Borough of Waynesboro Achieves Designation for Historic District

June 26th, 2020

downtown Waynesboro

The Borough of Waynesboro, Franklin County, achieved a National Register of Historic Places listing in April.

Just north of the Maryland line, the borough was founded in the 18th century and included a main wagon route between Baltimore and Pittsburgh (Route 16, which is also Main Street). It became known as Waynesburg, then later Waynesboro, in honor of Revolutionary Gen. Anthony Wayne.

By the late 19th century, the town was home to a number of industrialists who invented and/or exploited early steam-driven tools and equipment for logging and farming, with later developments and innovations in refrigeration and mechanical engineering.

The prosperity that resulted from such thriving local industries had an effect on the borough’s architecture. With many of the Victorian-era homes and commercial structures still standing.
The listing in the National Register of Historic Places encompasses the Waynesboro Historic District, officially the Main Street corridor.

“We think [the listing] is great for Waynesboro, great for downtown, and great for property owners who now have access to preservation grants and tax credits,” said Bill Kohler, director of economic development for Mainstreet Waynesboro.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of properties that are recognized for their significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and/or culture.
According to the PA State Historic Preservation Office, this kind of listing provides:

·         Recognition that a property is significant to the nation, the state, or the local community;
·         Eligibility for tax incentives for income-producing buildings;
·         State and federal preservation grants, when available, for planning and rehabilitation of buildings owned by non-profit organizations and local governments; and
·         Consideration in the planning for state and federal projects or projects that are assisted by state or federal agencies.

On the other hand, the listing does not place any regulations or requirements on property owners; no restrictions on the use, treatment, or disposition of private property; and doesn’t lead to public acquisition of property nor public access to it.

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