In 2020, The Town of Hillsborough was awarded a Federal Historic Preservation Fund grant for Certified Local Governments from the National Park Service, administered through the State Historic Preservation Office (HPO) of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, to prepare updates to its Historic District Design Guidelines. The Hillsborough Historic District presents a visual history of Hillsborough's development. The Town chose to respect this development history through the passage of a preservation ordinance in 1973, creating the district. A structure is considered historic if it falls within the period of significance which ends 50 years before the current year. The Historic District includes the town’s commercial core and the surrounding residential neighborhoods. It contains more than 100 houses, churches, and buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The styles range from Georgian- and Federal-style buildings dating to the late 1700s to contemporary construction. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Benchmark Planning worked Hill Studio, the Town Staff, the Historic District Commission, and other interested parties to develop updates to the historic district design guidelines. The end result was an updated and comprehensive set of design standards in a digital medium that is easy to edit and update.