The Town of Rutherfordton, North Carolina is one of the oldest towns in western North Carolina, established in 1787. In 2008 its newly established Historic Preservation Commission sought guidance in designating a local historic district roughly concurrent with an existing district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town hired Hanbury Preservation Consulting to assist in determining appropriate boundaries. This included consultation with members of the commission and town staff, review of the National Register and local designation reports, limited field survey, analysis of comments from the State Historic Preservation Office and articulation of a defensible boundary justification for presentation to the local governing board for action on the designation.
Since then Hanbury Preservation Consulting has provided on-call consulting services to the town and its commission most recently providing guidance with signage issues in the commercial historic district. Hanbury Preservation Consulting provided options to consider in balancing the need for retail signage with the character of the district and establishing a process for determining the precedent for type, scale and design of signage within the historic district. This gave the commission a reference point for making consistent decisions with objective criteria.
"In Rutherfordton, Mary Ruffin Hanbury is the first person the Historic Preservation Commission thinks of when we have a sticky situation and need sound advice."
—John McWhorter, Rutherfordton Planning and Development Director.