Manchester City has begun the process of completing a survey of the city’s historic zone. Once the project is completed, information about each building in the historic zone of Manchester will be available on an interactive online tool.
To accomplish the project, the city has partnered with Sarah Elizabeth McLeod, historic preservation planner with the South Central Development District Office, according to Jamie Sain, codes and safety director for Manchester City.
“It will be a combined effort between my office and Sarah Elizabeth McLeod, historic preservation planner,” Sain said. “Our office will be taking the pictures, finding history information and finding owner information. Ms. McLeod will be reviewing our work, creating the survey document, reviewing each property to see what architectural style was used to build the property.”
McLeod can determine from the pictures what architectural style was used when each building was built and whether significant changes have been made since it was built, said Sain.
There are more than 70 buildings in the historic zone of Manchester.
“The last count in September 2015 showed that 76 businesses were in the zone,” Sain said.
This initiative will provide essential information for Tennessee Historical Commission’s geographic information system (GIS) system, said Sain.
“The Historical Commission is working on completing a GIS system for the entire state,” Sain said. “This tool will include some of the information we collect during our survey, including pictures, building history, current use, etc. I feel this could eventually bring out-of-town shoppers to the area.”
The project will be very important for creating new building requirements and guidelines in the Historic Zone in the future, added Sain.
Additionally, the initiative will help city officials when they apply for grants.
“This building survey is required to remain a Certified Local Government (CLG), said Sain. “We became a CLG a couple of years ago, and this helps in getting extra points on grant applications and getting help from the Tennessee Historical Commission.”
Sain expects the project to be completed in several months.
“We are hoping to start the next couple of weeks and be done around June,” Sain said.