LANDMARK PRESERVATION PROGRAM
The Clinton Historical Society awards Landmark Designation to historic houses in the Town of Clinton. See the complete list of Landmarks here. In order to qualify for designation, the house (or structure) must have been built more than one hundred years ago and must retain much of its original character and architectural integrity. Old houses/buildings that do not meet these criteria but have historic significance will also be considered. The purpose of the Landmark Designation is to recognize the historic houses in our community, strengthen interest in historic preservation, and create a living archive of Clinton’s architectural history. Properties designated as landmarks by the Clinton Historical Society are eligible for protection under Chapter 250 of the Town of Clinton Zoning Law.
To submit your property for consideration, please review the materials that follow and contact us for guidance on how to prepare your application. We are happy to work with you.
GUIDELINES FOR LANDMARK DESIGNATION
The following suggestions are offered to the Landmark Committee to be considered in its deliberations.
The primary purposes of the Landmark Committee are as follows.
1. To identify structures or sites representative of Clinton’s past.
2. Through its designations to increase awareness among residents of Clinton’s place in history.
3. To strengthen interest in preservation as a legacy for future generations.
4. To recognize the efforts of past and present owners for preserving their part of Clinton’s history.
Although designation as a landmark should be regarded as an honor, its requirements should not be unreasonable—nor should they be rigid. Requirements for designation should not overlook the fact that history is an evolutionary process, and consistent with that process, changes in structures or sites were likely to occur. For example, the 12-over-12 panes of glass found in the windows of 18th and 19th century houses often were replaced because advances in technology and economy made the larger panes of glass more appropriate. Therefore the structure only needs to be historically representative. As a result, the number of panes of glass in the windows would not matter, but the windows would be required to be in the same place as when the structure was first constructed.
Four criteria should be met before designation is given.
1. The structure or site should have been constructed more than one hundred years ago.
2. Ideally, documentation should be by a deed describing the structure or a dated photograph or line drawing in an appropriately dated source. However, such documentation is not often available; therefore alternative methods of identifying age can be considered. Such methods could include architectural design consistent with a recognized style of construction, mention of the structure in a history or dated published source, notation of the structure on a map, or reports from two or more other reliable sources.
The primary concern here should be the outer appearance of the structure. Its roof line, the placement of its windows, the number of floors, and other aspects of the structure visible from the road should reflect little change from original appearance. Some changes might be acceptable, such as a chimney that was reconstructed with similar materials or new siding similar in material to the original siding. In some special cases, even the addition of a small window dormer that does not change the basic appearance of the structure would be acceptable. However, in all cases the condition of the structure or site should be fair or better. In some instances landmark designation could be given with the proviso that the structure be improved with a certain time period to meet a recommended condition.
If a structure or site does not quite meet one of the two basic requirements noted above, the structure might be historically very significant. In such cases designation could be given. For example, a Dutch barn whose condition is quite poor but is two hundred years old could be designated as historically significant and therefore could qualify. Or a structure built in 1905 that meets the criteria for integrity and is an example—perhaps the only surviving example—of a certain kind of architecture could be designated based on its historic significance.
In order to facilitate the review of an application, the Landmarks Committee requests that the following documentation be submitted for review.
1. Application (typed or handwritten)
2. A map showing the location in the Town of Clinton.
3. At least one photograph.
4. Proof of age of the house:
- Architectural records.
- Old deeds.
- Old tax records.
- Construction methods.
- Historical records (old diaries, newspaper clippings, historical books, etc.).
5. Statement of unusual historic significance, if applicable.