Historic Districts and Regulation for Property Owners and Residents

What is a “historic district”?   

A historic district is a section of a city which contains older buildings considered valuable for historical or architectural reasons. A National Register Historic District is essentially a grouping of architecturally or historically significant structures that are nominated to the National Register together in a grouping.  National Register historic districts do not always have an attached regulatory agency.   

A Local Historic District often uses the boundaries and groupings used in National Register Historic Districts to determine zoning and regulatory oversight of a particular area or neighborhood.  Local Historic  Districts can impose design and sometimes zoning regulations on a particular district or neighborhood, but not all National Register historic districts have Local Historic Districts.   

What “historic districts” exist in the greater Little Rock area?  

The QQA lists all historic neighborhoods in the greater Little Rock area on our website.  Only neighborhoods with “historic district” in their names are listed on the National Register. You can find a list of all the current historic districts in the greater Little Rock area here. 

The neighborhoods listed are mostly in National Register Historic Districts with no regulating agency or body. Other neighborhoods do have some form of a historic district commission. 

What regulatory bodies oversee historic districts in greater Little Rock?  

Just because your property is in a historic district does not necessairly mean that there is a regulatory body that oversees that district. It’s important to determine if such a commisson or governmental organization exists before making any changes to your property. 

In Little Rock, the following regulatory bodies are important to specific historic neighborhoods:  

Capitol Zoning District Commission 

The CZDC oversees the area around the Govenor’s Mansion and around the Arkansa state capitol building.  Essentially, any building in these areas are overseen by the CZDC.  CZDC regulates both design and zoning in these areas. There are maps of the areas that fall under their pervue on their website.

Little Rock Historic District Commission 

The Little Rock Historic District Commission oversees design review for the MacArthur Park historic district. Click here to go to its website.