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Answers to Questions about the Historic Architecture Plaque Program

Q:  How will the decision be made about whether a house is selected for a


A:  To nominate a house for a plaque, a straightforward two-page application

must be completed.  This form will be used to complete a State Historic

Resources from that is submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office,

where a preservation professional will determine whether it merits listing

on the State Register of Historic Places and then rank the house relative to

other submissions from Pelham to prioritize which homes will receive

a plaque first.


Q:  If selected will my house be listed on the State Register of Historic Places?

A:  Such a listing is at the option of the homeowner, but is not required to

receive a plaque.


Q:  Does listing on the State Register mean I can’t make any changes to

my house?

A:  No, such restrictions are only imposed if there is local landmark legislation,

such as in New York City.  Pelham does not have landmark legislation that

would impose such restrictions.


Q:  Does accepting the plaque mean that I can’t make changes to my house?

A:  Accepting the plaque does not impose any legal constraints on a

homeowner making changes to the house.  However, if changes are made that

destroy important architectural elements or details, the house could lose

designation and the plaque may be removed.


Q:  What kinds of changes might result in removal of the plaque?

A:  Removing important architectural details, such as installing vinyl siding,

replacing original windows or removing an original slate or tile roof, may result

in the house no longer being considered an outstanding example of an

architectural style and would likely lead to removal of the plaque.


Q:  If my house is chosen, where will the plaque be located?

A: The goal is to have the plaque located as close to the sidewalk as possible

in a location where it can be seen and read by pedestrians without creating

a tripping hazard.  If your house is selected, Pelham Preservation will identify

the right spot.


Q:  How will the plaque be paid for?

A:  Pelham Preservation received a grant from Ginsburg Development

to pay for the first round of plaques and uses funds from its annual budget on a

going forward basis.


Q:  Do I have to agree to pay for the plaque to qualify?

A:  Homeowners who are selected will not be asked to pay for the plaque

or installation.  However, tax-deductible contributions to our organization

are always appreciated and can be earmarked for the plaque program to

make future plaques possible.


Q:  Who will own and be responsible for the plaque?

A:  The plaque will be the property of Pelham Preservation and will be

installed pursuant to an agreement with the homeowner.  We ask that the

homeowner keep the plaque clean and trimmed of vegetation.


Q:  What other recognition goes with the plaque?

A:  If a plaque is installed, the house may be listed on a walking tour map

and on the Pelham Preservation website.


Q:  Will my name or other personal information be noted on the plaque or


A:  At the homeowner’s election, current owner names and other personal

information can be kept confidential.  If a home is selected for a plaque

because it was once the residence of a prominent or famous person, the

plaque may identify the house by that former resident’s name

(e.g., “The John Smith House,” built in 19xx).


Q:  What other kind of information is included on the plaque?

A:  The year of construction, the name of the architect (if known and

significant), the style of the house and a description of important architectural

details are the kinds of information that would likely be included on the plaque.


Q:  What will the plaque look like and what will it say?

A:  The plaque will be approximately 9"x12" and made of brass with etched lettering with the historic name of the house (usually this will be the first owner), the date built and a description of the architectural style and characteristics and any important historical information.  At the bottom will read "Installed by Pelham Preservation" and the year of installation.


Q:  What if my house is not selected, can I apply again?

A:  Many homes may qualify but not be selected due to funding constraints.

If your home is not selected, you need not re-apply, as the application will

be kept on file for future consideration.  Only if substantial changes are

made to the house, may a new application be necessary.