Historic Preservation Specialist/Archivist – City of Harrisburg

Deadline: August 23, 2024

Historic Preservation Specialist/Archivist
Department of Engineering and Development
Bureau of Planning


This management position is responsible for the administration of the City’s historic architectural resources, enforcement of historic district regulations in the City’s Municipal Historic Districts and Architectural Conservation Overlay Districts, management of Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) applications through the Harrisburg Architectural Review Board (HARB) review process, review and updating of the Historic District Design Guidelines and other relevant documentation, and assisting the pubic with questions regarding the regulations and processes of historic districts. Additionally, the archivist will also review and coordinate the management of the City’s archives for their relocation from the Honorable Eugenia Smith Family Life Center in Reservoir Park to the proposed State Archives facility. This position works closely with the Bureau of Codes regarding enforcement and interpretation of state and local ordinances. Work is performed under the direct supervision of the Director of Planning. This position is a management, FLSA exempt position.

Job Location/Equipment

Work is performed primarily at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. City Government Center and the Honorable Eugenia Smith Family Life Center in Reservoir Park. Periodic travel to conferences and meetings is essential. A wide range of office, computer, communications, and records storage and retrieval equipment is required for daily use.  Duties are typically performed weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; however, field work and evening hours will be required. 

Essential Functions

The City of Harrisburg has six Municipal Historic Districts, six National Historic Districts, and seven Eligible Historic Districts. Work involves, but is not limited to, the following: Review, analysis and preparation of staff reports for the Harrisburg Architectural Review Board and Plans and Permits meetings. Work involves a significant daily response to numerous public inquiries, real estate developers, construction contractors, approval of zoning permits, review of site plans, and conducting site inspections and investigations related to projects in historic districts. This position is expected to attend monthly HARB meetings. This position develops maps related to historic resources, prepares National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 clearances for demolition of structures and prepares Bureau of Planning responses to City Council. Provides developers with information regarding alternative products to regularly replaced architectural elements such as windows, doors, siding, and roofs, as well as advising on the construction of new additions/buildings or demolition of existing structures. Works with Planning Bureau staff on special projects such as outreach and educational materials; identification, research, and documentation of historic resources; works to reinforce that all land development and  zoning applications meet long-range development  goals and policies in order to achieve the City’s goals and objectives. Prepares grant applications. Consults and interacts with all departments and agencies as required. Initiates enforcement actions for illegal and unpermitted activity in the City’s Municipal Historic Districts. Coordinates the development and organization of the city’s official records. Develops library or archival databases. Coordinates educational and public outreach programs with regards to historical documents and archival items.  Directs the arranging, cataloguing, exhibiting and maintaining of valuable materials.  Assists with the establishment of policy guidelines concerning public access and use of materials.

Reports to work and remains at work in a productive condition, which includes not being under the influence or impaired by the use of alcohol and/or drugs. Establishes and maintains an effective working relationship with supervisors, co-workers and the general public. Completes all assignments in an efficient, consistent and timely manner.

Non-Essential Functions

Attends other boards or commissions, including interaction with professional organizations, as assigned.

Required Knowledge & Abilities

  • General knowledge of the geographical layout of the City
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation
  • Basic knowledge of architectural design styles and principles
  • Ability to comprehend architectural schematics and construction specifications
  • Knowledge of the function of urban planning in local government
  • Experience working with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
  • Ability to develop accurate case reports regarding architectural design and best practices
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to communicate historic district requirements in an understandable manner to the public
  • Ability to interact with staff, property owners, professionals, the general public and neighborhood organizations
  • Ability to use personal computers and basic programs such as Microsoft Office
  • Knowledge of the basic concepts of GIS, especially an ESRI-based system
  • Ability to analyze and exercise sound judgment in making recommendations
  • Ability and flexibility to learn and apply new principles and procedures


A bachelor’s degree in Historic Preservation Planning or a related field (such as Urban Planning) plus two years of full-time professional planning experience or a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation Planning or a related field (such as Urban Planning) and one year of full-time professional planning experience. Previous experience with design review in local historic districts is preferred. Two years of experience in a municipal planning office is preferred. Other equivalent combinations of experience and training which provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities will also be considered. A valid Pennsylvania Driver’s License, Class C, or equivalent is required.

How to Apply