Nina Simone’s childhood home gets ‘national treasure’ designation

The house where the singer Nina Simone was born is in bad shape. The ceiling is crumbling, the walls chipping, the floorboards sagging; stray wooden planks are strewn against the walls. Last year, it seemed inevitable that the house would succumb to time.

But, thanks to the teamwork of four artists and a nonprofit, the site has a new lease on life. On Tuesday, the house in Tryon, N.C., was named a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The organization will devise a plan to rehabilitate the house so that it might be used by future artists.

The house, where Simone was born in 1933 as Eunice Kathleen Waymon, has been the subject of failed restoration attempts over the years. Kevin McIntyre, a former economic development director for Polk County, bought the house in 2005 and invested more than $100,000 of his own money before losing the property to money troubles. When the house went on the market in 2016, many assumed it would be knocked down.

Instead, four African-American artists — the conceptualist Adam Pendleton, the sculptor and painter Rashid Johnson, the collagist and filmmaker Ellen Gallagher and the abstract painter Julie Mehretu — bought the house together in order to preserve Simone’s legacy. The purchase caught the interest of the National Trust, which had recently started a $25 million campaign to preserve historical sites related to African-American history. Simone died at age 70 in 2003 after a long career that made her a soul legend and civil rights icon.

“African-American women in jazz and in civil rights: their legacy is often undervalued, and there’s an ongoing struggle for recognition,” Brent Leggs, the director of that campaign — called the African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund — said in a phone interview.

So, the organization decided to mark the house a National Treasure, a label that has been bestowed fewer than 100 times across the country. The team will begin an 18-month campaign with a $100,000 internal budget, working with the local community, local organizations and the World Monuments Fund to devise a long-term plan for how to preserve the space. Mr. Leggs estimates the full restoration will cost around $250,000.

Mr. Pendleton and the other three artists will be actively involved in shaping the house’s future. One idea is to turn the space into a home for an arts residency program, with hopes that future artists might be inspired by the same surroundings that sparked a young Simone.

“I’m not interested in turning the house into a museum,” Mr. Pendleton said in a phone interview. “I’m much more interested in restoring it so that it reflects what it was like when the Waymons lived there. I think it’s important to note that it looks like a very humble dwelling.”

And while the crumbling house is very much of a different time, Mr. Pendleton says it has strong symbolic power in a fraught modern era. “Nina’s politics challenged what America was at the moment she was alive — and challenged what America could be and what it would become,” he said. “I think those are questions that don’t die.”

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(New York Times, 6/18/18)

A day of music and remembrance to celebrate the life and legacy of the legendary Nina Simone is planned for Tuesday in Tryon, N.C.

Presented by The Nina Simone Project, the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, University of North Carolina-Asheville, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the National Trust’s African American Heritage Action Fund, “Celebrating Nina Simone” is a chance to learn more about Simone’s childhood, music and lasting influence.

”Nina Simone’s legacy burns bright today — her songs carrying messages of racial and gender inequality are igniting a new generation of artists, musicians and activists, and she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this spring — yet her childhood home in Tryon, N.C., has not fared so well,” said Erica Stewart, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We know we need to do more to honor her roots and support her legacy, and to uplift the story of African-American activism and achievement in this country. This day a reflection of that commitment.”

The daytime portion of the event includes free, 45-minute public tours of Simone’s childhood home and tribute performances by Lydia Salett Dudley, Lenora Helm, Yolanda Rabun and Mary D. Williams, from 1:30-3 p.m. at St. Luke’s Plaza in downtown Tryon. Tours of the home will take place from 1-4 p.m. and must be registered for in advance on the event website. Shuttles will be provided at St. Luke’s Plaza, 64 N. Trade St., to take visitors to the house.

Evening festivities include a brief program starting at 6:30 p.m. at Tryon’s Rogers Park, where the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Nina Simone Project, and the owners of Simone’s childhood home – Adam Pendleton, Rashid Johnson, Ellen Gallagher and Julie Mehretu – will tell the story of their partnership and announce the next steps in preserving Simone’s legacy.

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(, 6/16/18)

The historic Venable Center building in downtown Durham could more than double its current space with the creation of a new building, according to plans submitted to the city this year.

Federal Capital Partners submitted revised plans to the Durham City-County Planning Department in April for a four-story building on what is now a surface parking lot. The plans were designed by Durham-based Duda|Paine Architects.

The proposed building, at 302 E. Pettigrew St., would be 82,170 square feet, according to the plans, and would be accompanied by a parking deck capable of holding 383 vehicles. Currently the Venable Center has more than 52,000 square feet of office space, according to the plans.

Federal Capital, a Maryland real estate company, acquired the Venable Center in 2016 for $18 million from Scientific Properties. Federal Capital has been involved in several projects across the Triangle in recent years, including the development of The Dillon in downtown Raleigh. The company also sold the West Village development in Durham for $187 million in 2016.

Duda|Paine is also the architect behind The Dillon, the new RTI International headquarters building in Research Triangle Park and the Durham Innovation District buildings.

But, it’s unclear what the future of the proposed plans is, as Federal Capital has marked the building for sale — after owning it for a little more than two years — and the company declined to speak about it.

“The project has been marketed for sale through HFF and until that process has concluded, we are unable to comment further,” a spokeswoman for Federal Capital Partners said.

For its part, HFF is advertising the building as having “significant upside potential with future development opportunity,” according to its marketing materials. HFF adds that any redevelopment could be much larger than the 82,000 square feet that is proposed. The property is in a zoning area that has no height restrictions.

Efforts to reach HFF were not immediately successful.

The Venable Center’s buildings, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, include office, retail and lab space. The building’s largest tenant is Precision Biocsciences.

Parts of the building date to 1905, but in its original heyday, the building was the home to the Venable Tobacco Co., whose markings are still on the building. Scientific Properties renovated the building in 2006.

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(The News & Observer, 6/15/18)

A cultural survey currently underway that seeks to document the legacy of an overlooked Waynesville community could add to the town’s growing roster of properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“There’s been a lack for a long time, much longer than it should’ve been, of getting details and documentation on the history of the African American community, in Western North Carolina in particular,” said Sybil Argintar, a historic preservation consultant with Southeastern Preservation Services.

The survey had been discussed in the Waynesville Historic Preservation Commission as well as the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office as a way to take the steps needed to gather the data required for applications to the National Register by property owners in the town’s historically African American Pigeon Street district.

Argintar started out in landscape architecture, switched to historic landscape work and then got into historic architecture, earning a master’s degree in historic preservation; she said she works with many private property owners who want to qualify for tax credit programs or apply for National Register listing.

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(Smokey Mountain News, 6/13/18)

Local preservationist B. Perry Morrison Jr. was presented with the 2018 Preservation Spirit Award during the recent Preservation of Wilson annual Garden Party and Art Show.

The Preservation Spirit Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to promoting historic preservation in Wilson County.

Morrison has been a part of the Preservation of Wilson leadership since 2006, serving as president, past president and as a member of the finance committee.

“Perry truly cares about eastern North Carolina and Wilson in particular,” said Betty Rae McCain, former N.C Department of Cultural Resources secretary. “He has been a longtime champion for preservation and one of Wilson’s greatest public assets. Perry never loses sight of what makes Wilson special and how important it is to carry that message to our next generation.

“Perry is a great blessing for us, and he justly deserves this award,” she said.

Morrison has served on the N.C. Museum of History Associates’ board of directors, the National Register Advisory Committee, N.C. Historical Commission, N.C. Museum of History’s accessions committee, Wilson County Historical Society, Tryon Palace Foundation, N.C. Society of the Cincinnati, Friends of N.C. Archives’ board of directors and Barton College’s board of advisers and history lectures committee.

He has also been involved with the Wilson County Public Library as a trustee, Barton College as director of international studies, Wilson County Tourism Authority as a board member and Wilson All-American Kiwanis Club as a two-time president.

An attorney with Morrison Law Firm, he is married to the former Nancy Hooper of Wilmington, and they have two children.

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(The Wilson Times, 6/10/18)

The Ocracoke Preservation Society (OPS) took a giant leap Thursday night and agreed to buy the Island Inn property to save it for community purposes.

“We will put our name on the deed,” said OPS President Ken DeBarth.

The vision for the renovating the iconic building includes retaining the original two-story, wood-frame structure (the former Odd Fellow’s Lodge), demolishing the two deteriorating wings and creating separate public restrooms, all while retaining some green space.

“This was a time-limited opportunity,” DeBarth said. “If we didn’t take this plunge, the property would have been lost.”

And the OPS board ultimately agreed that this project was in their mission.

“We see this as an opportunity to expand the OPS’s preservation efforts in a big way—to be more than just a museum and a gift shop,” DeBarth said.

“I am in awe of the organization that OPS just became with this decision,” said Tom Pahl, Ocracoke’s county commissioner. “It was tough for them to get to that point, but with this, they are really, truly pursuing their mission of island preservation.”

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(Ocracoke Observer, 3/25/18)

LUMBERTON — City officials say a fresh approach is needed to put an old building on North Water Street back to work.

They are trying to write a new chapter for the abandoned water plant, which was built in 1952, occupies prime real estate in the downtown area, and has become an eyesore.

“A re-use (is possible), like the old city hall worked through Preservation North Carolina,” said Wayne Horne, city manager.

The city is employing Retail Strategies to market the building.

The old plant was built during Robeson County’s textile boom. It was shut down and shuttered when Lumberton outgrew the plant’s capacity and the water treatment facility off Lowery Street went into operation.

Now the water facility near Eighth Street is an empty shell waiting for a new purpose.

Connie Russ, Downtown Development coordinator for the city of Lumberton, is working with Rediscover Downtown Lumberton to develop plans for the old water plant.

“We think it would be ideal for us to market the building as a microbrewery, maybe a restaurant, to serve food,” she said. “The Riverwalk as planned will go right behind this building. We need something usable for that space.”

The facility is envisioned as a major anchor point for cafes and entertainment venues, according to the RDL master plan. Reviews of the market and the site will be conducted, and then proposals that meet the city’s needs will be requested from developers. A developer would then be chosen, and an agreement would be made for the purchase and redevelopment of the plant.

“We need things for people to do in order for them to live here,” Russ said.

A variety of ideas for repurposing the water plant have been proposed over the years. One was to use it as an art gallery, but in the end that idea was deemed unfeasible.

“One possibility is to turn it over to N.C. Preservation to market it for some purpose, just as they sold the old fire station,” Russ said. “We would like to see something done by someone with wider stretching arms than us.”

Read full story here…

(The Robesonian, 6/1/8)

Visitors from the Triangle eastward learned about the restoration of historic structures during the Preservation Trades Fair on April 28 at Edgecombe Community College.

Experts from Eastern North Carolina led demonstrations on various preservation-related topics and building trades, including roofing, window repair and historic carpentry.

Presenters included:

■ Reid Thomas, restoration specialist with the Eastern Office of the State Historic Preservation Office, who spoke on tax credits.

■ Rob Sands, CEO of the Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities, who talked about his program to renovate houses for veterans.

■ Amber Kidd, local preservation commission/CLG coordinator with the State Historic Preservation Office, who focused on historic commissions.

■ Kevin Wilson, who gave a talk on timberframe construction

(Read full story…)

Rocky Mount Telegram, 5/16/18

Ever thought about what it would be like to own a historic Bladen County home? If so, now is your chance.

Preservation North Carolina has put the Purdie House in Tarheel, on the market at a list price of $239,000.

Built between 1803 and 1809, the Purdie House has 2,798 square feet and is situated on just over 47 acres of land.

The home was built by James S. Purdie, who had significant land holdings in the area as early as 1788 — at which time he was recorded as owning 1,920 acres and 28 slaves by the 1790 census. Purdie inherited the family plantation after the death of his father in 1818. He served as sheriff of Bladen County in the 1780s and was a private in the Continental Line during the American Revolution.

Prior to beginning construction of the present house, Purdie lived in an earlier house on the north side of the Cape Fear River.

A chapel was also built as part of the larger complex as early as 1800, but the first chapel was destroyed by fire and replaced by the present chapel in 1845, which is located across the road from the present house.

The estate was deeded to Jame’s wife Anna Maria following his death in 1834, and under her management, the plantation grew substantially — with holdings of more than 1,300 acres and 60 slaves by the 1850 census. The Purdies continued ownership of the estate until 1946. It has been owned by the Mitchell family since their purchase in 1972, under whose careful restoration and stewardship resulted in its listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

(Read full story…)

The Bladen Journal, 5/11/18

Preservation North Carolina would like to express our deepest condolences on the passing of North Carolina native and renowned preservationist, Richard Jenrette.  We had the pleasure of working with Mr. Jenrette through our stewardship at Historic Ayr Mount in Hillsborough for over a decade. His commitment to historic preservation is inspirational and his legacy will amplify the cause of historic preservation in North Carolina and across the country.   


Richard H. Jenrette, who was a co-founder of the first Wall Street firm to offer shares to the public and who, after selling it to the giant but ailing Equitable Life Assurance Society, presided as chief executive over the company’s revival, died on Sunday in Charleston, S.C. He was 89.

His death, at Roper House, one of many historical homes he restored in a parallel avocational career, was confirmed by Margize Howell, co-president of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, which Mr. Jenrette founded. She said the cause was complications of lymphoma.

A courtly, soft-spoken North Carolina native whom The New York Times once called the “last gentleman on Wall Street,” Mr. Jenrette (pronounced JEN-reht) enjoyed storybook business success beginning in 1960.

That year, after an early stint at the venerable Wall Street firm Brown Brothers Harriman, he teamed up with two younger Harvard Business School friends, William H. Donaldson and Dan Lufkin, to form Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, the first Wall Street securities firm started from scratch since the early 1930s.

By Mr. Jenrette’s account, it was Mr. Lufkin who first observed that Wall Street research operations of the day were concentrated on big blue-chip companies. Mr. Lufkin proposed that D.L.J., as their firm would be known, focus on small, fast-growing companies, which the partners came to see as the wave of the future.

(Click here to read full obituary)

The New York Times, 4/23/18

The Carter house next to Brown Library is safe from the wrecking ball, for now.

During its meeting Monday, the Washington City Council voted 4-1 for City Manager Bobby Roberson not to issue a purchase order to pay for demolishing the house and to work with Preservation North Carolina to explore options to save the house. That approach has been suggested by several people at council meetings in the past six months.

Council members Virginia Finnerty, Doug Mercer, William Pitt and Roland Wyman voted for Finnerty’s motion to delay demolition, with Councilman Richard Brooks voting against the delay.

John Wood, representing the Greenville office of the State Historic Preservation Office, and Maggie Gregg, with the eastern office of Preservation North Carolina, urged the city to consider working with Preservation North Carolina to explore ways to preserve the house (at 425 W. Second St.) built in the 1930s. One of those options is to allow Preservation North Carolina to market and sell the house on behalf of the city. Preservation North Carolina has a history of helping preserve historic structures by doing that. Revenue generated by the sale of the house would go to the city, which paid $80,000 for it several years ago.

On April 10, 2017, a 3-2 council vote started the 365-day clock toward demolition of the house on West Second Street, built by Henry Clay Carter III and his wife Marjorie in 1930. The city pursued the demolition option to pave the way for library expansion and additional parking.

Don Stroud, a historic district resident and president of the Washington Area Historic Foundation, once again urged the council to not do further damage to the historic district’s character by allowing the house to be demolished. He said there are options when it comes to saving the house. Robert Sands, CEO of the Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities, said demolishing the Carter house would damage the historic district, which draws visitors to Washington, boostinge the city’s economy.

“I don’t think there is anybody in here that would disagree that the historic district is a very important part of the economic engine of Washington. Once you start to dismantle that historic district, you will start to dismantle the economic engine that drives us,” Sands said.

Several speakers who urged saving the Carter house also urged the city to protect the neighboring house at 411 W. Second St.

Read full story…

(The Washington Daily News, 4/10/18)

WASHINGTON, NC (WITN) – A small group of determined advocates are working to make a big difference in the lives of female veterans in Eastern Carolina, particularly, those female veterans who are looking to take the final steps in drug or alcohol abuse recovery and reintegrate with their community.

The Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities is a new non-profit based in Washington, NC. Chief Executive Officer Robert Greene Sands hopes to repurpose old, dilapidated houses starting with 219 West 3rd Street.

“So from two sides of it, right, we have the mission of the historic preservation but on the other hand we have a mission to be able to reintegrate female veterans and this house offers incredible potential for that,” Sands said.

The house there is now being called “Rose Haven.”

“This house has seen African-Americans living here, its seen whites living here, it has been a transitional part of changing neighborhoods and demographics over 135 years,” he said.

Sands’ background is in anthropology. He noticed a gap in recovery programming for female veterans while working at the Department of Defense.

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(WITN, 4/10/18)

CHARLOTTE—The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) has joined with Preservation North Carolina (PNC) to save the Charles E. and Edna Barnhardt House in the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte. HLC purchased the home with funds from its historic preservation revolving fund.  Without HLC and Preservation North Carolina’s intervention, the home would have been destroyed.

Protective covenants have been placed on the property to protect it from future demolition. HLC plans to sell the home, and funds received from the sale will be returned to HLC’s revolving fund to be used for future preservation projects.

Charles E. Barnhardt was a prominent business and civic leader in Charlotte. The Barnhart House was completed in 1938 as the centerpiece of a 15-acre estate in Plaza-Midwood, the house is a beautiful, sophisticated example of revivalist design. The home was designed by noted architect was Martin E. Boyer, Jr.  During the 1920s and 1930s Boyer designed many of Charlotte’s most elegant homes— his drawings of the Charles E. and Edna Barnhardt House are on file in the North Carolina State University archives. In 1948, George B. Cramer and Elizabeth Crooks Cramer purchased the house, and members of the Cramer family lived there until 2016. George Cramer was the son of textile engineer and industrialist Stuart Cramer, for whom the Town of Cramerton is named.

A new subdivision is being built at the site of the Barnhardt home, and with a Charlotte ordinance requiring connecting streets between blocks, a connector street was scheduled to go straight through the home. “We worked with the long-time owners of the property to save this important Charlotte landmark, but credit for saving the home also belongs to the subdivision developer” said Dr. Dan Morrill, HLC Director. “The Charles E. and Edna Barnhardt House will become someone’s home, and it will generate property tax revenue for the benefit of the community.”

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmark Commission protects properties by recommending the designation of individually significant properties as historic landmarks; buying and selling endangered historic landmarks through its revolving fund and placing preservation covenants in the deeds on properties; administering design review over intended material alterations of historic landmarks; and educating the general public about the significance of historic landmarks.

Preservation North Carolina (PNC) is North Carolina’s only private nonprofit statewide historic preservation organization. Its mission is to protect and promote buildings, landscapes and sites important to the diverse heritage of North Carolina. Through its award-winning Endangered Properties Program, Preservation North Carolina acquires endangered historic properties and then finds purchasers to rehabilitate them. PNC’s Endangered Properties Program is widely regarded as the nation’s most successful program of its kind.


The future purpose of the ECU chancellor’s residence on East Fifth Street remains unsettled even after those responsible for guiding its historic use received a tour of the property this week led by university trustees and administrators.

On Tuesday, members of the Greenville Historic Preservation Commission took part in a tour and question-answer session hosted by Max Joyner Jr., an ECU trustee, at the Dail House, the former home of ECU chancellors located at 605 E. Fifth St. The Daily Reflector was not notified of the meeting.

William Bagnell, ECU associate vice chancellor for operations, followed the tour with an appearance at the commission’s scheduled meeting to clarify the situation and answer further questions. Bagnell confirmed the stated belief of commission members that the Star Hill Farm house purchased this month by the private nonprofit ECU Foundation will serve only as a transitional home for current chancellor, Cecil Staton and his wife, while the Dail House is being rebuilt for future chancellors’ residential use.

After telling them “that is accurate,” Bagnell seemingly contradicted himself and said a committee of the ECU Board of Trustees is assigned to determine how the Dail House will be used in the long run for the “highest and best use of the institution.”

“Whether that is as a residence, an event location or a combination of both is still undetermined, and it’s going to take a little bit of time to process through” Bagnell said.

Commission chairwoman Candace Pearce then told Bagnell that as the commissioners understood it, the reason the university’s original plans to renovate the Dail House was scrapped is because the “state institution” (the UNC Board of Governors) would not approve the renovation.

Bagnell told Pearce, “We could not get the administrative (Board of Governors) approval we needed to move forward with that renovation and expansion plan.”

Bagnell did not tell the commissioners what his ECU administrative colleagues had previously confirmed: that the ECU trustees removed the proposal from the governors’ table before they considered it, based on the belief it would be rejected because of its $3.5-million price tag.

Bagnell did confirm that fact to The Daily Reflector after he spoke to the commissioners.

