City of Asheville invites community to provide comment on Walton Street Park historic designation

Press release from the city of Asheville:

In 2018, the City of Asheville began researching and documenting historic resources specifically related to African American heritage in Asheville. During the first phase of architectural survey (inventory), it was determined that Walton Street Park is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, since the determination of eligibility for listing in the National Register, the City has received an application from the Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County to designate the pool as a Local Historic Landmark, which is currently in review by the Historic Resources Commission (HRC).

The Local Historic Landmark program is managed by the Planning & Urban Design Department in conjunction with the HRC. Currently, there are a total of 49 Local Landmarks in Buncombe County, 42 of which are located within the city limits. City properties with this designation include the Asheville City Building, Stephens-Lee High School gymnasium, and Thomas Wolfe Cabin. Local Landmark designation requires that a property have “special historic significance.” Designations are made by the Asheville City Council based on a recommendation from the HRC.

Local Landmark properties have historical, prehistorical, architectural, or cultural significance and show integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling, or association. This designation requires any changes to follow a design review process by the HRC (or City staff if it’s not a substantial change) to ensure that the changes are consistent with the historic character of the landmark. While the entire park property may be designated, features such as the basketball court, ballfield, picnic shelter, parking lot, and playground may not be highlighted as contributing historic features.

In conjunction with the Parks & Recreation Department, Planning & Urban Design staff have been actively engaging the community since Spring 2022 in order to gauge support for historic designation and improved amenities. Based on the positive feedback we heard from the community, City staff are excited to advance Local Historic Landmark review of Walton Street Park forward to the next steps in the designation process, which include a public hearing of the HRC and a public hearing of City Council. Members of the community are invited to give in-person comments at the following public hearing dates:

Historic Resources Commission of Asheville & Buncombe County

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 – 4 p.m.

1st Floor North Conference Room, Asheville City Hall (70 Court Plaza)

Asheville City Council

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 – 5 p.m.

2nd Floor City Council Chambers, Asheville City Hall (70 Court Plaza)

You can view additional information on historic designation of Walton Street Park, including the landmark designation report, on our project page.

If you are unable to attend these meetings and/or wish to provide written comments, please send them to Historic Preservation Planner Alex Cole – – no later than Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 5 p.m.

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