The Historic Preservation Commission, created in 2005, is responsible for promoting preservation education in the community, and has held one or more educational activities each year since 2006. Those activities include guided tours, period re-enactments, scavenger hunts, a commemoration, and public education meetings and workshops.
The Historic Preservation Commission consists of five members who are appointed by the Mayor for three year terms. Two additional seats are filled by representatives from the city council and the city staff.
The Commission is also responsible for identifying, researching, and recording information about historic buildings, districts, structures, landscapes, objects, and archaeological sites.
In 2013, the Downtown Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
The West Side Residential Historic District is currently in the process of being nominated to the NRHP.
The Washington Public Library has copies of NRHP nominations for the following individual historic properties:
- Alexander Young Log House (NRHP 1973)
- Blair House (NRHP 1973)
- Jonathan Clark Conger House (NRHP 1974)
- Kurtz House (NRHP 1977)
- Joseph Keck House (NRHP 1978)
- Frank Stewart House (NRHP 1981)
- Washington County Courthouse (NRHP 1981)
- Winfield Smouse House (NRHP 1983)
- Smith Wildman Brookhart House (NRHP 2005)
- Baxter Coal Yard and Weigh Station (NRHP 2015)
- McCleery-Cumming Calendar Factory (NRHP 2015)
- Woodlawn Cemetery Shelter and Gates (NRHP 2016)
See a list of identified historic properties in Washington at the bottom of this page.
An annual report of the Commission’s activities is filed with the State Historical Society in February each year.
The public library has books which provide information about the advantages of preservation, how to identify the housing styles and books that describe how to take care of historic buildings.