An effort to add a section of downtown Winston-Salem to the National Register of Historic Places is moving forward.  

The proposed district is 53 acres, with West Fourth Street at its core, expanding outward to West Sixth Street and East First Street. 

The oldest building in the district was constructed in 1882, the youngest in the 1980s. Kayla Halberg, with Commonwealth Preservation Group, helped put together the nomination. At a meeting Monday, she told the Winston-Salem City Council the area was selected because of its historical significance in commerce, government, and architecture. 

“It is home to some of the most architecturally impressive and distinctive buildings in the state," said Halberg. "And it was also representative of the South’s race to the sky.”

Halberg says the zone also contains several sites tied to the civil rights movement. She says Winston-Salem became the first city in the state to voluntarily desegregate its restaurants after sit-ins in the downtown district in the 1960s. 

City council voted unanimously to support the nomination, which will be submitted to the National Register Advisory Committee on October 13. That group will decide whether to make the official recommendation to the National Park Service, which has the final say. 

If approved, the designation would allow property owners access to state and federal investment tax credits to rehabilitate or preserve buildings. 


Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Kayla Halberg.

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