Historic Landmark Committee

Nominate your historical building and earn the famous "Blue Plaque" Award courtesy of the Historical Landmark Committee.

The Historic Landmark Committee seeks out structures that shine a light on the people that lived in them and preserve a piece of Santa Cruz County history.

"Blue Plaques" are awarded quarterly to structures that have architectural or historic significance throughout the County. Nominate your favorite building to show off the coolest structures, share the stories of Santa Cruz County buildings, and help preserve our local history. Click HERE to see a list of all past recipients and you can check out a collection of the Blue Plaque structures on History Pin

Want to nominate a building? Scroll down to find out how. Nominations are open all year and are reviewed by the committee every quarter. Plaques are awarded quarterly, with one ceremony for all recipients each May during National Historic Preservation Month.

Want to join the committee? Email Marla to find out about the next meeting. The committee is comprised of MAH staff and knowledgeable community members who are eager to share their love of historical buildings.

Criteria for MAH Historic Landmark Blue Plaques are:

  • Structure is located within Santa Cruz County.
  • Structure is at least 50 years old.
  • Structure is deemed to be of historic and/or architectural significance, i.e., is associated with a person, organization, business, or social/cultural event of local, state, or national significance, and/or represents an architectural style or type that is either typical or unusual in Santa Cruz County.
  • Structure reflects overall architectural integrity (not necessarily unaltered, but any significant changes should reflect either historic additions or sensitivity to the original style).
  • Structure is in reasonably good physical condition. (It need not be meticulously restored, but should be well maintained and reflect pride of ownership).
  • Adequate documentation has been provided.

Must Note:

  • Owner of the property consents to the Historic Landmark award.
  • Owner agrees to display the plaque in a location that can be seen by the public, either outdoors or in a publicly accessible indoor space.
  • Owner pays the $200.00 cost for the plaque.

Nominate Your Building

Please provide the following information about your building:

A written explanation of the historical and/or architectural significance of your building. Local libraries (including the MAH Library, public libraries, and the UCSC Library) and the County Recorder’s Office can help you document your building. There is a comprehensive guide by Joe Michalak on the SCPL website to help you get started with research. Also available is Every Structure Tells a Story, a helpful tool available at the MAH Store. With your completed form, please attach documentation and photographs of the building.

Submit your completed nomination form to the MAH, attn Marla Novo, with copies of all documentation, and include a photograph of your structure. The Historic Landmark Committee will review your application.

You will be notified of the committee’s action. If your nomination form and proposed plaque wording have been approved, we will send you a Letter of Authorization, which will enable us to order the plaque. The cost of the plaque is $200.00.

For further information, contact Marla Novo, at (831) 429-1964 ext. 7019 or email marla@santacruzmah.org.

For each proposed plaque, a written nomination form must be submitted with documentation for review and approval by the committee. Historic Landmark designation by MAH is purely honorary and has no legal implications. The MAH authorizes the plaques which are paid for by the owner.