the summer of 2012, Wrightsville Beach resident Karen Dunn
voluntarily completed a survey of all homes within the Wrightsville
Beach town limits that could be designated as a historic landmark.
Dunn presented her catalogued findings in a comprehensive spreadsheet
with photographs to the Wrightsville Beach Historic Landmark
Commission at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 15.
said she initially began her survey in collaboration with the North
Carolina Coastal Federation to find a historic home the federation
could relocate and use as an office. However, when the owners of the
Palmgren-O’Quinn house on South Channel Drive agreed to donate the
home for that purpose, Dunn decided to provide the town of
Wrightsville Beach with her findings.
which took place during July and August 2012, Dunn found 345 homes
that appeared to meet the town's historic designation requirement, a
minimum of 50 years old. Fifty-six of those were already
historically designated by the town. In addition to providing the
name, address and a picture of each home, Dunn also provided notes
about homes that were for sale or were demolished for a new
said she hoped the town could use the list as a starting point to
develop a comprehensive referential guide for all potentially
designated structures. With that guide, Dunn said the town could
either approach the homeowners of these structures to pursue a
designation or know when any historic structure is up for demolition
to make way for new construction.
Landmark Commission members thanked Dunn for her efforts and outlined
a plan to recruit an intern to cross reference the build dates and
records of each of the listed properties to finalize the document.
a topic Wrightsville Beach Alderman Darryl Mills brought up when the
board reviewed the historic designation application for the Mason
Cottage last August, commissioner Robin Spinks noted the town did not
have a ruling about how many homes can be historically designated.
Since homeowners can apply for a property tax deferral with the
historic designation, Spinks said she thought it would be a good idea
to develop a plan to guard against the town losing too much of its
property tax base despite the fact that not all of the homes on
Dunn’s list would pass the historical designation review.