Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Historic Salisbury Foundation to Save Another Historic NOMA Home!

Our NOMA neighborhood has been so grateful to the Historic Salisbury Foundation for stepping up to save (3) endangered historic homes along the North Main Street corridor over the last two years. Our famous, or infamous, 'scaffolding house' can no longer earn that moniker! The beautiful Prairie Four-Square home at 1428 N. Main Street now lives up to its formal name, the Myers-Morris House, circa 1898. What a transformation has been accomplished on this fine home, that before HSF's intervention may have been a fine candidate for the wrecking ball! But no more!

Another home stabilized by HSF is at 1600 North Main ~ The ca.1912 Hunter-Mowery House. Both the Myers-Morris House and the Hunter-Mowery House have been purchased and the NOMA neighborhood looks forward to having them further restored . . . and to having new neighbors.

The third home stabilized by the foundation is the adorable bungalow high on its elevated lot at 1628 N. Main Street ~ already seeing the effects of investment by its new owner!

And now . . . we have even better news ~ as if this could be possible after these three enormous improvements to our neighborhood!

The gorgeous Victorian home at 1008 N. Main has been donated to the Historic Salisbury Foundation (the ink is still drying) and soon we hope to see improvements there!

This beautiful home has been treated as a rental for several years, and frankly, despite its designation as a 'pivotal structure' in the National Register of Historic Places, it has been a 'problem house' for the neighborhood. On Friday, December 9, 2016, the Historic Salisbury Foundation announced the donation of the C.L. Emerson House at 1008 North Main St. from James Isaiah “Ike” Emerson and his mother, Bonnie Rufty Emerson. And 1008 North Main Street just happens to be one of the very special and prime examples of historic residential architecture in the North Main neighborhood and historic district!

The house has been in the Emerson family since it was built in 1900 by C.L. Emerson, Ike Emerson’s great-grandfather. This beautiful, late Victorian home has been in the Emerson family since it was built in 1900 by C.L. Emerson, Ike Emerson’s great-grandfather. C.L. Emerson was Salisbury’s first oil dealer, moving from Ohio to work for both the Standard Oil Company and the Indian Refining Company. He later shifted his work to real estate, and among other property ventures, he built three additional houses in the 1000 block of North Main Street.

C. L. Emerson House 1008 N. Main St. c.1900 is classified as a 'Pivotal' property in the United States Department of the Interior National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. This is one of just (25) homes listed in the North Main Historic District with the 'Pivotal' classification.

Long considered a fine example of late Victorian architecture, the C.L. Emerson House continues to draw attention, particularly with its beautiful fluted stone columns. Residents in the North Main District cherish this one-of-a-kind Victorian home along the main corridor through the neighborhood. This unusual two-story dwelling emphasizes the asymmetry and irregular massing so characteristic of the late Victorian period. Unlike its more eclectic Victorian contemporaries, it features a steeply pitched side gable roof interrupted by a broad gable and majestic five-sided turret on the front, and gabled and hipped roof dormers at the rear. The asymmetrical first floor facade is defined by a porch supported by the notable tall, fluted, stone pillars, found only on one other structure in the vicinity.

A hint of the rich exterior ornamentation found on some of district's other Victorian dwellings is provided by circular sawn vent located high in the front and side gables and by diamond-shaped mullions which divide the upper sash of windows in the front gable and turret, as well as those windows which rise up the south elevation along the course of an interior stair.

Ike Emerson’s father, the late Maj. Gen. James Willard “Jim” Emerson, owned and rented out his family’s house for several decades. An electrical fire this past summer persuaded Ike that the house needed a new caretaker. Donating the house to Historic Salisbury Foundation was an ideal solution.

Historic Salisbury Foundation will stabilize the house and put protective covenants in place to maintain its architectural features and to preserve the association with the Emerson family. The importance of this property to North Main Street cannot be overstated. The renovated C.L. Emerson House will provide an important anchor to this central section of North Main Street.

The Foundation works on houses such as this as part of their Revolving Fund. Don't know what the Revolving Fund is? Check out this amazing video explaining it!

We are nothing short of thrilled that the Historic Salisbury Foundation will kick off 2017 working on this pivotal NOMA property.

It IS a Happy New Year!!

The North Main Neighborhood
Salisbury, North Carolina 28144
www.NextDoor.com / NOMA North Main

Monday, July 11, 2016

NCDOT Litter Sweep Fall 2016 - Statewide Roadside Litter Cleanup

NCDOT Litter Sweep - Biannual Statewide Roadside Litter Cleanup

The Fall 2016 NCDOT Litter Sweep is September 17 - October 1st.

A good portion of the North Main Neighborhood in Salisbury NC runs along the main corridor of Hwy 29. This is a wonderful opportunity for community involvement and participation in neighborhood beautification!

