Grimes Brothers Mill
It is appropriate that the first historic structure designated as a Local Landmark in Lexington is also noted for being the first of its kind in the state. The Grimes Brothers Mill is locally significant as the pioneer roller-process flour mill in North Carolina and the only such surviving mill in Davidson County. John D. and Thomas J. Grimes constructed a four-story, frame, steam-powered flour mill in Lexington in 1879, which they expanded in 1885 with a four-story brick addition. A June 14, 1887 article in the Greensboro Morning News reported that the mill was erected at a cost of $10,000 to $12,000. The brick addition to the Grimes Brothers Mill—also known as the Lexington Roller Mill and Excelsior Mill—was used for grain storage, cleaning and separation. The original frame portion of the mill and later frame additions were demolished in 1961 when West Center Street was widened. The circa 1885 brick addition is all that survives of the Grimes Brothers Mill complex. The Mill was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 and became Lexington’s first Local Landmark on February 13, 2006.
After the death of John D. Grimes in 1918, his son, L. Malcolm Grimes, bought out the interests of other family members in the mill and continued its operation. The mill closed around 1960 and the building was later used as a banking facility. Central Carolina Bank donated the mill to Uptown Lexington, Inc., who formed the Grimes Mill LLC in 2003 and is currently offering the building for sale to a qualified developer. To learn more about redevelopment opportunities for Grimes Brothers Mill, please email Rebekah McGee with Uptown Lexington, Inc. or call 336-249-0383.
Preservation North Carolina is marketing Grimes Brothers Mill - for information click here.
Local Historic Landmark Program
Individual historic properties can be designated as Local Landmarks by the Lexington City Council through the adoption of a local ordinance. Factors that will be considered in designating landmarks include historic and/or cultural significance, architectural, neighborhood or community significance, age, and whether or not the property is already listed in existing surveys or inventories. Once a property has been designated as a Local Historic Landmark, the property owner must apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) for alterations to any portion of the designated property (interiors are included only if designated, a request that is made by the applicant). As is the case with Local Historic Districts, there will also be a Minor Works provision for landmarks, whereby routine or minor projects are reviewed and approved at city staff level. Once a property has been designated as a Local Historic Landmark, the property owner may apply for a property tax deferral, if applicable, which runs in perpetuity; unless the property loses the status due to loss of its architectural integrity. Properties must be nominated by the property owner through a detailed application process. Application fees, if applicable, must be paid at the time of submission. Please contact the Office of Business and Community Development for more information or assistance.