The area, which includes 14 homes and one vacant lot, has been designated as a historic district on the national level since 1975, according to Brian Binzer, director of development services, but a local distinction further sets Kennesaw Avenue apart.
The commission is about halfway through the process for gaining the local recognition, Binzer said. They’ve adopted guidelines that spell out the improvements residents can make to homes within the district.
Now the decision lies with the 14 homeowners inside the district, who will vote on whether they want their homes to be in a historic district.
If 60 percent vote yes, and the city council approves, it’s a go.
David Irwin, an attorney and judge, built Oakton, the oldest building in the district, in 1838.
Kennesaw Avenue also has the Archibald Howell house and Tranquilla, both built in the late 1840s in Greek revival style, according to city files.
The area also encompassed the Marietta Knitting Co., Glover Machine Shop, Brumby Chair Co., McKneel Marble Co. and Bell Aircraft Corp., now Lockheed Martin.
“It’s an overall benefit for the city,” Binzer said. “It creates an area that is protected as the properties are improved upon, and any improvements within the area will stay historic.
“Studies across the nation show property values typically rise, or at least are stabilized, where local historic districts and design guidelines are established,” Binzer said.
Homeowners also would have peace of mind knowing neighbors can’t do anything to take away from their property’s value, Binzer said. They would also be eligible for tax credits, he said, when restoring historic buildings.
The commission is looking at starting the homeowner voice process in the next month, Binzer said.