Historic Preservation

The North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office: Drying Out Water-Damaged Buildings

Historic Preservation

Historic Districts are established in order to help maintain and preserve areas of the City that have significant historic or architectural value. Regulations are applied through the use of an overlay zoning district, which sets forth rules that require review of all building activity affecting the exterior of buildings, structures, or site features.

The National Register of Historic Districts is our country's official list of buildings, structures, objects, sites and districts worthy of preservation for their significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture. The National Register was created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to recognize and protect properties of historic and cultural significance. For a private owner, the chief practical benefit of National Register listing is eligibility for federal and state investment tax credits that can be claimed against the cost of a certified rehabilitation of a historic building. Within Rocky Mount, there are a total of seven historic districts listed on the National Register. Below are brief descriptions of the significance of each district and access to a copy of the official National Register nomination:

Local Historic Districts

The Local Historic District designation is a type of zoning that is generally applied to protect entire areas or groups of historic structures. Historic district zoning can help to improve property values by stabilizing and enhancing the neighborhood's character, and it benefits property owners by protecting them from insensitive changes by other owners that might destroy the special qualities of the neighborhood.

Property owners within a locally designated district are required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the HPC before making significant exterior changes or additions to a property, before beginning new constructions, and before demolishing or relocating a building or structure. Unlike landmark designations, local historic district designation has no effect on local property taxes for property owners within the designated district. Since 2000, the Rocky Mount City Council has approved local designation for the Central City, Edgemont, Rocky Mount Mills Village, and Villa Place Historic Districts.

Local Historic Landmarks

The Local Historic Landmark designations apply to individual buildings, structures, sites, areas, or objects which are studies by the HC and judged to have historical, architectural, archaeological, or cultural value. Designation is an honor, meaning the community believes the property deserves recognition and protection. The local government designates landmarks through passage of an ordinance. Owners of landmarks are eligible to apply for an annual 50% property tax deferral as long as the property's important historic features are maintained. Recapture penalties may apply if the owner destroys the property or damages its historic value.

The Rocky Mount City Council has approved local landmark designation for: Imperial Tobacco Company Building (Imperial Centre for the Arts & Science), the Power Plant, the former Thomas Hackney Braswell Memorial Library, Rocky Mount Mills, and the Walter "Buck" Leonard Home.


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