National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts worthy of preservation's for their significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture. The National Register was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that as a matter of public policy, properties significant in national, state, and local history are considered in the planning of federal undertakings, and encourage historic preservation initiatives by state and local governments and the private sector.

Listing on the National Register of Historic Places is primarily an honorary designation and places no obligations or restrictions on private property owners using private resources to maintain or alter their properties.  The National Register of Historic Places should not be confused with local historic property and the local historic district designation. These designations are made by the local governing board on the recommendation of the Historic Preservation Commission. 

Financial Incentives for Preservation

Income tax incentives for the rehabilitation of historic structures are important tools for historic preservation and economic development in North Carolina. Properties listed on the National Register may be eligible for state and federal rehabilitation tax credits to assist with renovations. Income producing properties (commercial, multi-family, etc.) may be eligible for the 20% federal tax credit and a 15% state piggyback tax credit, while non-income producing properties (owner occupied, residential) may be eligible for a 15% state tax credit. Properties must be considered contributing to the district and work must be completed in accordance to federal guidelines. 

How Do I Apply for Tax Incentives? 

For more information regarding historic tax credits, please contact the State Historic Preservation Office.

National Register Listings in Mount Airy

There are currently four National Register Historic Districts and several individually listed properties. To see if your property is counted among Mount Airy's registered historic properties, click on your district's information below. 

National Historic Districts:

  • Country Club Estates National Historic District    Listed Dec 22, 2020    Map   Historic Map   Nomination 
  • Lebanon Hill National Historic District                   Listed Dec 22, 2020    Map   Historic Map   Nomination 
  • Taylor Park National Historic District                     Listed Apr 27, 2021    Map   Historic Map   Nomination 
  • Mount Airy National Historic District                      Listed Oct 3, 1985      Map   Historic Map   Nomination
    • Boundary Increase                                         Listed Aug 8, 2012                 Historic Map   Nomination 
    • Boundary Decrease                                        Listed Apr 9, 2021                 Historic Map   Nomination 
    • Boundary Increase II                                      Listed Apr 27, 2021               Historic Map   Nomination   Additional Docs 

Individually Listed Historic Properties:

  • W.F. Carter House                                                    Listed Aug 18, 1983               Historic Map   Nomination
  • William Carter House                                               Listed Mar 15, 1990              Historic Map   Nomination 
  • Ben & Barbara Graves House                                 Listed Dec 19, 2019              Historic Map   Nomination 
  • Edgar Harvey Hennis House                                   Listed Feb 20, 1986               Historic Map   Nomination
  • J.J. Jones High School                                                Listed Apr 27, 2021               Historic Map   Nomination 
  • William Alfred Moore House                                  Listed Mar 6, 1986                 Historic Map  Nomination 
  • North Carolina Granite Quarry                               Listed Aug 6, 1980                Historic Map   Nomination 
  • Renfro Mill                                                                  Listed Oct 12, 2000              Historic Map   Nomination 
  • Trinity Episcopal Church                                          Listed Jan 9, 1986                 Historic Map   Nomination

How Do I List My Property on the National Register? 

Nominations for inclusion can be submitted to your State Historic Preservation Office from property owners, historical societies, preservation organizations, governmental agencies, and other individuals or groups. Official National Register Nomination Forms are downloadable and available from your State Historic Preservation Office.  For more information contact the National Park Service or the State Historic Preservation Office.

Can I Search the National Register? 

Yes, the National Register of Historic Places is a treasure trove for historians, scholars, and anyone curious about American history.                              All North Carolina Listings in the National Register of Historic Places

Common Myths About National Historic Register Designation 

There are many misunderstandings concerning historic preservation - with some people closing their minds to preservation based on inaccurate information, and others with unrealistic expectations about the impacts or benefits of preservation tools.  Below are a few common myths about historic preservation.

MYTH:  Listing or being eligible to be listed on the Historic Register prevents owners from making changes or limits their property rights.

Federal, state, or local governments do not assume any property rights in the residence as a result of listing. Being listed on the Register does not restrict the rights of private property owners in the use, development, or sale of private historic properties.  

MYTH:  A listed residence must be opened to the public.

Owners of private residences listed on the National Register have no obligation to open their properties to the public.

MYTH:  Owners of listed homes are required to make repairs and alterations. 

Private property owners are not required to maintain, repair, or restore properties listed on the National Register. They may make changes to their historic homes, but must also allow the State Historic Preservation Office an opportunity to review and comment. This is to ensure the appropriateness of the alteration. It is possible that inappropriate alterations could cause a historic residence to be removed from the National Register, an an owner risks losing property tax benefits previously claimed.

MYTH:  Owners of a listed residence are entitled to funding.

Unfortunately, it is not true that there are large sums of money available to assist owners and local agencies in rehabilitating residential properties that are listed on the National Register. Owners of sites located in the National Historic District may be able to take advantage of a Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit that provides a 15% - 20% tax offset as well as a 15% state tax credit for the cost of rehabilitation. For more information regarding historic tax credits, please contact the State Historic Preservation Office.

MYTH:  Living in a national historic district will reduce my property value.

Study after study have conclusively demonstrated that historic designation and the creation of historic districts actually increase property values. Why? In part, historic designation gives a neighborhood or an individual historic site a cache that sets it apart from ordinary properties. Many buyer seek out the unique qualities and ambiance of a historic property.

MYTH:  Preservation is only for the rich and elite, and for high-style buildings.

Historic preservation isn't just for about "house museums" anymore. Preservation today also focuses not just on grandiose architectural landmarks, but on more modest sites of social and cultural significance. Just look at J.J. Jones High School, serving for decades as the only school designated for the county's Black students. Or consider the N.C. Granite Quarry - Mount Airy boasts the world's largest open-face granite quarry -  whose granite has been mined by local journeymen and stonecutters for over 135 years. Preservation is about more than beautiful buildings. Preservation can be about the "power of place" found at sites containing rich social and cultural meaning.  

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