Main Street

Funding for your Historic Building

historic downtown logo
Why is historic preservation an important focus for downtown Elkin?

Elkin's downtown was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the year 2000, named the  Downtown Elkin Historic District. Some residential areas in downtown are filled with homes listed on the National Register as well (in 2007), called the Gwyn Avenue-Bridge Street Historic District.

Our board believes in preserving and protecting the integrity of historic structures for years to come. If your building is listed on our register and is a contributing building, you could be eligible for historic tax credits when renovation or restoring your property. To learn more, contact the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) if you are interested in applying. Our regional contact for Elkin (in Raleigh) is Brett Sturm at 919-814-6589.

If you are considering a renovation of your historic property, please contact us locally at Elkin Town Hall for assistance at 336-258-8908. There are also numerous links on this page with further restoration and tax credit information on the state and local level. Below are other opportunities for funding that your historic building may qualify for besides historic tax credits. 

If you are considering a historic facade restoration, click here for guidelines of appropriate measures for historic facade repairs of commercial buildings in our B-1 district (now called DMX district, or Downtown Mixed-Use district). 

1. National Park Service (NPS) Main Street Facade Improvement Grant Program (Federal Funding)

Elkin was recently notified that they (along with two other NC Main Street Communities in North Carolina) have been awarded a facade grant program through the Main Street America Program, funded by the National Park Service for contributing historic buildings listed on their National Register. Your building must be contributing, or eligible to be added as a contributing building prior to the completion of your project in order to obtain grant funds. Grant preference is for facades undergoing rehabilitation work, not general maintenance.  Rehabilitation of historic facades must comply with historic preservation standards (see below) in order to qualify as well. This is a 70/30 match grant but funding is based on available funds and # of applications.


To Apply
If you have a building in poor condition with a project ready to begin and are interested in applying for this grant (which can provide anywhere from $5,000.00 to $25,000.00 in grant money for your facade), please contact Laura Gaylord, Main Street & Community Manager at  Applications will be accepted, starting in April 2020. Funds awarded are based on the number of applications, project importance/impact, and availability of remaining funds. 

If you are ready to apply with a shovel-ready project (which has not yet begun) and you have contractor quotes ready to submit, contact Laura Gaylord, Main Street Manager for an appointment to obtain review for projects approval prior to sending in your application.  No work can begin until your application and site visits have occurred and you have been approved for the funding by the National Park Service.

UPDATE:  These grant funds have been awarded and projects are almost all completed. 
Building facades that were awarded NPS grant funding are:
128 W Main Street, 131 S Bridge Street, 102 E Main Street and 116 E Market Street. 

2. Main Street America Program funds (State funding)

     MS community logo - Copy

NC Main Street Center has offered partial funding towards restorative improvements of historic buildings if the building and project qualify for preservation or restoration standards.
At this time, there are no funds available thru the NC Main Street Program. 

3. Main Street Advisory Board grants (Local funding)

Elkin Historic Logo

Building ownership in the downtown, within the Municipal Tax District (MSD), has some wonderful benefits. Although the MSD is a small tax collected from the building owners in the district each year, the funds are reinvested by the Main Street Advisory Board towards improvements that benefit the downtown as a whole.

This year, the board will offer grants for Economic Vitality and for Public Art.

Economic Vitality Grant

If interested in updating the exterior facade of your building, you may apply for an economic vitality grant through the Main Street Advisory Board. Limited funding for matching grants is available for preservation and beautification of hardship buildings, to include painting, repairing rotted window sills or doors/doorways, general repair work, the addition of awnings, safety/code updates, etc. 

The board is also interested in promoting upper-level development projects in buildings with empty, underutilized 2nd floors, to help promote the longevity of the historic buildings. Some costs involved with adding apartments to upper levels can be included in this grant funding, such as fire suppression materials, sprinkler systems, and exterior fire escapes. 

Design proposal Old Times
Design Services (Free!)
If you need a design or color recommendation for your building's facade, the Main Street Program offers a free design service as well. They also provide (on a quarterly basis) the opportunity for upper-level apartment design plans, also at no charge. Contact Laura Gaylord to learn more. 

Grant Funding
For the 2023-24 fiscal year, the Board is offering matching funding grants (50/50) for downtown building upgrades of up to $1,500.00 per building, with a total reserve for the fiscal period of $7,000.00.

Rules for the Grant funding will remain as advertised on the town of Elkin website as shown below:

1. Rehabilitation of historic buildings must comply with federal and state historic preservation standards to qualify (see below).
2. Funds will not be reimbursed for "do-it-yourself projects" and must be completed by an insured contractor.
3. Applications for consideration must be submitted no later than February 2024. Projects must be completed to the MSAB's satisfaction and per application approval by the MSAB within that fiscal year.
4. Projects must not begin until your application is submitted and approved.
5. Reimbursement paperwork must be submitted no later than May 20, 2024. Extensions may be considered by the board if addressed 30-days prior to deadline.

Please note: If you are considering changing the footprint of your historic facade, we advise you not to do so. Changing your footprint or changing the historic structure of your contributing building (to anything that is not approved by SHPO or the National Park Service) can change your historic building's status from contributing to non-contributing status and will permanently remove any chance of obtaining historic tax credits for you or future buyers. Please consult with the Main Street Manager prior to any changes or renovations of your building for approval. 

Downtown Public Art Grant 

Mural 1 sepia Depot and Bridge in progress
The Main Street Advisory Board is encouraging creativity in the arts and entertainment district of downtown Elkin, with the installation of murals and one public art display:

  • For FY 23-24, the board will focus on 5 back alley murals - $100 per alley door will be paid to the artist, unless otherwise approved. Business owners are encouraged to fund supply costs or must match any amount above $100.00 for back alley door mural art, unless the MSAB agrees otherwise. Artists who are interested may contact us at 336-258-8908.
To Apply
If you are interested in a Main Street Advisory Board grant or assistance with the design service, please contact Laura Gaylord, Main Street & Community Manager at 336-258-8908, or email  

Funds in each grant category are limited and available amounts change annually.  Funds are available from the fiscal year starting in July and ending the following year in June. 

4. Other funding opportunities (state wide):

Click here for a wide list of funding provided by the NC Main Street & Planning Center: 

RESOURCES for Historic Elkin Buildings

To learn more about your historic (commercial or residential) property in Elkin:

Check on these listings to see if the property is a CONTRIBUTING building. If so, then you can apply for historic tax credits if you are restoring your building, using requirements set forth by the National Park Service:

  • Downtown Elkin Historic District listings on the National Register (Commercial):
  • Easy info sheet for Historic Tax Credits on contributing commercial properties in downtown, click here.
  • Gwyn Ave-Bridge St District listing on the National Register (Residential): Main Street Residential areas are NOT on the NPS historic register, except for one building named Cedar Point, which was individually added to the register by the homeowners.
  • Easy info sheet for Historic Tax Credits on contributing homes in historic districts, click here
      But, WHY is it Bad Architecture? I'll Tell You Why. - Laurel Home

To learn more about Surry County Historic Resources:

Historic Tax Credit Information (both State & Federal):

                Here is a training video that explains the tax credits and how they are used on a project:

Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings - quick resources  

Historic buildings follow a different set of building codes in North Carolina, created in 2016, call NC Existing Building Code. To see if your structure qualifiesclick here.  

Are you looking to replace damaged items you just can't find? Try these North Carolina salvage locations!


Mailing Address

Post Office Box 857 Elkin, North Carolina 28621

Street Address

226 North Bridge Street Elkin, North Carolina 28621

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