Historic District Commission

The Historic District Commission 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. From the 1700s to the 1950s the Hillsborough Historic District presents a visual history of Hillsborough's development and it was for that reason that in 1973, the town chose to respect that history through the passage of the preservation ordinance creating the historic district.

The Historic District Commission has a quasi-judicial role. The commission hears evidence, determines relevant facts and then applies the law as it concerns the exterior changes to or demolition of any properties as well as new construction in the district.

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's landscape and a variety of outbuildings, such as detached kitchens, carriage houses, garages, sheds, stables, smokehouses and barns.

  • Contributing Structures: Buildings built before 1963 that have not been modified to the extent that they have lost their architectural integrity are considered contributing.
  • Non-contributing Structures: Buildings built after 1963, or that have been substantially altered, are considered non-contributing.

Certificates of Appropriateness

It is unlawful to begin construction, moving, demolition, alteration or restoration of any structure or site within the Historic District before a Certificate of Appropriateness has been issued.


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


Contact board staff support

Current Membership

Name Term Start Term End
Virginia Smith 12/14/2015 01/30/2019
Joe Griffin 12/14/2015 01/30/2019
Jill Heilman 09/14/2015 09/30/2018
Brad Farlow 07/13/2015 07/31/2018
Anna Currie / Chair 03/14/2011 03/31/2017
Reid Highley / Vice Chair 10/14/2013 10/31/2016
Candice Cobb 11/09/2009 11/30/2015

Meetings in the Next 60 Days

Agendas and Minutes Archive