All owners of historic buildings in North Carolina, including private individuals and organizations as well as governmental agencies, may request technical advice from the Restoration Branch of the State Historic Preservation Office (HPO). Technical consultation incurs no cost or obligation. A building does not need to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or have any other special historic designation to be eligible for this service. Consultations are offered on a time-available basis and may include telephone consultations, mailings of technical articles and sample specifications, on-site building inspections and evaluations, and referrals to specialty architects, contractors, and consultants. Staff cannot prepare in-depth plans and specifications for restoration projects but can provide printed technical information materials for the cost of reproduction and recommend additional books and periodicals that are available for purchase from other sources.

CONTACT: Restoration Branch. Field offices are located in Asheville (828-296-7230) for the mountain region and Greenville (252-830-6580) for the northeastern region.


A. FEDERAL GRANTS (Private, private nonprofit, and public owners of National Register properties)

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 authorizes a grant program for properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, including privately owned properties, but federal grant funds have generally not been available for restoration projects since 1980. Federal law requires that 10% of the state's apportionment from the federal Historic Preservation Fund be made available on a matching basis to local governments that are designated Certified Local Governments by the National Park Service. This has amounted to about $65,000 annually for CLG projects in the state in recent years. Until the recent past, the HPO was able to offer additional grants out of the state's Historic Preservation Fund apportionment for projects within jurisdictions that were not Certified Local Governments, though these projects were limited to non-construction activities such as comprehensive county surveys and nominations of properties to the National Register of Historic Places. Grants to localities that are not CLGs are not currently available.

Additional federal funds are sometimes earmarked by Congress for special categories of projects such as lighthouses and Native American properties.

CONTACT: Grants Administrator, 919-814-6582

B. STATE GRANTS (Private nonprofit and public owners of historic properties)

Until about 1997, the North Carolina General Assembly sometimes provided funds for preservation projects undertaken by local governments and nonprofit groups through one-time discretionary appropriations. No such appropriations have been made in recent years. State appropriations have never been made to privately owned historic properties.

CONTACT: Grants Administrator, 919-814-6582

C. PRIVATE FOUNDATION GRANTS (Private nonprofit and public owners of historic properties)

Some private foundations include historic preservation projects among the activities eligible for funding, and project sponsors may find it useful to make inquiries to local and regional foundations. Foundation directories may be found at public libraries. A good starting point for finding online information about foundations is the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. See also the Golden Leaf Foundation, which has supported some preservation-related projects.

D. FEDERAL AND STATE INVESTMENT TAX CREDITS (Private individuals and businesses)

The federal tax code provides an attractive 20% investment tax credit for the rehabilitation of privately-owned, income-producing historic buildings, including residential rental buildings, that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places or that are contributing historic buildings within National Register Historic Districts.

There is also a state investment tax credit for income-producing projects certified under the federal program, with credit amounts tiered on the basis of rehabilitation costs.

North Carolina also provides a 15% state tax credit for certified rehabilitations of non-income-producing historic buildings listed in the National Register or located within National Register districts, including private residences. The maximum credit allowed is $22,500. There is no equivalent federal credit for non-income-producing historic structures.

Both types of credits apply only to substantial rehabilitations (not minor fix-up projects) and the work for both types must meet federal rehabilitation standards. Owners who seek historic preservation investment tax credits are urged to contact the Restoration Branch before beginning any rehabilitation.

CONTACT: Preservation Tax Credit Coordinator, Restoration Branch, 919-814-6585


A. PRESERVATION NORTH CAROLINA: Preservation North Carolina (PNC) is a statewide nonprofit preservation membership organization. Membership in PNC supports a wide range of preservation advocacy, education, and restoration programs. Members receive a quarterly newsletter and periodic updates on historic preservation news and events in North Carolina.

Buying or selling historic property: Among its programs and activities, PNC operates a revolving fund to market historic properties for sale to new owners who are able and willing to preserve them. Several local revolving funds also work cooperatively with PNC. Protective covenants are appended to the deeds of properties revolved through PNC, and PNC retains the right of first refusal in future sales of the properties. PNC also accepts easement donations from owners who desire that their properties be preserved in perpetuity.

CONTACT: Preservation North Carolina, P.O. Box 27644, Raleigh, NC 27611, 919-832-3652, .

B. LOCAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSIONS: Over eighty of North Carolina's local governments have established historic preservation commissions to operate historic preservation programs at the local level. Local preservation commissions recommend historic districts or landmarks for designation by the local governing board and review alterations and additions to landmarks and properties within designated historic districts. Some commissions provide rehabilitation design assistance, operate local revolving funds, and offer other services and activities.

CONTACT: Your local preservation commission. Click here to view the state roster of local commissions. If you seek information about establishing or operating a commission in your community, contact the Preservation Commission Services Coordinator, 919-814-6575.

C. THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION: The National Trust is a national, private nonprofit preservation advocacy organization. The Trust publishes a monthly newspaper and bimonthly magazine, publishes a variety of books on historic preservation topics, owns and operates museum properties, and operates a program of incentive grants to local preservation organizations for non-construction activities.

D. NORTH CAROLINA MAIN STREET: North Carolina Main Street (NCMS) is a program administered under the NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center within the Rural Economic Development Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The Center works in regions, counties, cities, towns, downtown districts and in designated North Carolina Main Street communities, to inspire placemaking through asset-based economic development strategies that achieve measurable results such as investment, business growth and jobs. The North Carolina Main Street program is an outgrowth of a pilot project begun by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1977. North Carolina was among the six states that originally participated in 1980 and is now one of forty-six states with active programs. Since 1980, one hundred and eleven North Carolina towns and cities with populations under 50,000 have participated with locally staffed program directors, coordinators and volunteers. NCMS provides technical assistance to participating communities to encourage economic development within a historic preservation context.


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