National Register Adds Nine North Carolina Historic Places

The Morehead Hill Historic District in Durham
Raleigh

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The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources officially recognizes more North Carolina history with additions to the National Register of Historic Places. They include one boundary expansion, one additional documentation and seven individual properties across the state.

“With these new additions, the number of North Carolina’s listings in the National Register of Historic Places has surpassed 3,000,” said Secretary Susi Hamilton, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. "The National Register is a vital tool for preserving our state’s historic resources. These figures reaffirm North Carolina’s national leadership in the historic preservation movement.”

A National Register listing places no obligation or restriction on the private owner using private funds to maintain or alter the property. Over the years, various federal and state incentives have been introduced to assist private preservation initiatives, including tax credits for the rehabilitation of National Register properties. As of Jan. 1, 2017, over 3,573 rehabilitation projects with an estimated private investment of over $2.398 billion have been completed.

The following properties were reviewed by the N.C. National Register Advisory Committee and were approved by the N.C. State Historic Preservation Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register.

In Central North Carolina

Arthur C. and Mary S. A. Nash House, Chapel Hill, Orange County, listed 10/26/2017

The Arthur C. and Mary S. A. Nash House is significant for its association with prominent architect Arthur Cleveland Nash. Nash came to Chapel Hill in 1922 to serve as the university architect during a major expansion period for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While he was an advocate for the Colonial Revival style in Chapel Hill, he also excelled in other late 19th century and early 20th century styles and his commissions include a variety of residential, commercial and university building types. As his personal residence in Chapel Hill, built according to his design, the Arthur C. and Mary S. A. Nash House is the property most closely associated with the contributions of prolific architect Arthur C. Nash during the most productive and significant period of his career. The Nash House is also a contributing building within the 1971 Chapel Hill National Register Historic District.

Depot Historic District Boundary Increase, Raleigh, Wake County, listed 09/18/2017

The Depot Historic District Boundary Increase adds three properties to the existing historic district which was listed in 2002. The ca. 1914 Swift and Company Warehouse, the ca.1914 Swift and Company Warehouse No. 2, and the ca. 1918 Caveness Produce Company Warehouse date to the district’s period of significance and contribute under the nominated criteria and areas of significance—Criterion A for industry and commerce and Criterion C for architecture. All three are wholesale distribution warehouses built for national companies in close proximity to the railroads that allowed for the movement of freight. Architecturally, the three buildings are small-scale, masonry industrial buildings with largely unadorned exteriors and open, utilitarian interiors, similar to the other contributing resources in the district.

Granite Mill, Haw River, Alamance County, listed 9/18/2017

Granite Mill, situated on approximately 31 acres north of East Main Street on the Haw River’s east side, began operating in 1844. By the 1880s, the textile mill was one of the top manufacturers of cotton yarn in the state. It played a significant role in corduroy production from the early to mid-20th century. The complex gradually increased in size and capacity, with new manufacturing and storage buildings erected between 1844 and 1990. During its 153 years of textile operations, the mill made enormous contributions to the local economy. Retaining a high degree of architectural integrity, Granite Mill is also a significant local representation of late 19th- to mid-20th century industrial design.

Highland Park Mill No. 1, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, listed 9/18/2017

Highland Park Mill No. 1, originally known as Highland Park Gingham Mill, possesses industrial significance as a major textile mill in Charlotte. At the time of its initial construction in 1891, the mill was Charlotte’s fifth cotton mill. By 1907 the concern had grown to become the nation’s third-largest gingham producer and included two other plants—Highland Park Mill No. 2 in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Highland Park Mill No. 3 in north Charlotte. The industrial complex encompasses a series of interconnected, one- and two-story, flat-roofed, rectangular buildings erected from 1891 through 1992, including an 1891 weaving mill, an 1895 spinning mill, and a 1912 addition that links the weaving and spinning mills. 

