The National Register Listing of the Downtown Ellensburg Historic District was approved in 1977, as was a residential district, the First Railroad Addition Historic District (maps attached). The local Ordinance was passed in 1980 (codified in 2013 as ECC 15.280; formerly ECC 1.45.36(C) (1)). In 2001, Ellensburg became a Certified Local Government (CLG). CLGs are designated by the United States Department of the Interior, but administered through the State Historic Preservation Office; known is Washington State as the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP), located in Olympia. CLGs mean local communities are eligible for technical help and grant funding. So they do many preservation related things in our city, including encouraging public participation in historic preservation activities and educational efforts.
In addition, Ellensburg has several historic buildings listed on the local Ellensburg Landmarks Register on their own merits which are not part of a district, but which receive protection. There is also one historic object, the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Bucket Sign which towered over the restaurant on the corner of Main St and Washington Ave from 1971 – 2015 and which now can be found in the Kittitas County Historical Museum at 114 E. 3rd Avenue.