A recently completed survey of residences and buildings in East McKinney identified over 3,300 historically significant properties, according to city documents.

City staff presented the survey results to members of McKinney City Council as well as the Historic Preservation Advisory Board at a May 21 joint meeting.

The gist

The survey included assessing over 6,200 properties in a designated historically significant area, a 4.9-square-mile area between US 75 and Airport Drive. The area’s northern border extends to US 380, and the southern border extends to Industrial Boulevard and Wilson Creek Parkway, according to city documents.

The area has the same boundaries as the city's Historic Neighborhood Improvement Zone, which was created to offer incentives to homeowners who invested in maintenance or rehabilitation of properties in the designation area, the city's website states.

The survey area also included the Historic Overlay District, a smaller area inside the historically significant area that receives additional oversight and regulations from the city in an effort to preserve historic properties, Historic Preservation Planner Cassie Bumgarner said. Both designations identify an area with properties of historic significance.
The survey assessed properties in the identified historically significant area, which shares the same boundaries as the city's Historic Neighborhood Improvement Zone. It also encompassed the city's Historic District. (Courtesy city of McKinney)

The survey was conducted by Hicks & Company Environmental Archeological Consultants as well as subconsultants Burns & McDonnell, and Mead & Hunt, both of which are engineering and architecture firms.

Bumgarner said the process included field surveys of the properties, which included taking photographs and assessing the architectural details of each property as it is visible from the right-of-way. The project team also conducted public outreach at city events in late 2023 to collect feedback from the community.

Diving deeper

The report is helpful in documenting change over time, Bumgarner said, as well as to ensure regulatory processes on building alterations are being followed. Prior surveys of the city’s historic resources were completed in the 1980s, 2005 and 2015.

“It's really helpful to see change over time, and the more frequently you do surveys and have these photos, the more you can see [change] over time,” Bumgarner said.

The survey report outlined a number of recommendations for city leaders and staff, including conducting additional surveys on a regular schedule, such as every 5-10 years, Bumgarner said.

The recommendations also detailed a potential expansion of the Historic Overlay District. Bumgarner said city staff are considering the expansion as well as other potential options, including creation of a cultural district.

By the numbers

Of the over 6,200 properties in the survey area, 3,338 were identified as historic resources. The properties include residences and businesses as well as other buildings and structures.

The properties identified as historic resources were also assigned a preservation priority rating of either high, medium or low. Properties given a high rating have structural integrity and “are excellent examples of architectural styles or types,” the survey report states. The 1927 Collin County Courthouse in the center of the downtown square is an example of a high-priority property.

Properties assigned a medium rating are contributing resources to the Historic District but may have seen alterations or exhibit an architectural style that is in abundance in the area. Low-priority properties are structures that have seen “significant alterations” that do not reflect the original architectural style of the building, the survey report states.

Over 50 properties changed in historic priority rating compared to the 2015 survey, with more than half moving to a lower rating. Director of Planning Jennifer Arnold said the changed priority ratings are expected when conducting a historic resources survey.

“McKinney is not unique in the fact that some of these ratings go up and some of them go down over time,” Arnold said at the May 21 meeting. “That’s the balance that we have to try [to] navigate to make sure that we are still a vibrant, redeveloping downtown.”

Learn more

To view the full report or to find out more about the city’s historic preservation efforts, visit www.mckinneytexas.org/350/historic-preservation-resources.