Garfield / Green Street Area - Potential City of Statesville Historic District

On Tuesday evening (September 12, 2023), Statesville City Manager Ron Smith led a Town Hall meeting aimed at updating residents on the potential historic district in the Garfield/Green Street area. During this meeting, a presentation was conducted delivering insights into the status of grants and available funding opportunities. Marci Sigmon, the City's Historic Planner, and Matthew Pierce, Assistant to the City Manager, also played pivotal roles in contributing to the presentation.  Mayor Costi Kutteh, Councilwoman Doris Allison, and Councilman Frederick Foster were in attendance and provided support as well.

Efforts to Date for National Registry Listing

Approximate / Potenial Boundary for Garfield Street - Green Street Historic District

Aerial Photography of Garfield Street - Green Street Area

Grant Status

  • Receive Grant Award – October 2023 (City Council Action)
  • Request for Proposals to Conduct Architectural & Cultural Study of Garfield/Green Street Area - Fall 2023
  • Select Consultant to Conduct Architectural & Cultural Study of Garfield/Green Street Area - Fall 2023

Funding Opportunities

  • African American Civil Rights (AACR)
  • History of Equal Rights (HER)
  • African American Burial Ground Preservation
  • Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE)

NC State Historic Preservation Office Recognizes Two Types of Historic Districts

  • National Historic Districts
  • Local Historic Districts

Statesville Currently Has:

Four (4) Local Historic Districts

  • Academy Hill Local Historic District
  • Davie Avenue\East Broad Street Local Historic District
  • Mitchell College Local Historic District
  • South Race Street Local Historic District

Two (2) National Historic Districts

  • Downtown Statesville Commercial Historic District
  • Mitchell College District Boundary Expansion

Statesville Historic Districts

Four (4) Local Historic Districts (Regulated by Statesville’s Historic Preservation Standards)

  • Academy Hill Local Historic District
  • Davie Avenue\East Broad Street Local Historic District
  • Mitchell College Local Historic District
  • South Race Street Local Historic District

Two (2)National Historic Districts

  • Downtown Statesville Commercial Historic District (Regulated by Statesville’s Downtown Design Guidelines)
  • Mitchell College District Boundary Expansion (Not Regulated By Any Authority, Standards, or Guidelines)

What's the Difference?

National Register of Historic PlacesLocal Designations
  • Federal Program (National Park Service Lists)
  • Not Registered/No Restrictions
  • Considered in Federal Undertakings
  • Potentially Eligible for Tax Credits
  • Local Program (Local Government Designates)
  • Regulated (COA's Required)
  • Not Considered in Federal Undertakings (Unless Also A National Registry)
  • Not Eligible for Tax Credits (Unless Also A National Registry)

Example of Local Historic District

South Race Street Local Historic District

South Race Street Local Historic District

  • Became Local Historic District During 1995
  • Regulated by Statesville Historic Preservation Design Standards
  • Architectural Survey Performed to Gain Historic District Status
    • Local Historic District and National Historic District

Submitted Questions

A community in a "$40 billion city"...

A: The City has a tax base of $4B, not $40B.

How can Black members of the community be part of city planning for conservation in the city, especially in professional roles that are planning preservation involving local descendants  - and not solely dictated to minimal services?... cleaning headstones without a preservation plan or overseer expertise and beyond boundaries of employee descriptions.

A: Pending Council approval, the development of the overall plan for a district should probably include a group that can provide input, advice, assistance, etc. to ensure the project is done equitably and accurately.

How can collaboration include checks and balances in place to avoid unnecessary individual bias? ...cultural appropriation such as what was evident with those on site making unplanned decisions at the burial ground this year.

A: The last project was done by the County, and the City acted in a support role. However, the staff involved at the County level did everything in good faith, and without them the project may not have happened.

How can city agenda practices be better shared with community members, so that community issues are addressed in a timely manner - beyond public comment?

A: The City tries to distribute information on its website and through social media to inform the public, including all community members, about happenings in the City and in neighborhoods. To this topic, grant updates have been given on multiple occasions at City Council meetings, where it appears members of the community have been advised to attend. There are many times, when asked, there is no news to share. However, as we move through the grant process staff can put out periodic updates through an email list.

How can appropriate funding and awards for conservation planning be transparent and approved via consideration with public input? ... brochure published to share plans decided on.

A: A committee is probably the best route for this. For instance, we are moving forward with a committee request for the RAISE Grant and Brownfields Grant at the next Council meeting. These are not official capacity commissions such as the Planning Board or Historic Preservation Commission but will help guide the process. All grants are approved by the City Council.

How can issues that go unaddressed for a prolonged period be investigated and/or responded to with resolutions? ... missing documentation on ground markings of possible buried headstones.

A: This could potentially be a project in the future but is generally not within the City’s purview.

How can community members that may not share a popular point of view or differ in an opinion be respected for participating at council? ...Treated like we are on the same team and not like we don't belong in the building.

A: The public comment process is set to hear concerns, issues, and praises. The Council has the policy of not responding to these comments at the meeting based on time, the ability to research, and meeting constraints. However, issues that warrant a response are generally dealt with by the staff, Mayor, or Council and then forwarded to the person that commented. Many times, we take the comments and move on them without further notice to the public.

How can a perceived unethical action be investigated (.i.e., spending public funds without approved authority)? ... Change a project objective but not seek additional funding for a different objective.

A: Again, the cemetery project was the County’s not the City’s. Any breach of the grant would have to be taken up with the granting authority.

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