Downtown Tryon gains historic study list approval

Published 10:03 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2014

by Leah Justice
After being denied in 2008 and resubmitting earlier this year, a section of downtown Tryon has been approved by the state for the study list to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, June 17 and heard from the town’s tourism and business development coordinator Crys Armbrust about the state’s approval, which was given last Thursday.
Armbrust said he is very pleased to announce Tryon’s historic district study list was unanimously approved by the state’s advisory committee.
“That is the most difficult step,” said Armbrust.
The next step in the historic district process is the national park service trust application, which the town has been advised to hire a professional consultant to do the application.
Armbrust said it could take several months to submit the national application.
Tryon decided during its April meeting to reapply to the state to get part of downtown on the study list to gain historic district recognition. Tryon’s entire downtown was denied in 2008 for the study list, which is required before gaining national historic registry approval, because there were too many modern buildings included in the district. Tryon narrowed the district before reapplying, and included approximately 8.5 acres of town.
The section of downtown on the historic district study list includes buildings from 55 South Trade St. to 90-98 North Trade St., including the railroad tracks, Morris the horse, the Nina Simone statue and the 1906 Tryon Depot.
The new district includes buildings along Trade Street adjacent to and including the railroad tracks and depot, with buildings being built between 1877 and 1958.
Tryon council met with Preservation Specialist from the State Historic Preservation Office in Asheville Annie McDonald in April. McDonald told council then that in order to be placed on the study list, Tryon must narrow its area to the middle of downtown.
Now that Tryon’s district has been placed on the state’s study list, McDonald said the process of getting the district placed on the national register could take six months to a year, depending on the experience of the town’s consultant who will prepare the town’s application. McDonald said consultants usually range from costing $4,000 to $10,000.
Saluda’s downtown was designated as an historic district in 1996. Tryon has many structures listed on the national register of historic places and Melrose Avenue is also currently on the state’s study list.

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