Scenic and Preservation Historic District
Time to Preserve 
It was the loss of historic properties like Bagg's Square, Utica's Old City Hall and 2 Rutger Park — during the "urban renewal" movement of the 1960s and continuing into the 1990s — that triggered two turning points in local historic preservation: formation of the private-sector Landmarks Society of Greater Utica; and creation, through Common Council Ordinance No. 313, of Utica's Scenic and Historic Preservation Commission.
The District encompasses some 1,500 properties and parcels of land along the path of much of the City's earliest and most noteworthy development. Generally, it includes Genesee Street north from the New Hartford town line to Water Street at the railroad tracks; an eastern extension off Genesee including areas around South and Rutger streets, Park Avenue and Steuben Park; Pleasant Street and the Parkway east to Tilden Avenue; Herkimer Road in north Utica from Leland Avenue to the Schuyler town line; and in west Utica, an area known as "the brewery district," bordered approximately by Varick, Schuyler and Columbia streets.
As guardian of the District's historic character, the Scenic & Historic Preservation Commission works with property owners planning new construction, restoration, alterations or renovations that will impact the exterior appearance or architectural integrity of the building, to make sure the project conforms to Utica's Design Guidelines for Scenic and Historic Preservation. The Commission hears and reviews proposed plans from owners, architects and contractors, on both commercial and residential projects, ranging from signage or facade issues to such basic things as painting or fencing homes. It has the authority to approve or reject the plan, including proposed demolitions. Approval, through the issuance of a Certificate of Appropriateness, is required before a Building Permit can be obtained. The Commission also monitors projects for compliance once work is underway.