Efforts to establish design guidelines for Bristol, Tennessee’s three historic districts will officially begin Tuesday, Dec. 10, during two separate public workshops led by City staff and a consultant with decades of experience in historic preservation.
Planning Services Manager Cherith Young said the workshops are the first step toward developing official guidelines for future projects in the Downtown, Fairmount, and Holston Avenue historic districts. The first session will begin at 2 p.m. and will focus on commercial properties. The second session will start at 6 p.m. and will be geared more heavily toward residential properties. Both sessions will be held in the conference room of the Ewell L. Easley Municipal
Phil Thomason of Nashville’s
Thomason & Associates will kick off the meetings by introducing the purpose
of design guidelines and outlining the many ways that design guidelines can
benefit the City and its historic districts. Thomason has assisted dozens of
communities throughout the U.S. with similar projects since establishing his
firm in 1982. Thomason is no stranger to Bristol. He prepared National Register nominations for
the Bristol, TN/VA Commercial District, and consulted on the Bristol
Renaissance Center/E.W. King building renovation. He also prepared multiple National Register
nominations in Bristol, VA, including; the Solar Hill Historic District, the
Bristol Warehouse Historic District, and the Virginia Hills Historic District.
As the process moves forward in the
coming months, the City will hold additional workshops for the public to review
and comment on the draft and final versions of the design guidelines. Once complete, the City may consider the establishment
of a Historic Zoning Commission to oversee projects in historic districts,
Young said. Many neighboring communities, including Kingsport, Johnson City,
Blountville, and Elizabethton, already have historic design guidelines in
place, she added.
The design guidelines project is
being supported in part by the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the
National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and the Tennessee Historical
Commission. The federally funded matching grant is competitive, and the
City of Bristol was one of 32 communities across the state who were successful
in their bid for funding.
For additional information, please contact Young at (423) 989-5518.