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Help us save Rowan treasures

By Karen Lilly-Bowyer

Historic Landmark Commission

The Rowan County Historic Landmark Commission was very pleased when the Rowan County Commissioners voted to add Neely School to the list of designated Rowan County Historic Landmarks.

The current RCHL commission is actively pursuing important county properties to add to the landmark list. Rowan County has twenty-two properties that have been designated as historically significant by the National Register of Historic Places, a part of the National Park Service. Based on the North Carolina historical survey of Rowan County and the previous RCHL commission’s work that updated the state’s survey, there are numerous important properties that have not been designated as historic landmarks either nationally or locally.

For a property to be considered for local designation, a property owner must complete and submit an application to the RCHL commission. The application and information about the process can be found on the Rowan County Government web site, https://www.rowancountync.gov/1305/Historic-Landmarks-Commission-HLC, or by calling the Rowan County Planning office. Only properties that are in the county and are located outside a municipality can be designated as landmarks by the RCHLC. Properties inside the Salisbury city limits are under the jurisdiction of the Salisbury Historic Preservation Commission.

When considering a property for designation, the local commission uses the assessment tool that is used by the National Register of Historic Places. A property may be designated under one of the following criteria:

• Its association with a historical event

• Its association with the life of a historically significant person (the person can be of local significance)

• Its architectural style or its type of construction or engineering

• Its archaeological potential

If a property is currently listed on the national register, the property owner can apply for local designation by contacting the commission and supplying a copy of the national register nomination.

The Rowan County Historic Landmark Commission would like to encourage interested property owners who believe their property is significant to persue local designation and help Rowan County recognize and preserve the county’s historic treasures.

Lilly-Bowyer is chairman of the Rowan County Historic Landmark Commission.

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