Preservation Chapel Hill

Colonial Inn



The Colonial Inn was constructed in 1838 to serve travelers to Hillsborough, the county seat, who needed to stay multiple days. It changed hands many times over the years, but remained open to the public throughout its long history.



Architectural Significance


The Colonial Inn is a nine-bay, two-story building featuring a two-story piazza and elaborate sawn woodwork. The Inn underwent a number of renovations and additions over its history, but the most significant is the 1880s renovations by Jule Gilmer Korner. The Colonial Inn is one of the few remaining buildings of Korner's design, especially rare outside of his hometown of Kernersville.






The Colonial Inn was purchased at auction by Francis Henry



The State Historic Preservation Office granted a designation of Statewide Significance



The Town of Hillsborough began a series of enforcement actions against the owner for violations of demolition by neglect ordinances, building safety violations, and zoning violations


June 2014

The owner submitted a Certificate of Appropriateness application to the Hillsborough Historic District Commission to demolish the building


August 2014

The Hillsborough Historic District Commission reviewed and denied the owner's Certificate of Appropriateness application for demolition according to the Hillsborough Historic District Guidelines and the designation of Statewide Significance


October 2015

The Hillsborough Town Board of Commissioners voted to begin eminent domain proceedings to take ownership of the Colonial Inn due to public safety concerns





State Historic Preservation Office information about Statewide Significance


Colonial Inn Application for a Designation of Statewide Significance


Certificate of Appropriateness Application for Demolition and Justification Statement


Hillsborough Historic District Commission information and meeting schedule


Hillsborough Historic District Design Guidelines (demolition on pages 64-65)