One of the historic preservation commissioners asked Bagnell if the Board of Governors gave the university a reason why it rejected the proposal. Once more, Bagnell did not tell the commissioners that ECU pulled the request before the governors could make their decision.

“I don’t know that I could speak for the Board of Governors,” Bagnell told them.

“Don’t they have to give an explanation?” the commissioner asked him.

“I don’t know that I can answer that question, either,” Bagnell said. “We sent them a request for $3.5 million for capital improvement and could not get that approval at that time. It could be the expense; it could be the perception of where we were spending our money when there’s lots of deferred things. …”

Bagnell told Pearce that the university is using operating funds for the renovation project, funds that reset every year.

The commissioners — the group that approved ECU’s initial plan — have been seeking clarification from ECU administrators about the university’s intentions for the future of the residence and four adjoining properties.

On Feb. 27, the commissioners had received a copy of a memo from Jim Hopf, Chancellor Cecil Staton’s chief of staff, to City Manager Ann Wall intended to address any questions the city might have and “allay any concerns expressed about ECU’s commitment to the Dail House property.”

The letter left the commission members still seeking clarification on the matter, so they requested direct consultation with ECU administrators.

(Read full story…)

The Daily Reflector, 3/30/18

From safety and traffic to stormwater runoff and historical integrity, Five Points neighbors aired a number of reasons Monday night why they oppose Hayes Barton Baptist Church’s plan to tear down six historic homes to add a church parking lot.

Yet what bubbled up during the nearly two-hour-long session between the more than 200 neighbors, church supporters and community members were not only concrete concerns but also issues of fairness and sacrifice.

“This has been pretty intense,” said church pastor David Hailey. “We need to regroup and cool down and give some thought to what has been said.”

The church, tucked into the corner of Whitaker Mill Road and Glenwood Avenue, has wanted to add parking for a long time to make it easier to drop off children at the church preschool and to help less-mobile church members reach the sanctuary, Hailey said.

During a long-range capital planning process, the church looked at demolishing six houses it owns along White Oak Road to add more than 70 parking spaces. Five of those homes — 1810, 1812, 1814, 1816 and 1818 White Oak Road — have been rented out by the church, some for decades. The sixth, 1806 White Oak Road, was purchased this month. All of the homes except for the one right behind the church are considered contributing structures to the Bloomsbury Historic District, which was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Hailey outlined this history, along with Mary Beth Johnston, and talked about the church’s contributions to the greater community during a 20-minute presentation. They came, both Hailey and Johnston said, to listen, understand and better learn about the concerns of the neighborhood.

Read full story…

(The News & Observer, 3/20/18)

A Raleigh church that angered its neighbors with a plan to destroy a half-dozen historic homes to add parking and improve building access wants to talk with its critics, but says it does not expect to change direction.

David Hailey, pastor of Hayes Barton Baptist, said the church has not canceled its plans to raze the six houses it has acquired over the years facing White Oak Road, but it will talk with neighbors who were upset when they learned of the plan last week. The houses are included in the Bloomsbury National Register Historic District off Glenwood Avenue at Five Points.

“Our neighbors have been good to us, and we want to be good to them,” Hailey said.

He and others from the church will be meeting with neighbors and city officials to discuss the proposal.

The plan was crafted by a church committee that searched for a year for solutions to several issues the church has, including a dearth of parking in a neighborhood with narrow streets. During the week, those who live in the area or work, shop or dine at the nearby businesses often use the church’s parking. On Sunday mornings, worshipers who don’t arrive in time to get a space in the church lot may park on the street or in the lots of nearby businesses that aren’t open during worship hours.

To remedy the parking problem, the church plans to level six homes it has bought over the years, including one it closed on just last week. The houses were built between 1920 and 1925.

The church held its first worship service on its property in 1926.

Read full story…

(The News & Observer, 3/13/18)

More than two dozen historic homes have been demolished this year in one of Raleigh’s oldest residential areas, including an entire National Register Historic District just off Hillsborough Street.

The dozen houses that made up the Maiden Lane National Register Historic District were razed in late February to make way for a three-story, 203-unit apartment complex known on planning documents as Hillstone Cameron Village. The others that have been taken down were in neighboring Oberlin Village, a historic African American settlement dating to just after the Civil War, and the nearby West Raleigh Historic District, developed starting in the 1920s.

Collectively, “it’s a huge loss,” said Myrick Howard, president of Preservation NC, which encourages preservation and reuse of historic buildings across the state. “These houses are going down left and right.”

The first houses on Maiden Lane were built in the 1890s, just after R. Stanhope Pullen donated land to create a large park and a state university. What became Pullen Park and the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering, now NCSU, enticed people to move to the area, which was then rural land outside Raleigh’s city limits.

According to a history of the neighborhood, , the first houses on Maiden Lane belonged to families connected to the university. They included D.H. Hill, an English professor who became the college president, and John Allen Arey, who headed the school’s Dairy Extension Service and was known as “the father of the progressive dairy program.”

Read full story…

(News and Observer, 3/9/18)

A rapidly setting sun and a bitterly cold March wind did not deter 15 brave folks from making a walking tour late Thursday afternoon through the historic Loray Mill village in west Gastonia.

The walking tour was led by Jack Kiser, a resident of Gastonia for more than 40 years and a former city planner, who now serves as project manager of the Loray Mill village revitalization initiative.

The mill is one of 800 properties around the state which Preservation North Carolina is working to save and to restore.

Just as the Loray Mill was once the single largest textile mill in the entire Southeast, it now stands as the largest historic preservation property in North Carolina under one roof.

The mill was donated to the preservation group by Firestone until it was purchased by private investors. Built in 1901, the mill was made even larger with an expansion in 1922. The structure is an example, Kiser said, of heavy mill construction, meaning the load-bearing walls grew thinner as the stories climbed. The wooden beams supporting the floors are 12 by 12 hardwood, he added.

(Read full story…)

Gaston Gazette, 3/9/18

Hayes Barton Baptist Church wants to level a half-dozen homes in a National Register historic district in Raleigh to build a parking lot, but critics say the plan doesn’t show much love for the church’s neighbors.

“It sort of makes you think about the Golden Rule,” said Myrick Howard, president of Preservation North Carolina. “I would ask the minister if he wants a parking lot across the street from his home, and we know what the answer to that is.”

Pastor David Hailey said a committee has been working on a long-range capital improvement plan for about a year that includes the addition of more than 70 parking spaces for the church, which towers over the Five Points intersection. The church sits between White Oak and Whitaker Mill roads, and currently has parking for about 170 cars.

During the week, Hailey said, people who live, work, dine or shop in tightly-packed Five Points often park in the church’s lot. On Sundays, businesses return the favor, allowing some of the 500 to 600 regular worshipers who attend the 11 a.m. service to park in their lots. Others park on side streets.

The church has wanted to add parking for a long while, Hailey said, to make it easier for the parents of children at the church preschool to drop off and pick up their children, and to shorten the distance that less-mobile church members have to walk to reach the sanctuary. The lot also would benefit the neighborhood, Hailey said, because when services are not being held, the church would continue to allow others to park there.

But to build it, the church plans to demolish a row of six houses that stand along White Oak Road. Five of the houses — 1810, 1812, 1814, 1816 and 1818 White Oak Road — have belonged to the church since 1960, according to Wake County property tax records. The sixth house, at 1806 White Oak Road, directly behind the church, Hayes Barton just closed on on Monday.

All the houses were built between 1920 and 1925 and together occupy less than three-quarters of an acre of land. Their total appraised value is more than $3 million.

(Read full story…)

News and Observer, 3/7/18

When it was built with Rosenwald funding on what was then the campus of the Elizabeth City Colored Normal School in 1921, the “practice school” was the place where African-American college students learned the craft of teaching.

Under the watchful eyes of their instructors, students enrolled at the Normal School would practice their teaching skills on neighborhood children in the large frame building before taking jobs in the state’s then-segregated black schools.

The practice school building has been moved several times and gone on to serve a number of other functions — for a while it housed a cosmetology school before it became host to an ROTC center for student cadets.

Despite its changing uses and sites, however, the practice school has remained a place for education.

And now, thanks to ECSU and group of community and regional partners, the former practice school is being reinvented again — this time as an African-American Heritage Center for northeastern North Carolina.

The goal of the renovation project, say organizers, is to create a resource center for researchers of African-American history as well as an interpretive site for the public, helping connect people to the rich history of black communities in the region.

Russ Haddad, special assistant to ECSU Chancellor Thomas Conway, said ECSU officials believe the center will bring both visitors and prospective students to the ECSU campus.

The center also would help make Elizabeth City itself more of a destination by offering visitors a living history site they can walk through and see up-close. Haddad said Elizabeth City has a historic walking tour that provides views of historic homes from the outside but doesn’t have a good site for seeing the inside of a historic building.

One of the things project organizers are working on is a reliable estimate of the restoration work’s cost. The current estimate — which Haddad acknowledged is basically an educated guess — is at least $650,000.

Restoration of the building and development of the center is expected to be a phased-in, multi-year project, and the timetable is still being worked out.

Although a degree of restoration is required, Charles Reed, an associate professor of history at ECSU, said much of the original structure for the practice school remains “to a degree that it’s really impressive.”

Read full story…

(Daily Advance, 2/18/18)

SALISBURY — The North Main Street Historic District’s continuing efforts at preservation took a hit Saturday afternoon when fire ravaged the C.L. Emerson House at 1008 N. Main St.

“It makes me cry,” said Karen Hobson, executive director of Historic Salisbury Foundation. “Just when we’re making some progress on North Main, something like this happens.”

Salisbury Fire Department responded about 3 p.m. Saturday to the structure fire at North Main and West Miller streets. It proved to be a stubborn fire that prevented firefighters from making entry for a considerable period as flames flared through the second story.

Two ladder trucks were put into action with others on hand.

Smoke cascaded into the neighborhood as many nearby residents took videos of the working fire, whose cause was not immediately known. North Main Street traffic was detoured in this area for several hours.

The house’s new owner, Ricky McSwain of Cherryville, was in Texas on business and learned about the fire by telephone.

Hobson said McSwain had been making good progress on his restoration of the home, which the foundation sold to him last year.

“He’s a craftsman, which is a double loss — to have the perfect person to buy that house,” Hobson said.

The house dates back to 1900, when it was built by C.L. Emerson, considered to be Salisbury’s first oil dealer.

Read full story…

(The Salisbury Post, 2/17/18)

LUMBERTON — For those who have worked for the preservation of historic buildings and the revitalization of Downtown Lumberton, news of the sale of the old fire station at Elm and First streets was met with celebration.

Preservation North Carolina announced this past week the sale of the historic building to the Burgess Group, which plans to renovate it into office and meeting space. The Clinton-based Burgess Group has completed similar restoration projects across the state with investments in excess of $3 million.

“We are thrilled because the preservation of the old fire station was a top priority,” said Richard Monroe, president of Rediscover Downtown Lumberton. “We were really afraid we might lose that building.

“The renovation of the fire station will bring more people to the downtown, not just for entertainment but for business. This building has synergy with the public library, the Robeson County History Museum, the plaza and more.”

The building was constructed in 1917, about the same time as the Carolina Civic Center. It was built as Lumberton central fire station and also served as city hall and a library.

Vince Burgess, owner and manager of the Burgess Group, said the purchase is the “right fit” for his company, which has renovated several historic properties in Clinton.

“It’s a good location, close to our base in Clinton,” Burgess said. “There’s a great workforce here and strong downtown development, and we wanted to engage both those elements.”

Burgess has been active in historic preservation for some time. He is the recipient of the North Carolina Main Street Champion Award, which is part of the Main Street America program sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for his work to renovate and build projects in downtown areas.

The group plans to restore the fire station’s façade and where possible maintain original historic elements of the building’s interior. Upon completion of the renovation, one of the Burgess offices will locate to a portion of the building, ultimately housing 10 to 20 people. Burgess is also open to other adaptive uses for the space.

The building was constructed during a period of economic expansion in the city. Its location on a prominent corner in downtown Lumberton is just a block-and-a-half from the Lumber River, history museum and historic Carolina Civic Center.

The building is a two-story brick veneered edifice with an ornately designed Palladian front entrance on one side and two garage bay openings for fire trucks on the other side. It was expanded into its current size in the late 1940s with an addition that maintained its stately details and proportions.

After being retired by the city, there were plans to use the building as meeting space and for exhibits by the fire department. Some renovations were initiated and, although new windows were installed, several of the historic windows were kept and stored on-site. The interior is divided into large and small spaces, and has several bathrooms.

The news came on the heels of an announcement by the city of upgrades to an alley from the Civic Center to the Plaza.

“This is good for the city,” Mayor Bruce Davis said. “The future for Downtown Lumberton is looking good, and I am looking for more significant developments in the near future.

“Preserving the integrity of that building will be a good deal for the city. I want people who see that building to be excited about our city.”

Preservation North Carolina is a nonprofit that specializes in historic preservation. The city turned the building over to Preservation North Carolina, which will be paid by the Burgess Group. The city will benefit from getting the building back on the tax rolls.

“We were seeking a buyer who values historic preservation and could also bring the construction infrastructure required to restore this building; we found that in Vince and the Burgess Group,” said Cathleen Turner, regional director for Preservation North Carolina. “They have been responsive to both the community’s needs and vision for this space.”

As a contributing structure in the Lumberton Commercial Historic District, the building is eligible for tax credits.

Read full story…

(Robesonian, 2/17/18)

Deadline for applications is March 15, 2018

Now accepting applications for our summer 2018 field school, the San Gemini Preservation Studies Program

Now in its 20th year, with alumni from over 170 colleges and universities worldwide, SGPS is dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage. We offer students the opportunity to study and travel in Italy where they acquire hands-on experience in preservation and restoration.

Session One (May 28 – June 22)

Building Restoration – Touching the Stones

Restoration of Traditional Masonry Buildings and Sketching & Analyzing Historic Buildings

(Program includes lectures and restoration field projects*)

Archaeological Ceramics Restoration

Analysis and Restoration of Archaeological Ceramics in Italy

(Program includes lectures and restoration workshop)

Book Bindings Restoration

The Craft of Making and Restoring Book Bindings

Introduction to the Conservation of Books and Bindings

(Program includes lectures and practical workshop)

Session Two (July 9 – August 3)

Paper Restoration

Restoration and Conservation of Paper in Books and Archival Documents

(Program includes lectures and restoration workshop)

Traditional Painting Techniques

Traditional Materials, Methods of Painting and Art Restoration Issues

(Program includes lectures and painting workshop)

Preservation Theory and Practice in Italy 

Restoration Theory, Ethics and Issues

(Program includes lectures and discussion)

NEW RESEARCH PROJECT: Carsulae Roman Baths Excavation Project

Architectural & Structural Survey of the Site

(Program includes research and surveying field work*)

*Field Projects:

Restoration of the façade of the medieval church of San Carlo (13th century)

Analysis of medieval buildings in San Gemini as part of an urban study of the city

Architectural and structural survey of the baths in the ancient Roman city of Carsulae

Short Inter-Session Program

Preservation Field Trip – Italy (June 24 – July 3)

A ten-day trip visiting Siena, Florence and Rome: places of cultural interest, the urban and historical development of each town, and specialized visits to places of interest to restorers.

To find out more about our program and review the syllabi, please visit our WEBSITE.

Courses are open to students from various disciplines, both undergraduate and graduate. All lessons are taught in English.



A new owner signed the deed Monday to buy the historic Colonial Inn in downtown Hillsborough.

County documents show Allied DevCorp. LLC paid $800,000 – $75,000 less than the list price – for the 10,000-square-foot inn at 153 W. King St.

The company is managed by Justin Fejfar, a principal and co-founder of FDR Engineers in Research Triangle Park. Fejfar has more than 20 years of experience in commercial, industrial and residential building design, according to the company’s website.

Hillsborough attorney Sam Coleman, who handled the deal for the buyers, has said the team includes experts in engineering, architecture, construction, and the restaurant and hospitality industry. They have had the inn under contract since November and plan to revive the building as a boutique hotel with a restaurant, bar and small event space.

They also will seek input from the community about the inn’s future, Coleman said. A rezoning and development application could be submitted to the town by spring at the earliest, he said, and will depend on the complexity of the details.

Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens briefly met the buyers when they were considering the deal but said Wednesday he “would be hard-pressed right now to even name which ones I met.”

He’s “very happy” to see them buy the inn, which “is an important landmark, not just historically, but in the life of the town,” Stevens said.

Read Full Story…

(The Herald Sun, 1/10/18)

For 200 years an abandoned cotton mill along the Tar River in Rocky Mount has been a symbol of resilience, burned down by Union troops, rebuilt, accidentally burned again, rebuilt again and then ceasing operations in 1996 with the collapse of the textile industry.

Now the plant is churning back to life as a multimillion-dollar redevelopment project called Rocky Mount Mills, a mix of offices, lofts, cottages, common areas and start-up breweries that could help the economically distressed region an hour’s drive east of Raleigh.

Its 60-some mill houses are being turned into rental dwellings, each with a washer-dryer, charcoal grill, free landscaping, and an American flag on the front porch. There is a waiting list for the next vacancy.

The project will have 300,000 square feet of offices. Another 49 loft apartments renting from $950 to $2,200 a month are on the way. Three restaurants offer wood-fired oven pizzas, chef-inspired tacos and upscale American cuisine.

More is on the way, including a coffee shop, a small outdoor amphitheater and an indoor event space in an old power house. There is plenty of room for expansion, as most of the 160 acres have not been developed.

The idea is to create a district that connects downtown with the mills.

“We are setting our sights on where we want to be in 10 years,” said Evan Covington Chavez, development director for the project, which is owned by Capitol Broadcasting Co

Raleigh-based Capitol, which owns three TV stations including WRAL and five radio stations, is betting that the area’s history and riverside setting – as well as the scale of the project – will allow it to replicate the success it has had in Durham with the American Tobacco campus. With its mix of offices, restaurants, community gathering places and technology start-ups, American – developed out of a sprawling, shuttered tobacco manufacturing complex – has been credited with helping to revitalize downtown Durham.

Rocky Mount Mills, which Capitol bought in 2007, has a few challenges the company didn’t face in Durham: no large university to act as an economic engine, high unemployment, and a dwindling population in Nash and Edgecombe counties, which Rocky Mount straddles. The mill development is in Nash County.

Capitol Broadcasting says it is confident it will fill its residential and office spaces, citing the brisk pace of tenants who have already signed up. Economic development officials like Norris Tolson, executive director of the public-private industry recruiter Carolinas Gateway Partnership, says he sees signs of a turnaround.

Tolson, formerly a top state official and state legislator representing Edgecombe County, points to major manufacturers that have been enticed to the region recently with financial incentives. Tolson says he always shows prospective clients Rocky Mount Mills.

“Many of us, myself included, think it is changing the landscape in Rocky Mount considerably,” he said “I can’t say enough good things about that project.”

Rocky Mount Mills has been partially financed through state and federal tax credits, as have hundreds of preservation projects throughout the state, in places such as Loray Mill in Gastonia, Revolution Mill in Greensboro, Spray Cotton Mill in Eden and American Tobacco. More than $1 billion has been spent on mill preservation since 2006, according to Preservation N.C.

Read Full Story…

(The News & Observer, 1/5/18)

Every company needs a home. Even the towering giants of online commerce desire a cozy place to hang their virtual hats (and sometimes more than one cozy place, as attested by the current bidding war for Amazon’s HQ2). While many a corporate mythology might dwell nostalgically on the “we started in our garage” trope, no startup wants to linger in the carport for very long. Once your business gets sure footing, you’re going to need digs.

Choosing a location for a growing enterprise is no small matter, even in today’s everything-online-all-the-time climate. Factors to consider include foot traffic, accessibility, infrastructure and much more. As the editors of Entrepreneur remind us, your address speaks volumes about your company, declaring loud and clear what matters most to you and your brand.

As you consider where to hang your startup shingle — uptown or down, suburbs or exurbs — let me encourage you to borrow a little wisdom from the playbook of America’s greatest advocate for urban design, Jane Jacobs. In her classic work The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), Jacobs famously wrote, “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings” (emphasis mine).

Before you think I’m advocating that you build your brand in a chintz-covered B&B or some derelict warehouse without windows or running water, let me clarify what is meant by “old buildings.” For most of the 20th century, historic preservation was associated with ladies-who-lunch and house museums, where the childhood homes of local icons, say, were restored just as they were in the distant past, for tours at $5 a head, to keep the lights on.

I am not talking about those kinds of old buildings.

I’m talking about the newer, more progressive, more sustainable sort of historic preservation — known as “adaptive reuse” or “adaptive new use” — where an organization adapts a beautiful historic property for a contemporary purpose, retaining the most distinctive ornamental elements and the durable bones of the building, while reshaping the interior with surprising art and human-centered design.

