Ocracoke Island's Historic District

This committee's mission under the Ocracoke Preservation Society is to preserve the area that has been officially identified as the Ocracoke Historic District by the United States Department of the Interior.  This area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.  It has state-wide significance in the areas of Exploration/Settlement and Social History as well as Architecture.

When placed on the National Register, it contained 391 resources:  232 contributing buildings, 15 contributing cemeteries, four contributing structures (the lighthouse and three resource networks: the cisterns, the picket fences, and the docks), 139 non-contributing buildings, and one non-contributing structure (a pool cabana).  The period of significance (1823-1959) extends from the earliest still existing resource to the year that Ocracoke entered the modern era.  The district spreads across approximately 200 acres (roughly half of the total area) of the village and is mostly concentrated around Silver Lake Harbor.

In 2003, working with a Community Assistance Team from the North Carolina Chapter, American Society of Landscape Architects, a plan was developed for preserving the distinctive landscape on Ocracoke.  The plan discussed Ocracoke's uniqueness, maritime forest preservation and enhancement, specific landscape ideas and suggestions, reviewed "Big Picture" issues and ideas, and made suggestions for future management of the village.

In 2003, the Historic District Committee began working directly with three students in the Department of Interior Architecture at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, to develop design guidelines for the Ocracoke Historic District.  These guidelines document the special architectural features found in the Historic District.

Besides an introduction, the booklet contains information on site and setting, changes to exteriors, new construction and additions, relocating and demolition, and appendixes.  This booklet is available at the Ocracoke Preservation Society Museum for Historic District homeowners, anyone wishing to build a new home in the Ocracoke style, or anyone planning to restore a Historic District contributing structure. Please direct requests to our OPS Administrator DeAnna Locke.

The Historic District Committee developed Holiday Home Tours in 2001, 2002, 2003 in various homes and businesses that were contributing structures within the Historic District.

The Ocracoke Preservation Society Historic District House Award Plaque has been awarded annually since 1989.  A contributing structure in the Historic District has been recognized for maintaining the architectural features that allowed the structure to be originally identified for placement in the Historic District.

Historic wooden commemorative plaques are now available to owners of contributing structures in Ocracoke's Historic District who identify the original name of the structure and it's construction date, and have maintained their home with it's original design.