Alameda is an architecturally and historically rich community with over 10,000 buildings constructed prior to 1930. In order to preserve and document Alameda's rich heritage, the City adopted the Historical Preservation Ordinance and created the Historical Advisory Commission in 1975.
In 1980, the City adopted a Historic Preservation Element. The City became a Certified Local Government in 1987, a title given by the state which requires the City to have a historical preservation ordinance, and an advisory board whose members meet professional proficiency standards. The Commission became a Board in 1990.
The Historical Preservation Ordinance established procedures for identifying and designating City Monuments, the Historical Building Study List, and Historic Signs.