Historic Preservation 

  1. Local Historic District Expansion
  2. Historic Landmark Designation
  3. Historic Preservation FAQs

Recent Updates 9/20/19

Preservation Consultant Mary Ruffin Hanbury of Hanbury Preservation Consulting drafted a local historic district designation report for a portion of the existing National Register District in on North Main Street. The draft report is currently under review by the State Historic Preservation Office. Once comments are received, the local historic district expansion will follow the map amendment process, as described in Section 14 of the Davidson Planning Ordinance. The draft designation report and map are below:


The Town of Davidson continues to explore the expansion of its local historic district, with a goal of preserving and protecting more historically significant structures. The current local historic district includes the two to three blocks that comprise downtown. While a large portion of "old" Davidson is located within a National Register District, it is the smaller local historic district which contains the legal provisions to protect historic properties and guide historically sensitive repairs and construction within its boundaries. A local historic district is a zoning overlay that is an amendment to the planning ordinance and must be approved by the Davidson Board of Commissioners. 

The town hired historic district expert, Mary Ruffin Hanbury of Hanbury Preservation Consulting, to determine which neighborhoods are appropriate for local historic district designation. Following public input sessions and a windshield survey that took place this summer, the consultant provided a draft local historic district designation report. The report will require review and comment by the State Historic Preservation Office. 

Once accepted by the Davidson Historic Preservation Commission, the Board of Commissioners will begin the map amendment process for the properties the consultant recommends to be incorporated into the local historic district. This process will include additional public input, a recommendation from the Historic Preservation Commission and the Planning Board, a public hearing, and final approval by the Board of Commissioners. 

Benefits of Local Historic District Designation


Local historic districts protect the investments of owners and residents of historic properties. Insensitive or poorly planned development can make an area less attractive to investors and homebuyers, and thus undermine property values. In contrast, in a local historic district, historic district design guidelines and review by the Historic Preservation Commission of substantial changes to a property encourages people to buy and rehabilitate properties because they know their investment is protected over time. The Historic Preservation Commission also has the authority to delay demolition of a structure for up to one year, giving the town, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Landmarks Commission, or another entity the ability to purchase and protect the property.

Properties within local historic districts appreciate at rates greater than the local market overall as well as faster than similar, non-designated neighborhoods. Findings on this point are consistent across the country. Moreover, recent analysis shows that historic districts are also less vulnerable to market volatility from interest rate fluctuations and economic downturns.


Please contact Planner Lindsay Laird at llaird@townofdavidson.org with any questions.

Preservation Resources

Davidson Historic District Guidelines 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office

Preservation North Carolina

For a map of our National Register Historic District and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit http://www.townofdavidson.org/HPFAQs