Wilmington Design Standards for Historic Districts and Landmarks

6 5 4 3 2 1 Standards for Commercial Buildings Design Standards WILMINGTON HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND LANDMARKS 89 7 Wilmington’s Downtown Commercial Historic District, laid out in the 19th and 20th centuries, is the centerpiece of North Carolina’s largest port city. What remains today is a concentration of historic buildings, a largely undeveloped riverfront, and a number of blocks left vacant by urban renewal. Market Street, with its broad sidewalks and well planted plazas , slopes up from the river and divides the north part of the district from the south. Along North Front Street, the buildings are more stylistically diverse and vary in height and proportion. Cast iron storefronts with elaborate cornices compete with Italianate façades , and the silhouette of a former Art Deco movie house conceals a parking lot on the east side of the street. Corbelled string courses and stone capped parapets complement the early 20th century structures along Princess Street, and historic alleys provide rear access. Although the original cornices on a few buildings have been removed or are obscured by synthetic materials , many buildings have been sensitively restored. South of Market Street, the buildings are lower and more vernacular in character. Stone capped parapets have replaced elaborate cornices ; buildings are de fi ned by their proportions, fenestration , and fi nish. Along the riverfront, the buildings are low in keeping with their historic uses. Several warehouses have been restored. On the south and east boundaries, the district assumes a more residential character. Most commercial buildings are brick, which is sometimes painted. Stucco and other masonry structures are enriched with applied ornament. The bracketed cornices are made from pressed metal or wood. Rusticated sandstone, glazed terracotta and cast stone are used for lintels , surrounds , pilasters and other decorative details. The maintenance of commercial façades and their decorative elements are essential to retain the integrity and character of the Downtown Commercial District. Owners should consider providing a routine maintenance program to protect exteriors of commercial façades. For further information, see Standards on Masonry/Stone, Exterior Walls and Decorative Woodwork, and Architectural Metals. 5.1 Existing Buildings Commercial Buildings North Front Street Source: City of Wilmington Existing Commercial 16 Market Street Source: City of Wilmington