Historic group has eyes on 2014

Published 11:00 pm Monday, December 30, 2013

The College Street Historic Neighborhood Association in Troy is approaching the Year 2014 with renewed vigor.

Ed Telfair, association member, said the association’s interest and enthusiasm are running high and the association “wants to keep the fire going.”

“We held a neighborhood social at The Emporium just before Christmas so we could talk casually about the future of our historic neighborhood,” Telfair said. “We are always interested in finding ways to help each other and to improve our historic neighborhood. And, we’re making progress.”

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Eighteen homes on College Street neighborhood are listed on the state and national register of historic places. Walnut, Murphree, Pine and China streets have been included in the City of Troy’s historic district and are now a part of the historic neighborhood association.

“There are more than a few homes in the city’s historic district that would qualify for listing on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, and that’s exciting,” Telfair said. “As long as a house is 50 years or older, it is considered to have historic significance. The 18 homes on College Street already on the state register were designated collectively as a historic neighborhood. Other homes must qualify individually.”

Applying for the Alabama register requires data and photographs and takes time, but it is worth the effort, Telfair said.

“It’s not an impossible task,” he said. “And we are encouraging homeowners to take the time and make the effort.”

The Association is also directing its efforts toward making homeowners aware of the consequences of altering the exterior of an age-qualifying historic home.

“People sometimes purchase a home and make changes to the exterior of the house that would invalidate it from being on the historic register,” Telfair said. “We want homeowners to know the historic significance of their homes individually and as a part of a historical neighborhood.”

Telfair said that association members have been greatly encourage by recent developments.

“We were having a speeding problem in the Murphree Street area and that has been alleviated with four-way stop signs,” he said. “What we are looking at now is property that has been abandoned or needs to be brought up to city code.”

Telfair said that City Councilman Johnny Witherington attended the association’s last business meeting.

“We were able to discuss with him some of the concerns that we have, and we appreciate his meeting with us,” Telfair said. “We want to work with the city and the chamber of commerce to generate interest in, not only our historic neighborhood, but other historic structures in our community.”

Telfair said the College Street Historic Neighborhood Association’s resolution for 2014 is to keep moving ahead in its efforts to preserve historic structures in Troy.

“We cannot become complacent,” he said. “Historic preservation is much too important for us to do that.”