Salisbury is known for its rich heritage of Piedmont architecture dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Domestic and commercial buildings from a variety of stylistic periods contribute to the distinctive character of the downtown and adjoining neighborhoods.
The city has taken a progressive approach to preserving historic resources, establishing itself at the forefront of preservation in North Carolina with the designation of its first historic district in 1975. Soon after, the City Council adopted a local historic overlay and established the Salisbury Historic Preservation Commission to oversee design review. In 1980, Salisbury was among the first five communities in North Carolina to begin participating in the National Trust Main Street Program. In 1994, Salisbury was designated a Certified Local Government with the State of North Carolina Historic Preservation Office.
Today the city’s historic inventory includes ten districts as well as seventeen individual buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Five of these districts, including the downtown, are also locally-designated with design review for alterations or major changes. This stewardship of the downtown and historic neighborhoods, in conjunction with federal and state tax incentives with substantial private investment, has resulted in an award-winning downtown and urban core that is revitalized, vibrant and authentic.
Meetings are held the 2nd Thursday of each month at 5:15 p.m. in City Council Chambers.
Open for Business
The City of Salisbury has established a local grant program to help stimulate private investment in historic neighborhoods surrounding the downtown. As funds are available, grants are awarded on a competitive basis to assist property owners with exterior maintenance of historic structures. Eligible applicants include owners of homes or neighborhood-based commercial or retail shops who also occupy the structure as their primary residence or place of business.
Residential historic districts include: Brooklyn-South Square, Ellis Street Graded School, North Main Street and West Square.
Exterior painting, a new roof, or repair of original wood windows and details are just a few examples of typical projects that are eligible for a grant. A Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission is a pre-requisite to receiving a grant.
Certificate of Appropriateness Application
Historic Preservation Incentive Grant Packet
HPC Design Guidelines
For more information, please contact the Staff Liaison listed on this page.
Special Requirements: All members must reside within the City of Salisbury, and efforts are made to have at least one representative from each of the four residential districts. All members must have demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge in historic preservation. Good faith efforts must be made to appoint professionals from the disciplines of architecture, history, architectural history, planning, archaeology, or other related disciplines to the extent that such professionals are available in the community and willing to serve.