According to the State of North Carolina Division of Archives and History, local historic preservation commissions are on the front lines of preservation. Designation of local historic districts and landmarks provides the most comprehensive means of protecting historic resources from degradation and destruction – stronger than listing in the National Register of Historic Places and more widespread than private preservation commissions.
Many towns and cities, including Elizabeth City, have found historic preservation to be a useful tool for stabilizing property values and stimulating new investment in older residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. The West Main Street and Downtown local historic district overlays have been established for the purposes of protecting and conserving the heritage of Elizabeth City. Local historic district designation is a type of zoning that applies to the group of contiguous properties generally located along W Main Street and the Central Business District. Historic district designation is a way of recognizing historic or architecturally significant neighborhoods. The Elizabeth City Historic Preservation Commission (ECHPC) is a voice for preservation of individual buildings, structures, and sites in our city. The Commission has been formed to promote, enhance and preserve the character of the historic neighborhoods by recommending property designation, regulating changes to the exterior appearance of buildings and landscape features. If you are considering work within either of the historic districts, you may obtain information in The Elizabeth City Historic Preservation Commission and Certificate of Appropriateness
brochure. Applications may be obtained from the Department of Planning & Community Development office or by visiting our Applications & Procedures
page on this website.
NATIONAL, STATE, AND REGIONAL PRESERVATION
Our local preservation efforts are also teamed with regional, state, and national public and private historic preservation efforts. All of the properties within the local historic district overlays are also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service certification and Register listing allow property owners eligibility for federal tax credits.
Also available to property owners and preservations are Preservation Briefs published by the U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service Technical Preservation Services. A variety of Briefs are available via the web or by calling the Government Printing Office toll free at (866) 512-1800. Brief topics include Roofing for Historic Buildings, Dangers of Abrasive Cleaning to Historic Buildings, Aluminum and Vinyl Siding, on Historic Buildings, The Repair of Historic Wood Windows, Rehabilitating Historic Storefronts, Heating, ventilating, and Cooling Historic Buildings, Painting Historic Interiors, and more.
The State Historic Preservation Office or SHPO (pronounced ship-o) is the section of the Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, devoted to archaeology and historic preservation. SHPO has been active in local preservation training and education for more than twenty years, providing technical and professional assistance, procedural information, and planning assistance to preservation commission members and staff, local governments, and citizens’ groups.
SHPO also oversees the statewide survey of historic and prehistoric sites, administers the National Register of Historic Places program in partnership with the National Park Service, reviews state and federal development projects, administers the historic rehabilitation investment tax credit program, provides technical restoration assistance, and a whole lot more.
Our Commission and Staff have also joined efforts with regional and local private organizations advancing historic preservation in our area. Preservation North Carolina (PNC) is North Carolina’s only statewide private nonprofit preservation organization. Its mission is to protect and promote buildings, landscapes, and site important to the heritage of North Carolina. PNC has saved more than 190 endangered historic properties and has facilitated other activities including, award ceremonies, workshops, publications, legislative advocacy, and public education.
The Elizabeth City Historic Neighborhood Association (ECHNA) is an organization of citizens involved with projects to save historic buildings and maintain the integrity of historic homes and buildings in and around Elizabeth City. Their annual GHOST Walk, begun in 1996, invites locals and out-of-towners to visit area historic homes and meet ghosts connected with our history. ECHNA also runs an architectural salvage store and actively spearheads efforts to salvage architectural items from buildings that cannot be preserved. Visit them on the web at www.echna.org/
The City, thorough Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc., administers the Main Street Program
, a downtown revitalization program. The Main Street Program was created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation thirty years ago. Over 15,000 communities across the country in over 40 states coordinate the Main Street Program in their efforts to improve the viability of their central business districts. For more information visit the City Departments Main Street Program section of our website.