Pineville's Commercial district and Mill Village have been named to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Commercial District includes properties at 310-333 Main Street and 105-109 Dover Street. The residential section includes homes along James and Fisher Street, Park Avenue and part of Cone Avenue.
Pineville Town Administrator Mike Rose says those areas are important to the town's history and the council believes they need to be preserved.
"We recognize that as times change we need to change, but we do need to preserve our unique identity," said Rose.
"We have the largest existing mill village in the area. The Cone Mill was built in the early 1900s and didn't close until 1991. There are many folks in town that remember it. It's a significant part of our heritage."
Rose said being listed on the National Register is an honor for the town and the property owners. The designation provides protection for the property and tax incentives for the owners if they want to take advantage.
If a building or area is listed on the National Register, it is protected from government agencies tearing it down. For example, the N.C. Department of Transportation couldn't widen N.C. 51 through Pineville if it meant destroying the historic properties.
Being on the National Register also provides federal and state tax credits to participating building owners who follow the national rules and regulations. But the credits are offered only as an incentive; it's up to the property owner to claim them.
Pineville started the process last year, soliciting help from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, which helped complete the initial application. Last summer, the town learned the properties had been placed on the study list for the National Register. Staff then contracted with Mattson Alexander and Associates for more extensive study and documentation. They found out last month Pineville's application had been accepted
Now town officials hope to go a step further.
At the upcoming council meeting - 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Hut, 413 Johnston Drive - the town will hold a public hearing on plans to give the streetscape and exterior of homes on Park Avenue historical designation through the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.
That designation would further protect that area of town which boasts landscape design from noted landscape architect Earl Sumner Draper. The public will be given a chance to speak on the plans.