Read full story…

(Entrepreneur, 1/3/18)

A prominent home in Chapel Hill, some warehouses that help tell the story of Raleigh and a neighborhood that was one of Durham’s first suburbs have been added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Joining the list in Chapel Hill is the home of Arthur and Mary Nash. Arthur Nash arrived in Chapel Hill in 1922 as the university architect and was an advocate of the Colonial Revival style in Chapel Hill at the time and played a leading role in the design of Wilson Library, the Carolina Inn and Kenan Stadium.

The Nash home, which he designed, was his residence. He died in 1969.

In Raleigh, the Depot Historic District has been expanded to included three warehouses that date to the time of World War I. They had a prime location next to the railroad station, but the district fell from favor later in the 20th century with the rise of trucks and cars. Now, the buildings are right next to the new Union Station and are being redeveloped. One will be developed as a bar by a former brewer at Trophy Brewing.

The three buildings are small-scale, masonry industrial buildings with simple exteriors and open interiors.

Read full story…

(Triangle Business Journal, 12/26/17)

The team which is finalizing details in a bid to buy the historic Colonial Inn brings passion and practical experience to the deal, its attorney said Friday.

The team is local to the Triangle and has several historic preservation projects under its belt, Hillsborough attorney Sam Coleman said. Team members include engineering, architecture and construction professionals, as well as someone with extensive experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

“They understand the enormity of (the project), the complexity of it and how much it means to the town,” Coleman said, “and they will truly educate people at the appropriate time … hopefully in the near future, about what they plan to do with the property.”

That will include seeking input from the community, he said.

“They are passionate about the town of Hillsborough,” Coleman noted. “We think it’s a boon for the town, because it hopefully will be an inn, and a restaurant and a bar, just like it used to be when it first started.”

The prospective owners’ planned boutique hotel also could include a small event space, he said.

Read full story…

(Herald Sun, 12/18/17)

It’s not often that people on both sides of a contentious issue end up coming together, Councilman Brian Miller said at the Salisbury City Council meeting Tuesday night.

He was talking about the pink granite service station at 201 E. Innes St., a contributing historic property downtown that has been a candidate for demolition since September 2016.

The Historic Preservation Commission voted that month to delay the demolition of the building for one year — the maximum amount of time that a demolition can be delayed by the commission.

The one-year delay is intended to give time for stakeholders to consider every preservation option possible.

When the request to demolish the property first came up last year, the Historic Salisbury Foundation and influential historic preservation advocates lobbied strongly to preserve the building.

Architect Pete Bogle of The Bogle Firm wanted to demolish the station so that a mixed-use development could be constructed.

On Tuesday night, the City Council had to decide whether to issue a demolition permit for the building.

The granite service station has been vacant for at least 10 years, according to Bogle.

There were four questions that the historic foundation wanted to address with Bogle, all of which were some form of the question, “Can the building be preserved?”

Bogle said, in every case, it makes more sense for the service station to be demolished and the property repurposed.

Over the course of the year, the foundation and Bogle cooperated and compromised until an agreement was made that both parties could live with.

Read Full Story…

(Salisbury Post, 11/22/17)

Historic Wilmington Foundation (HWF) is pleased to announce Beth Rutledge as the new Executive Director, effective December 18, 2017. Rutledge will succeed George Edwards, who announced his upcoming retirement earlier this year and has led the organization since 2004.

Rutledge was selected after a nationwide search. With a 20-year marketing and copywriting background, she most recently worked on program development at the nonprofit Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, launching their education program and Old Home Certified, a regional REALTOR® designation. Rutledge may already be a familiar face to some, as she is currently a member of the HWF Board of Trustees, chairs HWF’s History’s Future committee, and volunteers at Legacy Architectural Salvage.

“We’re thrilled to have Beth Rutledge as the next Executive Director,” says Walker Abney, President of the Board of Trustees of HWF. “Beth is a long-time preservationist, with both an understanding of HWF’s legacy as well as fresh ideas for the future of the organization. It’s an exciting time for the Foundation.”

Founded in 1966, the Historic Wilmington Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the irreplaceable historic resources of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear Region.


In a former North Carolina mining village, you could get a shave and a haircut for two bits—or, now, a barbershop-turned-tiny house for $72,000.

Known simply as “The Barbershop,” the 345-square-foot home in Burlington has only one bedroom and one bathroom, but oodles of history.

While you won’t find any remnants of its past as a place for a stylish trim, the small space is divided into three main areas. A great room contains the sleeping, living, and dining areas; it leads into the kitchen and a compact bathroom.

The design even allows a stacked washer and dryer. There’s a small porch and, of course, a classic barber pole next to the front door. Cherry-red accents highlight the light-blue color scheme of the home, which has hardwood flooring.

For anything that can’t quite fit inside the small home, a storage shed is available out back. The shed was modeled after the outhouse that used to be there, so it matches the historic design.

The property is located in the Glencoe Mill Village, which was constructed in the 1800s. When the mill was in operation, the employees lived in small houses in a village of about 50 homes. The mill ran until the 1950s, and in the late ’90s the organization Preservation North Carolina started working with individual owners and people to buy and fix up the old homes.

Read Full Story…

(San Francisco Gate, 11/28/17)

You could buy a house for as little as $49,000 in Gastonia’s Loray Mill Village. The homes mostly built in 1901 and 1902 and once housed mill workers. The houses are typically 850-1,000 square feet and have one or two bedrooms.

The entire neighborhood, including the original Loray Mill, are part of a massive rehab and revitalization project.

Non-profit Preservation North Carolina bought the homes and says the quality construction and materials are still apparent. The group imagines these smaller, historic houses will be ideal for “small households” – think tiny house-loving millennials or down-sizing baby boomers who want a walkable community. Apartments are already available in the renovated mill building, the site of the infamous 1929 labor strike.

Preservation North Carolina calls the Loray Mill National Register historic district one of the largest of its kind in the country, with nearly 500 historic mill houses. PNC believes the neighborhood could become a bustling alternative to people priced out of historic hubs in Charlotte.

Jack Miser, the project manager of the Loray Mill Village Revitalization for Preservation NC, told me six other houses similar to the ones now on the market have already sold. About half of those were bought by owner-occupiers, and the other half were bought by people who are fixing the houses up to sell them.

The same deal applies to the six homes now available: You can fix the house up to flip it, but you can’t rent it – all buyers must be owner-occupiers, or reselling to an owner-occupier.

The properties available range from homes needing a total renovation to move-in ready.

Read Full Story…

(Charlotte Agenda, 11/13/17)

A new $25 million fund is being set up through the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help ensure that historical sites important to African-American history are no longer endangered.

The African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, announced Wednesday, will be financed through partnerships with groups like the Ford Foundation and the JPB Foundation, and already has more than $3 million on hand.

“There is an opportunity and an obligation for us to step forward boldly and ensure the preservation of places which tell the often-overlooked stories of African-Americans and their many contributions to our nation,” said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The money will be used to address critical funding gaps for the preservation of African American historical sites, including memorializing some places already lost to history, like Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, Virginia.

Read Full Story…

(   11/15/17)

While construction inside the Raleigh Beltline is not unusual, a local artist has launched a unique project to honor the history and meaning of the Historic Oberlin Village community.

Thomas Sayre’s project memorializes the community established in the 1870s by 750 freed slaves and their families in the years following the Civil War.

The people tilled their own land and began their free lives just yards away from today’s Cameron Village shopping center.

The park will feature symbolic parts of the community’s beliefs, including a sculpture to commemorate the people and their relationship with nature.

“I knew a little about Oberlin, but learned a lot more and realized this is kind of sacred dirt here,” Sayre said. “We’re making a sculpture that will be surrounded by a little park that is a memorization of Oberlin, a community that still exists.”

Read Full Story…

( 11/17/17)

Without tax breaks, downtown Durham’s renaissance, with its swanky hotels and new skyscrapers, possibly wouldn’t have happened.

Yet, one of the main tax breaks used in Durham’s redevelopment could be facing the chopping block if the U.S. House of Representatives tax reform bill makes it to President Donald Trump’s desk for a signature.

The House GOP’s tax plan would eliminate federal investment tax credits for historic preservation projects as part of the Republican-led attempt to simplify the country’s tax code.

The potential elimination of the the historic tax credit quickly was met with dismay from preservation groups across the country and from some politicians.

“At a time when federal funding for infrastructure and housing is continually squeezed, the last thing Congress should do is push through a flawed tax plan that would hurt working families, hamstring our state and local governments, and destroy our ability to leverage private investment for projects that benefit the public,” said U.S. Rep. David Price, a Democrat from Chapel Hill.

As of the end of 2016, three of the 10 biggest historic tax rehabilitation projects across the state of North Carolina were in downtown Durham, according to Downtown Durham Inc. Others in North Carolina include Asheville’s Grove Arcade and Winston-Salem’s Reynolds Building.

The three largest projects in Durham were the American Tobacco Campus, which cost $167 million, the $81 million redevelopment of the old Liggett & Myers tobacco factory and the $38 million transformation of the Hill building into the 21C Museum Hotel.

Read full story…

(The Herald Sun, 11/14/17)

Rehabilitation and repurposing of the Historic Loray Mill, converting and renewing the abandoned Gaston Memorial Hospital for senior housing, and restoration of the Armstrong Apartments were all made possible by Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits for investment properties. But now, this essential preservation and community reinvestment tool is planned for extinction by the GOP tax bill.

I have firsthand knowledge of the financial structure of these private redevelopment projects and can assure the reader that neither would have happened without multiple sources of financing, including necessary private equity induced by Historic Tax Credits. Each of these heritage buildings would have long ago gone to the landfill in the absence of this reinvestment tool. Instead today, they are preserved for generations to come, serving new community and economic purposes, and are playing a key role in revitalizing areas of our community which have been overlooked by the market.

Historic tax credits are necessary because they mitigate higher costs and greater design challenges, and most importantly, provide equity to help fill the financial gap needed in weaker market locations.

Beyond preserving the historic legacy of our communities, historic preservation projects have a better economic impact than greenfield development. Preservation project costs average about 60 percent labor and 40 percent materials, while new construction averages about 60 percent materials and 40 percent labor. More jobs are generated, plus materials are more likely to be locally sourced, consequently 75 percent of their economic benefits are locally retained. As private developments they contribute significantly to local tax coffers.

But, contrasted with greenfield developments, they demand little in added municipal services because they typically occur where such services and infrastructure are already present. Historic tax credits are not only a winner at the local level, but also at the state and the national level. They return to the U.S. Treasury roughly $1.25 for every tax dollar invested. Results include $131 billion in private capital investment, 2.4 million jobs, and preservation of 42,293 buildings important to local, state and national heritage. If we want to grow our economy through tax reform, eliminating the Historic Preservation Tax Credit is heading the wrong way. We must reinvest in the physical assets of our center cities, our main streets, our small towns and the built heritage embodied on our community landmarks — that which makes each community special and defines its history. This will help grow our economy and return significant dividends to our taxpayers.

Preservation tax credits involve over $100 million in Gaston investment including other projects such as Mayworth School Senior Apartments in Cramerton, Dallas High School Apartments, and buildings in the downtowns of Gastonia and Belmont. Communities across North Carolina have seen over 653 projects, totaling $1.8 billion in investment, producing 31,000 jobs and providing $392 million in taxes. We cannot let this policy so vital to communities be eliminated, for there will be more projects to come, whether it’s repurposing of more old factory buildings, iconic downtown structures, or plans now before our communities.

So, it is no wonder Historic Preservation Tax Credits have enjoyed broad bi-partisan support. When President Regan signed a law making this policy permanent, he put it well, “Our tax credits have made the preservation of our older buildings not only a matter of respect for beauty and history, but of economic good sense.”

If you agree that Historic Preservation Tax Credits are good policy, act today to call or email Congressman Patrick McHenry and Sens. Burr and Tillis.

Jack Kiser is a resident of Gastonia and has long been involved in historic preservation.

Read full story…

(Gaston Gazette, 11/9/17)

Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi Hamilton and others called for defending the federal historic preservation tax credits at a Nov. 8 fundraiser for the Historic Wilmington Foundation.

Guests at the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s 2017 fundraising banquet heard a call to action Wednesday to support federal tax credits for historic preservation.

Susi Hamilton, N.C. secretary for natural and cultural resources, noted that the credits are targeted for repeal in the current tax plan being promoted by congressional Republicans.

Since 1998, Hamilton said, the credits had been used in 158 separate income-producing historic preservation projects in New Hanover County alone, resulting in $36.9 million in private investment.

Historic preservation “is big business,” she said. “It’s big business in North Carolina and our entire region.” The tax credits had been used for projects in 90 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, she added.

“It’s time to reach out,” Hamilton said. “We need to defend our small portion of this much larger (tax) plan.”

The federal credits, she noted, can be used only for work on non-residential properties and are separate from North Carolina’s own state tax credit program.

Enacted in 1976, the federal credits have previously enjoyed bipartisan support, Hamilton said. Former President Ronald Reagan was a major proponent of the program.

George Edwards, the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s outgoing executive director, urged members and guests to write their congressmen in support of the credits.

Read Full Story…

(Star News, 11/8/17)

Has Hillsborough’s Colonial Inn finally found a new owner?

The “Under Contract” sign currently posted above the For Sale sign along the historic property at 153 W. King Street in downtown Hillsborough says so.

So does Seagle & Associates, a real estate brokerage based in Fuquay-Varina that currently holds the Inn’s listing. A representative of the company confirmed Monday morning that the property is under contract.

An online search also confirmed the property is listed “pending” in the Triangle Multiple Listing Service, which handles real property listings in the region. Little else is known at the moment, at least publicly, about the individual or individuals who have gone under contract to purchase the nearly 200 year-old Inn.

Read Full Story…

(The News of Orange 11/6/17)

It took six and a half long years for Cyndi and John Dellinger to bring the Laboratory Mill back from certain collapse due to water and other damage. It was quite by chance that they even discovered the mill, located on Southfork Road in Lincolnton. While on a walk on the Rail Trail, instead of walking back on the trail, they returned via the road and saw the “for sale” sign on the mill.

“I told John we ought to get that,” Cyndi Dellinger said. “He loves history but he told me I was out of my mind.”

Now that it’s fully restored and open for business, the Dellingers have received numerous awards and accolades for both the wedding venue and for preservation of the historic property. Most recently, they received the 2017 L. Vincent Lowe, Jr. Business Award from Preservation North Carolina, the highest preservation award given to a state business for promoting protection of North Carolina’s architectural resources.

The Laboratory Mill has a rich history. It was the Lincoln Cotton Factory, also known as the Lincolnton Factory, from 1819–1863. It served as a Confederate laboratory during the Civil War. After the war, it returned to textile operations until it closed in 1994.

Read full story…

(Lincoln Times-News, 10/25/17)

Preservation North Carolina has announced the sale of Spray Cotton Mill to Pittsboro developer Faisal Khan.

The historic preservation nonprofit group that promotes and protects the buildings and landscapes across the state, announced the sale on Friday.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed for the 5.6 acre property with an asking price of $195,000.

 According to a news release, renovation plans of the mill property will focus on a variety of complimentary uses.

Khan, a managing member of Spray Cotton LLC, has experience renovating historic buildings in neighboring Virginia.

Two of those projects were in Roanoke, where according to the Roanoke Times, Khan turned a 58-year dilapidated YMCA building purchased in 2014, into The Locker Room Lofts – a live/work space complex that still features historic elements of the original YMCA.

Prior to that purchase, he also renovated the former Crystal Tower Building, which reopened in August of 2014 as the Ponce de Leon apartment complex.

Read full story…

(Rockingham Now, 10/27/17)

The moment was sadly ironic.

On Wednesday, as city leaders celebrated the renovation of Revolution Mill — a former Cone Mills textile factory that now houses shops, offices, restaurants and apartments — another Greensboro textile mill was closing its doors.

White Oak was the last Cone textile mill operating in Greensboro, the last to make iconic American denim in the town where it began, the last still serving its original purpose.

Although the timing was purely a coincidence, it served to underscore how important historic preservation and new-market tax credits are in promoting economic development in towns where traditional businesses and industries have withered away.

There are few sights as disheartening as shuttered factories that once provided a livelihood for hundreds of workers. But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story.

Textile manufacturing has moved overseas, but the massive brick structures left behind can become another kind of economic engine — one that attracts entrepreneurs and millenials who want to live, work and play in the same space.

Revolution Mill shows how successful that kind of place can be.

Read full story…

(Greensboro News and Record, 10/19/17)

Charlotte’s NoDa district has its own feel to it. Some say it has character, and that’s why development is booming.

“It’s not polished and it’s very pedestrian oriented,” said one resident.

But off Alexander and 37th St., there’s a growing conflict surrounding the question: what is NoDa?

You know, there’s been so many changes it’s hard to find one word.”

Leigh McDonalds lives in this NoDa home. It’s more than 100 years old and it looked quite different before she fixed it up.

“I just knew immediately that it was the house I wanted,” Leigh said.

There are dozens of old mill houses in NoDa just like hers. With so much new development, there’s now a group effort to label them with this protective covenant from the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina.

“It prevents people from tearing the property, the house down.”

Preservation North Carolina’s Ted Alexander says it’s not just McDonald’s mill house he’s working to preserve, there are several, all along the same street.

Read full story…

(Fox 46 Charlotte, 10/17/18)

Gastonia native Wiley Cash took the title of his first novel, “A Land More Kind Than Home,” from a passage in Asheville native’s Thomas Wolfe’s last novel, “You Can’t Go Home Again.”

Cash certainly came home again Thursday night, however, to a standing-room-only reception at the Penegar Events Hall in Loray Mill, where an excited and appreciative audience, many of whom had just purchased the book, listened to him talk about the background for his just-released third novel, “The Last Ballad,” and to read a brief excerpt from the new work.

“The Last Ballad” presents a fictional narrative tied to the bloody 1929 labor strike at the Loray Mill and the key protagonist behind that strike, Ella May Wiggins, a mill worker won over to the labor union by its promise of a better life for poor workers like her and her family. Wiggins was also known for writing and singing protest songs which fueled the energy of the strikers and won new members to their cause.

Although now considered a pivotal event in the history of the southern labor movement, Cash revealed that he had never heard of the strike, or of Wiggins, until he was a doctoral student on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a professor mentioned it to him.

“I grew up in Gastonia. My mother was from a textile family here. My dad was from a textile family in Shelby, and yet I knew nothing about this key event in the history of the region,” Cash said.

“This was a story,” he added, “of race, and of class, and of gender, and of economics. It was a story that blew this town apart. And yet it was as if history forgot. I never heard this story from my family, or in college, or in church. I wanted to learn as much as I could about Ella May and what happened.”

Read full story…

(Gaston Gazette, 10/6/17)

The Historic Salisbury Foundation has acquired the McCanless-Busby-Thompson House at 128 W. Thomas St.

After a demolition hearing for the house was scheduled for Sept. 28, the foundation reached an agreement to purchase the property from John M. Cheek.

The sale closed Sept. 26, two days before the hearing.

“This amazing last-minute rescue saves an important house and helps protect a vital edge of the West Square Historic District,” said Edward Clement, a trustee for Historic Salisbury Foundation.

Built in 1922 for Charles McCanless, the son of Napoleon Bonaparte McCanless, the two-story brick Colonial Revival house is listed as a “contributing building” by the National Register of Historic Places and is located in the primary Salisbury Historic District.

Read Full Story…

(The Salisbury Post, 10/5/17)

The Carolina Theatre in Greensboro is hoping community support will help boost its chances to receive $150,000 in restoration funding.

Greensboro has been selected as a Partners in Preservation city, making it one of 25 cities eligible to receive a $150,000 grant focused on a historic preservation project.

Downtown Greensboro Incorporated says the theatre’s downtown location combined with its almost 90-year history, made it the ideal project to support.

“We have this historic stock of buildings down here that other cities our size or in North Carolina don’t have,” said Jodee Ruppel, vice president of strategic initiatives at DGI.

People can vote five times a day until Oct. 31st to support Greensboro, the only North Carolina city selected among the 25 cities.

Visit this website and scroll down to the bottom of the page to vote.

Read full story…

(, 10/5/17)

If only the walls, floors, and nearby trees, stones and pathways around Hillsborough’s Colonial Inn could talk. The stories they might tell us.

Might they tell us stories of the fledgling American Revolution, when British General Cornwallis, according to legend, in the midst of his occupation of Hillsborough, had his soldiers pave the muddy street in front of the Inn with flagstone?

Might they tell us what it was like to see William Hooper – later a signer of the Declaration of Independence – dragged through the streets of Hillsborough in 1770 during the height of the War of the Regulation, a precursor to the American Revolution?

Might those antebellum walls, columns, and floors tell us of the day when General Sherman’s Army rolled into Hillsborough, barreling its way south intent on destroying the will and fighting ability of the Confederacy? How a Union commander supposedly convinced Sherman not to burn down the Colonial Inn due to the fact that the owner was a fellow Mason?