Litter Sweep is the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) statewide roadside litter removal initiative.

Volunteers are requested to locally participate in the Governor proclaimed "Litter Sweep" to help beautify their communities by removing litter from North Carolina's roadways.

Volunteers are provided cleanup supplies such as orange trash bags, gloves, and orange safety vests from their respective local NCDOT county maintenance office.

A phone listing of local NCDOT maintenance offices can be found in the "Forms" link below as can Litter Sweep safety and promotional materials.

Litter Sweep is traditionally scheduled for the last two weeks of April and September.
The coming Fall Litter Sweep is scheduled for September 17 - October 1st.

Important Litter Sweep Links:

  • Forms

  • Litter Sweep Volunteer Cleanup Procedures

  • AAH Safety Video

  • Meth Lab Waste Recognition Video by the Colorado DOT (7.53 minutes).

  • For more information, please call the Litter Sweep Hotline (800-331-5864).

    In addition to volunteers, the NCDOT maintenance crews devote one week of their time during Litter Sweep to pick up litter and collect orange bags from the roadsides once volunteers have completed their cleanups.

    If you are interested in sponsoring litter removal along North Carolina Interstate highways, please visit the Sponsor-A-Highway Program webpage.
    Senator Albertson's "Mean About Clean" Jingle Press Release

    The North Main Neighborhood
    Salisbury, North Carolina 28144
    www.NextDoor.com / NOMA North Main

    Wednesday, June 22, 2016

    Downtown Salisbury Inc. Open House - Thursday June 23rd

    Hello Friends and Neighbors! 

    Downtown Salisbury Inc. is hosting an Open House on Thursday June 23rd ~ and inviting the public to give your input regarding Downtown Improvements!

    The Open House is being held at the Gateway Building (204 E. Innes St) from 5-7. It is a drop in event. They will host refreshments for your enjoyment as well. 

    Please feel free to invite others and share this info on your Facebook/social media pages. 

    Let's get NOMA connected with what's happening in our downtown next door neighbor! THANKS!!

    The North Main Neighborhood 
    Salisbury, North Carolina 28144 www.facebook.com/NOMAnorthmain 
    www.NextDoor.com / NOMA North Main

    Neighborhood Leaders Alliance Meeting

    Neighborhood Leaders Alliance meeting ~ Thursday, June 23rd ~ 4PM

    The City of Salisbury's Community Appearance Commission invites NOMA residents to the next Neighborhood Leaders Alliance meeting on Thursday, September 27th, at 4PM at One Water Street.

    Among other items, the Neighborhood Leaders Alliance will discuss the upcoming BlockWork 2016 project, a Code Services update, and "Trash Talk"!

    With questions, or for further information, you are encouraged to contact: 

    Diana Moghrabi 
    Senior Administrative Specialist 
    Community Planning Services 
    City of Salisbury 
    217 South Main Street 
    Salisbury, NC 28144 
    Office: 704-638-5240 

    If you are interested in serving on one of the City of Salisbury's boards or commissions, you may fill out an online application by going to the Boards and Commissions tab at www.salisburync.gov. 

    We hope to see a big turn-out of NOMA neighbors at this meeting! 

     See you there!

    The North Main Neighborhood
    Salisbury, North Carolina 28144
    www.NextDoor.com / NOMA North Main

    Sunday, May 29, 2016

    Save the ca. 1911 Grimes-Russell House!

    The North Main Neighborhood, both in the Historic District that is the main north-south artery through the neighborhood and in the many adjoining blocks to the east and west, is renowned for its intact residential architecture ranging from the late 1800s to the 1930s. Our predecessors worked diligently throughout the 1980s to ward off the commercial creep that often happens to main arteries in municipalities, successfully retaining the residential character of the neighborhood.  One can only imagine the beautiful homes that are now lost to fast food restaurants along the Innes Street corridor, and we are proud that our history and culture have remained intact.

    That said, there are a number of 'at-risk' homes within the neighborhood's boundaries, and frankly throughout the City of Salisbury.  The number of abandoned homes here, once reported to be at roughly 700-800, is now more like 1200+.  We can thank a devastating recession for some of this, but not all.  We can more likely attribute this to weakly written ordinances that allow demolition-by-neglect.  But...enough about that!  What do we do?

    The North Main neighborhood recently lost the Miller-Cress House, a circa 1900 Victorian home at 108 W. Steele Street, first to fire, then to neglect...and finally to demolition. With it went the former ca. 1930 art-deco petro-station at the corner...also a victim of fire/neglect/demolition.  This home and accompanying commercial remains were additionally daily victims of larceny, vandalism, graffiti, and were completely unsafe structures.

