Historic buildings define the character of cities, villages, and towns in New York and many other places. This course attempts to explain why, details what it means to preserve a place’s older and historic buildings, and distinguishes the difference between listing a property on the National Register of Historic Places and local landmark and historic district regulation. Other perspectives that most people don’t consider when they think “historic preservation” will also be discussed, such as the environmental and economic benefits of historic preservation.
This course is 1.5 hours in length.
Text Version of the Course (pdf)
NOTE: Online courses are not available for in-service credit for code enforcement officers, continuing legal education credit for attorneys, or certification maintenance credit for members of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Some courses will produce a certificate at the end, and others will only produce your quiz results. The quiz results page should be used as proof of your training.
Resources Provided by DOS
Legal Aspects of Municipal Historic Preservation
This publication provides an overview of municipal regulatory authority in state statute and case law to preserve local historic resources.
- The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse - A study that compares the relative environmental impacts of new construction to the reuse and adaptation of existing buildings.
- The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties - Federal standards for rehabilitation (as well as preservation, restoration, and reconstruction) of historic buildings, which projects receiving tax credits must follow. The Standards, along with numerous technical publications for the repair of historic building materials are available on the website of the United States Department of the Interior.
- NYS Historic Preservation Office
- NYS Historic Preservation Office, Tax Credit Programs
- NYS Historic Preservation Office, Technical Assistance
- Model Local Law for Historic Districts in NYS
- New York State’s Certified Local Government Program
- Handbook for New York State’s Certified Local Government Program
- Preservation League of New York State - New York’s statewide not-for-profit preservation education and advocacy organization.
- Local Preservation Organizations in New York State
- National Alliance of Preservation Commissions - A national not-for-profit organization established in the early 1980s to provide training to members of local historic district review boards, education about the value of historic preservation to all local officials and the general public, and advocacy for public support of local historic preservation efforts and programming.
Online Training Help
What should I expect?
At the beginning of each course there is a short pre-test. Some courses may also include some knowledge checks in the body of the course as well. At the end of the course the student is given the option to take a final quiz and print out a personalized “certificate of completion.” The student may opt to skip the final quiz and advance to the end of the course, but in that scenario a certificate of completion will not be available.
How much time will it take to complete each course?
The courses range from between one and two hours long. Links to reference materials, such as New York State statutes, and Department of State land use publications and legal memoranda are offered throughout each of the courses. The linked materials supplement what is discussed in the course.
To access these links, you will need to turn off your browser’s pop-up blocker. You may also access these links or download documents from the webpage for each course. Students are encouraged to view these materials to get a better understanding of the subject matter. In depth review and study of the materials may add additional time for course completion.
Will I receive a certificate of completion for each course I take?
For each course you have the option of completing a final quiz. At the end of the quiz, you may enter your name as directed and print off a certificate of completion. The certificate will indicate the percentage of the questions you answered correctly. Each municipality may determine what percentage would constitute a passing score, and whether a certificate of completion is even necessary. A certificate of completion is not available if you do not take the final quiz.
What types of “training credit” do these courses offer?
The courses may satisfy a portion of a planning board or zoning board of appeals member’s annual training requirement as set forth by the municipality. If deemed locally as an acceptable form of training, we suggest that students present to their municipalities a printed copy of their test results upon completion of each course.
How do I register for the courses?
We do not require that you register for our online courses. You may simply go to the course homepage and open up the course. They are available 24 hours a day, unless the website is down for maintenance. If you need to exit a course without completing it, you should be able to resume the course where you left off when using the same computer.