A vibrant and successful downtown Pittsboro benefits everyone! Buildings that show polish and care attract shoppers and more businesses to our downtown area.
The Main Street Pittsboro Design Committee offers matching grants of up to $5,000 to help property and business owners within the Main Street District invest in the facades of their buildings.
To date, about 12 facades have been improved. This helps Pittsboro put its best face forward!
We’re seeking projects that will offer significant contributions to the visual appeal of our historic downtown. Successful applicants will demonstrate an emphasis on quality design, materials, and fine craftsmanship in order to preserve or bring out the hidden unique character of downtown’s historic buildings. An application and more information is at this link.
FACADE GRANT PROGRAM SOURCE OF FUNDS
The program is funded through an allocation by the Town of Pittsboro Board of Commissioners.
OBJECTIVE AND PURPOSE
1. The objective of the program is to improve the facades of buildings so that after completion of work,
citizens will notice a marked improvement in the appearance of the building facade.
2. The purpose of the program is to provide an economic incentive (financial assistance) to:
a. Promote storefront rehabilitation;
b. Preserve the unique character of historic buildings;
c. Encourage aesthetic compatibility for improvements to facades of non-historic buildings;
d. Encourage the use of quality materials, good design, and workmanship in the rehabilitation
1. A façade is defined as an individual storefront or commercial building side or rear which faces a
public right-of-way or is otherwise visible to the general public.
2. Commercial building must be located within the designated Main Street Project Area – see
3. Owner or tenants are eligible; however the owner must sign the application.
4. If there is a building with multiple public-facing facades (i.e. – a corner building), each façade is
eligible for a grant. An application must be filled out for each façade and each facade is treated
independently. Design of multiple facades for a building may be reviewed and approved with a
single application while grant approval may occur in phases subject to fund availability.
5. Only established businesses (those which have been in operation for more than two (2) years) are
eligible for a grant relating to new signage.
DESIGNATED MAIN STREET PROJECT AREA MAP
1. All rehabilitations must:
a. Meet the Building Code and Zoning Ordinance requirements of the Town of Pittsboro.
b. Follow the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation (see attached).
2. Approved types of rehabilitations include:
a. Safe cleaning of brick/stone fronts or wall surfaces (chemical stripping, water wash or
scraping – no sand blasting is allowed).
b. Masonry repair, mortar joint repair, re-pointing of brick.
c. Re-painting and patching of façade walls.
d. Repair/replacement of windows and/or doors.
e. Removal of siding and exterior false facades and metal canopies.
f. Repair, reconstruction, and/or replacement of original architectural details.
g. Installations of canvas-type awnings.
h. Structural and cornice repair and/or replacement.
i. Railings, ironwork repair or addition.
j. Historic reconstructions, rehabilitation or compatible reconstruction of a store front.
k. Landscaping including sidewalks and plantings.
m. Installation/replacement/repair of exterior lighting and appropriate signage including
structures or frames that contain or hold a sign.
3. Ineligible projects include:
a. Improvements made prior to grant approval.
b. Interior rehabilitation/improvements
c. Construction of false fronts.
d. Blocking of windows or installing storm/vinyl windows and doors.
e. Demolition of historic features.
f. Roof and chimney repair and construction of mansard roof.
g. Installation of any type of veneer – aluminum, vinyl, stone, stucco or any other
inappropriate materials that interferes with the historic integrity of the building.
h. Materials that are inappropriate to the original structure or nearby structures.
INTENT AND GUIDANCE
1. Rehabilitation of facades should respect and reflect the architectural integrity of the entire building and retain those elements that enhance the building.
2. Priority is given to rehabilitation projects that notably and visibly improve facades.
3. This program is to aid substantial investments to improve the aesthetic qualities of a building as well as protect it for the future.
4. Façades should be in harmony with the character of the area and in coordination with the shape, color and design of adjacent facades.
5. Use colors that are compatible with other buildings and that are true to the style and age of the structure.
6. Main Street Pittsboro reserves the right to withhold approval of a grant if color, design, sign design or other façade component is not deemed appropriate to the historic integrity of the structure and/or the area as a whole.
