City to conduct architectural survey

Published 7:30 pm Thursday, September 25, 2014

Washington will use an $11,000 grant from this Historic Preservation Fund — along with $4,000 of city money — to conduct an architectural survey of the city’s historic districts (residential and commercial).

The City Council appropriated the $4,000 in city money for the project during its meeting Monday.

The study area consists of approximately 600 structures and has not been surveyed since 1997. The city was awarded a Historic Preservation Fund grant (2008-2009) to conduct a non-historic, city-wide structure inventory and to complete the first phase of Beaufort County’s architectural survey.

The grant contract ends Sept. 4, 2015, with no option to extend. Project contracts with consultants the city may hire must end by Aug. 21, 2015, according to grant details.

The comprehensive architectural survey for Beaufort County is in progress, with the architectural survey of the county’s seven municipalities partially completed. Neighboring Martin, Hyde, Pitt and Craven counties have published their surveys. Of the state’s 100 counties, 71 have completed their architectural surveys, according to the State Historic Preservation Office.

“The bedrock of preservation planning and actions, a thorough local survey forms the basis for many preservation decisions. Survey reports, files, and maps are maintained as a permanent record with many long-term benefits: they permit evaluation of properties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places; facilitate decision-making about the potential impact of government funded or licensed projects on historic properties; benefit protection of local districts and properties by local preservation commissions; and boost private investment in renovation and preservation of historic buildings for new uses,” reads the State Historic Preservation Office’s website. “Over the years, architectural surveys in town after town and county after county have provided the first step toward preservation success stories–directing new attention to familiar sights and encouraging citizens to rescue long neglected houses, rejuvenate traditional neighborhoods, and focus new investment in the economy and quality of life in historic town centers.”

About six years ago, a $75,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office paid for the inventory of historic properties in Beaufort, Bertie, Northampton and Halifax counties. The purpose of the grant is to document historic properties in an effort to help those counties fully capitalize on cultural and heritage tourism as they try to diversify their economies.
About that time, Washington sought a $26,000 grant for a similar inventory. That money would have come from the federal Historic Preservation Fund, passing through the State Historic Preservation Office, according to city officials. The city’s share of the cost of that inventory would have been $9,000 in cash and $2,000 in in-kind support. By piggybacking the Historic Preservation Fund grant with the Golden LEAF Foundation grant, the city hoped get more bang for its buck when it comes to an inventory of historic properties, according to city officials then.






About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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