Brick walkways, patio installation approved at historic McCanless House

Published 12:02 am Friday, April 15, 2022

SALISBURY — The Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday signed off on the installation of brick walkways and a patio at the Napolean Bonaparte McCanless house as part of the home’s gradual transformation to a wedding and events venue.

The home, located at 619 South Main St., was purchased last year by Charlotte-based real estate developer Sandra Toscano, who has plans with her fiancé, C.P. Edgar, to convert the space. The couple also plan to designate a portion of the third floor as their retirement residence as well.

The house was built in the 1890s by a prominent Rowan County resident named after one of France’s most historical figures and has been owned by multiple entities over the years. In 2019, the Historic Salisbury Foundation purchased it from Livingstone College, which purchased it from a private owner in 2011 with plans for a hospitality space that never came to fruition.

The certificate of appropriateness request on Thursday was for the installation of a brick walkway leading up to the front of the building, as well as a semi-circle-shaped and circular-shaped brick-paved area behind the home for future patio space. Eventually, the kitchen, which is not connected to the main house, will be turned into a tavern.

The commission also approved a request to install lights consistent with those found along the adjacent Military Avenue. The two light poles on the property will be smaller in scale to accommodate foot traffic instead of vehicular traffic.

The applicant said there will be more certificate of appropriateness requests that come before the commission in the future. Commission Chair Andrew Walker called it a “marvelous project.”

Also at the meeting:

• The commission approved the installation of six LED lights on top of the entry canopy of Backcountry & Beyond, located at 322 South Main St. The light fixtures will not be visible from the public right-of-way. However, the commission tabled a staff recommendation for owner Jeff Moose to remove the existing window tint on the front center windows of the store in order to further investigate past applications on the surrounding windows, which are all tinted. Moose explained that the windows were tinted when he opened his business and he installed removable sun protection lamination in the center windows to match the surrounding tint.

• The commission approved the installation of a chain link fence and artwork at The Pedal Factory, a nonprofit bicycle repair shop located at 311 East Council Street. While the commission doesn’t usually allow chain link fences, they can do so under mitigating circumstances. In this case, the area is industrial and the fence won’t be visible to the public. The applicant, owner Mary Rosser, said it will be around the open space area behind the building and is being erected for safety purposes. The foliage between the rear of the property and the adjacent parking lot allow for more vagrancy, and the space is used by children for camps and bike test drives. It will measure six feet high and include vinyl pieces to make it more attractive. The artwork will be installed on the rear wall facing inside.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at or call her at 704-797-4246.

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