Whether or not any of these things actually happened or not at the Colonial Inn, they’re part of the lore of the place. And one of the reasons why the Hillsborough mainstay has been designated a National Historic Place.

Read Full Story…

(The News of Orange,  9/30/17)

You’ve probably driven by the Durham Police Department’s West Chapel Hill Street headquarters plenty of times and not given much thought to it. Or maybe you’ve thought more about what goes on inside it than the building itself.

It’s a largely glass structure with hints of classroom-chair blue, bookended by brown walls that display the police department’s badge. Pretty unremarkable, right? Not so, says Preservation NC.

Read full story…

(IndyWeek, 9/20/17)

Five years ago, novelist Wiley Cash sent 25,000 words of what would become his third novel, “The Last Ballad,” to his editor at William Morrow. On the basis of those words, the editor bought the book. But in an early morning telephone interview, Cash tells me not one of those words appears in the finished version.

The New York Times bestselling novelist (“A Land More Kind than Home,” “This Dark Road to Mercy”), who grew up in Gastonia, says he wrote draft after draft, year after year, until the presidential election of 2016, when things began to crystallize for him. He saw how today’s events are a mirror-sharp reflection of those between the haves and have-nots of the mill society of the South in the 1920s and ’30s.

Read full story…

(Charlotte Observer, 9/24/17)

Often the people excelling at something are those who love what they do and don’t consider it work — and that is the case with a longtime local preservationist.

The name Betty Wright has become synonymous with the protection of historic properties around town, particularly the William Alfred Moore House constructed around 1862, which is considered the oldest-known building in Mount Airy.

Among other historic sites Wright has had a big hand in preserving through her restoration efforts, encouragement or care are the Nita Webb House on West Lebanon Street, now home to Blue Ridge CareNet Counseling Center, and Mount Airy Masonic Lodge on Franklin Street.

Wright also oversaw the rehabilitation and preservation of an old granite home on North Main Street which is now a law office, and championed the Satterfield House becoming a local historic landmark as one of the first African-American homes here.

Read full story…

(The Mount Airy News, 9/16/17)

The Historic Wilmington Foundation’s executive director is retiring after nearly 13 years.

George Edwards submitted his notice to retire effective on Dec. 15, Walker Abney, president of the Board of Trustees of Historic Wilmington Foundation, announced in a news release Tuesday. Edwards has held the position as executive director of the foundation since 2004.

November will mark Edward’s 13th year with the organization. He is the longest-serving executive in the foundation’s 51-year history, officials said in the release. The Historic Wilmington Foundation has been established in the Wilmington region since 1966.

“I feel good about my decision … but I think the next chapter should be fun too,” Edwards said Tuesday.

Read full story…

(Wilmington Biz, 9/19/17)

The City of Durham wants community input on what should happen to a prominent block on the western edge of downtown Durham.

Currently, the four-acre site is being used as the headquarters for the Durham Police Department. However, the site will become vacant in fall 2018, when the department moves to its newly constructed headquarters along East Main Street. When this occurs, the City will no longer have a municipal purpose for the property and is looking for community input as to its future use.

The City’s General Services Department is asking residents, businesses and other stakeholders to share their initial ideas, thoughts and concerns about the future of this property in the following ways:

  • Complete an online survey located on the project website.
  • Drop in on a pop-up workshop hosted at various locations in-and-around downtown:
  • Saturday, September 16 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Durham Farmers Market, 501 Foster Street
  • Monday, September 18 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Durham City Hall, 101 City Hall Plaza
  • Tuesday, September 19 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Durham Station Transportation Center, 515 West Pettigrew Street
  • Wednesday, September 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Durham Co-Op, 1111 West Chapel Hill Street
  • Attend a community workshop on Thursday, September 21 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Durham Armory, 220 Foster Street

Read full release…

(City of Durham Press Release, 9/1/17)

At first glance, the Double Shoals Cotton Mill looks run-down, but a new deck outside of a door, freshly mowed grass and lights hanging from an old cargo bay give hints of what could be.

Remodeled mill houses line Old Mill Road, leading down to the cotton mill located at 110 Moss Road, which is getting some sprucing up too from Michael Faucher and his family. The Fauchers bought the county’s oldest cotton mill at auction in 2015 in hopes of making it a home for artists, musicians and anyone looking for a historic, rustic venue.

Read full story…

(Shelby Star, 8/22/17)

Race relations seem to be a crossroads across the United States in light of recent controversial events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and elsewhere.

But a Tuesday event in Gastonia will shine a light on how city leaders here have worked proactively over the last 50 years to prevent the type of conflict and tragedy that has inflamed many other communities. Organizers of “Shades of Color: A Living History of Race Relations” hope the panel discussion will serve as an inspiring example of the kinds of collaborative benefits that are possible when people of different backgrounds and ethnicities come together.

Read full story…

(Gastonia Gazette, 8/25/17)

Before we moved to Warren County three years ago, both my wife and I found a copy of “Sketches of Old Warrenton” online and promptly printed it and read it cover-to-cover. We wanted to be familiar with the historic properties and the people that made up our new hometown. Then about a year later I was doing some research and pulled out my copy of Lizzie Montgomery’s book, and it was like I had never read it before! It took a little time, but I finally figured out that I hadn’t retained any of the stories or information because these places weren’t part of my daily life when I originally read the book.

Read full story…

(The New York Times, 7/26/17)

Jane and Greg Hills were visiting New York City when they grabbed a drink in the lobby bar of the Dream Downtown, a boutique hotel in Chelsea. As the full room pulsed with music and guests, the couple had an epiphany: Dream should run their new hotel in Durham, N.C.

“We had been talking to all the major brands, but we wanted someone innovative, creative and entrepreneurial,” Ms. Hills said of Dream, a relatively small company that operates 16 hotels. “The banks wanted us to go with someone more well known, but Dream was the right match for us.”

Read full story…

(The New York Times, 6/13/17)

GREENSBORO — A historic farmstead in High Point could be maintained and preserved at no cost to Guilford County under an agreement approved Tuesday.

The Hedgecock farmstead, a conglomeration of 13 buildings, sits on a corner of the county-owned Rich Fork Nature Preserve. Two years of debate over the 120-acre property focused mostly on whether the land should allow mountain biking, but a group of preservationists also sought to find a way to save the structures.

Read full story…

(Greensboro News & Record, 7/11/2017)

Renovation of the old Pinehurst steam plant into a pub and microbrewery has long been seen as a possible anchor for redevelopment of a somewhat unsightly area on the outskirts of the village’s quaint downtown.

The village itself tried four years ago to attract a tenant with the help of some state grants, but a deal with a local brewery fell through.

Now, Pinehurst Resort, which owns the property, is moving ahead with its own plan for “an adaptive reuse and conversion” of the 7,000-square-foot building constructed in 1895.

Read full story…

(The Pilot, 7/12/17)

RALEIGH—Two pieces of North Carolina’s Reconstruction-era history will remain standing for years to come.

Preservation NC, a nonprofit that works to protect important pieces of the state’s history, is taking over the Rev. Plummer T. Hall and Willis Graves houses in Oberlin Village, a neighborhood west of downtown Raleigh that was established by freed slaves after the Civil War.

The houses are among five buildings in Oberlin Village that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After they are renovated, they will serve as the headquarters of Preservation NC, which is currently based in the Briggs Hardware Building on Fayetteville Street downtown.

Read full story…

(The News & Observer – 7/10/2017)

Business owners in downtown Goldsboro are benefiting from the area’s recent revitalization, and many citizens are enjoying their community more than ever.

It’s not just big cities that are experiencing booming downtown areas. Many smaller cities and towns are jumping on the bandwagon as well, revitalizing old or empty parts of town.

Read full story…

(WRAL – 7/10/2017)

“Progress is not built on forgetting — progress is built on understanding,” said Ting Li, creative director of local creative agency Pixelatoms.

That’s why Li, 32, his volunteer partners and Gallery Twenty-Two are hosting an art event to help the city better understand Charlotte’s history — and raise funds to save a piece of it.

The July 8 art event “Awaken: Saving the Queen City” at Gallery Twenty-Two will feature works by local artists related to Charlotte history, plus illustrations of local historic landmarks by Pixelatoms. It will raise funds to save the 1920s-era Siloam Rosenwald School, which educated African-American children during the Jim Crow era.

Read full story…

(Charlotte Five, 7/3/17)

RALEIGH — Two local downtown areas have received recognition for revitalization efforts that attract visitors and drive tourism.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Main Street and Rural Planning Center recently announced that 39 North Carolina communities, including Morganton and Valdese, have achieved accreditation or reaccreditation from the National Main Street Center for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards set by the center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The North Carolina Main Street communities that have earned accreditation for their 2016 performance are Belmont, Boone, Brevard, Cherryville, Clinton, Concord, Eden, Edenton, Elkin, Garner, Goldsboro, Hendersonville, Hickory, Kings Mountain, Lenoir, Lexington, Lumberton, Marion, Monroe, Morganton, North Wilkesboro, Roanoke Rapids, Rocky Mount, Roxboro, Rutherfordton, Salisbury, Sanford, Shelby, Smithfield, Spruce Pine, Statesville, Sylva, Tryon, Valdese, Wake Forest, Waxhaw, Waynesville, Williamston and Wilson.

Read full story…

(, 7/3/2017)

Oak Ridge’s Historic Preservation Commission has approved its second round of Historic Heritage Grants, designed to strengthen and preserve the Oak Ridge area’s rich historic heritage by providing small-scale, high-impact grants.

This year’s grants total $5,100. Together with required matching funds of $5,500 contributed by property owners, the grants will support $10,600 in exterior improvements to key historic structures in the town.

Read full story…

(News & Record, 7/7/2017)

I trust you are having a good summer. We sure are here on the Roanoke. We have had some beautiful days. And in this, our 20th anniversary year, we are happy to report we are having what promises to be our best year yet! We’d like to share some of the highlights with you.

…And last, but certainly not least, we are gearing up to begin the capital campaign to renovate the Hamilton Rosenwald School – to be repurposed as the Rosenwald River Center. Over the past couple of months we have been meeting with a number of partners to a plan for and complete this project.

We have participated in fundraising training conducted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We have also attended meetings hosted by State Historic Preservation and by Preservation North Carolina. All of these groups are invested in and providing guidance and support for this very special project.

Read full story…

(Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, 7/5/2017)

There’s no shortage of threats to Asheville’s historic homes, commercial buildings, landscapes and neighborhoods, notes Jack Thomson, executive director of The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County. And while he sees the area’s current real estate boom as the single biggest issue, another key problem is public misconceptions about the different preservation programs — and the widely varying degrees of protection they confer.

“In my experience, a really large segment of the general public knows just enough to be dangerous,” says Thomson. And many owners of historic properties, he continues, don’t understand the benefits these programs provide — or the restrictions that come with them. For these reasons, he believes, outreach and education efforts are essential.

Read full story…

(Mountain Xpress, 6/8/17)

A Call to Artists for Art@Loray: Southern Mills Through Local Eyes

Gastonia, North Carolina-June 22, 2017- With deep Southern roots connected to mills and mill life, the Alfred C. Kessell History Center at Loray Mill wants you to tap into your surroundings to find artistic inspiration! The Kessell History Center is hosting an art show this summer and we want you to contribute.

The show, Southern Mills Through Local Eyes, will feature contributed works inspired by Southern mills and mill life and we would like you to contribute to the show with your work of art! Your piece should be inspired by Southern mills and mill life and there is no entry fee to contribute works.
Eligible works can be paintings, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, mixed media and fiber. Two-dimensional work is restricted to 48”x48”, including frame. Works on paper (including photography) must be protected by glass or Plexiglass and framed. All work must be properly framed or gallery wrapped, and wired for hanging. Fiber art must be ready to hang, with rod supplied by the artist. If needed, please plan to supply an easel or necessary display props.
Art must be delivered to the Kessell History Center on Thursday, June 15 between 11am and 4pm, or Tuesday, June 20 between 11am and 4pm. No late entries will be accepted. The opening reception will be Thursday, June 22 from 6-8pm. The exhibit will run June 22-July 13. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-4pm. Artwork must be picked up on Tuesday, July 18 between 11am and 4pm.

For full prospectus and requirements, please email

‘Loray Talks’ is supported by the Carrie E. and Lena V. Glenn Foundation.

The Alfred C. Kessell History Center is a non-profit dedicated to preserving, interpreting and celebrating the economic and social histories of Gaston County, North Carolina and the South, as well as promoting historic preservation practices and architectural history in the region. The Kessell History Center is an education and outreach program of Preservation North Carolina, a historic preservation nonprofit working to protect and promote the buildings and landscapes of North Carolina’s diverse heritage. The website for the Alfred C. Kessell History Center is; the website for Preservation North Carolina is

Amanda Holland
300 S Firestone Street
Gastonia, NC 28052
Ph: 980-266-9923

A church over 100 years old was destroyed by the storm that came through Haywood County on Saturday evening.

The old Hemphill Methodist Church on Hemphill Road near Jonathan Creek sustained critical damage around 11:30 p.m. when a massive tree was blown over on the other side of Hemphill Creek and landed on the church.

Read full story…

(The Mountaineer, 5/28/17)

SALISBURY — The Andrew Jackson Society dinner Sunday evening was supposed to be “A Supper on the Lawn,” but heavy afternoon showers forced things inside.

Nothing dampened, however, the enthusiasm Susan Kluttz felt in receiving the Clement Cup, Historic Salisbury Foundation’s highest preservation award.

Read full story…

(Salisbury Post, 6/5/17)

Each year in May, during National Preservation Month, the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County holds an awards ceremony to recognize significant local preservation projects and to honor the efforts of property owners, contractors and architects across the community.

Read full story…

(Mountain Xpress, 6/1/17)

The boarded-up townhouse of William Rand Kenan Sr., in the heart of Wilmington’s Historic District, is one of the latest editions to the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s “Most Threatened Endangered Places” list.

Officers of the non-profit foundation announced their 2017 list Wednesday morning, standing in front of the Kenan House at 110 Nun St.

Read full story…

(Star News Online, 5/31/17)

Summerfield, NC, May 15, 2017 – After reviewing proposals from ten architectural firms, the Town of Summerfield has chosen CUBE design + research to renovate the Gordon Hardware building and create a permanent Meeting Hall for the town.

“We’re honored to be part of this seminal project for Summerfield,” says Jason Hart, CUBE cofounder. “As a design firm that applies a research-driven approach to a broad range of projects, we look forward to making this a civic building that tells the story of the town and revitalizes a historic landmark in a way that Summerfield citizens can be proud of.”

Built in 1872 with handmade bricks from the Brittan brickyard, the Gordon Hardware building is just one of Summerfield’s distinguished historical landmarks. Situated on the southeast corner of Summerfield and Oak Ridge, the Gordon building sits opposite the Martin House, the oldest remaining home in town, and cater-corner to the current Town Hall. The project will entail renovating the interior of the building and, most likely, expanding the space in order to create a meeting hall that can accommodate the public.

“This historic building has the power to evoke many memories citizens have of the town,” Hart explains. “So, our approach is to draw relationships between the physical building and the memories in order to create an architectural narrative that is not only useful, but also sparks conversation.”

CUBE design + research provides full architectural services from offices in Boston, MA and Chapel Hill, NC. CUBE’s award-winning research-driven approach helps to identify project threads, both visible and hidden, and then weave them together to create conceptual designs for a broad range of project types and scales, including residential, commercial and adaptive reuse of historic buildings. With a mission to create design that is inspiring, thoughtful and transformative for those who live and work in the buildings and the communities they inhabit, CUBE designs and constructs buildings and spaces that are simultaneously functional and innovative, while also conceptually grounded and personal.

he North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (HPO) began a comprehensive architectural survey of Whiteville’s historic properties May 1. Elizabeth King, survey specialist in the HPO’s Survey and National Register Branch, is conducting the project, which was endorsed by Whiteville’s City Council April 11. Ms. King will be conducting field work in May and June and will return to Whiteville periodically during the summer to continue her research.

Digital photographs, architectural descriptions and historical backgrounds of approximately 300 buildings constructed prior to 1970 are expected results from the survey. All of the collected information will be entered in the HPO’s survey database. The several-month project also entails identification of individual properties and districts that appear to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and the preparation of a report that analyzes the city’s historic built environment.

Read full press release…

(NCDCR website, 5/12/2018)

The Bethel Rural Community Organization’s Historic Preservation Committee has launched a campaign to fund a historical marker to honor Calvin Filmore Christopher, a prolific inventor from Bethel whose contributions were profound but unknown.

The significance of Christopher’s brilliant inventions lay dormant after his death for almost 80 years, until Carroll Jones with the Bethel Rural Community Organization’s Historic Preservation Committee decided to investigate.

Jones, with five North Carolina Society of Historians award-winning books to his credit, has an aptitude for ferreting out exceptional historical data that deserves acknowledgement.

Read full story…

(The Mountaineer, 4/17/2017)

The Red Oak Town Board of Commissioners voted last week to donate the former Red Oak Teacherage to a the newly-formed Red Oak Area Historic Preservation Society.

In a resolution approved at the last town meeting, Red Oak town commissioners voted to donate the Red Oak Teacherage to the society to aid in the preservation of the only remaining teacherage in Nash County. The 10,000-square-foot building, which is located on Red Oak Road across from the Red Oak Elementary School, was acquired by the town in 2014 as part of a land-swap deal.

Read full story…

(Rocky Mount Telegram, 4/10/2017)

In 1668, four precincts were formed out of the County of Albemarle, the first governmental unit of what would become North Carolina. These four precincts (now counties) – Currituck, Pasquotank, Perquimans and Chowan – were later subdivided further, into what is now the northeastern North Carolina. Chowan County is one of at least sixteen counties that will participate in the 350th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of North Carolina’s Albemarle region in 2018. The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has established a 350th Anniversary Committee with it operations based at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City.

Read full story…

(Daily Advance, 4/3/2017)

When Gertrude Carraway traveled from her three-story home on Broad Street in New Bern to Tryon Palace on Eden Street, she marched. Her arms fanned out, carrying her forward at a faster pace than many speed walkers. Her heels clicked the pavement with purpose. She stood tall, shoulders back. She stared straight ahead. Her hat stayed pinned to her curls. Her dress never moved. Her pearls never swayed. And when she encountered someone she knew on the street, she said hello. And kept moving. When Carraway was on a mission — and Carraway was always on a mission — she chose her words carefully, briskly. She did not gossip.

Carraway was born in 1896. She lived and died in the same bed. Carraway was not a wife. She was not a mother. She was not a homemaker.

Read full story…

(Our State Magazine, 3/2017)

Historic preservation in North Carolina creates jobs, fortifies the tax base, provides economic boosts to downtowns, and utilizes existing buildings and infrastructure while preserving the state’s priceless historic character. As a national leader among states in historic preservation efforts, North Carolina can boast a top five status in the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit program, bolstered by a robust parallel state tax credit program, both designed to foster investment in and preservation of endangered and underutilized historic properties. Alumnus Tim E. Simmons [BEDA ’81, B.Arch ’83] is key to the implementation and impact of these preservation projects as the Senior Preservation Architect and Income-Producing Tax Credit Coordinator with the NC State Historic Preservation Office. For more than 26 years, Simmons has held this position. “It’s a rewarding job, and I love it,” he states emphatically.

Read full story…

(NCSU Design Life, 12/6/2016)

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources on Thursday announced that six locations across the state have been added to the National Register of Historic Places, including the Kate and Charles Noel Vance House in Black Mountain and a historic district of Winston-Salem.

Read full story…

(Asheville Citizen-Times, 3/23/2017)

Dr. Jackie Eller and Dr. Kelly Earp join the PRISC team as research associates to support the PRISC mission to grow community by preserving history.

Washington, NC – March 17, 2017, Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities, a North Carolina non-profit, announces the addition of both Dr. Jackie Eller and Dr. Kelly Earp as research associates. PRISC is initiating the development of both a historical enclave (small shared community living) and re-integration living home for female veterans. To achieve these goals, PRISC will be rehabilitating endangered properties in the Washington, NC historic district and developing programs to support veterans in positive transition experiences. Dr. Jackie Eller and Dr. Kelly Earp will play significant roles in developing a social resilience program to support veterans residing in the rehabilitated historic homes.

Also, PRISC announces it has been chosen as one of the recipients of a summer intern from the East Carolina University and the State Employees Credit Union Foundation (SECU) Public Intern Fellow program.

“Both Dr. Eller and Dr. Earp bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in community health and sustainability to PRISC which will be critical in making our projects successful. Like the current staff and Board of Directors, they each bring a passion for helping populations such as disabled veterans transitioning into their new communities. We are excited to welcome them aboard,” said CEO Robert Greene Sands. “The addition of a summer intern will provide needed assistance in all facets of our mission.”

