Historic Landmarks Advisory Committee (HLAC): Heritage in Hillsboro

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Our local history has created landmarks unique to Hillsboro:  the giant sequoias in front of the County courthouse; downtown storefronts like the Morgan and Bailey building; Imbrie Farmstead; the Pioneer Cemetery; the historic Orenco company town; and eve the Burger People.  Discovering and preserving these landmarks celebrates the distinctive attributes that help define Hillsboro to its residents, neighbors, and visitors.

Left to right: Imbrie Farmstead, County Courthouse, Burger People.
Historic Imbrie Farmstead Washington County Courthouse Historic Burger People
Cultural Resource Inventory

Statewide Planning Goal 5 requires all local governments to inventory their historic resources and to protect those found significant.  Hillsboro has had a Cultural Resource Inventory since 1985.  The 87 sites on the Inventory are protected under Community Development Code Section 12.27.300.   Explore Hillsboro's Cultural Resources map.

Historic Districts

Two local Historic Districts are recognized in Hillsboro:  the Downtown Historic District and Orenco Historic District.  These districts are recognized for their local historic value and are preserved through the implementation of design guidelines.  Design guidelines ensure that cultural resources within a Historic District are respected and that new construction is compatible with the character of the neighborhood.  To discover Hillsboro's Historic Districts virtually, or by food, download the walking tours below:

Preserving Historic Hillsboro Awards

Each year the Preserving Historic Hillsboro Awards recognize the visible reminders of our community's long history, and the people who have preserved them.  Awards are presented in several categories:  stewardship of a residential structure in original condition; stewardship of a non-residential structure in original condition; restoration of a residential structure; retention of a historic structure through remodeling and adaptive reuse; historically appropriate new construction or reconstruction; and the Chair's award for preservation that falls outside those categories.  For the past two years, Historic Hillsboro Award winners whose properties are on the Cultural Resource Inventory will also receive a Hillsboro Heritage Plaque.

Left to Right: Donelson House, 2018 Retention of a Historic Structure through Remodeling and Adaptive Reuse award; Hillsboro Heritage Plaque.
Donelsonhouse Hillsboro Heritage Plaque


Hillsboro Grange Building, 2018 Chairs award.
Let's Play 2018
Joan Krahmer Historic Preservation Grants

Joan Krahmer was a lifelong resident of Hillsboro who grew up in the historic Orenco neighborhood.  She was an excellent steward of her home, the Edward Schulmerich House.  Ms. Krahmer was a member of the HLAC and a strong advocate for preservation of history and historic structures.  Established in her honor, the Krahmer Grants are matching grants, intended to partially reimburse the costs of eligible improvements to properties listed within Hillsboro's Cultural Resource Inventory.  View more information on the Krahmer Grant program through the grant application.

Preservation accomplished through use of the Krahmer Grant
Picture of Roof Eves Photo of repaired roof eves
Preservation accomplished through use of the Krahmer Grant

Picture of old window frame

picture of repaired window frame
Washington County Heritage On-Line

Over 800 historic images of Washington County are available on-line through this project, a cooperative project among the Washington County Museum, local historical societies, community libraries, and non-profit organizations.  The project was funded in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.  View over 800 images of historic Hillsboro at the Washington County Heritage Organization website.

Hillsboro History Book
Historic Hillsboro Book

Hillsboro  (Images of America series, Arcadia Publishing, 2009) is an introduction to the history 

For more information on how to purchase a copy, please contact the Planning Department at 503-681-6153.of our community.  The book combines vintage images of historic Hillsboro with narrative written by Debbie Raber, Kimberli Fitzgerald and the HLAC.  Authors' royalties are donated to the City to support preservation programs. 

Additional Information on History and Historic Preservation in Hillsboro and Beyond