Historic Greenville grows

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 28, 2003

More of Greenville’s downtown buildings have recently been recognized as &uot;historic.&uot;

To be considered historic, a building must be at least 50 years old, said Trina Binkley from the Alabama Historical Commission, the featured speaker at the Kiwanis Club meeting Tuesday.

In the 1980s, there could not be one unified district listed for the downtown area, but now, some of the buildings that were left out have turned 50, said Binkley.

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Information about this new, larger historic district will be submitted to the national review board in June.

In the 1980s, there were five or six historic districts in Greenville listed in the National Register of Historic Places, both residential and commercial, and there were some individual buildings listed, said Binkley.

Many people think that if their buildings are listed on the National Register, they will be bound by rules about repairs and upkeep on their property, said Binkley.

However, that is not true. The organization neither forces nor prevents work on buildings, she said.

The National Register does, however, offer financial incentives for owners to perform repairs on income-producing buildings. Tax reductions also are available for these repairs.

Binkley has been working to add buildings in Greenville to the National Historic Register, said Greenville’s Main Street program director Nancy Idland.

The purpose of the National Register program is to determine what is important to preserve, said Binkley.

During the meeting, Idland also said that work on the old jail will begin Thursday, and one lane will be blocked off in front of the building.

She is also looking for funding to make more copies of a booklet called &uot;Celebrating Greenville&uot; designed to teach children about the town.