Dr. Eller holds a PhD in Sociology and brings more than 30 years of experience to the team, including previous service as Vice-Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. Earp holds a PhD in Public Health and an M.A. in medical anthropology. She brings 17 years of experience to PRISC, including efforts across nonprofit, academic, government, and corporate (start-up) sectors. To learn more about PRISC, visit; for more information contact Robert Greene Sands at or 805-320-2967

About PRISC PRISC is a North Carolina 501(c)(3) nonprofit institute, located in Washington, NC whose mission is to grow community by preserving history. PRISC promotes projects and programs and research that feature historical preservation and reutilization as a primary means to help foster community development and sustainability.

(3/17/2017, Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities)

RALEIGH–James Monroe remembers winning second place in a brick-laying contest at Washington Graded and High School, Raleigh’s first public high school for black students.

He also remembers drinking from separate water fountains while growing up in the city during the 1940s and ’50s.

“Anything that was public had a segregated side on it,” said Monroe, 86, who graduated from Washington in 1951. “All the nice things were forbidden to use or participate in (by African-Americans).”

Read full story…

(News & Observer, 3/16/2017)

We got it!

The Town of Clayton and the Clayton Downtown Development Association are excited to announce that we’ve been selected to host the 2018 North Carolina Main Street Conference!

Set to span three days next March, the conference will bring hundreds to Clayton from all over North Carolina – including main street managers, downtown revitalization board members, town planners and elected officials. Joining them will be professionals from fields that affect downtown development, such as design, architecture, historic preservation, landscape architecture and event planning.

Read full press release…

(Town of Clayton Website, 3/16/2017)

When the Swansboro Historical Association – and its efforts to refurbish Swansboro’s historic Emmerton School – were held up as an example of a good thing by the state, the Swansboro Historic Preservation Commission noticed.

The two groups, though different, are in many ways the same. Specifically, they represent efforts to recognize the town’s historical significance, one from the private sector and one from the public sector. So the article, Swansboro’s School of History: A Tradition of Adaptive Reuse at the Emmerton School, was affirmation that preservation is taking place in Swansboro.

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(Tideland News, 3/15/2017)

Normally they get all excited down there over some big, new skyscraper going up in Charlotte, the center of Mecklenburg. Or over some big urban-development project.

For instance, right now the hot new item there is a plan to turn 2,000 mostly woodland acres next to the Charlotte airport into their biggest urban community yet with hotels and shopping centers and such.

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(Elkin Tribune, 3/6/2017)

Three Triad projects are among the five winners of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association’s “Great Places in North Carolina” awards program, designed to bring recognition to great places across the state. This is the sixth year the American Planning Association has conducted the program.

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(Triad Business Journal, 3/3/2017)

Outer Banks — At first glance, one immediately senses that this structure has an extraordinary story. Situated just off the oceanfront in North Swan Beach in the 4×4 area, Wash Woods Station looks strikingly different than neighboring modern homes. This historic building and its surrounding outbuildings were purchased by the Twiddys in 1988 and restorations were completed in 1989.

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(, 3/7/2017)


Stuart Mills believes some of the historic homes in Pinehurst have “cool stories” that their owners may not necessarily know about.

Mills chairs the Village Heritage Foundation’s Historic Plaque Committee, which is entering the second year of a program that recognizes the preservation and restoration of historic properties. The committee is now accepting nominations for the awards program through May 15.

The Historic Plaque Committee considers architectural integrity, the home’s role in Pinehurst’s social and cultural development, and connection to village icons in selecting honorees.

“If you have made changes to your home, are they consistent with the original architecture?” Mills said. But he added that “historical aspect might trump architectural.”

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(The Pilot, 3/2/2017)

There’s not a bad seat inside the nearly 80-year-old Tryon Theatre.

Scott and Gayle Lane prefer the seats in the center of the third row, in the middle section on the theater’s ground floor. They say the chairs there recline at the perfect angle and the acoustics are appealing.

In January, the Lanes went from moviegoers to theater owners when they bought the historic North Carolina theater from Barry Flood. A school teacher by day, Flood owned and operated Tryon Theatre for 26 years.

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(Blue Ridge Now, 2/26/2017)

Sarah and Brian Efird and their two daughters already lived in West End when they purchased their home on Brookstown Avenue.

“I remember walking by and thinking, ‘That looks kind of dingy and sad, but it has potential,’” Sarah Efird, 41, said.

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(Winston-Salem Journal, 2/25/2017)

GREENSBORO — Passers-by pause as they pass the rambling brick and half-timbered Fisher Park mansion.

Locals long have known the historic property as the former Julian Price home, built in 1929 for the president of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co.

Then in January, the home at 301 Fisher Park Circle gained national attention when it became the setting for an episode on the A&E television reality series “Hoarders.”

Read full story and see video…

(News & Record, 2/21/2017)

The Raleigh City Council today unanimously approved the selection of world-renowned Landscape Architect Michael Van Valkenburgh to lead the creation of a comprehensive master plan for Dorothea Dix Park. The council accepted the recommendation of the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan Executive Committee (MPEC) to select Mr. Van Valkenburgh’s firm, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA). Chaired by Mayor Nancy McFarlane, MPEC includes representatives of the partnership between the City of Raleigh, the Dix Park Conservancy, and North Carolina State University.

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(City of Raleigh website, 2/21/2017)

One of the most important buildings in Johnston County is a rental house today but was once part of a wounded nation’s first step out of slavery and war.

On Fourth Street, two doors down from First Missionary Baptist Church in Smithfield, a long gray house with a screened-in front porch began its life more than 150 years ago as the first school for freed slaves in Johnston County. That it stands today is a perhaps miracle, as the building is believed to be the only remaining Freedman’s Bureau school in North Carolina.

Smithfield was an occupied town during Reconstruction, Johnston County Heritage Center director Todd Johnson said, and while Union troops were still on the streets, a national effort was under way to educate the free black men and women in the South. The American Missionary Association was one of the groups leading the effort.

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(News & Observer, 2/16/2017)

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington City Council set in stone Tuesday a new policy governing the preservation of brick and stone streets.

The policy, an update to the previous code written in 1987, was approved unanimously by the council.

The new policy aims to identify if a brick street should be preserved based on factors including traffic volume, speed limit, street type and proximity to other bricks streets. It also provides direction when evaluating brick streets disturbed by capital improvement projects, utility cuts and emergency road work.

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(Star News Online, 2/7/2017)

GOLD HILL — The annual meeting of Historic Gold Hill and Mines Foundation Inc. will be at 6:30 Monday night at Russell-Rufty Memorial Shelter at Gold Hill Mines Historic Park.

Doors will open at 6:30. The program will begin at 7.

(Salisbury Post, 2/2/2017)

ZEBULON–There’s something almost poetic about waiting 25 years to join a historic preservation movement.

As most cities and towns signed on to a joint agreement to establish a historic preservation commission in 1992, Zebulon held off.

But last week, commissioners agreed to begin the process of joining other Wake County municipalities in the agreement.

Joining the group gives Zebulon property owners the opportunity to apply for historic designations. Historic districts could be created or single homes could apply for the designation.

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(News & Observer, 1/26/2017)

The Beaufort Woman’s Club recently achieved its 95th year of service to the community, and the public is invited to attend a special birthday celebration from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Beaufort train depot.

“Since 1921, the Woman’s Club has a long and rich history of shaping our community,” Karma Rodholm, 2016-17 Beaufort Woman’s Club President, said. “We would like to invite everyone to drop in to enjoy some birthday cake and hear a fun and interesting program about our club’s history.”

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(Carolina Coast Online, 1/26/2017)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Less than two months after being elected to a fourth term in the N.C. House of Representatives, Susi Hamilton was sworn in to a state cabinet post Thursday during a ceremony on the Battleship North Carolina.

“I really thought I had hit pay dirt when I was first elected to office. But wow, being secretary is something else,” Hamilton, who will oversee the battleship and the rest of the state’s museums, aquariums and tourist attractions as secretary of natural and cultural resources, said during the ceremony.

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(Star News, 1/27/2017)

Raleigh, N.C. — Noting the expanded duties of the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday named two people with different backgrounds and expertise to lead the agency.

Cooper tapped state Rep. Susi Hamilton, D-New Hanover, as secretary of DNCR and Reid Wilson, executive director of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, as chief deputy secretary.

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(WRAL, 1/19/2017)

TRYON, N.C. — The small wooden cottage that was the birthplace of singer, pianist and civil rights activist Nina Simone is for sale in Tryon.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports ( the current owner of the 664-square-foot home has done work to shore up the foundation and restore the interior of the cottage in hopes of it being used as a museum.

The asking price for the home built in 1930 is $95,000 in cash .

Real estate agent Cindy Viehman of Tryon Foothills Realty says some people have discussed moving the house. But Viehman says the neighborhood is essential to understanding how hard Simone worked to become a history-making, Grammy-winning talent.

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(WRAL, 1/16/2017)

DURHAM — The Durham City Council will conduct a public hearing Tuesday, Jan. 17 before considering the adoption of an ordinance to designate the J.A. Whitted School as a local historic landmark.

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(Herald Sun, 1/14/2017)

DURHAM — Pauli Murray’s childhood home in Durham – which became North Carolina’s newest National Historic Landmark on Wednesday – received a second round of support this week through a $237,575 federal grant.

The grant is part of $7.75 million that the National Park Service is giving 39 projects in more than 20 states. The money seeks to preserve and highlight sites and stories associated with the civil rights movement and the African-American experience.

Congress appropriated funding for the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program in 2016 through the Historic Preservation Fund. The fund uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to support preservation projects.

“I am overwhelmed and tearful,” said Barbara Lau, director of the Pauli Murray Project at the Duke Human Rights Center.

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(News & Observer, 1/12/2017)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — Let the preservation begin.

Underwater Archaeologists with the state and those at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site are working to restore an 18th-century cannon that was recovered from the Cape Fear River just before Christmas.

The Colonial-era cannon was discovered by a dredging company contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in an area of the river just outside the site on Dec. 21. The old cannon was an “early Christmas gift” for the historic site, Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson Site Manager Jim McKee said.

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(Port City Daily, 1/13/2017)

Durham–Her FBI file outlined why Pauli Murray shouldn’t be hired as general counsel for the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

She had been a member of the Communist Party of America in the 1930s. She had worn men’s clothing, claimed she was “homosexual” and tried to become a man.

She’d been arrested twice, once on a picket line and again when she wouldn’t move to a broken seat when a white passenger entered a bus, according to a 1967 memo.

Stephen Shulman, the commission’s chairman, noted that people interviewed commented favorably about her, but in light of the concerns raised by the background check “he stated that his problem was to determine how not to give Murray the job as general counsel.” She had been working as a consultant in the position for eight months, a memo states.

Fifty years later, another agency is honoring the same person that the memo discredited.

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(News & Observer, 1/12/2017)

All the grand old homes have names, and Bellamore is no exception.

The historic home, located at 408 N. Green St. in Morganton, is grand once again due to owners Michael Smith and David Stevenson’s efforts to restore and preserve this important piece of local history, part of which dates back to 1840.

Built by state Senator and Supreme Court Justice Alphonso Calhoun Avery, the house, formerly known as the Avery-Summersette House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Stevenson said a newer part of the home was added in 1876.

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(The News-Herald, 1/11/2017)

RALEIGH–The Gables Motel Lodge, a vestige of a long-gone era when U.S. 1 passed through the city’s Mordecai neighborhood carrying travelers between New York and Florida, is on the market.

Until last year, the motel’s owner, 93-year-old Charlie Griffin, was still renting out rooms. After he died in August, his great-nephew, Tommy Flynn, put the motel up for sale for $1.5 million in accordance with Griffin’s wishes.

The .51-acre lot includes 19 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and a two-car garage distributed among three buildings. The family thought about keeping it running, Flynn said, but wasn’t able to because of other responsibilities.

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(News & Observer, 1/9/2017)

News of a historic portion of Walnut Street’s inclusion in the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s plan for the widening of Russ Avenue in Waynesville went over with property owners like a ton of the bricks in Charles McDarris’ 90-something year old retaining wall.

McDarris owns the properties at 28 and 52 Walnut Street, both of which feature extensive historic pedigrees, painstaking renovations and restrictive covenants designed to preserve the period character of the structures, which date to the early 1900s.

Like any reasonable property owner, McDarris wants to know how NCDOT’s proposal will affect him, but he says he can’t seem to get a straight answer.

Russ Avenue DOT Project U-5839 mostly addresses projected traffic growth on Russ Avenue through the year 2040 from the Great Smoky Mountain Expressway to the railroad bridge at Walnut Street. Instead of stopping there, however, the project terminates at North Main Street, where traffic growth is projected by DOT to grow little.

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(Smoky Mountain News, 1/4/2016)

Reams have been written about the end of Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration and the legacy he leaves after serving as one of the state’s few Republican governors. Attention also should go to former Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz, a member of the McCrory administration who made a positive impact on the state and the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources she headed.

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(Salisbury Post, 1/4/2016)

BEAUFORT — County officials went head to head with the town’s Historic Preservation Commission Tuesday, saying they would tear down the Beaufort Ice Company building with or without the blessing of the panel, which seeks to preserve old structures in the town’s historic district.

“Each building that we allow to get moved or demolished is one more hole in the historic fabric of this town,” member Vic Fasolino said in opposing the application for demolition.

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(Carteret County News-Times, 1/4/2016)

The threat of a road being put through the middle of the historic Charles E. Barnhardt House in Plaza Midwood has prompted local historians to buy the home for designation as a historic landmark.

Officials with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission say they have signed a contract on the property at 2733 Country Club Lane and expect the deal to close in March, pending due diligence.

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(Charlotte Observer, 1/3/2017)

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – A hotel in the east that was built in 1964 is being retro-fitted back to it’s former glory.

“It had become the seedy motel, you could rent by the hour, by the day by the week, so you know what was going on here, and it made this end of town just very shady,” says Stephen Hill who is doing the renovations.

The Kinston Motor Lodge will reopen as the Mother Earth Motor Lodge in April with 20 suites and 25 single rooms that will look exactly as they did when the lodge opened in 1964, including the restoration of the kidney-shaped pool.

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(WITN, 12/29/2016)

Located in the historic neighborhood of Trinity Park in Durham, North Carolina, the 1911 King’s Daughter’s Home once served as subsidized housing for aging, single women and later as a retirement home. When the Colonial home became available for sale in 2006, Deanna and Colin Crossman saw an opportunity to combine their passions for historic preservation and sustainability into something that others could enjoy as well. In 2009, the couple converted the property into a luxury bed and breakfast, The King’s Daughters Inn.

Blending the amenities you may expect from a first-class hotel with the intimacy of a bed and breakfast, The King’s Daughters Inn features 17 elegant and unique guest rooms, some including private sun porches. In the morning, a complimentary breakfast, highlighting a home-made signature dish, is served in the main dining room. In the afternoon, guests enjoy a tea service, including a welcoming plate of small bites, offered in the parlor. At day’s end, a glass of tawny port along with artisan chocolates are delivered to your room.

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(Greenville News, 12/29/2016)

Although many property owners and residents have lauded what they call a “much needed” widening project on Waynesville’s most heavily travelled artery, they’ve universally decried the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s plans for Russ Avenue as detrimental to one of the town’s most aesthetically significant corridors.

Walnut Street runs north from North Main Street to the foot of Russ Avenue before snaking eastward, where it rejoins North Main. Along the way, it plays host to historic homes, huge trees and brick walls that confer upon the area a unique character not found in other quarters of town.

“In as much as Waynesville has a historic neighborhood, Walnut Street is it,” said Charles McDarris, owner of two Walnut Street properties.

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(Smoky Mountain News, 12/21/2016)

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — The giving spirit is visible on the roads across Tennessee and North Carolina this holiday season with Friends of the Smokies specialty license plates.

Sales of specialty plates in Tennessee and North Carolina play an essential role in raising funds for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This year, the specialty plates generated nearly $815,000, and, since its launch in 1999, the program has raised more than $13.3 million in support of America’s most-visited national park, a news release from Friends of the Smokies said.

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(WLOS, 12/21/2016)

The myriad traditions and characteristics that make Cherryville stand apart has never been in question.

Now the city’s downtown can hang its hat on another achievement that serves as a further testament to its historic significance.

The Cherryville Downtown Historic District has become the latest area to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The news is being celebrated this month by the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, after a state advisory committee and historic preservation authorities approved Cherryville’s application for the designation.

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(Gaston Gazette, 12/21/2016)

Ted Alexander spoke at Cornell University on Oct. 15. The symposium marked the 40th anniversary of the College of Historic Preservation Planning.

He’s a 1982 political science graduate of UNCC and a 1985 graduate of the Historic Preservation master’s degree program at Cornell.

Alexander spoke on the topic of politics and preservation. He’s a former mayor of Shelby. He is currently the western regional director of Preservation North Carolina, based in Shelby and covering 37 counties.

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(Shelby Star, 12/16/2016)

The 1798 Philip and Johanna Hoehns (Hanes) House in Clemmons is one of 16 places in North Carolina added to the National Register of Historic Places, the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources announced last week.

The restored home on Middlebrook Drive is the first property in Clemmons to be added to the register.

Built by Philip and Johanna Hoehns in 1798, the house was restored by Tom Gray and Paul Zickell in 2015.

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(Winston-Salem Journal, 12/14/2016)

A historic home considered “pivotal” to Salisbury’s North Main Street Historic District has been donated to the Historic Salisbury Foundation, reports the Salisbury Post.

The foundation the Victorian C.L. Emerson House at 1008 North Main St. was given to it by descendents of the original builder, James Isaiah “Ike” Emerson and his mother, Bonnie Rufty Emerson. The home has been in the Emerson family since it was built in 1900 by C.L. Emerson, Ike Emerson’s great-grandfather, the Post reports.

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(Charlotte Observer, 12/12/2016)

A historically African-American church west of Mooresville is a step closer to achieving landmark protection, thanks to a decision last week by Mooresville commissioners to recognize the site as a local historical landmark property.

While the Morrows Chapel United Methodist Church property along Brawley School Road is not located within town limits, it was suggested that the town recognize the property as a historical landmark after the Mooresville Architectural Survey, which looked at historically significant properties within the town and the immediate vicinity, was completed, said Rawls Howard, town planning director.

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(Mooresville Tribune, 12/11/2016)

MEBANE — Two years ago, someone could have fallen through the floors of the old White Furniture factory. Now, those floors are perfectly safe polished hardwood, and the building is restored as the upscale Lofts at White Furniture.

“The only thing missing was White Furniture being recognized for its place in our state’s history,” said Stephen Vargha, the White Lofts resident who wrote the application for the building’s historic marker unveiled Thursday morning.

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(Burlington Times-News, 12/10/2016)

An historic schoolhouse is in need of a refresh and maybe a new home.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission is trying to preserve the Siloam (pronounced cy-lome) Rosenwald School on John Adams Road in University City, one of two such buildings designated a historic landmark by the agency. The commission is looking for money to preserve the structure, either on site or at a new place.

“It’s all a matter of money and it’s all a matter of priorities,” said Dan Morrill, director of the commission. “If it’s just left like it is, it is going to lose its integrity and it’s literally going to fall down. The owners do not intend to demolish the building, but they’ve not expressed any interest in spending any money on the building.”

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(The Charlotte Post, 12/10/2016)

The Lexington City Council will hold a public hearing on a proposed amendment to Park Place Historic District rules concerning vinyl and asbestos siding during its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

According to Tammy Absher, director of the Lexington Business and Community Development Office, the amendment is to “tighten the language” in the current code of ordinances when it comes to the installation of non-historically relevant building materials.

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(The Dispatch 12/9/2016)

Like a little hops with your history?

How about some ale with your artifacts?

The combinations above may not seem to pair up naturally. But they represent a couple of the most appealing aspects of the recently redeveloped Loray Mill in Gastonia. And they’ll be the featured attractions during a History Happy Hour and Growler Preview Party on Thursday night.

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(Gaston Gazette, 12/5/2016)

RALEIGH–North Carolina’s Council of State will wait and ask more questions before deciding whether to sell two state-owned pieces of land on the northern end of downtown Raleigh.

The council is made up of the 10 top statewide-elected officials, led by the governor.

A group of developers has offered $4.85 million for a roughly 1.8-acre site on West Peace Street across from Seaboard Station that currently houses the state’s Personnel Training Center, and another group offered $1.75 million the .36-acre site of an old steam plant on North Dawson Street near the Days Inn Hotel.

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(News & Observer, 12/6/2016)


Davidson County officials said they believe they have overcome a longstanding hurdle in the development of a 431-acre business park south of Belmont Road near I-85 in Linwood.

Voting unanimously Tuesday, the Davidson County Board of Commissioners agreed to transfer ownership of a historic home on the site of the future business park to the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina. With the home, a 2.584-acre lot on the north side of Belmont Road previously owned by Beallgray Farm will also be turned over to PNC for its preservation and relocation.

