Historic District Commission

Historic District PosterThe Historic District Commission is a seven-member volunteer board, appointed by the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners, that reviews applications for exterior changes within the Historic District. A majority of the commission’s members have specialized training or an interest in architecture, preservation, archaeology, history or building methods. 

The commission’s mission is to identify, protect and preserve Hillsborough’s architectural resources, and to educate the public about those resources and preservation in general.

The commission meets at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month in the Town Barn, located on the Town Hall campus at 101 E. Orange St. Access is from East Corbin Street.

Contact board

Historic District

The Historic District includes the town’s commercial core and the surrounding residential neighborhoods. It contains more than 100 houses, churches and buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Hillsborough’s period of historic significance is pre-colonial to 1963.

From Georgian- and Federal-style buildings dating to the late 1700s to contemporary construction, the district presents a visual history of Hillsborough’s development. Contributing to the district’s special character are the context and setting created by the district landscape and a variety of outbuildings, such as detached kitchens, carriage houses, garage, sheds, stables, smokehouses and barns.

  • Contributing Structures — Buildings that were constructed before 1963 and that have not been modified to the extent that they have lost their architectural integrity are considered contributing.
  • Non-contributing Structures — Buildings that were constructed post-1963 or that have been considerably altered are considered non-contributing.

Design Guidelines

The Hillsborough Historic District Design Guidelines were developed to guide the commission in reviewing applications for:

  • Changes to existing buildings
  • New construction and additions
  • Changes to historic district setting
  • Relocation
  • Demolition

The guidelines also provide information on exempt and minor works, as well as other architectural and historic resources. They are a useful tool for property owners, contractors, real estate agents and residents.

Certificates of Appropriateness

It is unlawful to begin construction, moving, demolition, alteration or restoration of any structure or site until a Certificate of Appropriateness has been issued by the Historic District Commission. It is suggested that you contact staff when considering any exterior changes. 

The deadline for submitting applications is noon Wednesday, two weeks prior to a Historic District Commission meeting. Deadline dates are available on the Unified Development Ordinance page. See Appendix B for deadlines. Submitting a complete application by the deadline will not guarantee placement on the next agenda, however.

To schedule a pre-application meeting or submit an application, contact the board.

Tax credits

Tax credits up to 30 percent for non-income-producing properties, and 40 percent for income-producing properties may be available for restoration work on historically contributing properties in the Historic District. For more information, contact the State Historic Preservation Office.


Current Membership

Name Term Start Term End
Anna Currie / Vice Chair 03/14/2011 03/31/2017
Reid Highley 10/14/2013 10/31/2016
Holly Snyder 11/09/2009 11/30/2015
David McCullough 11/09/2009 11/30/2015
Candice Cobb 11/09/2009 11/30/2015
Mark Bell / Chair 07/08/2009 07/08/2015
Mike Irwin 06/11/2012 06/30/2015

Meetings in the Next 60 Days

Agendas and Minutes Archive