Historic District Commission

Meeting Schedule:  1st Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. at City Hall

City Staff Liaison:  Erica Eklov (269) 329-4400

This nine-member commission is charged with reviewing plans and applications for the construction, alteration, repair of historic properties.  In addition, the commission maintains the roster of established and potential districts, may initiate district modification procedures and reviews proposed exterior changes to homes within the Portage Historic District.

Portage and Its Past by Grace J. Potts - Digital Format

The Commission has successfully completed its second and final activity to commemorate the city’s 50th anniversary.  In addition to creating the HDC Trading Cards, the Commission has now made a piece of Portage history available in digital format – Portage and Its Past by author Grace J. Potts (1904-1989).

With 2013 marking the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of Portage, a series of activities and events to reflect on the history of the city were launched.  As part of the celebration, the Historic District Commission identified two key activities geared at engaging younger citizens in the city’s history: creation of historic property trading cards and electronic access to a Portage history narrative.  

First published in 1976 by Portage Public Schools and the Portage Library, Ms. Potts’ Portage and Its Past is one of the first comprehensive histories written about the area.  The book also features drawings by Derek Rexton Rainey and photographs by Paul Butch.  The HDC was able to duplicate the book with the support and collaboration of Portage Public Schools.

Portage and Its Past (PDF File - part one)
Portage and Its Past (PDF File - part two)
Portage and Its Past (PDF File - part three)


PHDC Trading Card Program

The PHDC Trading Card Program involves a series of 9 handheld cards, each highlighting a select property from the 40 existing historic sites in Portage.

Springing from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2013 theme “See! Save! Celebrate!” the goal is to shine a spotlight on Portage’s distinct historic places through encouraging people to see these places, work to save them for future generations, and celebrate their vital role in the community. Portage’s historic properties illustrate the city’s early beginnings, highlighting the journey from township to 50 years as a city.

The cards are available to collect for $1.00 per series and can be purchased at the following locations, while supplies last:
  • Portage City Hall
  • Byce & Associates Offices (487 Portage Street, Kalamazoo)
  • Life Story Funeral Home (5975 Lovers Lane)

    The Commission also promotes Where the Trails Crossed.  The 67-page full color book highlights the story of 42 of the oldest properties in the City of Portage.  Where the Trails Crossed is available at Portage City Hall for $5. 

    To view a map of the location of Portage Historic District homes / sites, click here.

    HDC Meetings and Minutes

    December 2 Regular Meeting

    November 4 Regular Meeting     
    October 7 Regular Meeting     
    September 2 Regular Meeting     
    August 14
    Special Meeting - 3821 W. Milham
    Agenda Minutes
    August 5 Regular Meeting Agenda
    July 1 Regular Meeting  Agenda
    June 3 Regular Meeting Agenda
    May 6 Regular Meeting Agenda Minutes
    April 1 Special Meeting - Study Committee /
    Public Hearing (reconvened)

    Agenda Minutes
         Revised Report
    April 1 Regular Meeting  Agenda
    March 11
    Special Meeting - Study Committee
    Public Hearing
    March 11 Regular Meeting - moved from 3/4/15
    (No quorum)
    February 18 Special Meeting - Study Committee Agenda
    (Prelim Report)
    February 4 Regular Meeting  Agenda Minutes
    January 7 Regular Meeting (off-site location meeting) Agenda Minutes

    December 3 Regular Meeting Agenda Minutes
    November 5 Regular Meeting Agenda Minutes
    October 8 Special Meeting Agenda Minutes
    October 1 Regular Meeting (no quorum) Agenda --
    September 3 Regular Meeting Agenda Minutes
    August 6 Regular Meeting Agenda Minutes
    July 9 Regular Meeting (moved from 7/2/14) Agenda Minutes
    June 4 Regular Meeting Agenda Minutes
    May 7 Regular Meeting Agenda --
    April 9 Special Meeting Agenda Minutes
    April 2 Regular Meeting (no quorum) Agenda --
    March 5 Regular Meeting Agenda Minutes n/a