The county will also provide PNC with $50,000 for the home’s relocation.

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(The Dispatch, 11/28/2016)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A total of 16 places in North Carolina have been added to the National Register of Historic Places, the state announced Monday.

The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources said three districts and thirteen individual properties have been added to the national list.

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(WNCN, 12/5/2016)

RALEIGH–The Nathaniel Jones Jr. House, a Federal-style plantation home built around 1795, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The house, formerly known as the Crabtree Jones House, was built by Raleigh settler Nathaniel “Crabtree” Jones Jr., who was active in local and state politics. It’s thought to be one of Raleigh’s oldest houses, and it was first placed on the National Register in 1973.

A new designation was required, however, after the house was moved a short distance in 2014 from a hill facing Wake Forest Road. Preservation North Carolina, a statewide advocacy group, worked to save the house from demolition after developers announced plans for apartments on the site.

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(News & Observer, 12/5/2016)

RALEIGH–On Tuesday, the Council of State will be asked to approve the sale of three vacant buildings on a third of an acre in downtown Raleigh to a private developer for $1.75 million.

But critics say that financial windfall for the state comes at the price of selling off a piece of its heritage: Part of one of the five squares laid out in the original plan for Raleigh in 1792.

The .36-acre site the state wants sell on the corner of Dawson and Lane streets is on Caswell Square, a companion to Burke Square that contains the Executive Mansion; Union Square, where the State Capitol sits, and Nash and Moore squares, Raleigh’s two oak-shaded downtown parks.

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(News & Observer, 12/2/2016)


DAVIDSON COUNTY – Davidson County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously at a meeting last month to transfer ownership of a historic house on the site of the future business park to the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina.

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(Thomasville Times, 12/2/2016)

Tarboro has hired a new Main Street coordinator with a track record of improving North Carolina downtowns.

Brad J. Guth brings a wealth of experience to Main Street Tarboro through his 20 year career in Main Street and community development, said Tarboro’s Planning Director Catherine Grimm.

Most recently Guth was the Business and Community Development Director for the city of Lincolnton.

During his tenure in Lincolnton, the city received more than 20 recognitions including Best Promotion, Best Economic Development Incentive Program, Best Building Rehab, Best Innovation and Best Branding and Image Building Campaign.

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(Rocky Mount Telegram, 11/28/2016)

Although Hendersonville had its first organized baseball team in 1909 — the short-lived Hendersonville Planets of the Western North Carolina Industrial League — the city’s most durable baseball legacy is the Berkeley Spinners, which organized in 1948 and played through 1966.

Now, the home of the Spinners is officially on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks to a successful nomination commissioned by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. Reviewed last June by the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee, the nomination of Berkeley Stadium won the seal approval of the National Register Advisory Committee and the Keeper of the National Register, a part of the National Park Service. The city recently received notification that the ballpark had made the National Register.
Older people who remember the mill village and the Spinners games and younger people who played ball at the stadium all have a connection to the ballpark that’s worth preserving, said Cheryl Jones, a native of Hendersonville who is chair of the Historic Preservation Commission.

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(Hendersonville Lightning, 11/28/2016)

WILMINGTON — The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA-NC) in the State of North Carolina held a dedication ceremony Nov. 17 for a new room devoted to housing the organization’s archives and library.

Located above the detached kitchen of the Burgwin-Wright House, the Nimocks Special Collections room is named in memory of the late Elisabeth Holt Burns Nimocks of Fayetteville. At the time of her death in 2014, Nimocks had been an exemplary member of the NSCDA-NC for more than 60 years. After holding a variety of offices in the state society, Nimocks was named to the national society’s roll of honor in 2011.

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(Star News, 11/27/2016)

Wilmington, N.C. – Celebrating its 50th year, Historic Wilmington Foundation has worked to protect and preserve the irreplaceable architectural and historic resources of the Lower Cape Fear region since 1966.

The Foundation was established by a group of citizens concerned about the destruction of Wilmington’s historic buildings. They established a revolving fund, the first of its kind in NC, to save historic properties by purchasing them, applying protective easements and then selling them under terms requiring the buildings’ rehabilitation and future protection.

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(Port City Daily, 11/23/2016)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – A traveling exhibit featuring the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Most Threatened Historic Places is on tour throughout various libraries in Brunswick County.

The exhibit is now at the Leland Library until December 8, when it will then move to the Brunswick County Library in Southport until December 29 and then continue on to the G.V. Barbee Sr. Library in Oak Island until January 20.

The Historic Wilmington Foundation says the Most Threatened Historic Places Exhibit highlights the region’s historic buildings and structures that are most vulnerable to demolition, deterioration, or neglect and illustrates the importance of historic preservation within our community.

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(WWAY, 11/22/2016)

WILMINGTON — The Burgwin-Wright House will offer a colorful alternative to Black Friday, that big shopping day after Thanksgiving, which happens to coincide with Fourth Friday Gallery Night. The historic house museum will host an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 25 for local artist Elizabeth Darrow and her show, “Exuberant Graffiti.” On the same night, “Tales of the East” will showcase items from the museum collection that illustrate the Asian influence on the decorative arts of the 18th and 19th century.

All of the pieces in Darrow’s “Exuberant Graffiti” combine oil and collage on canvas to produce vibrant and textural abstracts. Darrow began many of these pieces by writing in cursive on the blank canvas.

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(Star News, 11/22/2016)

Nine properties of historic significance to the North Carolina African American community will soon be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places thanks to a $70,000 Underrepresented Community (URC) Grant from the U. S. National Park Service that was recently awarded to the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office.

The purpose of the URC grant program is to provide funds to state, tribal, and local governments to survey and designate historic properties associated with communities that are currently underrepresented in the National Register of Historic Places. North Carolina’s $70,000 grant will be matched by in-kind services and cash from project partners the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, Preservation Durham, and the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.

The state’s URC project will result in National Register of Historic Places nominations for nine historic African American properties, including six Rosenwald schools in the eastern, southeastern, central, and western regions of the state; Oak Grove Cemetery and Oberlin Cemetery in Raleigh; and the College Heights neighborhood near North Carolina Central University in Durham.

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(Mountain Xpress, 11/21/2016)

RALEIGH, N.C. – Nine properties of historic significance to the North Carolina African American community will soon be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

A $70,000 Underrepresented Community (URC) Grant from the U. S. National Park Service that was recently awarded to the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office has made all of this possible.

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(WWAY, 11/21/2016)

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Career Development Center facilitated a question-and-answer panel discussion with Secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz in early November, during which the secretary shared her career path and opportunities within her department. Attending were a handful of Appalachian students with a variety of interests and majors including Appalachian studies, non-profit management, global studies, hospitality and tourism management, and history.

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(University News, ASU, 11/18/2016)

The Asheville firm, Samsel Architects, received the prestigious Firm Award, as well as two residential design awards, from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA NC) at a recent ceremony in Winston-Salem. The Firm Award is given every year to one North Carolina practice that has consistently produced quality architecture with a verifiable level of client satisfaction for at least 10 years. This award is the highest honor the Chapter can bestow upon an architecture group.

Since 1985, Samsel Architects has delivered quality design grounded in a keen sense of place and detail, stewardship of the environment, and strong client relationships.

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(Mountain Xpress, 11/18/2016)

For the next 18 months or so, visitors at Wright Brothers National Memorial will have to mostly content themselves with strolling the grounds where flight began while the 56-year-old Visitor Center and its exhibits are being rehabilitated.

After plans to replace the building were unexpectedly scuttled in 2002 and subsequent restoration funds never materialized, the center will now finally be restored to its original condition — orange trim, concrete and all.

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(Outer Banks Voice, 11/14/2016)

Two local writers and Bethel Rural Community Organization’s (BRCO) Historic Preservation Committee were among award winners at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Society of Historians (NCSH) in Wilkesboro on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Historical Book Awards went to Edie Hutchins Burnette for “Mountain Echoes” and to Carroll C. Jones for “Rebel Rousers.” Jones was further recognized when he received the prestigious President’s Award for his historical fiction “Rebel Rousers,” the second novel in his East Fork trilogy.

BRCO received a multimedia award for its DVD “From New College to Springdale.” Doug Chambers, who filmed and edited the video, and Ted Carr, BRCO Historic Preservation Committee member, accepted the award.

Read full story…

(The Mountaineer, 11/14/2016)

It’s a house that hundreds pass every day on North Fisher Street, perhaps without a second thought as they wait for the stoplight to change. Others argue it is a key visual clue that people have entered the West Burlington Historic District.

Regardless, soon it will be no more.

Tucked in the corner of West Front and North Fisher streets, the historic structure goes by a variety of names: the Roy W. Malone House, the historic Coleman House, and sometimes the hybrid Malone-Coleman home.

Read full story…

(Burlington Times-News, 11/12/2016)

After months of a contractual reworking and consideration, Davidson County officially finalized its purchase of the Fort York property Wednesday with a deed transfer ceremony between county officials and representatives from the LandTrust of Central North Carolina.

The purchase, part of an overall effort to develop and preserve the Wil-Cox Bridge and its surrounding area, began with an offer in August from The LandTrust, who previously owned the historic site.

After purchasing the 13.82-acre property for $326,000, The LandTrust asked for just $137,500 from the county. The Davidson County Board of Commissioners agreed during their Aug. 23 meeting to commit to the property, pending a 30-day due diligence on the land purchase contract.

Read full story…

(Lexington Dispatch, 11/12/2016)

SALISBURY — Salisbury’s graffiti wall area will soon get an upgrade.

The Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday approved the creation of a graffiti park at 329 S. Main St.

Right now, there are two temporary graffiti walls on the undeveloped lot. The lot is located in the Downtown Historic District.

Stephen Brown, acting as an agent for the city, said they wanted to expand the concept into a park.

The new park would start with nine 4-by-8 feet wall panels and large rocks for artists to paint. There will also be pit gravel walkways and shade trees added.

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(Salisbury Post, 11/11/2016)

Historic Cabarrus Association, Inc. recently hosted its annual fundraiser, Preservation and Pints, at Cabarrus Brewing Company.

The event featured catering by Jim N’ Nick’s BBQ and Cabarrus Brewing Company will provide local beer and wine. The fundraiser, which also featured local history trivia, helps supports preservation efforts in the community by the Historic Cabarrus Association. Visit for more information or contact Ashley Sedlak-Propst at or call 704-920-2465.

See photos…

(Independent Tribune, 11/10/2016)

Governor Pat McCrory Announced the awarding of $105,000 in Grant Funding for 13 Historic Preservation Projects in the state, including one in Burke County.

The Historic Preservation Fund is a federal matching grant program administered jointly by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the state Historic Preservation Office. Each fall, the HPO announces the availability of competitive HPF grants to the 48 local governments in North Carolina that are designated as CLGs by the National Park Service.

Locally, more than $11,000 has been awarded for a Roof Repair at Quaker Meadows Plantation in Morganton. Working through the City of Morganton, the Historic Burke Foundation was awarded a federal Historic Preservation Fund grant of $11,100 to repair the cedar shingle roof on the McDowell House at Quaker Meadows.

Constructed in 1812 by Captain Charles McDowell, Jr., the McDowell House is believed to be the oldest surviving brick house in Burke County. The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and is a designated local landmark. The Historic Burke Foundation, Inc. will provide $3,514 in matching funds for the project.

(WHKY, 10/31/2016)

Raleigh, N.C. Governor Pat McCrory announced today that $105,000 in grant funding has been awarded to 13 historic preservation projects in nine North Carolina counties. These funds will support projects that will help communities restore historic landmarks in small towns and cities throughout North Carolina.

“These grants are important to our local communities to help preserve and maintain some of our state’s most priceless historic properties,” said Governor McCrory. “This is truly a partnership between all levels of government, and I am pleased that we are continuing this effort to promote historic preservation through the Historic Preservation Fund.”

Each year, federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grants are awarded by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (HPO) through the National Park Service’s Certified Local Government Program (CLG). This preservation partnership between local, state, and national governments focuses on promoting historic preservation at the grassroots level. The HPO will both monitor and provide technical assistance for each project.

Read full press release…

(Beaufort County Now, 10/30/2016)

Transylvania County has received a historic preservation grant for repairs at the Allison-Deaver House.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Friday that $105,000 in grant funding has been awarded to 13 historic preservation projects in nine North Carolina counties. These funds will support projects that will help communities restore historic landmarks in small towns and cities throughout North Carolina.

Working with Transylvania County Joint Historic Preservation Commission, the Transylvania County Historical Society has been awarded a federal Historic Preservation Fund grant of $11,000. Funds will be used to repair recent water damage.

Read full story…

(Blue Ridge Now, 10/29/2016)

SALISBURY — Charles F. Floyd of Cleveland recently received the Founders Award from Scenic America, a national nonprofit dedicated to protecting the visual environment.

The award was presented at a ceremony during the organization’s annual meeting of its board of directors and affiliates at the Rowan Museum in Salisbury.

Read full story…

(Salisbury Post, 10/28/2016)

The third annual African Americans in Western North Carolina Conference is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 27-30 at the YMI Cultural Center downtown and the University of North Carolina Asheville Sherrill Center.

The conference activities are free and open to everyone, and include a reception at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, panel discussions and documentary films on Friday, and a celebration of Buncombe County’s “Unsung Heroes” at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Read full story…

(Mountain Xpress, 10/22/2016)

Preservation is something of a gamble, a bet that the shapes and tastes of the past will have a place in the future.

Clayton’s track record with preservation includes triumph and woe, buildings that have survived several tests of time and others razed because of neglect, disinterest or for standing in the way of progress. The town’s historical association is lobbying the town council to put some teeth in its historic district, hoping that as town leaders shape the Clayton of the future, they will leave room for the past.

“Right now we have the Clayton Historic District recognized on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Porter Casey, director of the Clayton Historical Association. “But when you have a designation like that, there’s no specific protection. If you’re not careful, over the years the district can slowly kind of diminish.”

Clayton’s historic district runs largely along Front Street and the two or three blocks north, south, east and west of the Clayton Center. Casey envisions a policy aimed at keeping structures within the district upright, rather than quibbling over paint colors and building materials.

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(News & Observer, 10/24/2016)

Some people view an old, ramshackle house as an eyesore in need of the wrecking ball, but John Kidwell often sees possibilities for restoring the beauty of such a structure to its heyday.

The local resident has dedicated his professional life to the preservation of older homes, and those efforts will be rewarded Friday when he is presented with a state honor.

Kidwell, 80, will receive the Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit from Preservation North Carolina, an organization that promotes and protects the buildings and landscapes of the state’s diverse heritage.

Read full story…

(Mount Airy News, 9/29/2016)

CAROLINA BEACH — “Remembering Hazel” will be the subject of a lecture at the next meeting of the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Federal Point History Center, 1121-A N. Lake Park Blvd., next to the Carolina Beach Town Hall.

Steve Pfaff of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will give an overview of the massive Category 4 hurricane that hit Southeastern North Carolina in 1954. Longtime residents will also share their “Hazel” stories.
The public is invited.

(Star News, 10/17/2016)

Pauli Murray Project advocates could take a significant step forward Tuesday in their quest to gain a National Historic Landmark designation for the childhood home of the attorney, priest and civil-rights activist.

On Tuesday morning, advocates will make their case to the National Parks Service’s Landmarks Committee, which reviews a National Historic Landmark nomination before making a recommendation to the National Park System Advisory Board. The meeting is in Washington, D.C.

Read full story…

(News & Observer, 10/17/2016)

Historic preservation activists have long struggled against the field’s negative reputation. Some critics say it’s an avenue for gentrification, only focuses on preserving a narrow, elitist slice of history (i.e. that of those who are wealthy, white and male), or is simply a nostalgic grasp on the past that does not allow for needed growth and revitalization.

Read full story…

(Next City, 10/12/2016)

The snazzy, eye-catching redevelopment of the Loray Mill has grabbed all the headlines in the last three years.

But this weekend, the historic village of homes that serves as the nest for that former foundry will finally get a chance to shine.

“We’ve been working in the Loray Mill village for a long time,” said Lauren Werner, spokeswoman for Preservation North Carolina. “We’re very excited for people to have their first look this weekend at the model houses and other homes that are available there.”

Preservation N.C.’s special Open Village event will celebrate what’s been achieved in restoring residences around the Loray Mill, as well as what’s coming. The two-day celebration and fundraiser will feature a block party Saturday, and a tour of homes both Saturday and Sunday throughout the village.

The gathering will aim to reassert the neighborhood’s reputation during its mid-20th century heyday, when it was filled with hard-working people and a communal spirit that made it a vibrant hub of the city. And it will coincide with the grand opening of the new Alfred Kessell History Center inside the mill.

On Saturday, a Hog & Hops Block Party will be held from noon to 5 p.m. along South Vance Street, in the shadow of the redeveloped Loray Mill Loft Apartments between Second and Fourth avenues. For $35 per person, attendants will get to enjoy barbecue, beer and wine while listening to music from local favorites Darin and Brooke Aldridge, speakers and experiencing other entertainment. They’ll also have access to a tour of renovated homes for sale on Vance Street, Second Avenue and elsewhere throughout the one-time mill village.

Preservation N.C.’s fully renovated and staged model home will be featured during the tour, as will six other houses that are in various stages of being restored and put back on the market.

Those who would like access only to the tour of homes can pay $15 per person to experience it from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Sunday tour will also include a visit to the Separk Mansion on Second Avenue, where participants will be treated to a scoop of Tony’s Ice Cream.

In addition, a free program will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Loray Mill Event Hall. Speaker Thomas Hanchett, a historian and former director of the Levine Museum, will discuss “The Roots of Country Music in the Piedmont South.” Music will be provided by the WBT Briarhoppers, whose original members met at the Loray Mill. The overall presentation will be sponsored by the Glenn Foundation.

Unlimited tickets for the Sunday tour will be sold at the door, but seating for the free Loray Talks event will be capped at 350. Ticket sales and will call for those who have pre-registered will be in the main entrance of the mill.

For information on ordering tickets, call 919-832-3652.

Preservation N.C. has been working earnestly since last year to obtain homes and properties in the shadow of the mill. The nonprofit bought some of the property, while other pieces were foreclosed, bank-owned homes that were acquired by the city of Gastonia, then sold to the organization.

Preservation N.C. currently owns more than a dozen mill village homes and one vacant lot. It plans to redevelop several of them in ways that both show off their historic architectural features and provide key modern amenities. That’s necessary to get the historic tax credits that will make the projects possible.

Proceeds from the Loray Open Village fundraiser will go back into supporting the acquisition and redevelopment of homes, using a revolving loan fund.

Werner said they expect several hundred people to attend the events over both days, and they hope it will help propel the restoration of the village to another level.

“We’d like this to serve as a springboard for people to learn about all the wonderful rehabs that can happen in a community like the Loray Mill village,” she said. “The trend of people buying smaller houses for smaller households is happening all across America. Housing stock like this provides a great opportunity for first-time homebuyers, as well as empty-nesters.

You can reach Michael Barrett at 704-869-1826 or on Twitter @GazetteMike.

This article ran in the Gaston Gazette, 10/11/2016.

RALEIGH–Matthew Brown steps on the plywood plank lying across his wraparound porch, currently without a floor, and into his Person Street house. He passes the blue tarp covering a keyhole-shaped stained glass window. Inside, stained and faded wallpaper peels from the walls.

Brown, in a 1960s-era wool suit and hat, beams all the while. He points out the intricate woodwork on the staircase and walls – “It’s never even been painted” – and describes the slate roof that drew him to the historic house that he recently bought from the state.

Read full story…

(News & Observer, 10/8/2016)

Susan Kluttz says that Revolution Mill is an example of everything that’s right about historic preservation.

The secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Kluttz was in Greensboro for a ribbon cutting signifying completion of the 1250 Building at Revolution Mill. It’s the first structure finished in a mammoth undertaking that involves transforming 570,000 square feet of the former textile mill space into artist studios, businesses, restaurants, a brewery, apartments and more.

Read full story…

(Triad Business Journal, 10/7/2016)

Tryon–Robert Lange of the Melrose Avenue Historic District organization held an information meeting for approximately 20 homeowners along Melrose Avenue and the surrounding area at Lanier Library Tuesday evening in preparation for getting a historic district designation from the National Park Service.

Lange, who lives on Melrose Avenue with his wife Maureen across from the Tryon Fine Arts Center, asked Preservation Specialist Annie McDonald and Restoration Specialist Jennifer Cathey from the State Historic Preservation Office to talk about what a historic district designation would mean for homeowners in the Melrose Avenue area and the tax credits for property owners in the district.

