Historic District Commission


The Kinston Historic Districts are some of the most valued and important assets of Kinston. Historic districts protect and conserve the heritage of the city of Kinston, promote the education and enjoyment of residents and visitors to the city, and stabilize and enhance property values throughout the district thus contributing to the improvement of the general health and welfare of Kinston and the residents of the districts. The Historic District Commission exists to advise the City Council on the creation and management of these important districts.


  • Inventory properties of historical, prehistorical, architectural, and/or cultural significance
  • Advise the City Council regarding adding, amending, or removing historic districts, proposing new ordinances regarding historical resources, and identifying structures worthy of historic recognition. Recommend areas to the City Council to be considered, amended, or removed as historic districts designated by ordinance as historic districts
  • Review applications to alter structures currently part of a historic district or recognized as a landmark.
  • Give advice to property owners concerning the treatment of the historical and visual characteristics of their properties located within the district, such as color schemes, garden and landscape features, and minor decorative elements
  • Conduct an education program with respect to historic properties and districts within its jurisdiction 
  • Prepare and recommend the official adoption of a preservation element as part of the city's comprehensive plan.


The HDC is comprised of 8-11 members who serve 4 year terms; after two terms a member must take a 1 year break. All members must reside within the city limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ); 20% of the members shall be residents of a historic district or be owners of historic property. Ideally, members will have a demonstrated interest in or knowledge regarding historic preservation, history, architecture, or a related field.

City of Kinston is ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for Historic District Commission members.  

Apply today using the Online Citizen Board Application!

Regular Meeting Times/Locations

The Historic District Commission meets as necessary on first Wednesday of the month. To find out the time of the next meeting, contact the Planning Department at planning@ci.kinston.nc or by phone at 252-939-3271.

Mitchelltown Historic District

The Mitchelltown Historic District is a national historic district encompassing 204 contributing buildings in a predominately residential section of Kinston. The buildings include notable examples of Colonial Revival, Classic Revival, and Bungalow/American Craftsman style architecture and date between 1885 and 1941. The area was made a historic district in 1989. The district is located northwest of downtown, spanning eleven blocks covering approximately 50 acres.

Kinston Commercial Historic District

Also known as the Gordon-Queen Street Commercial District, the Kinston Commercial Historic District preserves approximately 65 structures in the downtown area with distinctive Romanesque, Art Deco, and Commercial Style architecture. The district has existed in its current form since 1995.

District Expansion Approved

The City has been approved to expand the Kinston Commercial Historic District. Click here to review the Boundary Area Increase Map  and Public Hearing Presentation, which describes the implications of this expansion for the City.

Local Historic Landmarks

A local historic landmark is a property so-designated by the City Council as a property of special significance in terms of its historical, prehistorical, architectural, or cultural importance; and that possesses integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling, and association. Property owners can apply to have their property designated as a local historic landmark.

For additional information, contact Elizabeth Blount, Planning Director, by email (elizabeth.blount@ci.kinston.nc.us) or phone (252-939-3271).

Landmark Criteria

To be eligible for Local Historic Landmark Status a property must meet at least two of the criteria listed below:

  • The property is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of local, regional, or national history.
  • The property has yielded or may be likely to yield, information important to Kinston’s history or prehistory.
  • The property is associated with the lives of persons significant in local, regional, or national history.
  • The property embodies distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction.
  • The property represents the work of a master or possesses high artistic value.

The City of Kinston Planning Department and Historic District Commission prioritize local landmark status for those properties that have been restored or will be restored in the near future. Documentation of restoration or plans for future restoration is a required component of the application for local landmark status.