Historic Preservation

Unveiling of historic markes for the M & J Nelson Building in downtown McAllen


The Board of Commissioners of the City of McAllen declared in 2002 that the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of landmarks or districts of historical and cultural importance and significance is necessary to promote the economic, cultural, educational and general welfare of the public. They declared that the buildings and structures of the City of McAllen represent the unique confluence of time and place that shaped the identity of generations of citizens, collectively and individually, and produced significant historic, architectural, and cultural resources that constitute the City of McAllen heritage. The adopted historic preservation ordinance is intended to:

  • Protect and enhance the landmarks and districts which represent distinctive elements of McAllen's historic, architectural, and cultural heritage;
  • Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;
  • Protect and enhance McAllen's attractiveness to visitors and the support and stimulus to the economy thereby provided;
  • Insure the harmonious, orderly, and efficient growth and development of the City of McAllen;
  • Promote economic prosperity and welfare of the community by encouraging the most appropriate use of such historic buildings and structures within the city; and
  • Encourage stabilization, restoration and improvements of such buildings.

Unveiling of sign announcing the Las Palmas Historic District

Unveiling of sign announcing the Las Palmas Historic District


Do I have to let people inside my building once designated as historic?

No. Letting people inside your building is optional.

Are there different levels of historic designations?

Yes there are. The national designation is more for prestigious reasons but qualifies you for tax credits for restoration projects on income-producing properties. The state designation gives you the most attractive markers with the history of the property depicted in the marker. The city designation gives the owner the biggest protection from future demolitions or inappropriate restorations.

Does my property qualify for property tax incentives?

If your property is a designated city landmark or within a designated historic district you may qualify for property tax incentives. Please consult with the city’s historic preservation officer for more information.

Do I have to get permission to make changes to my historically-designated property?

A certificate of appropriateness is required in order to get a building permit to make alterations or additions to your building. This ensures that the changes do not negatively affect the historic designation of the property and will not disqualify you from future property tax incentives.

FileTypeSizeUploaded onDownload
las-palmas-historic-district-design-standardsPDF7.12 MB23 Apr, 2022 Download
Property Tax Incentives BreakdownPDF15.10 KB02 Apr, 2014 Download
Local Landmark Application FormPDF92.59 KB02 Apr, 2014 Download
Example of City Landmark ApplicationPDF5.63 MB02 Apr, 2014 Download
Guidelines to Designate your Property as a City LandmarkPDF1.81 MB02 Apr, 2014 Download
2005 South Survey MapPDF219.60 KB02 Apr, 2014 Download
2005 North Survey MapPDF216.72 KB02 Apr, 2014 Download
2005 Historic Resources Survey Final ReportPDF1.90 MB02 Apr, 2014 Download
17th Street Downtown Design GuidelinesPDF8.84 MB02 Apr, 2014 Download
Historic Preservation PlanPDF10.03 MB02 Apr, 2014 Download