Morehead Hill Historic District Additional Documentation, Durham, Durham County, listed 7/13/2017

Morehead Hill Historic District, originally listed in 1985 and expanded in 2004, encompasses the larger, more stylish homes as well as the working-class homes of one of Durham’s first suburbs. The Franklin and Brame houses, both constructed ca. 1901, are one-story, triple-A-roofed frame cottages that were separated from the rest of the Morehead Hill neighborhood by construction of the Durham Freeway in the 1960s and consequently were not included in the original nomination. In March and April of 2016, both houses were moved from their original location on Yancey Street to lots on Vickers Street within the historic district. Both the Brame and Franklin dwellings are typical of the houses built for employees of the tobacco factories by independent developers that characterized much of the northern end of the neighborhood and now contribute to the Morehead Hill Historic District.

R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Buildings 2-1 and 2-2, Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, listed 10/26/2017

R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Buildings 2-1 and 2-2 meet Criterion A for local industrial significance. Due to spatial constraints at the company’s downtown Winston-Salem location, the expansive three-story-on-basement Buildings 2-1 (1937) and 2-2 (ca. 1955) were erected at RJR’s satellite facility known as “Tiretown,” three miles north of the city’s center. Building 2-1 housed two essential elements of the tobacco manufacturing process: stemming and redrying, both necessary to reduce leaves to strips that could be incorporated into tobacco products. Building 2-1 supplied ample space for improved stemming machines and vacuum chambers introduced during the late 1930s. Building 2-2’s completion provided more square footage for the redrying process and allowed for the installation of more advanced equipment, thus increasing efficiency. Buildings 2-1 and 2-2 appear to be the city’s only extant R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company structures constructed primarily for these purposes.

In Western North Carolina

Banner Elk School, Banner Elk, Avery County, listed 9/18/2017

Designed by architect D.R. Beeson and constructed 1939-1940, the Banner Elk School is locally significant as the only building in the community that represents the early 20th-century effort in Avery County to consolidate and improve the public schools with assistance from federal New Deal programs. It is also significant as an excellent and intact example of a WPA-funded school building displaying elements of the Colonial Revival style of architecture.  

J. M. Bernhardt Planing Mill and Box Factory – Steele Cotton Mill, Lenoir, Caldwell County, listed 9/18/2017

First constructed in 1896 and substantially enlarged 1903, the J.M. Bernhardt Planing Mill and Box Factory – Steele Cotton Mill is locally significant in the industrial history of Lenoir. By 1900, the J. M. Bernhardt Planing Mill and Box Factory was the largest manufacturing enterprise in the rapidly growing city. In the late 1910s, the property was sold and the building converted to the Steele Cotton Mill after another expansion phase. After its 1946 purchase by the Hayes Cotton Mill, the company embarked on another phase of additions. The building is also locally significant as an excellent and intact example of typical early to mid-20th century industrial design, featuring load-bearing brick walls with segmental-arched window and door openings as well as heavy timber framing on the interior.

Lenoir Cotton Mill – Blue Bell, Inc. Plant, Lenoir, Caldwell County, listed 9/18/2017

The Lenoir Cotton Mil – Blue Bell, Inc. Plant is locally significant in the industrial and architectural history of Lenoir. Built in 1902 and doubled in size in 1903, the factory displays typical characteristics of early twentieth-century industrial architecture, including load-bearing brick walls, segmental-arched window and door openings, and heavy timber framing on the interior. Particularly notable is the three-stage brick tower on the building’s façade. The Lenoir Cotton Mill remained the largest of Caldwell County’s seven textile mills through the early 1920s and employed approximately 200 employees through 1935, when it closed.  In the mid-20th century, Greensboro-headquartered Blue Bell Inc. leased and enlarged the building for an expansion of its retail and military apparel production.

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About the National Register of Historic Places  
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation'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 established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 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 to encourage historic preservation initiatives by state and local governments and the private sector. The Act authorized the establishment of a State Historic Preservation Office in each state and territory to help administer federal historic preservation programs.

In North Carolina, the State Historic Preservation Office is an agency of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Kevin Cherry, the Department's Deputy Secretary of Archives, History, and Parks, is North Carolina's State Historic Preservation Officer. The North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee, a board of professionals and citizens with expertise in history, architectural history, and archaeology, meets three times a year to advise Dr. Cherry on the eligibility of properties for the National Register and the adequacy of nominations.

The National Register nominations for the recently listed properties may be read in their entirety by clicking on the National Register page of the State Historic Preservation Office website. For more information on the National Register, including the criteria for listing, see this page.

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