The area that is now Cobb County was once a part of the Cherokee and Creek Nations. In 1832, the State Legislature passed an act creating Cobb County. This area has diverse collection of historic sites that date fromprehistoric times to the modern era. Ancient Indian sites, Civil War battle fortifications, the earliest industrial sites and rural farmhouses are among Cobb’s precious cultural legacy.
Cobb County has been of the fastest growing counties in the State of Georgia. Because of growth, the county faced the challenge of preserving its rich past, while accommodating the demand for new development. Cobb answered the problem by creating an historic preservation ordinance.
Cobb County Historic Preservation Commission
The first major step taken by Cobb County toward protecting its past was the passage of a countywide historic preservation ordinance in 1984. This ordinance was the first of its kind in Georgia. The ordinance established the Cobb County Historic Preservation Commission, known as CCHPC. To read the Cobb County Historic Preservation Ordinance, click here.
The preservation commission is made up of five county residents who are appointed by the Board of Commissioners. Members of the preservation commission have keen interest and knowledge that qualify them to recommend specific buildings, districts, sites, structures or works of art to receive historical designation. They make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners.
The Historic Preservation Commission can nominate historic properties and cultural resources to the National Register of Historic Places. These nominations are made to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division (HPD) for consideration. Once the nominations are complete and acceptable to HPD, they are forwarded to the National Park Service for final approval and listing in the official National Register. If an income-producing property is listed in the National Register, it could be eligible for federal tax credits. Properties that are listed in the National Register must be considered during projects that use federal money or require a federal permit.
The Historic Preservation Commission can also recommend sites to be listed in the Cobb County Register of Historic Places. The Cobb Register is the county’s list of designated historic landmarks and districts. The Cobb County Board of Commissioners has the final authority to approve the potential sites and decide whether or not they will be added to the Cobb Register.
To nominate a historic property to the Cobb County Register of Historic Places, click here
In 1992, the county adopted a landmark historic property tax abatement program. Properties that are listed in the National Register and the Cobb Register may qualify for an eight-year tax assessment freeze.
After a site has been locally designated to the Cobb Register, the owner must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) for any “material” changes to the exterior of the building or site. The COA is obtained from the Historic Preservation Commission. During the certificate process, the determinations made by the HPC may be appealed to the Board of Commissioners. Owners can appeal the board’s decision to the Cobb Superior Court.
Over the last several years, the Cobb Historic Preservation Commission has completed several projects. These include the Historic Resources Survey, Historic Marker Program, Historic Driving Tour Brochure and the Demolished Historic Structures. Follow the link below for additional information on these projects. Historic Preservation Projects
Sites to Behold
In Cobb County, there are 41 sites and 13 districts that are listed in the National Register and/or the Cobb Register. These include Zion Baptist Church, which dates back to 1866 and is the oldest black Baptist Church building in the county and “The General,” the famed locomotive house in the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw.
Another of the county’s historic sites is the Andrew J. Cheney-Newcomer House. This Greek Revival house was built around 1856 and survived the Civil War due to its use by Federal troops as a headquarters building.
The Cobb County Register of Historic Places lists thirteen sites and two districts. The Concord Covered Bridge Historic District contains four houses, a railroad trestle bridge and the ruins of the Concord Woolen Mill by Nickajack Creek.
The Historic Preservation Commission holds regular meetings open to the public on the second Monday of each month. The meetings are held at 6:00 pm at the Cobb County building located at 100 Cherokee Street in Marietta.
Important Links: Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation National Trust for Historic Preservation National Park Service Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division Smyrna Historical Society Vinings Historic Preservation Society