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So what do you need to know?

'The Skinny' on Historic Properties

National Register of Historic Places:  Listing in the National Register of Historic Places provides formal recognition of a property’s historical, architectural, or archeological significance based on national standards used by every state. What are the restrictions, rules, regulations for historic property owners?  


  • From the Federal perspective (the National Register of Historic Places is part of the National Park Service), a property owner can do whatever they want with their property.

  • However, before this occurs, you can, or the property owner should contact the State historic preservation office (SHPO.) The SHPO is the state agency that oversees historic preservation efforts in their state. There may be state or local preservation laws that they should be aware of before they undertake a project with a historic property.

>> And in the case of Hampton Heights and Beaumont Mill Village there are indeed local restrictions.

The Preservation South Carolina Office:  This is a great resource for what properties in South Carolina are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and answers other questions you may have.

Locally Designated:  A local historic district is a district designated by local ordinance (Spartanburg Historic Preservation Ordinance) that falls under the jurisdiction of a local preservation commission (Board of Architectural Design and Historical Review). The City of Spartanburg Historic Preservation Ordinance was passed in 1995 by the authority of the Local Government Comprehensive Planning Enabling Act of 1994.  Hampton Heights and the Beaumont Mill Village neighborhoods both fall within these designations. 

So, what are the restrictions, rules, and regulations for property owners in a local historic district in Spartanburg?


  • Interior:  Simply put, it’s completely up to you.  Restore the original features, make it modern, paint every room in the house a different color….there are no rules.  It’s really that simple.

  • Exterior:  Keep it original.  Before you make any alterations to the exterior, be sure to read through the Hampton Heights Design Guidelines.  This resource defines normal maintenance and repair, minor works, and major works.

    • For minor works, you’ll need to fill out a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) to turn into the City staff for approval before work begins.

    • For major works, you’ll need to fill out a COA to turn into the City staff before appearing before the Historical and Architectural Review Board.  Once they give you the green light, you’re set.

>>Are there restrictions on what color I can paint the exterior of my house?  Heavens no.  Take a stroll down West Hampton Avenue and you’ll see every color in the rainbow represented.

Historic Hampton Heights

Developed in the late 19th Century, Historic Hampton Heights lays claim as the City’s oldest neighborhood and is within walking distance to all that Downtown Spartanburg offers. After a period of neglect and decline in the mid-to-late 20th Century, a group of dedicated neighbors began revitalizing the neighborhood, one house at a time. They were also responsible for having many of the properties in the Hampton Heights Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Today, Hampton Heights is an attractive and diverse neighborhood comprised of a tight-knit group of residents who are proud of their community.

Hampton Heights Website
Hampton Heights Historic District Map
Hampton Heights of Spartanburg: Its History, Houses, and People 

by Vivian Fisher

Still Have Questions?

If you have any questions about what you can and cannot do within Hampton Heights, simply reach out to the City of Spartanburg's Planner, Natalia Rosario. She's a great resource and always happy to help!

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