The Historic District Commission, officially managed by four appointed board members, has the authority to review and regulate proposed changes to buildings, landscaping, new construction and archaeological resources in the Elm City Municipal Historic District. By such regulation the Town of Elm Cit. and the Historic Preservation Commission hope to achieve the following goals for the Elm City Municipal Historic District.
According to the National Register of Historic Places, Elm City is a small community exhibiting fine examples of late nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture. The town owes its existence to the efforts of Judge George Howard, a prominent citizen of Tarboro who in 1873 acquired a site for the community along the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad and sold parcels to incoming residents. Although owing its existence to the railroad and still oriented along the busy main CSX Railroad line, Elm City is no longer a railroad stop.
Originally incorporated under the name Toisnot, the town was christened “Elm City” in 1913 and grew rapidly due to the ready availability of local financing and the presence of several industrial and commercial concerns. Because few structures of architectural significance were constructed after 1929, the historic character of the town has been preserved to a great degree.
Elm City has a variety of impressive turn-of-the-century commercial buildings with unaltered facades as well as a surrounding residential area that comprise the bulk of the town’s earliest houses and its oldest church building. The Elm City Municipal Historic District area encompasses the most cohesive group of architecturally significant commercial, residential, educational, and ecclesiastical structures in the town, the visual quality of which is unified and enhanced by tree-lined streets.
In the early 1980s the Elm City Municipal Historic District was included in the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2007 the town’s ordinances recognized the district as a designated local Municipal Historic District. In 2008 a Historic Preservation Commission was appointed by the Board of Commissioners to help protect the district through application of design guidelines and standards.
- Protect Elm City’s architectural and cultural heritage.
- Encourage efforts by area residents to conserve the environment of the Elm City Downtown and surrounding residential areas within the Municipal Historic District
- Retain the historic character of the building stock by the regulation of alterations and improvements.
- Guide and influence the design of exterior improvements and new structures to assure their compatibility with existing historic structures.
Helping the Efforts…