Read full story…

(Tryon Daily Bulletin, 10/3/2016)

On Sept. 6, the Durham City Council voted to approve the Golden Belt Local Historic District with its full recommended boundary. The passage of this new district, the city’s eighth, displays the power of historic preservation’s evolving role in Durham. The designation of Golden Belt also highlights the changing face of historic preservation and the tools that it provides to residents and property owners.

Read full story….

(Durham Herald-Sun, 10/1/2016)

Why did we move to Salisbury 16 years ago?  It is simple. “Welcome to HISTORIC Salisbury.” Salisbury was a visually charming, affordable historic town near our grandchildren. Although grandchildren were the key, we could have selected any community within a 150-mile radius. But Salisbury was the right size, had the late 19th and early 20th century architectural charm, tree-lined streets, a symphony, colleges, a great library, historic focus, friendly neighborhoods, responsive city services; the quality of life we were looking for.

We volunteered as docents in the Dr. Josephus W. Hall House Museum owned and operated by Historic Salisbury Foundation, Inc., a local but nationally recognized 501.c.3 private non-profit providing preservation leadership and services to the city and county. One thing led to another, and we soon became actively involved in the stabilization and preservation of century old commercial and residential structures across the city.

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(Salisbury Post, 10/2/2016)

Trudy and Wayne Clark’s passion for restoring historic buildings has garnered them the Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit from Preservation North Carolina.

The couple, who have made Ocracoke their home since the early 1990s, are owners of Edward’s Motel, built in the mid-1930s. They received the award at a luncheon Friday (Sept. 30) at the agency’s annual conference.

According to the agency, the merit awards “give recognition to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a genuine commitment to historic preservation through extraordinary leadership, research, philanthropy, promotion, and/or significant participation in preservation.”

The Clarks have preserved two houses in Everetts, Martin County, one of which was Wayne’s family home, and these projects led Wayne to fund a National Register nomination for the Everetts Historic District, which allowed them and many others to receive historic rehabilitation tax credits.

Read full story…

(Ocracoke News, 10/2/2016)

Some people view an old, ramshackle house as an eyesore in need of the wrecking ball, but John Kidwell often sees possibilities for restoring the beauty of such a structure to its heyday.

The local resident has dedicated his professional life to the preservation of older homes, and those efforts will be rewarded Friday when he is presented with a state honor.

Kidwell, 80, will receive the Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit from Preservation North Carolina, an organization that promotes and protects the buildings and landscapes of the state’s diverse heritage.

Read full story…

(Mount Airy News, 9/29/2016)

If you thought historic preservation was just about saving grand, classic structures from the wrecking ball, you would be wrong. According to The Past and Future City, a new book by Stephanie Meeks (October 4, Island Press), the President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the role of historic preservation is evolving, touching not just the buildings that many consider some of the best parts of their cities, but the cities themselves.

“It’s a manifesto, of sorts,” Meeks says about the book. “It’s my Jerry Maguire Moment.”

Meeks takes full advantage of the platform, outlining the accomplishments of a half-century of work and the opportunities available in the next 50 years. As the nation’s urban renaissance continues, the book argues, preservationists aren’t just saving the stories and structures of the past, but increasingly writing the future, as well. Curbed spoke with Meeks, who outlined the main issues and changes facing the preservation movement, and where focus should be applied.

Read full story…

(Curbed, 9/28/2016)

ASHEBORO — Members of the Asheboro City Council approved a resolution Thursday night to accept an offer of $119,000 to buy a historic downtown mill property.

The company that submitted the bid is named VSR LLC. Dustie Gregson of The Table Farmhouse Bakery, one of the partners, said the letters VSR are significant: They stand for “Vision to Sow and Rebuild.”

The vision, she explained, is to restore the structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to sow seeds to rebuild downtown Asheboro.

“It’s so beautifully located in our community in the center of downtown,” she said Friday. “I really believe this is going to become the springboard for more and more people to say, ‘I’m willing to invest and invest well and create things for downtown.’ I think it’s just the beginning of what we’re going to see downtown.”

Of course, Gregson said, revitalization is well under way, with a number of downtown restaurants thriving and attracting patrons, along with other private enterprises and the city-owned Sunset Theatre.

Read full story…

(Courier-Tribune, 9/16/2016)

The old Cleveland High School, 335 Hudson St., Shelby, caught fire around 6 p.m. Thursday.

Shelby Fire Department responded to the abandoned building for a fire that engulfed part of the school, blocking off Hudson Street to combat the flames.

Fire department officials were unable to respond to questions about the fire at presstime. No injuries were reported.

Gregory Moore lives directly across the street from the school at 380 Hudson St. He stated he did not see the fire start, but heard the trucks come in.

Read full story…

(The Shelby Star, 9/15/2016)

Leaders in cities committed to sustainable growth understand that the prospect of creating a modern city with a vigorous culture and economy is exciting, but presents considerable challenges along the way. That’s why Greenville’s leaders in 1992 created a long-range blueprint for the city’s growth. The plan seems to place Greenville on the right growth trajectory if it maintains support from city residents.

A commitment was made to review the plan every five years and complete a “full review” every 10 years. There are no guarantees that the future on which Greenville’s residents set their course will materialize just as they envisioned it. But it looks like they’ve made adequate preparations to head for the horizon with confidence.

Read full story…

(Daily Reflector, 9/13/2016)

SALISBURY — The Historic Preservation Commission will be considering two demolitions on Wednesday.

The commission will meet at 217 S. Main St. at 5:15 p.m.

Pete Bogle, of The Bogle Firm, is proposing to demolish a building at 201 E. Innes St. to make way for a new mixed-use building for Healthcare Management offices on the first floor and residential units on the second and possibly the third floor. He plans to use the current building’s granite blocks in the new building.

Read full story…

(Salisbury Post, 9/13/2016)

CARY–Local farmers will begin sowing seeds this spring for their first batches of fruits and vegetables on part of a 29-acre, town-owned property off Morrisville Carpenter Road.

The town preserved this land, known as A.M. Howard Farm, in 2007 so it could one day be developed a working farm – and could pay homage to the land’s and the town’s agricultural history. The Cary Town Council took some of the first steps to make that happen at a Thursday, Aug. 25, meeting.

The council unanimously approved an 8-year lease with the Piedmont Conservation Council, a nonprofit that promotes conservation and sustainable communities, for the purpose of subleasing 1/2- to 2-acre plots to newly trained farmers. Council members also approved appropriating about $57,000, in part for water line installation, for this effort.

Read full story…

(News & Observer, 9/11/2016)

Durham–In a split vote, the Durham City Council approved a cohesive Golden Belt local historic district Tuesday night, denying the Durham Rescue Mission’s request to exclude its properties east of Alston Avenue.

Council members voted 4-3 to approve the city’s eighth local historic district and proposed boundaries after a nearly two-and-a-half hour public hearing and discussion.

Members Jillian Johnson, Don Moffitt, Charlie Reece and Steve Schewel supported the district boundaries as recommended by a city consultant. Mayor Bill Bell, Eddie Davis and Cora Cole-McFadden voted no after expressing support for the Durham Rescue Mission’s request to exclude 20 of its lots.

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(News & Observer, 9/7/2016)

A new partnership has stepped in to take over the planned redevelopment of the historic Bellevue Mill property in Hillsborough that was partially destroyed by fire in May.

Kirk Carrison of Maverick Partners Realty Services of Durham, who has been marketing the property since 2014, confirms the sale of the buildings to a collaboration of real estate investors under Bellevue Mill LLC, which includes Charlotte development firm Sari & Co. that’s been involved in the redevelopment of multiple historic structures across North Carolina.

Read full story…

(Triangle Business Journal, 9/5/2016)


WILLARD — In Pender County, just south of Wallace, a 1920s-era schoolhouse with a new blue roof can be seen from U.S. 117. Turning onto N.C. 11 takes you to Willard Outreach Community Center, housed in two historic African American school buildings.

Both of the buildings hold personal significance for me. From 1960 to 1967 I attended Willard Elementary, the brick building at the front of the site. Behind it, the 1920s-era one-room schoolhouse represents the sacrifice that African-American families made for education. During the segregation era African-American families paid their taxes, and then had to donate additional money to build schools for their children.

Read full story and see photos…

(Star News Online, 9/4/2016)

Beware of goblins and ghouls as runners of all ages prepare to take over Greenfield Lake Park while decked out in their best Halloween costumes.

Registration for the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Trick or Trot 5K for Preservation, sponsored by Port City Java, is now open. The event, which is set for Sat., Oct. 29, also includes a one-mile untimed Candy Dash that includes trick-or-treat stops.

Proceeds from the run and walk will go toward the foundation’s Tar Heels Go Walking program, which takes New Hanover County students, parents and teachers on history and architecture walking tours throughout downtown Wilmington.

Read full story…

(Port City Daily, 9/4/2016)

FARMVILLE — Don Edwards has spent nearly 30 years helping to revitalize downtown Greenville. Now he believes there are similar possibilities in Farmville.

Edwards’ pitch was among a few options proposed for the Farmville Hardware building during a recent Farmville Board of Commissioners meeting. The Greenville businessman, who owns UBE, has had success adapting buildings for new uses, preserving historic structures and mixed-use development that adds jobs. He proposed $1.5 million project to turn the historic Farmville building into apartments and business offices.

The agenda included a $5,000 design services proposal from an architect willing to provide the board options for the property, as well as a presentation by Preservation North Carolina, a group willing to help the town sell the historic property to a preservationist.

Read full story…

(Daily Reflector, 9/3/2016)


The Town of Boone Historic Preservation Commission is pleased to announce the public dedication ceremony celebrating the designation of the United States Post Office in Downtown Boone as a Local Historic Landmark.

This ceremony will take place on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, at the US Post Office Building at 680 West King Street. Festivities will include live music and light refreshments beginning at 5:00 p.m. Mayor Rennie Brantz and members of the Boone Historic Preservation Commission will unveil the Local Historic Landmark plaque during the official ceremony starting at approximately 5:30pm. Members of the public are welcome and highly encouraged to attend.

Read full story…

(High Country Press, 9/1/2016)

Durham, N.C. — The Durham Rescue Mission is hoping to clear up some confusion about its stance on a proposed historic district.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, the Durham Rescue Mission said there are people who are under the impression that the organization is completely opposed to a proposal for a historic district near East Main Street in downtown Durham. The mission said that is not the case but they do, however, want to make sure that if the Golden Belt is designated as a historic district, the people they serve are not completely pushed out.

Read full story…

(Herald-Sun, 8/31/2016)

LAURINBURG — Laurinburg’s new community development director, told members of the Laurinburg Rotary, that he is “hard at work” trying to revitalize not only downtown, but improve the city’s economic fortunes as a well.

Michael Mandeville, who took the position in May, said in that brief time has worked to secure several grants to aid economic and industrial development. He was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of the Laurinburg Rotary Club at the Masonic Lodge.

Read full story…

(Laurinburg Exchange, 8/31/2016)

ZEBULON, N.C. (WNCN) — The town of Zebulon is full of history and historic buildings, including the Town Hall in the historic Wakelon School building. Now there’s a movement to preserve even more of its rich history.

A new group called Preservation Zebulon is working to do just that: protect parts of the town that have historical significance.

In downtown Zebulon, impressive hundred year old homes line the streets. Some have been kept up over the years, others have been left to wither away until they have to be torn down. MaryBeth Carpenter and her husband, Scott, are salvaging a historic home in need of much TLC.

Read full story…

(WNCN, 8/30/2016)

ZEBULON — Scott and MaryBeth Carpenter of Raleigh have developed a new interest since buying and falling in love with a distinctive part of Zebulon’s history over the past year.

“She always wanted to find a Queen Anne Victorian house to restore,” Scott Carpenter said of his wife.

The couple found one East Horton Street near downtown Zebulon – the John D. Finch House that dates to about 1911.

The house has its original roof, staircase, hardwood floors and upper porch bannister, among other things, still intact.

As they began working on the old home, the Carpenters realized it was just one of many historic treasures still standing in the town.

That led them to reach out to other owners of historic buildings and homes in the area, and to the formation of an interest group that wants to preserve such structures and identify possible historic districts in town to be considered for the National Register of Historic Places.

Read full story…

(News & Observer, 8/29/2016)

Drive just a few minutes north of Asheville on the interstate or up the old river highway and Madison County quickly turns rural. You’ll pass by more barns than people in the countryside.

“We believe we are the barn county,” said Sandy Stevenson, director of the Madison County Visitor’s Center. But just how many barns dot Madison’s countryside, no one had really counted until Taylor Barnhill came along.

Read full story…

(Asheville Citizen-Times, 8/19/2016)


— The fight over a modern home built in Raleigh’s historic Oakwood neighborhood appears to be over after the North Carolina Supreme Court said Friday that it won’t hear an appeal in the case.

Marsha Gordon and Louis Cherry were granted necessary permits three years ago to build the contemporary house at 516 Euclid St., including a certificate of appropriateness from the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.

Read full story…

(WRAL, 8/19/2016)

In its early 20th century heyday, the Loray Mill village was a vibrant hub of Gastonia, filled with hard-working people and a communal spirit.

This fall, a nonprofit working to revitalize the historic neighborhood will aim to conjure up those same vibes with a block party and home tour. Preservation North Carolina’s Loray Open Village will celebrate what’s been achieved and what more is coming.

“We decided to have this block party to introduce the neighborhood to the public,” said Jennie Stultz, the incoming vice chairwoman of Preservation N.C., and a former mayor of Gastonia.

The Open Village will serve as a weekend celebration and fundraiser for Preservation N.C. on Oct. 15 and 16. That Saturday, a Hog & Hops Block Party will be held from noon to 5 p.m. along South Vance Street, in the shadow of the redeveloped Loray Mill Loft Apartments between Second and Fourth avenues.

For $35 per person, attendants will get barbecue, beer and wine while listening to music, speakers and other entertainment. They’ll also have access to a tour of renovated homes for sale on Vance Street, Second Avenue and elsewhere throughout the one-time mill village.

Those who would like access only to the tour of homes can pay $15 per person to experience it from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Residents of Vance Street will be invited to attend the entire event at no cost, Stultz said.

In addition, a free program will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. that Sunday in the Loray Mill Event Center. Speaker Thomas Hanchett, a historian and former director of the Levine Museum, will discuss “The Roots of Country Music in the Piedmont South.” Music will be provided by the WBT Briarhoppers, with the overall presentationsponsored by the Glenn Foundation.

Spotlight on the village

Since last year, Preservation N.C. has worked to obtain homes and properties in the shadow of the mill. The nonprofit bought some of the property while other pieces were foreclosed, bank-owned homes that were acquired by the city of Gastonia, then sold to the organization.

Preservation N.C. currently owns more than a dozen mill village homes and one vacant lot. It plans to redevelop several of them in ways that both show off their historic architectural features and provide key modern amenities. That’s necessary to get the historic tax credits that will make the projects possible.

Proceeds from the Loray Open Village fundraiser will go back into supporting the acquisition and redevelopment of homes, using a revolving loan fund.

Stultz said organizers decided to have the October outdoor party on Vance Street because it had become the most downtrodden block in the neighborhood. That began to change a couple of years ago with the development of a new city park, as well as Preservation N.C.’s rehab efforts.

“We wanted to show off the houses in the Vance Street area to let people know what they look like,” said Stultz. “They’re anywhere from 800 to 1,200 square feet. We’ll have some of the homes either partially or completely renovated so people can come in and see them.”

The event is being timed to coincide with the opening of the mill’s new Alfred Kessell History Center that weekend, Stultz said. Gastonia native Robert Allen, a UNC-Chapel Hill history professor, has had a leading role in creating that digital history project, which will provide interactive information on the heritage of the mill and surrounding village.

Jack Kiser, a project director for Preservation N.C., said the goal is to bring attention to what is going on throughout the village.

“All of this is part of our marketing efforts to change the real estate dynamic in that neighborhood,” he said.

by Michael Barrett for the Gaston Gazette, 8/14/2016

A few Salisbury residents were convinced that Billy Hughes planned to renovate the historic Empire Hotel in downtown a year before Hughes had committed to the project.

Months ago, Ed Clement, a 90-plus-year-old resident who’s active in the preservation community, greeted Hughes, founding principal of Historic Preservation Partners, with a handshake and a presumption that he was in town to sign the papers.

Read full story…

(Salisbury Post, 8/12/2016)

The first of a dozen old houses the state is selling in downtown Raleigh has changed hands, more than nine months after the state began accepting offers for them.

Matthew Brown closed on the purchase of the Lamar House on North Person Street on Tuesday. State officials say the deeds for two other homes will be transferred this week, as well.

Most of the houses are in the Blount Street Historic District, just north of the Executive Mansion, and two of them are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Brown and some of the other buyers are frustrated by the time it has taken to complete the sales, as were others in the neighborhood who have watched the houses deteriorate over the years. Brown’s offer of $536,000 for the 115-year-old Lamar House was accepted in November.

Read full story…

(News & Observer, 8/11/2016)

SALISBURY — The home of Elizabeth Hanford Dole, former U. S. senator from North Carolina and one of Salisbury’s most prominent citizens, will be on tour for the first time in OctoberTour’s 41-year history, according to Historic Salisbury Foundation.

OctoberTour patrons and ticket holders will have the opportunity to visit this house located at 712 S. Fulton St. and enjoy seeing one of West Square’s most beautiful residences.

Senator Dole’s parents, John Van Hanford and Mary Ella Cathey Hanford, built the house in 1937 and there raised their two children – Elizabeth and her brother, the late John Van Hanford, Jr.

Read full story…

(The Salisbury Post, 8/7/2016)

For more than 100 years, the Warren-Whitehurst House has greeted visitors to the intersection of Kenan and Daniel streets with a cheery blue facade, a white picket fence and an expansive front porch.

Neglect and a foreclosure have left the facade faded, the fence rotted and the porch has lost its inviting feel.

“I just fell in love with this house,” said Omar Salazar. “When I saw it, I just said, ‘Wow.’”

The Queen Anne-style house was foreclosed by the State Employees Credit Union, but more than four years of unsuccessful searching for a new owner left the bank leaning toward demolition of the historic property. Preservation of Wilson helped to market the property, but Executive Director Kathryn Ferrari Bethune said the group couldn’t find a buyer to sign on the dotted line to take on the project.

Meanwhile, Liz and Joe Uditis brought in Salazar, their master carpenter friend who worked for family business Rockin’teriors in Raleigh, to look over a property on Vance Street they were planning to restore.

Read full story…

(The Wilson Times, 731/2016)

Please see the link below for an RFQ from East Carolina University for the restoration of the Export Leaf Tobacco Building.

RFQ Historic Buildings Restoration Project on ECU Millennial Campus_2016

A presentation by Preservation North Carolina will be hosted at the Loray Mill on Thursday night. Local author Joe DePriest and local historian Lucy Penegar will be speaking about the stories that make up the history of the Loray Mill.

The history of the mill is something Penegar was keen to learn about, although she admits when she first started, she really didn’t know much.

“I went with Myrick (Howard, Preservation N.C. president) the first time he went to Firestone Mill,” she said. “They were moving out and gave the mill to Preservation N.C. I told him, ‘Myrick, I don’t know anything about this mill. I don’t know the story.’ He told me to ‘read whatever I could find.’ I started ordering off of Amazon and finding as much as I could.”

“I don’t have roots in the mill or anything, but I just jumped in with all four feet and have loved it ever since,” Penegar said.

After the building was given to Preservation N.C., construction began to turn the former textile mill into residential, retail and commercial space.

DePriest, who originally grew up in Shelby, learned a lot about the mill during his time in Cleveland County. Once a reporter at The Shelby Star, he fell in love with local history.

“Two icons of Shelby, O. Max Gardner and Clyde R. Hoey, were a part of the cast of the Loray Strike of 1929,” he said. “Gardner was governor and called in the National Guard. Hoey was a lawyer and was on the prosecution. I had a relative who sold Cleveland County livermush in the mill.”

DePriest and Penegar crossed paths in 1990 when DePriest came to Gastonia and a love of Loray and literature collided.

“This program – put on Preservation N.C. – is about the literature of Loray,” DePriest said. “We’ve interpreted that as fiction and nonfiction works. Lucy has compiled an all-inclusive list.”

The event, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will have DePriest and Penegar sharing some of their favorite stories about the good and the bad of Loray Mill.

“I think people are real curious about what happened (at the mill) before,” Penegar said. “We’re not telling all bad stories. I mean, the strike is a bad story. But the Firestone story is a wonderful story. They had a band, a swimming pool, a ball team that was fantastic, they had a camp up in the mountains they went to. A lot of people say, ‘I don’t want to hear the bad parts. I just want to hear the good parts.’”

“It’s all a part of the history,” she said. “You learn from all of it. I think it’s kind of neat people still want to know what happened here.”

Calling Penegar’s list of references would be an understatement. Made up of historical and social studies books, journals, radical novels, new fiction and more, there are 56 titles on the list. And it continues to grow.

