Resource Surveys

Cities and counties in California have been surveying their communities for cultural resources since the 1970s. Historic contexts and surveys are critical tools for understanding, identifying, evaluating, and protecting those resources which give each community its individual character and sense of place. Most agencies have established resource inventories to identify and catalog historic properties that have some level of significance.

Historic Context Statements,  prepared at the beginning of survey projects, provide the foundation for long range preservation planning. Historic contexts, based on one or more themes, a geographical area, and periods of significance,  describe the broad patterns of historic development and physical character of a neighborhood, community, or region. They also identify important associated property types in the built environment, and establish eligibility criteria and integrity thresholds.

We approach survey planning within the framework of the Guidelines of the California Environmental Quality Act and California Register of Historical Places, along with the specific guidance of the California Office of Historic Preservation as provided through their Certified Local Government Program.  The tools for effective survey projects must be consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Surveys:

  • Standard I:           Identification of historic properties is undertaken to the degree required to make decisions.
  • Standard II:         Results of identification activities are integrated into the preservation planning process.
  • Standard III:        Identification activities include explicit procedures for record keeping and information distribution.

To see a list of surveys we have prepared for public agencies, click here.