Statesville is a community steeped in history. Downtown Statesville features several architecturally significant structures that house modern shops, restaurants and service businesses. The city is very conscious of preserving Downtown's quaint atmosphere. Ongoing renovation and restoration efforts keep the district looking clean and safe, without disturbing its unique historic flair. Statesville was recognized as a Main Street City in 1982 and the downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Specific landmarks include the First National Bank Building, City Hall and Statesville Train Depot.

The stately buildings downtown are complemented by four separate historic residential neighborhoods: the Mitchell College Historic District, East Broad Street-Davie Avenue Historic District, Academy Hill Historic District and Race Street District. In the Mitchell College Historic District, some of the homes date back to the mid-1800s. One of these, the Lowenstein-Henkel House, is an elaborate and well-known Queen Anne Victorian. The East Broad Street-Davie Avenue District also contains Victorian architecture; many of these homes were built in the late-1800s. In the Academy Hill District, the main features are the Mulberry Street School and the Statesville Male Academy. Both buildings date back to the late-1800s also. Race Street District is the most modern of Statesville's historic neighborhoods, with homes dating back to the early-1900s.

Other notable Statesville area landmarks include Fort Dobbs State Historic Site, the Ben Longo Fresco Trail and Dashana Hall Plantation. Fort Dobbs commemorates the French and Indian War of the 1700s. The site features exhibits, artifacts, archaeological sites, plus a playground and nature trail. The Ben Longo Fresco hangs inside the Statesville Civic Center and marks a stop along the North Carolina Fresco Trail. The trail commemorates the art of fresco, which was used by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The Dashana Hall Plantation is listed on the National Historic Register and is one of the South Piedmont's largest plantations. Features include two historic homes with period décor, a classic automobile collection and a tobacco pipe collection that spans 17 generations.

The weather in Statesville ranges from winter lows in the high-20s to summer highs that stretch towards the 90s. Year-round, the average temperature is about 58, and the sun shines about 210 days. Annual rainfall averages about 46 inches, which is spread pretty evenly throughout the four seasons.

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