Architectural Guidelines

The Planning Services Department is involved in protecting, promoting and enhancing the historic, cultural and aesthetic resources that make Dubuque a unique, identifiable and vital community. We support the Historic Preservation Commission, the community’s steward of these resources, through educational programming, historic/architectural surveys/evaluations, and design reviews. The City offers financial incentives for exterior improvements to qualifying properties.

Using the City’s Architectural Guidelines, Planning Services staff can assist with preservation planning and design approvals for projects in Dubuque’s downtown, historic and conservation districts, and older neighborhoods targeted for revitalization in 1-2 days. This streamlined process gets projects approved in less time and with more guidance.

Architectural Guidelines provide guidance for residents and property owners in making historically appropriately improvements to the exterior of their buildings. The Guidelines are a tool for residents wanting to learn more about historic buildings and best approaches toward their repair, maintenance and rehabilitation. The Guidelines help direct an appropriate improvement strategy through preferred and acceptable approaches. The “stoplight” process facilitates planning, review and approval:

Architectural Guidelines
Design Review Stoplight

Green Light: the appropriate or preferred approach.

Yellow Light: this may be an acceptable or alternative approach; however, further research and consultation with City staff is needed.

Red Light: inappropriate approach that can detract from a structure’s architectural integrity or may cause damage to a building or feature.

Stoplight Porch Example