Newton seeking spot on National Register

Newton's downtown district may get a historic revitalization boost by late March.

The N.C. National Register Advisory Committee will soon review a nomination that the city's downtown district be added to the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places.

The proposed downtown historic district is bound by 2nd Street, North Forney Avenue, "A" Street and North Ashe Avenue.

"The establishment of a downtown historic district is an important part of the city's efforts to grow downtown into a more vibrant center of our community," said Newton Mayor Anne Stedman. "I encourage all downtown property owners to become informed of the investment tax benefits associated with a National Register listing."

The owner of a privately owned building that is listed in the National Register may be eligible for a 20 percent federal income investment tax credit claimed against the costs of a qualifying rehabilitation of the building, according to information from the city of Newton.

N.C. tax law also provides an additional 20 percent credit for such projects.

Plans for rehabilitation projects must be reviewed by the N.C. Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service, and building work must meet federal rehabilitation standards.

Preservation officials will provide more information about the proposed historic district during a meeting Monday at Newton City Hall. A map of the proposed district will be available. Officials will also answer property owners' questions and provide a brief history of Newton's downtown commercial district and architecture.

If a property owner within the proposed historic district objects to the listing of their property on the National Register, a written objection must be submitted to Jeffery Crow, State Historic Preservation Office, 4610 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4610.

Newton officials say they expect the N.C. National Register Advisory Committee to approve the nomination during a review Feb. 9 in Raleigh and forward the request to the park service for final approval. Park service approval usually takes 15-45 days, and Newton officials expect the city's downtown to be on the National Register by the end of March.

More details
Preservation officials will provide more information about Newton's National Register nomination at a public information meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday at city hall.