historic District
Crescent Area Neighborhood Assoc. Blog

Preservation Resources

Application for Certification of Appropriateness
Agenda/ Minutes
English/Spanish postcard (Guias de Diseno Para Distritos)
List of Properties
Proposed New Historic District
OldHouseGuy blog - A wealth of information on restoring your old house.
Preservation New Jersey
Preservation Directory
Historical Directory of American Architects
Preserve America
Historical Preservation Office - NJ Dept of Environmental Protection
NJ Historic Trust
Improving Sustainability While Preserving Historic Buildings (Technical Preservation Services, Secretary of the Interior)
Partners for Sacred Places (advocacy for religious buildings & preservation)
Preservation Action (grassroots lobbying for historic preservation)
Preservenet (a general cross referenced resource)
National Register for Historic Places
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (US government site with information on the economic impact of preservation 

Do I have a property in a Historic District?

Historic District Map
Design Guidelines

Preservation News

NJ Historic Property Reinvestment Act
Rehabilitating Old Buildings Creates Jobs


Do I have a property in a Historic District?