Exciting news! It is time to update Pennsylvania’s statewide historic preservation plan.

What better way to kick off that effort than with a new survey?!

What’s a Statewide Historic Preservation Plan?

I’m glad you asked!

Statewide historic preservation plans are a guide for planning and decision making. They are intended to encourage broad participation in planning for historic and cultural resources, identify the challenges unique to each state, outline realistic goals to meet those challenges, and inspire communities, agencies, organizations, and individuals to action.

While the State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) take the lead in developing the plan, the plan itself is the result of collaboration. In Pennsylvania, PA SHPO directs the commonwealth’s statewide historic preservation planning process.

Large circle with the words "PA SHPO" surrounded by many smaller colorful circles

In the planning process, PA SHPO is the convener of many groups whose interests intersect with historic and cultural resources.

Pennsylvania’s statewide historic preservation plan and the process to develop the plan satisfies PA SHPO’s preservation planning obligations as set forth under the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended and the Pennsylvania History Code.

Don’t we already have a plan?

Yes! Pennsylvania’s current statewide plan, #PreservationHappensHere, will expire in December 2024.


#PreservAtionHappensHere! is the statewide historic preservation plan for 2018 to 2024.

The National Park Service requires that State Historic Preservation Offices have an approved plan in place at all times as part of the federal funding requirements.  This means that the planning process for the next plan begins about a year before the current one expires.

What can I do?

PA SHPO wants – and needs – to hear from Pennsylvanians like you.

For the plan to be successful, our planning process must have broad public and professional involvement. That is why Step 1 in the Planning for Preservation in Pennsylvania, 2024 – 2034 process is gathering information through a survey.

The easiest way you can help right now is to take our online survey, which should only take about 10 minutes to complete.

Click here to take the survey!

Don’t forget to share the survey with your friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors.

Why a survey?

An online survey is one of the best ways for us to collect information from a broad and diverse group of Pennsylvanians about the historic and cultural resources in their communities and historic preservation practice throughout the commonwealth.

We will use the data collected through this survey to inform the final statewide plan and create the foundation for the next step in the process: outreach.

If you’re curious about the last time we issued a statewide historic preservation plan survey, check out the results of our 2016 survey.

What’s next?

We’re just getting started!

We’ll be talking with you and our partners a lot over the next year about the commonwealth’s next statewide historic preservation plan. We expect to begin our next phase, Outreach, in January.

Group of people sitting in chairs in front of a large screen.

Public outreach, like this open house in Erie in 2016, will be a key part of PA SHPO’s statewide historic preservation planning process.

The best way to stay in touch and learn more about the statewide plan and upcoming opportunities to participate is to follow our blog (you can set up an RSS feed to get our weekly posts in your inbox) and sign up for our newsletters.

Feel free to reach out to me at ssplain@pa.gov with any questions!