Preservation Zebulon

“Preserving the history of Zebulon, NC through the preservation of historic homes, buildings, and landscapes.”

Like us on Facebook:    @PreservationZebulon

We are now a non-profit organization

Preservation Zebulon has a board, bylaws, and EIN and now has officially been named a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt corporation by the IRS. We thank our board and community supporters who have helped us over the past four months in our formation and in filing all of our official paperwork.

Activities update for Preservation Zebulon

Preservation Zebulon has completed the first major milestone towards becoming a non-profit organization by filing articles of incorporation with the State of North Carolina.  A special thanks to the sub-committee members who have met to work through that process.

Additionally, at the next Town of Zebulon Board of Commissioner’s meeting, we will be asking to speak briefly to request that the Town of Zebulon formally rejoin the Wake County inter-local agreement. This is the first step towards making available grant money to complete a detailed historical and architectural survey of the Zebulon area, which will provide important information in our efforts.  Please plan on attending the town meeting at 7 p.m. Monday November 7 at the town hall council chambers.


Minutes – Meeting of August 18, 2016

Meeting called to order at 6:05pm. Initial attendance was 12, with 5 more arrival later. Total attendees = 17. MaryBeth Carpenter welcomed attendees and gave an introduction. Scott Carpenter provided a brief summary of the June 14, 2016 meeting and gave a quick overview of our desired purpose: to help preserve Zebulon’s homes, buildings and structures through the eventual formation of one or more National Register district(s).  By comparison, we do not want to be a governance organization and we are not currently in favor of a pursuing the creating of a local district.

Carpenter introduced Claudia Brown of the North Carolina State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO). Claudia Brown spoke to the group about the benefits of National Register listings and the criteria and process in North Carolina and how it relates to a National Register nomination. Questions were asked about the following, with some ensuing discussion:

  • Are homes in a National Register district “controlled” in how they need to appear or be maintained? (Generally, no, unless you want the tax credits)
  • Where would we get the money for a survey or study to be done?
  • Do renovation expenses that qualify for tax credits have to be done after district status is established, or do expenses that occur before actual district status qualify for the benefit?
  • Brown explained that SHPO can offer matching grants of approximately 60% of the cost of a study to municipalities that are part of a Wake County inter-local agreement, but indicated that Zebulon had withdrawn from the inter-local agreement several years ago and so the money could not be offered to Zebulon at this time. Some discussion about the history of the withdrawal from the agreement ensued.  Several residents asked about the process by which Zebulon could potentially rejoin the inter-local agreement, and Ms. Brown encouraged Zebulon to consider doing so.

Carpenter asked the group for a straw poll of interest among those in attendance of pursuing National Register district(s). A majority were in favor.  There was no opposition.  A few in attendance did not indicate a preference.

A brief discussion of potential district areas followed. The group decided to ask the question in terms of two main areas, both being primarily residential areas only.  Area 1 was roughly defined to include West Horton St, West Sycamore St, and West Gannon Ave.  Area 2 was roughly defined to include East Horton St. and East Sycamore St.  It was felt that businesses in the commercial district may be absorbed into either Area 1 or Area 2 on a case-by-case basis.  The area of N. Arendell was not considered, based on input about the Town of Zebulon’s potential plans for that area.  Area 1 (W Horton/Sycamore/Gannon) received light support in favor.  Area 2 (E Horton/Sycamore) received strong support in favor.

Carpenter provided information about non-profit status for fund-raising, and asked for volunteers interested in meeting, as a subcommittee, to discuss the organizational aspects of Preservation Zebulon – i.e., discussing the need to leverage another existing non-profit to serve as a fiscal agent, or pursuing our own non-profit 501c3 status, bylaws, etc.

  • Carpenter asked for volunteers to meet, as a separate subcommittee, to begin discussions about district priorities and identifying consultants that could prepare a study/survey – i.e., one district or two, boundaries, cost ranges, etc.
  • Brown offered to review the current properties and provide an updated map.
  • Brown stated that she would be attending an upcoming Commissioner Planning Session Sept. 21, which was then explained to be focused on education about historical preservation.

Carpenter encouraged those not interested in serving on subcommittees to subscribe to the mailing list to receive updates. Meeting adjourned 7:30pm

View / download our flyer:

 Preservation Zebulon flyer


MEETING MINUTES – June 16, 2016:

Preservation Zebulon Mission Statement:

Preservation Zebulon advocates for the preservation of historic districts, buildings, and landscapes that embody important elements of the history and culture of the Town of Zebulon, North Carolina and promotes their use and conservation for the education, pleasure, and enrichment of current and future generations of local, county, and state-wide residents and businesses.

Our first meeting was held on June 16 at 210 E. Sycamore Street, the “Guest House” owned by Dwain Driver and Marvin Howell. Attending were 16 Zebulon residents and two contractors who are restoring a local home.  The attendees voted unanimously to move forward with a group, called Preservation Zebulon, to advocate for the establishment of a National Registry Historic District.

A pre-study for the Zebulon area was done over 20 years ago, identifying three areas of interest: The Sycamore-Horton Street Area, the Zebulon Commercial District, and the Gannon Street Area.  Since then, some structures have been removed, while the continued aging of nearby homes may also bring more homes into potential consideration.

Establishing a historic district takes time. The first step is usually the completion of an in-depth study, prepared by a consultant.  The costs depend on the number of homes / buildings considered.  At the request of the Town of Zebulon, the Carpenters previously gathered estimates from 8 consultants for 3 different options, with costs ranging from $7,500 – $20,000.  Approximately 130 properties were pre-identified by the consultants as “of potential interest.”

Preservation Zebulon may undertake additional activities that compliment and strengthen the plans of the Town and other civic organizations, such as:

      • Street beautification.
      • Community outreach and education. Helping others learn about the benefits of preservation.
      • Work towards some type of “Zebulon Days” and/or tours of historic homes and buildings.

A few residents described recent purchases of some of the older area homes that are undergoing renovations and repair, with the hope of reselling them to new owners that will continue to take pride in the area. A few of the couples present (i.e., Carpenters and Morrisons) have recently come to the area and are working now to restore and preserve their individual homes. There are other newcomers to the area who have also recently purchased historic homes.

Watch this page for announcements of our next meeting. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming involved in Preservation Zebulon.