Hickory – The National Park Service recently approved a boundary increase for the Oakwood National Register Historic District in Hickory.

The expansion spans 81 acres and adds 187 parcels containing mostly residential homes of Craftsman Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Period Cottage, and Ranch style architecture dating from 1905 to 1966. Notable buildings within the expansion area include the Elliott Carnegie Library and Oakwood Elementary School.

The original district was listed on the National Register in March 1986 with 69 parcels covering 55 acres. Properties within the original district dated from 1880 to 1940 and encompassed varied architectural styles, including Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, and Bungalow.

“For the last few years, City staff and Historic Preservation Commission members have worked to expand the Oakwood National Register Historic District. This expansion represents the change of housing styles in the area and will benefit property owners in the district,” said City Planner and Historic Preservation Commission Staff Liaison Ross Zelenske. “I am proud to see this expansion now coming to fruition.”

In addition to the honorary designation, the expansion of the Oakwood National Register Historic District brings added benefits, including potential state and federal tax credits, to owners of contributing properties within the new district boundaries. It is important to note that properties within the National Register expansion area are not subject to the design review guidelines associated with the Oakwood Local Historic District.

Properties listed on the National Register are not subject to preservation regulations that require City approval before properties and buildings can be altered or even demolished. These protections are associated with Local Historic Districts, which often overlap, but are not under consideration for expansion at this time.

Work conducted to properties listed on the National Register may be eligible for state and federal tax credits, if the work is approved and completed in accordance to federal standards. Numerous homeowners in the City’s historic districts have also taken advantage of these credits.

Over the next year, the City will begin the process of adding new street sign toppers and freestanding pole signs to demarcate the revised Oakwood Historic District. The new signage will closely match the existing signage in place for Oakwood. Contributing properties are eligible to take part in the City’s bronze plaque program in partnership with the Hickory Landmarks Society.

Oakwood property owners within the expansion area will receive a letter from the City of Hickory with additional information. For questions and additional information about the Oakwood National Historic District, please contact Ross Zelenske at (828) 323-7496 or via email at rzelenske@hickorync.gov.