Historic Preservation 

Historic Preservation Map Legend
  1. Local Historic District Designation
  2. Historic Landmark Designation

Recent Updates - Winter/Spring 2020


The town hosted an informational open house on January 22, 2020 to answer questions and solicit feedback from property owners within the proposed local historic district expansion area. The proposed district expansion is following the map amendment process as described in Section 14.19 of the Davidson Planning Ordinance. This process will include a public hearing, recommendation by the Planning Board, and final approval by the Board of Commissioners. A public hearing was held at the February 25, 2020 Board of Commissioner regular meeting. 

A tentative timeline for local historic district expansion is listed below. Additionally, links to the designation report, map, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are below:


  • November 2018: Town holds informational open house for property owners in the National Register District
  • Spring 2019: Town hires historic preservation consultant
  • Spring & Summer 2019: Survey fieldwork
  • September 2019: Draft designation report completed by the consultant for North Main Street extension
  • October 2019: Draft designation report reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office
  • November 2019: Draft designation report accepted by the Davidson Historic Preservation Commission
  • January 22, 2020: Informational open house held for property owners located within the proposed district expansion area; 1/22/20 in the Board Room at Davidson Town Hall from 5:30-7:00 P.M. 
  • February 24, 2020: Planning Board update
  • February 25, 2020: Board of Commissioner public hearing
  • March 30, 2020: Planning Board recommendation
  • April 28, 2020 (Tentative): Possible decision by the Board of Commissioners


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 and parts of the historic college campus. 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. 

What is a Local Historic District? 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. Local Historic Districts are created to protect and conserve the heritage and character of the Town of Davidson. Owners of property in the local historic district are required to receive approval for many exterior changes in the form of a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA). Applications for COA's are reviewed by the Davidson Historic Preservation Commission for compliance with the Davidson Historic District Design Guidelines 

Last year, 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 for a portion of the existing National Register District on North Main Street, known as the North Main Street Extension of the Davidson Local Historic District. The draft report was reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office in October 2019. The Davidson Historic Preservation Commission voted to accept the designation report for the North Main Street Extension of the Davidson Local Historic District at their November 2019 regular meeting. In order for the district expansion to be adopted, it must follow the map amendment (i.e. rezoning) process. This process will include additional public input, a recommendation from 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 generally 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