Preservation Chapel Hill
2014 Endangered Places List
One of our primary advocacy efforts each year is to publish a list of Chapel Hill's endangered places to raise awareness about the threats that face some of our most important historic treasures. The list identifies the focus of our preservation initiatives for the immediate future and helps us to form effective partnerships to find creative solutions and save these properties.
Old Town Hall
Threat: Uncertain future due to sale
Solution: Preservation Easement
Location: 100 West Rosemary Street
Built c.1938, the Old Town Hall is one of Chapel Hill's few individually-listed National Register properties. The building faces an uncertain future as Chapel Hill's Town Council debates the sale of this property. The building has no protective covenants to protect it from demolition or renovations that remove historic fabric, and with a prime location at the corner of North Columbia Street and West Rosemary Street, it isn't unrealistic to anticipate demolition if sold without a preservation easement.
Groves' Stone Cottage
Location: 704 Gimghoul Road
The Stone Cottage is one of two cottages located in the rear of the house at 704 Gimghoul. Slated for demolition in 2015, the Stone Cottage was built c.1935 as the office/library for Ernest & Gladys Groves, pioneers in marriage counseling nationwide. They converted the cottage to a student rental, which Andy Griffith called home for part of his time at UNC. The owners of the property are unable to use the cottage, but are interested in having it moved to a new location.
Episcopal Church Cottage
Location: 408 North Street
Between 1910 and 1920, the Episcopal Church dismantled is mid-1800s rectory on Rosemary Street and used the materials to construct three rental cottages on North Street. One of these cottages, 408 North Street, is scheduled for demolition in December 2014. The owner is interested in having the cottage relocated to another property. The cottage is structurally sound and will cost about $30,000 to move. At around 600 square feet, the cottage would make a great home office or guest cottage.
Rehabilitation Tax Credits
Location: Federal and State Levels
Although not a place themselves, the Rehabilitation Tax Credit program is a critical incentive program encouraging protections of historic structures and using preservation an an economic driver. The NC Rehabilitation Tax Credits - some of the highest in the nation - are scheduled to sunset at the end of 2014, and the chance of renewal is quite uncertain. At the same time, Congress is considering repealing the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit as well. Both programs have been proven to reach both goals - protection of historic buildings and ecomonic drivers - and should be maintained for the future.
St. Paul AME Church
Solution: Preservation Easement
Location: 101 South Merritt Mill Road
Added to the Endangered Places List in 2013, St. Paul AME Church is for sale and faces an uncertain future. With no preservation easement on the property to protect the building from demolition or inappropriate renovation, the congregation will decide the building's fate once it is sold - if the buyer plans to demolish the church, the congregation will move the building to its new location north of town, known as the future St. Paul Village. The church has been a landmark of the community and a symbol of hope and freedom for 150 years, and its relocatioin would be a great loss.
Solution: Protection of St. Paul Church
Location: 1216 Purefoy Drive
Added to the Endangered Places List in 2012, the fate of the Hogan-Rogers House is tied to that of St. Paul AME Church. The house is located on the site of the future St. Paul Village, almost exactly where the new church sanctuary will be built. If a preservation-minded buyer purchases the church building, the house will be relocated to the rear of its current site and rehabilitated for use by the congregation. The house was built c.1835-1840 by the Hogan family, middle class planters who owned 24 slaves. Around the turn of the century, Sam Rogers, an African American farmer, purchased the property. He lost the farm in the 1930s, when it was foreclosed. The interior remains remarkably original, an excellent example of antebellum farms within Chapel Hill town limits.
Threat: Demolition by Neglect
Location: MLK Jr Boulevard
Added to the Endangered Places List in 2012, the Altemueller House was built sometime before 1879 and is the last remaining example of a small family farmstead remaining from a time when Chapel Hill was a village surrounded by these farms. The fate of the house is tied to that of the Charterwood Development, which includes plans for its adaptive reuse as a business. Several business owners are interested in the building, but are concerned about a lack of parking. While the project is held up by civil action and redesign, the house is left unoccupied and unprotected.