Dollars and cents needed for buckets, brushes and more!
If you know about Coolmore, the late 1850s plantation mansion of J.J.W.
and Martha Powell near Tarboro, you probably know about its paint. After
architect E. G. Lind designed the grand Italianate villa for Dr. and
Mrs. Powell, he sent Ernst Dreyer, a painter and native of St.
Petersburg, Russia, from Baltimore to Tarboro to help appoint the
interiors. Dreyer's stunning frescoes still adorn Coolmore, most
brilliantly in the trompe-l'oeil panels of the grand stair hall.
Now it is the exterior of this national treasure that needs painting
again. And that's quite a job, given the intricate woodwork, arched
windows and signature cupola on this monumental home. Nearly 500 gallons
of paint will be required to paint the main house and its surrounding
outbuildings, and Preservation North Carolina needs your help to raise
the funds needed for this project. Click here to donate online now!
At Preservation North Carolina, we're fortunate in that we get to see outstanding examples of North Carolina's history saved. The recent closing of Grove Hill in Warrenton, was no exception, and our enthusiasm at seeing this fantastic house saved was matched by that of its new owner, Brian! Grove Hill, built around 1820, is a rare example of the Montmorency school of architecture (popular in the early 19th century in the Roanoke Valley) and retains much of its original fabric.
After several months, the rehabilitation of the c.1910 cottage at 213 S. Driver Street is complete and is being offered for sale for $127,900. This is Project RED's (Revitalize East Durham) first renovation, a partnership effort of Preservation NC and Preservation Durham. With the generous assistance of volunteers, contributions from foundations and individual donors, in-kind professional services, and the skill of local contractor Coral Home Solutions, we were able to take what was once a vacant eyesore and transform 213 S. Driver Street into a historic, green, affordable show house!
Did we mention green? Not only is the house affordable, it has been awarded Emerald-level certification by the National Association Home Builders Research Center’s Green rating system – their highest certification! Using a common sense approach and taking advantage of the embodied energy in this 100 year old home, we were able to achieve energy rating excellence while preserving the home’s character. The project qualified for state historic tax credits and should provide the new owner around $40,000 in tax credits. At almost 1,300 square feet, the house offers three bedrooms and two full baths, wood floors, a large kitchen and master bath, a nicely sized yard (with a peach tree) and an early 20th century, one-car garage with shed.
Our thanks to those who made this project possible including: a grant from the City of Durham, financing by KeySource Bank, Duke University’s “Doing Good in the Neighborhood” Community Care Fund, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, proceeds from the sale of paintings from the New Neighbors Art installation by artist Dave Alsobrooks, Columbia Forest Products, Sports Endeavors, Inc., Tyndall Engineering & Design, proceeds from the 2010 benefit held at the Hart House, home to Duke University President Richard Brodhead and wife Cynthia, and numerous individual donors who gave generously.
Thursday night's opening for the New Neighbors exhibit was amazing!
"New Neighbors" is a community outreach and arts initiative by artist Dave Alsobrooks, who has installed paintings of Durham residents performing everyday activities in the windows of vacant properties, including the (under contract!) Y.E. Smith School and surrounding houses. Alsobrooks encourages viewers to picture themselves living in the neighborhood and providing a catalyst for a renaissance of the neighborhood.
There was a huge turnout and folks stayed way past dark and viewed the installation with flashlights. There were a couple of food trucks, so people stayed and ate in front of the school and talked. Residents from Uplift East Durham took people in groups to each installation house, as well as the Paul Ligon House.
I stayed in front of the YE Smith School to talk to folks about our project and hand out fliers on Project RED. There were also plenty of nearby neighbors who came out just to see what was going on and we were able to meet people we hadn't reached before. It was an amazing day — people are really rooting for this neighborhood!
First Boney-Bellamy Scholarship Winner Hard at Work
November 17, 2010
In partnership with the UNC Wilmington History
Department, the Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts has awarded
the first Boney-Bellamy Scholarship and internship to Sarah Skrobialowski, a
graduate student in Public History at UNCW. The scholarship was named for
Lillian Bellamy Boney, granddaughter of the original owner, and her late
husband, architect Leslie N. Boney. Lillian and her sister were the last
private owners of the site, and the family was instrumental in its
I've been asked many times over the years why the heck I love East Durham so much.
It might be all the ethnic eateries at the Green Flea Market that offer
awesome food at a great price. Maybe it's the cool clinic at the Holton
Center that I can walk to for services.
Of course, I love all the historic architecture of the homes in my area.
I also mention my neighbors in all my conversations about the things
that make me passionate about East Durham.
This story was originally published in the Durham News (10/6/2010) — reprinted by permission www.thedurhamnews.com
East Durham open house
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Self-guided, free tour. Maps and info available at 201 S. Driver Street, Durham
For more info, contact
Over the years though, I have learned that the proof is in the pudding. I
could talk until I am blue in the face, but it's just better if I show
you how wonderful life in East Durham is. So rather than beat you over
the head with a semester-long lecture on how much my neighborhood rocks,
I'll just invite you over.
I know that everyone has a voyeuristic side. You know you've driven by a
cute house in my area and thought to yourself, "I wonder what it looks
like inside." If you've considered buying a house and wondered what the
neighbors over in East Durham were like, then the Old East Durham Open
Home Tour is your event.
On Sunday, Oct. 24, from 1 to 4 p.m., Uplift East Durham, Preservation
Durham and Preservation NC are holding various East Durham open houses
to satisfy all your curiosities. You'll get a chance to see houses that
are fully renovated, houses in the midst of their makeover, and houses
that are available for anyone willing to take the renovation plunge.
This free event not only lets you snoop around someone's house, but it
also lets you talk to local home owners about how they did it and how
they've liked living in East Durham. We have homeowners on the tour that
have been in East Durham from one year to over two decades.
If you're a Realtor or a prospective home buyer, you'll get information
on tax credits and the loan structures available to those that want to
renovate a historic home. We're a community that is ready to have happy
So, I'll spare you the hard sell and just ask that you come on over to
201 S. Driver St. at anytime between 1 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24.
Tour packets can be found there and participants guide themselves
through the tour. You can spend as much or as little time as you like at
any point on the tour. If you want more information about the tour,
contact me at
Until then, I have my hands full as I fluff some pillows, rearrange
furniture and pretty up my front yard in preparation for your arrival. I
can't wait to have everyone over!
Aidil Ortiz Collins is founder of Uplift East Durham.