Friday, May 6, 2022

North Carolina Historic Preservation Office Begins Comprehensive Architectural Survey of Valdese

May 6, 2022

The North Carolina Historic Preservation Office (HPO) will conduct a comprehensive architectural survey of historic buildings, structures, and sites within the Valdese town limits. The survey will be conducted by Audrey Thomas, Architectural Survey Specialist in the Western Office of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in Asheville.

Scheduled for completion in fall 2022, the project involves the documentation of approximately 250 resources built prior to 1975 across the town. Thomas will be in Valdese for fieldwork in May and June of 2022. She also will meet with representatives of the town and local historians. In addition to documenting properties with photographs, written descriptions, and oral and archival history, she will identify properties that appear to be potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as districts (and thus potentially eligible for state and federal tax credits for certified historic rehabilitation). The project will culminate in a final report that analyzes the town’s history through the lens of its historic architecture.

Burke County’s historic resources were first surveyed in 1983, when architectural historian Randall Cotton recorded historic dwellings, schools, churches, and commercial buildings in the county. Recent consultation between the HPO and local stakeholders has revealed a growing interest in identifying and documenting Valdese’s historic buildings. In January 2018, HPO staff examined the town to determine the scope of work for the survey. The survey was originally scheduled to commence in April 2020, but the COVID-19 Pandemic intervened.

At the conclusion of the project, the HPO will share the digital files with the town. Public access to the information will be available through HPOWEB, the HPO’s geographic information system, which is accessible online at The survey material will facilitate the environmental review necessary for state and federal undertakings and will aid in planning for future economic and community development projects. Survey products also will be useful for the continued development of heritage tourism programs in Valdese.

For more information on the comprehensive architectural survey of Valdese, contact Audrey Thomas, Architectural Survey Specialist for the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office ( or 828-668-2588) or Elizabeth King, Architectural Survey Coordinator ( or 919-814-6580).

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, three science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 41 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C. Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, and the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please visit

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