City of Niles Historic District

Historic Collage       

City of Niles Local Historic District

Take a stroll down memory lane as you cruise through our Historic District.  These historic homes and buildings give off an aura of wonder from days past.  In order to keep this historic district preserved, certain criteria need to be met.  If you own a building or home downtown or on North 4th Street, you may need a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Local Historic District Commission before starting any work.  You can learn all about these criteria in the following sections.  

Preservation Design guidelines adopted by the Local Historic District Commission of Niles (LHDC) address a variety of structures and architectural features, these guidelines are provided to assist in the interpretation and application of the Secretary of the Interiors Standards and guidelines but are not intended to supersede them. The purpose of the guidelines is to assist property owners, architects and building improvement contractors in planning the appropriate repair, rehabilitation and new construction of designated historic landmarks and properties within established historic districts.

 These guidelines by their nature must be written broadly. The City’s Staff (hereafter referred to as staff) can provide additional assistance to applicants. Each application is considered on its own merits. A complete application that fully details the proposed work is a prerequisite to LHDC consideration. Applicants who use the guidelines and consult with staff to submit a complete application will speed the review process and improve the likelihood that their proposal will be approved. Section four, the design guidelines provide more detailed information regarding the process for application and review of projects within historic districts.

 The City of Niles has two historic districts, the downtown and North 4th Street from Main to Wayne. Maps can be found in the City of Niles Local Historic District Commission Design Guidelines.

Downtown Historic

City of Niles Local Historic District Commission Design Guidelines

Where is the Historic District?  

The City of Niles Local Historic District encompasses part of our downtown sector as well as a section of 4th Street.  The official boundaries are laid out in the Commission Design Guidelines above.  The maps below detail the Downtown and 4th Street Historic District locations within the black boundary lines.   

Downtown Historic District

HDC Map1Boundaries

4th Street Historic District


Renovating Your Historic Home or Building in Niles?

The City’s Code of Ordinances States:

"City of Niles Historic District Ordinance Sec. 43.63 (a) A permit shall be obtained before any work affecting the exterior appearance of a resource is performed within a historic district. The person proposing to do that work shall file an application for a permit with the building official. If the building official receives the application, the application shall be immediately referred together with all required supporting materials that make the application complete to the commission. A permit shall not be issued and proposed work shall not proceed until the commission has acted on the application by issuing a certificate of appropriateness or a notice to proceed as prescribed in this chapter. The city may charge a reasonable fee to process a permit application."

 If you own a building or home downtown or on North 4th Street, you may need a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Local Historic District Commission before starting any work.  A general building permit can be found here.  You can also find a Certificate of Appropriateness Application here.  

 Please keep in mind, you may also need a zoning compliance permit and building permits in addition to the certificate of appropriateness.

Request for Certificate of Appropriateness

 For information or help, please contact:

Niles Historic District Commission Chair:
Niles Downtown Development Authority:
Niles Community Development Director:
Niles Building Safety Assistant:

Michigan State Historic Tax Credit Program
Michigan Certified Local Government Program  Annual Report - 2020 
Michigan Certified Local Government Annual Report for Niles - 2020

Downtown Historic 2