The Waynesburg District of the National Register of Historic Places was created in 1983. It includes all of the downtown commercial area, the university campus and many parts of residential neighborhoods. The district covers 35% of the borough and includes hundreds of buildings.
The district is significant for its large number of buildings and their (quote) “highest quality of architectural integrity.” When the nomination was written in 1983, only 5% of the buildings in the district had been “remodeled,” which was defined as either: (1) removing significant architectural elements, (2) overing over important building material with inappropriate modern materials, (3) removal of significant portions of the building or (4) adding of inappropriate additions.
In 1983, 92 percent of the buildings were judged to be in either excellent or good condition. Only 8% were in poor condition.
Today, a quick look around town shows that the intervening 32 years have not been kind to many of Waynesburg’s historic assests. However, it is not too late to save the buildings. The “bones” are still there, they just need some loving care. There are numerous tools to help owners of historic commercial properties. For example, inclusion in the Waynesburg National Register District qualifies them for 20% Federal Historic Tax Credits on the cost of rehabilitation.
The Waynesburg Nomination Form (pdf) can be downloaded at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waynesburg_Historic_District. It includes general information and an inventory that describes and rates each building as either “Significant,” “Contributing” or “Non-Contributing.” The inventory lists each building by tax identification number, not address or name. Readers can email me if they have trouble locating a specific building or neighborhood.
For more information about the National Register, visit the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) “Cultural Resources Geographic Information System” (CGRIS) and/or the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Both are part of the PHMC website. Each state administers its own listings but the program is part of the National Park Service, U. S. Department of Interior. Their website is: www.nps.gov/nr/