7. For buildings on the National Historic Register, the applicant is encouraged to seek the services of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), including restoration consultants, before an application is completed and designs are formulated. Visits can be arranged by calling 919-807- 6578.
8. It is highly recommended that applicants seek the services of a professional architect, familiar with historic preservation principles, to help refine an appropriate vision for the building project. The Town façade grant project manager is available to participate in the design process.
1. Grant award amounts are at the discretion of Main Street Pittsboro.
2. Decisions may be based upon, but not limited to, size, project cost and amount of available funds.
3. Qualifying projects are eligible for a grant at a minimum of five hundred dollars ($500) but not more
than three thousand dollars ($3,000) per façade on a fifty/fifty (50/50) matching, reimbursement
basis. At the discretion of Main Street Pittsboro and based on applications received, larger grants
may be considered on a case by case basis.
4. The grant amount shall be determined at time of application approval and paid when the project is
5. The work must be completed within four (4) months of application approval but the owner may
request one extension for two (2) months based upon compelling valid reasons for the delay.
Extensions are discouraged.
6. The façade improvement must stay in place for three (3) years from the date of completion. If not,
the grant amount for that project must be repaid in full.
1. Applications will be reviewed for completeness and compliance with the criteria above by the Main
Street Pittsboro Façade Grant Design Team. Incomplete or unsuccessful applications will be
returned to the applicant.
2. If the application is not approved, a meeting will be scheduled with the applicant and the Design
Team to refine the proposal to enable it to qualify if possible. If other more appropriate applications
are pending, they will take precedence; however, efforts will be made to help applicants succeed.
3. A notification letter or email will be sent to applicants explaining approval or denial.
a. Denied applications may be improved/corrected and submitted for reconsideration. If
the revised/corrected application is also denied, the applicant can appeal the denial of
grant award to the Main Street Pittsboro’s Board.
4. If awarded, the applicant and owner must accept contract/ grant agreement before work begins.
5. Applicant must obtain necessary zoning and building permits if applicable.
6. Applicant may then begin work.
7. Upon completion of work, applicant must submit documents evidencing payment required by the
Main Street Pittsboro Façade Grant Design Team including, but not limited to, canceled checks,
contractors’ payment receipts and lien waivers, to the Main Street Pittsboro Façade Grant Design
8. The Design Team will inspect the work for conformance with the approved application.
9. If the work is accomplished in accordance with the agreement, then the Town shall reimburse the
Applicant for one half of the actual project costs or the grant amount, whichever is less.
U.S. SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR'S STANDARDS FOR REHABILITATION
1. A property shall be used for its historic purpose or be placed in a new use that requires
minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building and its site and environment.
2. The historic character of a property shall be retained and preserved. The removal of historic
materials or alteration of features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided.
3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical record of its time, place, and use. Changes
that create a false sense of historical development, such as adding conjectural features or
architectural elements from other buildings, shall not be undertaken.
4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic significance in
their own right shall be retained and preserved.
5. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship
that characterize a historic property shall be preserved.
6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. Where the severity of
deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, the new feature shall match the
old in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities and, where possible, materials.
Replacement of missing features shall be substantiated by documentary, physical, or
7. Chemical or physical treatments, such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic
materials shall not be used. The surface cleaning of structures, if appropriate, shall be
undertaken using the gentlest means possible.
8. Significant archeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved.
If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken.
9. New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic
materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old
and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect
the historic integrity of the property and its environment.
10. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a
manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic
property and its environment would be unimpaired.
Click on the link below to open a PDF Form where you can type in the form to print. You may not be able to save it, but if you print it after you type in your information then you'll just need to sign it.
If you prefer a full copy of the Facade Grant materials on this page, with a paper form, click the link below and save the PDF so you can print that.
PBO-Facade-Grant-Program DETAILS and-Application-Form-2018-19
To learn more about the Main Street Pittsboro Facade Grant Program, please drop a line to Design Committee chair, Michael Fiocco at mainstreetpittsboro (at) gmail (dot) com or call (919) 542-7079.