Heritage is integral both to the character of a community and to the identity of an individual. This study argues that heritage resources – the cultural, natural, and historical sites that a community feels are important to save for future generations – require systematic assessment that brings together the expertise of professionals and residents through public participation. A void in the existing literature, based primarily on conjecture from professional assumptions, provides an opportunity for exploratory research into methods of community engagement during the designation of heritage resources. An online questionnaire, collecting both qualitative and quantitative data, assesses local perceptions of heritage importance and explores specific places valued by residents. This study specifically focuses on the heritage of neighborhoods in Southwest Minneapolis; however, the methods utilized provide a precedent for future research and professional investigations, by architectural historians and preservation planners, into community participation in heritage preservation in the United States.