Design Review for Egress Windows

Landmark Preservation reviews applications for basement egress windows on all individual landmarks and properties within a historic district to ensure consistency with the appropriate design standards and guidelines.

Determine which design guidelines apply

Your location and type of project determines which design standards and guidelines you should follow. If you are unsure about whether your project is in a historic district, check the landmark and historic districts map.

In certain neighborhoods and historic districts, additional customized design guidelines may apply.

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Required documents

Design review applications must adequately describe the project and provide sufficient information to evaluate the proposal. Documentation must clearly illustrate the existing conditions as well as any proposed work.

All applications for egress windows must include the following information:


Download the following design review application:


Photos of existing conditions showing the location of the proposed egress window(s) and surroundings are required and must be:

  • In color
  • Labeled with direction and orientation to the street
  • No smaller than 4"x6" in size (or between 1024 x 768 pixels and 1280 x 960 pixels)
  • Arranged on one or more sheets within the drawing set (PDF format), with each image clearly labeled

For examples of acceptable photos and tips for taking good photos, download Landmark Standards for Photographs(PDF, 590KB) and the Photo Page Example(PDF, 999KB).

Site Plan

All projects must submit a dimensioned and scaled site plan including:

  • Street address
  • North arrow
  • Scale (plans must be drawn to a measurable scale)
  • Location of streets, sidewalks, alleys (including any right-of-way or easement), and all existing structures
  • Location of proposed basement egress windows and wells
  • Location of existing and proposed fences, retaining walls, exterior stairways and ramps, mechanical equipment, driveways, etc.
  • Property lines and required zoning setbacks

Details of Construction

The following details of construction are required:

  • Enlarged section details showing existing wall, window opening, location of the egress well, dimensions of the egress well, and location, dimensions, operation, and material of the window 
  • Cut sheet for the proposed egress window

Ready to apply?

View design review application instructions