Historic Preservation

Johnson Street Johnson Street is the City’s first local historic district, designated in 1987. It encompasses properties on both sides of Johnson Street from E. Parkway Av. to just south of E. Lexington Av. Begun around 1907, this section of Johnson Street is the best preserved part of the City’s first suburban subdivision. Early residents included many of High Point’s business and civic leaders of the time.
Sherrod Park Located along Woodrow Av. from N. Hamilton St. to Forrest St., the Sherrod Park local historic district was designated in 1991. Developer Archibald Sherrod platted the 66 lot subdivision in 1926. Along with extensive street plantings, much of which remains today, the development features homes with Tudor, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival influences, and eclectic mixtures of those architectural styles.
West High Av. This small group of 11 buildings and 1 garden in the 400-500 block of West High Av. (originally West High St.) and the 100 block of Oak St. was designated in 2007. The district contains the oldest documented building surviving in the downtown area, the 1879 Blair School at 106 Oak St., and two of the earliest and finest examples of Colonial Revival and Queen Anne architecture remaining in the City.

Certificate of Appropriateness

Owners of property within a local historic district are required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA), issued by the High Point Historic Preservation Commission, before making an architectural or environmental change to the exterior features (not interior) of their property.  Generally, this means the erection, construction, alteration, reconstruction, restoration, moving, removal or demolition of all or part of a building or other structure. This includes major replacement or redesign of landscaping and the removal of mature trees.  Fences, walls, decks, steps and exterior lighting also require a COA.  Some work, such as minor repairs or replacements with like materials, removal of dead or diseased trees, and roof re-shingling may be approved by Planning & Development Department staff through a Minor Work COA.  Property owners are encouraged to contact the staff at 336-883-3328 to determine if, and what type of COA is needed prior to scheduling or beginning any work that affects the exterior of their home or other feature(s) of their property. If a COA is needed, staff is available to assist applicants through the process of COA review and approval.

High Point Design Guidelines

The High Point Design Guidelines (PDF) provides guidance and minimum standards for property owners in the City's local historic districts, staff and the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).  It also provides a framework from which recommendations are offered about the appropriateness of exterior changes and treatments, and assists the HPC in making decisions regarding applications for Certificates of Appropriateness.  Proposed work in the local historic districts should be consistent with the intent of the standards and treatment techniques contained in the guidelines.  The Design Guidelines also provide a list of work that may be considered under the Minor Work COA (staff approval) process.

Guilford County Landmark Properties

Individual properties with historic or architectural significance may apply for designation as a landmark property.  Such designation may be for a portion or all of the exterior of a building or buildings, a portion or all of the interior of a building or buildings, or the grounds or land itself – or any combination thereof.  Protected elements are listed in the approved designation.  A Certificate of Appropriateness is required from the Guilford County Historic Preservation Commission for any work affecting protected elements. Landmark properties are eligible for a 50% annual property tax deferral if a request is made to, and approved by, the City Council. The deferral remains as long as the protected historic elements or features are maintained.  There are approximately 20 landmark designated properties within the City of High Point.  View Landmark Designated Properties in High Point (PDF).

The National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is a federal program administered by the National Park Service in partnership with state governments.  The National Register was created by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to recognize and protect properties of historic and cultural significance that warrant consideration in federal undertakings such as highway construction and urban renewal projects, and to provide incentives for local and private preservation initiatives.  

National Register listing is primarily an honor.  There is no obligation or restriction on a property owner using private resources to maintain or alter his property.  However, a private owner of a National Register property becomes obligated to follow federal preservation standards if federal funding or licensing is used in work on the property, or if the owner seeks and receives a special benefit that derives from National Register designation, such as a grant or a tax credit.

Both single properties and groups of properties may receive National Register designation.  A group of properties with similar historic or architectural significance, or an area of archaeological significance, may be nominated for designation as a district. High Point has approximately 20 individual properties listed on the National Register, although 2 of those are now gone, and 6 National Register Districts.  View the National Register Properties and Districts in High Point (PDF) for a complete list of those properties and districts.  Below is a short description of each of the 6 National Register Districts in High Point.  

Oakwood This is a compact three block residential corridor along Oakwood St. from W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. north to one property below Ferndale Boulevard. Listed on the National Register in 1991, the district contains the City’s only surviving collection of Queen Anne style homes. Unfortunately, many of the homes have been altered, or are in need of rehabilitation. Homes at the northern end of the district were constructed between 1902 and 1915, and those at the southern end followed from 1921 to 1927. 
Sherrod Park The Sherrod Park National Register Historic District encompasses the same properties along Woodrow Av. as the local historic district (see above), and was listed on the National Register within a month of its designation as a local historic district in 1991. 
West High Street This small district, located along a portion of the 100 block of Oak St. and the 400-500 block of what is now West High Av., was listed on the National Register in 2007, about 6 months before it was designated a local historic district (see above).
Washington Street The Washington Street National Register District contains a collection of early to mid-twentieth century commercial, institutional, ecclesiastical and residential buildings associated with High Point’s African American community. During the time of racial segregation, High Point’s African American citizens erected dwellings, offices, shops, restaurants, churches and entertainment venues in the Washington Street area beginning in the late 19th century, many of which prospered well into the 20th century. The district comprises about 29 acres stretched in a linear fashion along Washington Street from N. Centennial St. eastward to just beyond N. Downing St. It was listed on the National Register in 2010.
Uptown Suburbs Listed on the National Register in 2013, the Uptown Suburbs National Register Historic District is the largest by far in the City. It includes most or all of five major developments platted between 1907 and 1946; Johnson Place, Roland Park, The Parkway, Sheraton Hill and Emerywood, located primarily south of W. Lexington Av. and west of N. Main St. It also includes a two block area of N. Main St. The portion of Johnson Place included in the district corresponds to the Johnson Street local historic district (see above) The district includes well preserved, mostly single-family residential properties, having a wide range of architectural styles and a wide range of home sizes. Although located well within the central part of High Point today, the area was considered as middle- to upper-class residential suburbs of the City at the time of development, reflecting the prosperity of its residents and the City’s furniture and textile industries. 
Highland Cotton Mills Village Covering approximately 69 acres, and roughly bounded by West Market Center Dr., Connor Pl., Jordan Pl., Young Pl., railroad right-of-way, and S. Elm St., the Highland Cotton Mills Village was constructed next to two knitting yarn mills. Modest one-story homes were built in waves between the mid-1910s and the late 1920s on land owned by the mill. The mill’s residential holdings were platted in 1955 and sold to individual owners, but the mill remained in operation until 1995. The Highland Cotton Mills Village National Register Historic District was listed in 2014.