Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Legacy Update: Rural Hall

The community of Rural Hall originated in the late 1700s to early 1800s where the Mount Airy and North Wilkesboro railroads converged. By the late 1800s, a bustling trade and industrial center had developed. A small frame depot was built in 1888, stimulating new businesses and new construction. Along Broad Street, several two-story houses that were built by prominent families and a number of brick commercial buildings are still standing.

Rural Hall first provided municipal services in 1935 when it formed a sanitary district to provide water and sewer services. The Town of Rural Hall was incorporated in 1974 with a population of just over 1,000, and has grown to about 3,000 today. Rural Hall has primarily developed along two major thoroughfares, Broad Street (NC 66) and Bethania-Rural Hall Road (NC 65), which cross at the edge of the downtown area. Newer shopping areas can be found at NC 65 and US 52 in the southwest portion of Rural Hall. In 2010, the community participated in the development of the Rural Hall Area Plan to guide future development in this area of Forsyth County.

What principles of the 2001 Legacy Plan have been incorporated?
  • Preserving and revitalizing the downtown area: downtown public improvements including sidewalks, crosswalks, decorative lighting and tree planting.
  • Protecting historic resources: encouraging rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of larger homes in the downtown area.
  • Encouraging different housing types: Latest developments include the Bitting Hall, Pine Ridge and Broad Meadows subdivisions and Summerwood Apartments.
  • Preserving the special character of small towns: downtown preservation and revitalization efforts, decorative street lighting along Main Street and appearance initiatives.
  • Creating a distinctive image to make the community unique and special: “Garden Spot of the World” appearance related projects: welcoming signs, bulb and flower plantings, Yard of the Month Awards, flower baskets at key intersection and Community Gardens.
  • Creating more efficient, safe and convenient multimodal transportation system: Town of Rural Hall Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Plan.
What Challenges Face the Community?
  • Further revitalization of the downtown area and attracting more commercial development.
  • Revitalizing older shopping centers in a pedestrian-friendly manner.
  • Minimizing land use and traffic conflicts between residential and non-residential development.
  • Protecting the older neighborhoods and providing services to the elderly.
  • Preserving farmland and open space.

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