Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission

We Built This:  Profiles of Black Architects and Builders on Exhibit during February and March 2024

We Built This Flyer FINALFor more information, visit the Outreach and Education page.


Historic Resources Commission Turns 75!75th Celebration

The Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission (HRC) and Old Salem Historic District turn 75 on December 21, 2023! Today’s Commission was established in 2002 when the Forsyth County Joint Historic Properties Commission (HPC) and Winston-Salem Historic District Commission (HDC) merged. The HDC was established in 1966 as the successor to the Board of Architectural Review (BAR), which was created in 1948. The BAR and HDC both conducted design review for properties located in Old Salem and Bethabara. The West End came under the jurisdiction of the HDC in 1993. The HPC was formed in 1976 to inventory historic resources throughout Forsyth County, conduct preservation advocacy and planning, and recommend properties to be designated as local historic landmarks by elected officials. The first landmarks were designated in 1976, and the first inventory was published in 1981.

Old Salem was the first historic district designated in the State of North Carolina. A state historic marker celebrating this achievement has been installed at the traffic circle south of Old Salem. 

The HRC hosted an anniversary party on Saturday, November 4, 2023.  

If you missed it, please click here to watch the video of the event and view the items below:

Event Program

Children's Activity Book

75 Years in review of the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission

Old Salem's Local Historic Landmark Walking Tour


New Green Book Resource for the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission.

The Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission has launched a story map that shares the history of the eighteen businesses in Winston-Salem that were listed in the Green Book between 1938 and 1967. None of the buildings that housed these businesses remain standing, but the story map includes historic photos, maps, and newspaper clippings that illustrate the sites and people who owned and managed the businesses. It is available for you to explore at bit.ly/WSGreenBook. Commission staff welcome stories, feedback, and new information at preservation@cityofws.org

Forsyth County Historic Resources CommissionThe Historic Resources Commission is a twelve-member board (roster below) consisting of five representatives appointed by the Forsyth County Commissioners, five by the Winston-Salem City Council, one from the Town of Kernersville, and one from the Village of Clemmons. Eight of these members are appointed at-large, and four fulfill specific categorical requirements. Staff to the HRC is provided through the City-County Planning Division.

Mission

The Historic Resource Commission’s (HRC) role is to protect and enrich the county’s cultural, historical, architectural, and archaeological heritage through the identification, designation, and preservation of historic resources. To that end, the Commission strives to promote the use and conservation of historic properties for the education, pleasure, and enrichment of the residents of Forsyth County and North Carolina. The Commission reviews applications for Certificates of Appropriateness in Winston-Salem’s three Historic/Historic Overlay districts and for the County’s Local Historic Landmarks. It also reviews designations of Historic Signs and makes recommendations about other historic designations and historic preservation issues to the local elected bodies. Once a year, the Commission awards historic markers to significant sites throughout Forsyth County.

The Commission, state government, and National Park Service offer multiple recognition and designation programs to residents of Forsyth County. Each has different requirements and offers unique benefits. This fact sheet (PDF) explains the basics of the different programs and where to go for more information.

Meetings

The HRC meets the first Wednesday of each month at 4:00 p.m in the 5th floor meeting room of the Bryce A. Stuart Building, 100 E. First Street, Winston-Salem. The Commission follows Rules of Procedure (PDF) that it has adopted. Applications for Certificates of Appropriateness are due by 5 pm on the Wednesday three weeks prior to the HRC meeting. A calendar with meeting dates and application deadlines is provided below. All applications for Certificates of Appropriateness must be submitted through GeoCivix (formerly known as IDT Plans). You will need to create an account the first time you use GeoCivix. Illustrated, step-by-step instructions for submitting a COA application are available here. All application attachments, including photographs and drawings, must be submitted in PDF format.

Annual Reports

Historic Resources Commission Annual Reports

Agendas and Minutes

Agendas and Minutes of the HRC meetings, applications for Major Work Certificates of Appropriateness, staff reports, and orders, and the monthly Minor Work Report. 

Current HRC meeting agenda (PDF)

HRC meeting agendas and minutes 2016-present

Roster and Calendar

The annual calendar shows meeting dates and application submittal deadlines.

HRC Roster (PDF)

2024 HRC Calendar (PDF)

Want to Get Involved?

Volunteer Commission members serve a maximum of two consecutive four-year terms. Serving on the HRC can offer you an opportunity to understand how your local government works and allow you to make a direct contribution to protecting and preservation the historic resources.

To apply for a position on the Historic Resources Commission, please contact:

City Clerk’s OfficeCity of Winston-Salem(336) 727-2224
County Manager’s OfficeForsyth County(336) 703-2020
Town Manager’s OfficeTown of Kernersville(336) 996-3121
Village Manager’s OfficeVillage of Clemmons(336) 766-7511