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Newton Downtown Historic District listed in National Register of Historic Places

Newton Downtown Historic District listed in National Register of Historic Places

NEWTON, NC (May 11, 2012) -- The Newton Downtown Historic District has been officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service. Its inclusion in this prestigious national list was announced on May 11 by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, which administers the National Register program in the state. The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts worthy of preservation for their significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture. 

Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman said she is excited that the City is being honored with this prestigious historic designation. “The City of Newton is proud to have our downtown historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This distinction encourages reinvestment in our downtown area, and will serve as a catalyst for the continued revitalization of downtown Newton,” Mayor Stedman stated. “I believe this is another step in the right direction as we strive to attract visitors, citizens, and businesses to the City of Newton.”Historic District

The Newton Downtown Historic District is roughly bounded by 2nd Street, North Forney Avenue, A Street, and North Ashe Avenue, comprising most of the central business district. The new Historic District is anchored by the 1924 Courthouse building, which is already listed on the National Register. The 1924 Courthouse now serves as the home of the Catawba County Museum of History. The Newton Downtown Historic District is comprised of 58 buildings, 50 of which are designated as a “contributing resource” by the State Historic Preservation Office. A “contributing resource” or “contributing property” is any building, structure, or object which adds to the historical integrity or architectural qualities that make the historic district significant. 

Click HERE to download a PDF copy of the Newton Downtown Historic District.

In October of 2010, Newton City Council and then-mayor Robert A. Mullinax directed City staff to pursue a National Register nomination for downtown Newton. At its December 8, 2010 meeting, the City Council approved the hiring of Clay Griffith of Acme Preservation Services to prepare the study and National Register application. After a year-long study and review period, the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Register Advisory Committee recommended acceptance of the Newton Downtown Historic District nomination. Dr. Jeffrey Crow, the North Carolina Historic Preservation Officer, approved the nomination for submission to the National Park Service in early March.

Newton already has these National Register historic properties: Catawba County 1924 Courthouse; Self-Trott-Bickett House (331 S. College); Bost-Burris House (end of Radio Station Road); Foil-Cline House (406 South Main Avenue); Grace Reformed Church (201 South Main Avenue); Long, McCorkle, and Murray Houses (1300 block of North Main Avenue); North Main Avenue Historic District; and St. Paul’s Church and Cemetery

There are more than 85,000 listings of historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts in the National Register across the United States and its territories. The State of North Carolina has over 2,700 historic places listed on the National Register, of which about 500 are historic districts. “The National Register is a vital tool in the preservation of North Carolina’s historic resources. North Carolina is a leader in the nation’s historic preservation movement,” said Dr. Jeffrey J. Crow, Deputy Secretary, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Each year, the National Park Service receives new National Register nominations from all across the country from applicants who are seeking the prestige, financial benefits, and protections that National Register designation provides for their properties. The listing of a property in the National Register places no obligation or restriction on a private owner using private resources to maintain or alter the property. Over the years, various federal and state incentives have been introduced to assist private preservation initiatives, including tax credits for the rehabilitation of National Register properties.

For more information on the National Register application process, visit http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/. To view the many North Carolina locations that are on the National Register, visit http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/NR-PDFs.pdf.