Spotlight on Citizen-Led Councils
Styles in architecture like styles in fashion are fickle. One day, we’re all about minimalism; the next, we’re covering that sparseness with wood cladding and embracing our inner ostentatiousness. This is just the type of capriciousness from which the Anniston Historic Preservation Commission was created to protect us.
AHPC’s nine-member body of community volunteers entertains our ideas for painting those old bricks pink (no targets intended) and closing in the arches on those drafty old windows. After cringing a bit, they intervene, reminding us of our role in history as temporary caretakers.
The members of the AHPC aren’t operating haphazardly. In addition to their personal expertise (for which they were originally recognized and appointed by the Anniston City Council), they follow an established set of bylaws, and they are guided by design guidelines that address the thoughtful implementation of cosmetic, functional and architectural changes to buildings and spaces in the City’s historic districts. Understanding that preserving the integrity of our historic districts is paramount, they work to advance these areas economically and culturally.
Their mission is to facilitate a system for the designation, protection, preservation and rehabilitation of historic properties in historic districts. They also connect Anniston with federal and state programs designed to achieve this mission.
Anniston’s historic buildings and streetscapes are valuable economic and cultural assets. Good design can stabilize and strengthen property values as well as attract businesses, residents, and tourists who value the area’s special qualities. Design enhances a district’s image by emphasizing sensitive storefront and building rehabilitation, thoughtful use of landscaping and signage, and intelligent implementation of parking and pedestrian access. (Source: AHPC Design Guidelines)
AHPC has additional functions such as recommending to the City Council specific places, districts, sites, buildings, structures or objects to be designated as historic properties or districts. The AHPC is authorized to develop and conduct educational programs on historic properties located within the city and on general historic preservation activities.
AHPC meets the third Thursday of each month at 9 AM in the former council chambers at Anniston City Hall located at 1128 Gurnee Avenue.