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Historic Preservation in the United States of America

In the United States, an historic district is a group of buildings, properties, or sites that have been designated by one of several entities on different levels as historically or architecturally significant. Buildings, structures, objects and sites within a historic district are normally divided into two categories, contributing and non-contributing. Districts greatly vary in size: some have hundreds of structures, while others have just a few.


The U.S. federal government designates historic districts through the United States Department of Interior under the auspices of the National Park Service in collaboration with State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO). Federally designated historic districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Listing usually imposes no restrictions on what property owners may do with a designated property. Contributing properties may apply for historic tax credits for approved renovations.

Historic Preservation in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A local historic district is a type of zoning applied by the City Council or the Board of County Commissioners to an area of special significance in terms of its history, prehistory, architecture, and/or culture that possesses integrity of design, setting, materials, feeling, and association (as per NCGS 160A-400.3).


Chapel Hill has four National Register districts, three local historical districts, and nine individual properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, two of which are “National Historic Landmarks”.

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610 East Rosemary Street

Chapel Hill, NC, 27514


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