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What is a Preservation Easement?

A preservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement made between you and Landmarks to protect your historic building from alteration or destruction. The easement is recorded with the deed and must run in perpetuity. If you sell or transfer your historic property after protecting it with the easement, the purchaser will be subject to the restrictions contained in the easement. Landmarks assumes responsibility for monitoring your historic building to assure compliance with your wishes as expressed by the easement agreement.

Types of Easements

Landmarks’ preservation easement program is designed to preserve the distinctive historic or architectural features of the historic buildings of Allegheny County, including the associated grounds and views. The exact terms of a preservation easement, as well as the extent to which those terms limit alteration of an historic building or protected land will vary depending on your wishes.

Facade Easement: Allows you to control future alterations to the exterior of your historic building.

Development Rights Easement : Limits or to prohibits altogether the construction of additional stories on your historic building.

Open Space Easement: to limit or to prevent the construction of new buildings on your protected land.

Benefits of Donating A Preservation Easement

While granting a preservation easement to an historic property limits what you may do with that property, granting the easement provides you with several benefits including:

-You will have protected your historic property into perpeturity from destruction, alteration, or development.

-You may be entitled to claim a Federal income tax charitable contribution deduction equal to the value of the preservationeasement if the historic property is “to be protected in perpetuity, exclusively for conservation purposes. This test is generally met when you grant a facade easement with respect to a historic building or farm listed on the National Register of Historic PLaces and may be met for other easements if the terms of the easement meets certain criteria defined in the Internal Revenue Service Code 170(h)(1).

Determining the monetary value of a preservation easement requires an appraisal of the porperty, paid for by you, that places a dollar value on the rights being assigned to Landmarks in the easement. You should consult with your personal legal and tax advistors regarding this matter because Landmarks does not provide legal or tax advise.

Click Here for complete information on our Historic Preservation Easement program.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633