A great place to begin is the State Historic Preservation Office website: https://scdah.sc.gov/historic-preservation.
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A historic resources survey is the process of identifying historic properties within the boundaries of a specific geographical area, documenting their location and physical characteristics and evaluating their significance within an appropriate historical context. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the SC Department of Archives & History uses survey information to identify properties eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and the City of Greenville's Historic Resources Survey is part of their statewide effort. The City of Greenville Historic Resource Survey follows the guidelines developed by the SHPO for the collection of architectural information within specified areas in the city limits that have not been previously inventoried. For this project, we will collect information on buildings constructed before 1975, including architectural form and style, historic materials and features and dates of construction and alteration. That information will become part of the SHPO's statewide database for historic resources. To learn more about the SHPO’s statewide survey program, visit https://scdah.sc.gov/historic-preservation.
For properties that fit the criteria, the survey team will take photographs of the front elevation and an angled view. If a property has a historically significant outbuilding or landscape feature not visible from the street, they will ask for your permission to gain access to those resources. The information collected will focus on the building’s architecture, including building type and form, historic details, materials on exterior walls, configuration of porches, types of windows, etc.
The Historic Resource Survey does not create a local or national historic district or result in listing on a national or local register. The purpose of the project is to add to the inventory of historic structures located in the city, and while the consultant’s report may indicate that certain neighborhoods or buildings meet National Register criteria for eligibility, historic designation of any property would be a separate public process.
Properties listed in the National Register are eligible for preservation tax credits and preservation grants, and receive some protection from the potential adverse effects of federal projects. Local governments can adopt a historic preservation zoning ordinance, which enables them to designate properties of historical or architectural significance. The ordinance protects historic properties by requiring approval before property owners can build, demolish or make alterations within designated areas.
The Historic Resource Survey does not affect property taxes because it does not create a historic district or change a local property's designation. Recent studies in South Carolina found that local historic district status increases property values.
The Historic Resource Survey does not affect an owner's ability to make modifications to their property. Owners of properties located in the City’s existing historic preservation overlay districts must adhere to certain guidelines and follow a process when considering changes to their property. View the guidelines.
Several studies examine the positive economic impacts of historic preservation. Information is available on SHPO’s website at https://scdah.sc.gov/historic-preservation.