The Currituck County Board of Commissioners, on July 20, 2020, approved the designation of the first local historic landmark property in the county. Acquiring this landmark status is a house located on Shingle Landing Rd. in Moyock, known locally as the M.C. Poyner House. It was constructed in 1899 by Martin C. Poyner, a local store owner, farmer, and postmaster.
The Poyner House is currently owned by Anthony and Virginia Agreste. It was constructed in a high Queen Anne style with an Eastlake influence and remained in the Poyner family for four generations. The Currituck Historic Preservation Commission played a large role in achieving landmark status for the Poyner House.
“We are excited and proud that our house is the first local landmark in Currituck County. We love this house and have been so happy to preserve an important piece of Currituck County’s history,” said Virginia Agreste, who is also a member of the Historic Preservation Commission. She recused herself from discussion and voting when the Poyner House came before the Commission.
The Currituck County Historic Preservation Commission was created by the Board of Commissioners in 2017. The goal of the commission is to promote interest in and advocate for the preservation of historic buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes in Currituck County, as well as increasing archaeological and architectural awareness. One of the tasks of the Commission is to recommend properties as local historical landmarks after the property owner submits an application.
“I think it was great that a Commission member was the first applicant, and it has allowed us to work out the kinks in the process so that every application we get hereafter will be seamless,” said Josh Bass, Chair of the Historic Preservation Commission. Bass is also president of the Currituck County Chamber of Commerce.
A benefit of a local historic landmark is that the designated landmark property receives a 50% reduction on local property taxes. Once designated as a landmark, there are certain architectural design guidelines the owner must follow. According to Bass, there are few grants available for owners of historic properties, which can be expensive to maintain. The property tax reduction helps offset some of the additional expense of maintaining a historic property, Bass said.
A current view of the Poyner House (left), beside a historic photo of the house (right).