    The large foursquare home at 816 N. Main, the ca. 1909 H.C. McDaniel House, is slated for demolition in the immediate future.  While the home has unquestionably been neglected, a failing stormwater pipe under the sidewalk (and the road?)
    that runs across the property has compounded the problem.  The City's Historic Preservation Commission ruled that unless the owner, who is an elderly woman now residing in a rest home, could bring the house up to code in 90 days, or find a buyer, this home will suffer the bulldozer.

    And on December 10th, 2015, the City of Salisbury brought the ca. 1911 late Victorian cottage at 918 N. Main Street, the Grimes-Russell House, before the Historic Preservation Commission with yet another request for demolition.  

    This home, damaged by fire, is one of the few remaining homes remaining in Salisbury that features a granite pebble-dash exterior finish, an exterior coating that enjoyed a heyday between about 1890 and the 1930s, when the arts and crafts movement spearheaded the rediscovery of traditional building processes.  We know of few other exterior finishes that can stand the test of over 100 years of the elements!  (Note:  Under current land use ordinances, when a property in an historic district is presented for demolition, the request cannot be denied, but can only be stayed for up to 365 days to allow the owner to find some options.  Please review the Historic Guidelines in our side bar, Chapter 6: Demolition

    The proposed demolition of this property has proven to be contentious.  The preservationists in the neighborhood and surrounding areas would like to see the home saved.  Others are tired of the presence of such a dilapidated structure, understandably, and want it GONE - no discussion necessary.  As neighbors, we understand both schools of thought.

    We need to remind the folks who are ready to swing the hammer of the more wide-reaching repercussions than just improving the view in the neighborhood.

    (1)  Forcing demolition of a property such as leaves yet another vacant lot along the corridor.  As we lose historic properties, we are also in danger of losing the historic designation overlay that protects these properties.  No one is building historic infill in Salisbury.  The likelihood that the vacant lot will be built upon is slim, and if it were to happen, it would likely be a new investment property that would tip the already teetering scale of 50/50 rental/owner occupied balance here.  Additionally, the potential for commercial infill runs high on a main artery such as North Main Street.

    (2)  The property values will drop significantly in the neighborhood as more vacant lots appear.  918 N. Main Street is listed with Rowan County at a $17,811 tax value and $14,300 land value in its current condition.  If the home is removed, the land alone will likely be worth only $5,000.  However, if someone were to rehabilitate the existing structure, the tax value could increase to as much as $150,000 ~ a favorable condition for all the surrounding properties and for the City and County revenue streams through property taxes.

    (3)  Forcing demolition of a property such as this places additional undue hardship on the property owner.  When the city demolishes a home like this, the cost gets transferred to the owner in terms of a lien against the property.  If the owner cannot afford to maintain the property, much less renovate and restore, levying additional costs his/her way are not the way to cure the symptom.  The owner is more likely to abandon the property.  The city then becomes the owner and caretaker of such.

    (4) Demolition of a structure in the historic district is an irreversible step and should be carefully deliberated. Once historic resources are destroyed, they can never be replaced.

    The housing crash that began in 2008 meant fewer developers were buying land for subdivisions. And with our urban growth boundary, there has been less land freed up for such development. That's a success as it relates to curbing sprawl beyond our downtown neighborhoods. Even if a developer could build exponentially more houses in the 'burbs by creating whole subdivisions, individual lots in Salisbury should now represent the chance to make a higher profit per house. 

    A case in point is the Fulton-Mock-Blackmer house ~ another huge home that had faced major fire and neglect damage. Many in the West Square neighborhood and the City of Salisbury also vehemently wished for this eyesore structure to be demolished, and many believed that no one would have the determination and resources to perform a restoration on such a massive project.  However, once this circa 1820 home had been stabilized, it brought a buyer that performed near miraculous restoration and it was recently a prize feature on our annual October Tour 2015, and is now home to family and value to the neighborhood.  

    Not only can renovation save money today, but a rehabbed historic home is more valuable in the long run than a new house. It’s just too expensive today to duplicate the way craftsmen built the homes that make our neighborhoods so special. If a house is more than 40 years old and in a historic neighborhood, there are real advantages to repairing it and getting folks to move into the home. 

    The best thing you can do is to help our neighborhood find a buyer for this home at 918 N. Main Street.  It will take quite a bit of work and investment to stabilize this house, but we can't afford to keep losing homes in the neighborhood. The owner wishes to sell it, so that's half the battle!  Click >HERE< for the owner's advertisement on Craigslist.com.  For just $7,000 (or less), the right person(s) can begin the path to rehabilitating this vintage home for the good of the entire area!

    Help us save this home!  Yes ~ it will take vision, hard work, and money....but it will be SO worth it!

    The North Main Neighborhood
    Salisbury, North Carolina 28144
    www.NextDoor.com / NOMA North Main