Finley-Law-OfficeThe Wilkesboro Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was established by the Town Board in 2004. Its mission is to identify, study, and protect Wilkesboro's historic resources. These resources may range from significant architectural features to archaeological resources. The HPC consists of citizen volunteers that are assisted in their duties by Town planning staff. Historic preservation efforts like Wilkesboro's are not established to prevent change, but rather to ensure that future changes to properties are consistent with the historic character of the site or district.

A Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is a document issued by the HPC indicating the Commission's approval of proposed exterior alterations, new construction, or demolition of any building which is located in a historic district or which is a locally designated individual historic property.  Structures include buildings, masonry walls, fences, light fixtures, steps and pavement, and other appurtenant features.  Above ground utilities and outdoor advertising signs require a COA as well.  Exterior features are defined to include, among other things, architectural style, size and scale of buildings, and types and styles of doors and windows. The HPC may define exterior features also to include historic signs, color, and landscape, archaeological, and natural features of the area. Property owners should consult HPC staff before any exterior work is begun to determine if a Certificate of Appropriateness is needed.

It is important to plan projects well in advance because: the review process requires a certain amount of lead time.

  • Applications should be complete and submitted to the Planning Department staff no later than fifteen working days prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission (3rd Tuesday of each month).
  • Property owners are urged to submit their applications as early as possible so that the staff can determine if the application is complete; that is, all illustrative material necessary to describe the project has been submitted.
  • The applicant is encouraged to be present during the Commission meeting when the application is being considered. If the applicant cannot attend, a representative who can speak for and legally bind the applicant should be present.
  • The applicant and any adjacent property owners will be given the opportunity at the meeting to make comments or to ask questions.



Application for Certificate of Approriateness 

Other Resources: 

Historic Guidelines for Historic Wilkesboropdf-icon


Secretary of Interior Federal Standards Guidelines


 Historic Downtown Wilkesboro Nomination Report