Historic Preservation In Chandler

Why Historic Preservation?

Aerial View of Historic Downtown Chandler
Aerial view of the San Marcos Hotel and cottages on the hotel grounds looking west ca. 1956-1964.

Chandler has a rich history dating back to founder Dr. A. J. Chandler’s original vision for the community. The city itself was founded in 1912 and the history of its surrounding agricultural land goes back even further. Chandler’s historic heritage is not only its architectural and physical resources, it also includes its people and their accomplishments.

Chandler’s Historic Preservation Program began when the City Council adopted Ordinance 4936 in November 2020 in response to citizen requests for a means of preserving and protecting historic neighborhoods. Historic Preservation benefits the community and its neighborhoods by:

  • Preserving and protecting the city’s historic buildings, sites and districts that represent Chandler’s architectural and cultural heritage;
  • Promoting neighborhood preservation and revitalization;
  • Encouraging civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;
  • Recognizing the men and women who made significant contributions to Chandler and the community; and
  • Documenting and recognizing the locations that represent events or individuals significant to Chandler’s and national history.

Since its inception, city staff have developed and refined the program and actively worked with different neighborhoods and communities to establish historic districts in the city.

In July 2022, the neighbors and residents of Southside Village worked with staff and City Council to establish the Southside Village Historic Conservation District, recognizing the rich heritage of the city’s original African-American and Latino communities. This was the city’s first designation under the Historic Preservation Program. Other neighborhoods, recognizing the benefits of Historic Preservation, are working to establish their own historic districts.

Preserving History

Designation and recognition under the Chandler Historic Preservation Program is open to all neighborhoods and properties that qualify under the criteria for designation of a historic property. This criterion includes:

  1. The property or district is listed on the Arizona Register of Historic Places and has maintained its integrity; or
  2. The property or district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has maintained its integrity; or
  3. The property or district is associated with events or persons significant to Chandler's history or National history; or
  4. The property or district includes examples of significant architectural styles or construction methods associated with the past; or
  5. The property or district has yielded or is likely to yield information in the understanding of the history or pre-history of the city.
The property or district must also be:
  1. Be at least 50 years old; or
  2. Has achieved significance in the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance; and
  3. Has retained sufficient integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, or association to convey historic significance.

Our program has four different historic classification options for preservation. City staff will work with property owners to determine which classification is the best option for designation.

The city's Historic Preservation staff welcomes questions and dialogue from residents interested in the program and Chandler’s history.

Classifications of Historic Properties

Heritage Site: Chandler Heights Citrus Camp

Photo: Chandler Heights Citrus Camp building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, ca. 1929.

Heritage Site

A location designated by the City Council of a past event, structure, or district that no longer physically exists that was significant to the history of Chandler.

A heritage site can receive recognition by signage, plaques, or pylons.

Conservation District: Goodyear

Photo: Goodyear Community looking northeast, ca. 1920

Conservation District

An area of the city designated by the City Council that contains one or more historic properties, historic eligible properties, or historic preservation districts or is associated with significant events or persons of the city's past where preservation and conservation of the remaining historic structures and context is encouraged.

Historic Preservation District/Zoning Overlay: Silk Stocking Neighborhood

Photo: Silk Stocking Neighborhood

Historic Preservation District

A zoning overlay of an area of the city designated by the City Council containing one or more historic properties, structures, sites, buildings, or landmarks that meets the criterion for designation of a historic property.

Process to Establish Historic Preservation District Overlay

Landmark: Mc Cullough-Price House

Photo: McCullough-Price House


A structure or site designated by the City Council that contains an outstanding or unique example of an architectural style; is associated with a major historic event, activity, or person; is a site or structure of unique visual quality and identification; or is of historical or cultural importance to the community and is either located in a Historic Preservation District or meets all criteria for designation as a Historic Preservation District.