“I couldn’t believe it. I found dramas and plays and music. I was blown away by the fact there were plays written in the 1930s. One of them (“Strike Song”) was done in 1931. That’s just two years after the strike,” she said. “There was a play in Massachusetts called ‘Strike’. And one called ‘Let Freedom Ring.’ It was produced on Broadway in 1931.

“The Charlotte Symphony produced a symphony about textile history and the closing of the mills. I saw people sitting there listening to that thing and crying. They went around and passed around pieces of fabric made in the mill. You would touch that as you listened to the music.”

The presentation will be happening in the Kessell History Center at Loray Mill, which will be undergoing renovations for a high-tech display about the history of the mill and the village surrounding it. While the project is still in the works, DePriest said programs like the Literature of Loray fit perfectly with the idea of learning from the past and looking toward the future.

“People will be able to come in and get on computers and explore the original Loray Mill Village house-by-house,” DePriest said. “As that transformation around the mill continues, the history is an integral part of the project.”

While the Loray Mill is looking toward the future as they begin Phase II of construction, Penegar and DePriest point out how the mill influenced us as a culture.

“There are so many things that have come out of the textile story,” Penegar said. “People came down from the mountains and sat on their porch playing music. And now (some people are) saying that’s how country music got its start.”

“I’ve picked up lots of stories about Loray over the years,” DePriest said. “It’s close to my heart.”

by Allison Drennan for the Gaston Gazette, 8/1/2016

See full article and photos…

LUMBERTON — A piece of Lumberton history could be yours for $39,000 — and a little elbow grease.

The municipal building that previously housed Lumberton’s City Hall and fire station has been on the market since 2013, attracting dozens of prospective buyers looking to own a bit of the past.

“This is probably one of the most popular municipal or community buildings I’ve worked with,” said Cathleen Turner, regional director for Preservation North Carolina, which is working to sell the building to an investor willing to restore its historical character. Turner said many potential buyers have been introduced to Lumberton and its historic district by the old municipal building and are “charmed by it.”

Read full story…

(The Robesonian, 7/30/2016)

Standing before a packed gallery of Whitley Building supporters at Whiteville City Council Tuesday, Jeff Adolphson of the State Historic Preservation Office said Whiteville’s City Hall can and should be saved.

“It’s a beautiful building and certainly worth preserving,” Adolphson said.

The preservation specialist came to council Tuesday with Cathleen Turner of Preservation North Carolina, a non-profit group that specializes in preserving and reusing historic properties across the state. Adolphson also introduced Hannah Beckman, the county’s representative with the State Historic Preservation Office.

Read full story…

(The News Reporter, 7/29/2016)

Take Penland Road in Mitchell County, away from the perpetual road-widening project on U.S. 19 East, and you travel back in time. Cross the North Toe River, then rattle across tracks of the old Clinchfield railroad. Pull off to the right, and park beneath the old sycamore. The whitewashed building flies the red, white and blue American flag, signaling the official Penland Post Office and General Store.

Postmistress Rebecca Davis, now in her 49th year with the U.S. Postal Service, greets customers at the wooden slatted teller’s window. When she started work at this office, Davis would sell you a stamp for 15 cents. Now she can sell you a forever stamp at 49 cents or send off your package by Priority Mail, connecting Penland with the wider world.

Read full story…

(Asheville Citizen-Times, 7/29/2016)

Morganton’s Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina reached a milestone –50,000 acres of protected land – with the addition this week of 377 acres in the South Mountains.

The conservancy formed in 1995 to protect an 18,000-acre tract in the South Mountains.

“It is fitting that 20 years later we reached and surpassed 50,000 protected acres with a project in the South Mountains,” said executive director Susie Hamrick Jones.

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(Charlotte Observer, 7/28/2016)

A Chapel Hill real estate developer has bought the 101-year-old O’Hanlon Building at the corner of Fourth and Liberty streets and plans to renovate the interior for mixed uses including possibly apartments.

Ted Kairys, the founder and chief executive of Kairys Real Estate Group in Chapel Hill, said he plans to remove some alterations that were done to the building’s original design and make it look inside like it did in its heyday.

“We are looking to take the building back to its original form,” said Kairys. “We are excited about it. We’re going to remove dropped ceilings and interior walls, open the space up and reveal its hardwoods.”

Read full story…

(Winston-Salem Journal, 7/28/2016)

Alumni of the old Sampson High School in Clinton want to restore the worn-down facility and remake it into a community resource center, all while celebrating its history as a Rosenwald school and status as an importance landmark in this county.

Next month, the Sampson High School Alumni Association (SHSAA) Inc.’s Phase Two Committee, in conjunction with the City of Clinton and the Clinton Historic Preservation Commission, will sponsor a half-day free event aptly-entitled “Importance of Place Workshop: ‘Ole’ Sampson School Matters.”

Read full story…

(Sampson Independent, 7/21/2016)

RALEIGH–The state has found buyers for a dozen old and historic homes in downtown Raleigh since last fall, but none of the houses has actually changed hands yet.

Buyers such as Matthew Brown, whose $536,000 offer on a house on North Person Street was accepted in November, are frustrated by the time it’s taking to complete the sales. So are others in the neighborhood who are anxious about the continued deterioration of the empty homes, most of which are in the Blount Street Historic District between Oakwood and the State Government Complex.

“The state acts when it wants to act. Evidently this is not an urgent matter to them,” said Sandra Scherer, president of the Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood. “Every day those houses fall into greater and greater disrepair.”

Myrick Howard, president of Preservation North Carolina, an advocacy group that has long urged the state to sell the houses to people who will restore them, notes that the state accepted offers on all but one of the houses six to eight months ago.

Read full story…

(News & Observer, 7/20/2016)

Although Brian Miller grew up in Charlotte, he always felt drawn to Gastonia’s Loray Mill village, where his mother lived as a child.

The 30-block neighborhood with about 500 small houses surrounded the historic Loray Mill, site of a bloody 1929 labor strike that claimed the lives of Gastonia Police Chief Orville Aderholt and union activist Ella May Wiggins.

When Miller, a band director and adjunct professor of music at Louisburg College and Vance-Granville Community College, learned from a Gastonia friend that the nonprofit group Preservation North Carolina was restoring some of the Loray village houses and offering them for sale, he could hardly believe his good fortune. One of the houses was right around the corner from where his mother grew up. He’s the first person to purchase a property in Preservation North Carolina’s latest restoration project.

“I’m reconnecting with my family heritage,” said Miller, 44, of Louisburg. “I felt that connection when I first saw the house and knew this was the right thing.”

At its peak in the late 1920s, the five-story, 600,000-square foot plant known as the “Million Dollar Mill” employed 3,500 workers, many who lived in the village. Firestone Textile and Fibers bought the West Gastonia building in 1935 and stayed until 1993 when most of the operation moved to a new tire cord manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain. Preservation North Carolina got the building in 1998 as a donation from Firestone and tried to find a developer for what was considered one of North Carolina’s most important historic properties and a Gastonia landmark.

It was a long and difficult process, but the first phase of a $50 million residential/commercial restoration began in April 2013. In March 2015, the grand opening took place. Now all 190 loft apartments have been occupied in the 600,000-square-foot building, and developers plan to launch phase two – 106 additional apartments – soon. Inside is a 14,000-square-foot fitness club, and opening soon is Growlers USA, a microbrew pub with 100 craft beers. Developers expect to get a coffee house, music studio and are in discussions with several national restaurant chains.

“We’re pleased with the success Loray has shown,” said developer Billy Hughes, a partner in the Loray Mill project. He hopes the mill’s revitalization will extend into the surrounding area.

The public can tap into the history of the mill and village in a 1,100-square-foot space that houses “Digital Loray” – produced by the Digital Innovation Lab at UNC Chapel Hill. The project, supported by Preservation North Carolina through a gift by Rick and Susan Kessell, is a digital collection of material related to both the mill and the mill village.

“These can be very sweet residences, and the neighborhood can be a real charmer.” — Myrick Howard, Preservation North Carolina

Meanwhile, Raleigh-based Preservation North Carolina has shifted its focus to the Loray village, where 25 percent of residents own their own homes and 75 percent of the properties are rentals, many of them not well maintained.

The nonprofit has had successes with restorations of mill houses in East Durham, Edenton and near Burlington.

Usually, Preservation North Carolina acquires properties and sells them as is. The Loray Mill Village project follows a different approach. While some houses will be sold as is, the nonprofit group is renovating the rest. It owns 12 houses, and the goal is to sell 20 in the next five years.

During renovations, the houses will be transformed into modern, energy-efficient residences selling for around $100,000.

Protective covenants attached to the deeds require the properties to be sold to homeowners and to meet preservation standards.

“We are trying to lift the market,” said Preservation North President Myrick Howard. “We want to re-establish home ownership in the neighborhood. These can be very sweet residences, and the neighborhood can be a real charmer.”

Two basic house types – A and B – date from 1901. A third, Type C, was added when the mill expanded around 1921-22. House sizes range from about 900 to 1,200 square feet.

As the original village grew, with the mill owning the houses, the mill owners considered incorporating the village as a municipality, but the village and mill became part of Gastonia.

Before World War II, the company started selling off the houses. As the owners, typically retired mill workers, moved away or died, the properties fell to heirs. By the late 1970s, the neighborhood went into decline.

Fifty-nine-year-old Bubbles Styers has lived in the Loray neighborhood all her life and is encouraged by the mill restoration and the possibility of the village finding new life.

Her grandparents, Jack and Irma Kennedy, moved there in 1932 and lived in a three-bedroom house was built in 1902. Both worked in the Loray Mill, and later the Firestone.

Styers remembers children playing in the mill swimming pool and running in the streets of the sprawling village. When the shifts changed at the mill, hundreds of workers spilled outside, sometimes creating congestion on the sidewalks.

Loray Village was a tightly knit world where families knew each other and looked out for neighbors.

Styers lives in her parents’ old house on Dalton Street, just two blocks from the mill.

“I love it here,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

According to Styers, some in the neighborhood are laughing at the notion that modest mill houses, even when renovated, will sell for $100,000.

“They think it’s funny,” she said. “They can’t see it. But they don’t understand.”

She’s impressed by the quality of new construction and feels doubtful minds will be changed when people see the final product – high-energy homes with granite counters, modern appliances and other up-to-date features.

“I think folks will be happy then,” she said. “They’ll believe.”

House restorations are in the early stages, but he likes to imagine what they’ll look like when completed.

Original features that are still in good shape, such as heart pine floors, will stay. The condition of many houses is mixed, but Kiser said that overall they’re of solid build and the lumber is good. Examining the progress at a house at 906 West Second St., until recently occupied by renters, he recalled what the 1902 Type A residence looked like when he first saw it. The roof sagged and front and rear walls were bowed in. The house had asbestos siding that had to be removed, abated and properly disposed of.

“It was far worse than the average house,” Kiser said.

But now he can picture it as a snug, modern, one-bedroom residence with new appliances, handcrafted windows, new foundation wall, insulated walls, and outside deck.

He hopes Preservation North Carolina’s effort in the village will draw more homeowners into “what may be the largest mill village in the state.”

“I’m very excited about what we’re doing here. This is a historic undertaking,” said Kiser. “We plan to be here for the long haul.”

Gastonia Mayor John Bridgeman thinks the restored mill and village “will be a great shot in the arm for that side of town.” West Gastonia was once a thriving section of the city, with numerous textile mills and adjacent neighborhoods. But with a slow decline in the industry and plant closings, the west side also went into a decline, blighted in some areas with high crime.

Other strategies to boost West Gastonia are in the works. One is a major ballpark similar to the Knights’ BB&T Stadium in uptown Charlotte, where the Gastonia Grizzlies and other teams would play. It will be the centerpiece of a major sports complex. A committee is looking into the possibility of the project, which involves the City of Gastonia, Gaston County and the Gastonia Regional Chamber. “As we all join together, I think you’ll see more and more commercial construction on the west side,” Bridgeman said.

For Brian Miller, Gastonia has always occupied a special place in his heart. His honors thesis in history at UNC Chapel Hill was on the 1929 Loray strike. And he eagerly listened to family stories about the fabled mill and village.

“I immersed myself in Gastonia history,” said Miller. “I couldn’t get Gastonia off my mind.”

He plans to restore his newly acquired mill house to what it would have looked like in the 1920s. Because he bought it “as is” and was not interested in modern fixtures, he paid only $20,000. He already has antique light fixtures, and a Louisburg resident gave him a 1925 L & H electric stove that had been in storage since 1948. He remembers his mother telling him about her earliest stove that stood on legs.

Miller said the interior of his house is largely intact from the early 1900s with original beadboard walls and ceiling.

From his back porch, he can see the towering Loray building which dominates the village. Looking around the village itself, he has a vision of its successful transformation, over time.

“I look forward to taking my part in the revitalization of this historic neighborhood in West Gastonia and to see it thrive,” said Miller. “I’m proud to be the pioneer.”

See full article and photos…

(by Joe DePriest, for the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, 7/12/2016)

Graduate students in Dr. Alicia McGill’s Cultural Resource Management (CRM) graduate seminar recently partnered with the NC Historic Preservation Office on a project in which they researched, collected and documented invaluable archival, bibliographic, and observational information, as well as oral histories about African American cultural heritage and historic preservation issues in multiple North Carolina communities. Many departments were represented in the CRM seminar student makeup including History, Sociology, Anthropology and Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.

Read full story…

( NC State, Department of History News, 7/11/2016)

DURHAM — Durham must find a way to use historic preservation as an economic development tool that includes all community members and mitigates the effects of displacement for local businesses and residents as growth continues throughout the county, Preservation Durham executive director Ben Filippo said at a discussion about housing issues in the area.

Read full story…

(Herald Sun, 7/9/2016)

The Old Post Office building in Lexington — also known as former locations for the Lexington Library and Arts United for Davidson County — deserves a better fate. The building has sat vacant since 2009 after Arts United moved to a new location. A Washington, D.C., lawyer bought it in 2012.

Therein lies part of the problem. The lawyer, Lillian S. Hardy, doesn’t live in Davidson County. She was within her rights, of course, to purchase the structure from the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina, which bought it from Davidson County. But the structure seems to be out of sight, out of mind, while local residents drive by it on a regular basis.

Read full story…

(Lexington Dispatch, 7/8/2016)

Crews are on-site with bulldozers and shovels at the old Cherokee Elementary School site in the Yellowhill Community. Archaeological work, being done prior to development, has currently begun and should be finished in early fall.

“When they did the demolition work at the old elementary school site, the Tribe wanted to be able to use that corner property as prime real estate for some kind of venture in the future, and so they need to have that cleared archaeologically so that they can proceed with whatever kind of construction activity they deem might be best,” said Russell Townsend, EBCI tribal historic preservation officer. “When the school was originally built, the laws that are in place now to protect archaeology and, probably more importantly for us, the human remains, were not in place.”

He said as the school was built, “They plowed through portions of what are probably two large archaeological sites, and that includes the property where the BIA Agency is today.”

Read full story…

(Cherokee One Feather, 7/7/2016)

Friends of the Smokies today announced it will receive a $250,000 grant provided by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Great Smoky Mountains National Park qualified for the grant as one of the top nine most voted for parks in the Partners in Preservation: National Parks campaign.

Friends of the Smokies will apply the grant to help restore Clingmans Dome Observation Tower and will receive the grant by September 2016. Great Smoky Mountains National Park expects to begin work on the project in 2017.

Read full story…

(Mountain Xpress, 7/6/2016)

SANFORD — The Wilrik Hotel, a historic landmark of Lee County built in 1925, was owned by the county itself for a time until it was sold in the late 1990s.

Read full story…

(Sanford Herald, 7/6/2016)

Almost a year after being cited for not maintaining the upkeep on the Old Post Office building in Lexington, the owner of the property has received an extension to finish the work.

The building on South Main Street was built in 1911 and functioned as the community post office until the current post office was built in 1967. Afterward the building was a branch of the Davidson County Library for another 16 years and then as the location of Arts United for Davidson County for another 17 years. It has remained vacant since 2009 when the arts council moved to another location.

Read full story…

The Dispatch, 7/6/2016

A Greenville commission has given the city, ECU and the State Historic Preservation Office 365 days to save five houses in the College View Historic District from demolition — and ECU said it would consider saving one of the homes if it could be rezoned.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission, East Carolina University officially submitted certificate of appropriateness applications to demolish or relocate if possible five houses that surround the chancellor’s residence at 603 E. Fifth St.

The commission grants certificates to approve exterior work done on buildings within a city’s historic district, including windows, doors, paint colors, materials, rooflines, gutters, fences and yards. COAs also must be issued if a home within a historical district is moved or demolished.

Read full story…

(Daily Reflector, 7/2/2016)

We are sharing this story because it concerns a member of our Preservation Family. Tania Tully works with the Raleigh Historic Development Commission. Please consider visiting the firstgiving page to support her daughter.

Sir Ernest Bunnybottom isn’t your ordinary skateboarder.

For starters, he shreds with four legs instead of two, and when this Raleigh corgi hits the pavement on his skateboard, he’s often clad in a stylish coat designed by his owner, Edie Farris.

Farris partnered with Sprout Patterns, a division of Durham’s Spoonflower custom fabric company, to create custom dog jackets for the pup. Fashionable skateboarding aside, the coats serve a greater purpose: building buzz for an important cause close to Sir Bunnybottom’s (and Farris’) heart.

The pooch makes videos and wears the coats in photos to attract publicity for a fundraising effort to purchase a service dog for a young Raleigh girl named Anika suffering from Baraitser-Winter Syndrome, which causes seizures. The service dog will provide support for Anika and help alert her and her caregivers when she has a medical emergency.

To learn more about the effort, visit

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(News & Observer, 7/4/2016)

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall….”

In his Second Inaugural, President Barack Obama spoke of the diverse places that reflect important chapters in America’s complex history. In the years since, he has visited Seneca Fall’s Women’s Rights National Historical Park and marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. This week, he completed the inaugural trifecta by designating the Stonewall Inn a national monument. The significance of all of these sites endures, just as the struggles for justice they symbolize continue.

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(Huffington Post, 6/24/2016)

The board of a prominent historic preservation group in downtown Raleigh has sent a plea to state government leaders to push forward the sale of multiple historic state-owned properties in the Blount Street Historic District slated for renovation.

The Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood sent a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory and other state leaders urging the state to finalize the sale of about 17 historic homes that had then put on the market in summer 2015.

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(Triangle Business Journal, 6/24/2016)


The Wilmington Historical Preservation Committee unanimously approved a brick-streets policy on Thursday that could be reviewed by the Wilmington City Council as early as August. In a 12-page document, city staff laid out how it planned to preserve brick streets, and potentially restore brick streets that are now covered with asphalt.

‘If there are bricks on the road now, we will preserve it,” said Dave Mayes, the city’s public works director.

The proposed policy primarily affects how streets are to be treated in the event that utilities need to perform construction on the street to make repairs. Depending on how much traffic the street attracts, in some cases, streets that have been paved over with asphalt could be restored under the policy proposal.

Read full story…

(Lumina News, 6/24/2016)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Historic Preservation Commission is in support of the proposed Brick Streets Policy. The commission held a special meeting Thursday to discuss the policy with city staff.

The Brick Streets Policy was created to maintain and preserve Wilmington’s historic brick streets, and outlines what would happen if the streets need to be torn up for utility work or other repairs. In many cases, the brick street would be replaced.

Read full story…

(WWAY, 6/23/2016)

The National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has cited 44 North Carolina communities for economic vitality and fidelity in following the best-practice standards for historic preservation and community revitalization championed by the center. Eleven new communities joined the ranks of accredited North Carolina communities.

Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners issue accreditation to Main Street programs across the country.

The eleven communities newly appearing in this year’s list are: Shelby, Cherryville, Hendersonville, Lexington, Lincolnton, Rocky Mount, Rutherfordton, Sanford, Sylva, Waxhaw and Williamston.

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(Shelby Star, 6/23/2016)

The Town of Rutherfordton has joined a list of communities in North Carolina to be recognized by the National Main Street Center®. The center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has cited 44 North Carolina communities for economic vitality and fidelity in following the best-practice standards for historic preservation and community revitalization championed by the center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners issue accreditation to Main Street® programs across the country.

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(The Digital Courier, 6/23/2016)

City officials continue to receive recognition for the activity happening in downtown Rocky Mount.

The National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, recently cited Rocky Mount as one of 44 North Carolina communities and one of 11 areas in the state receiving recognition for economic vitality and fidelity in following the best-practice standards for historic preservation and community revitalization championed by the center.

According to a release, each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners issue accreditation to Main Street programs across the country. The peformance standards set the benchmarks for measuring a community’s application of the Main Street Center’s four-point approach to commercial district revitalization. Standards include fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

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(Rocky Mount Telegram, 6/23/2016)

Mount Airy will maintain its National Main Street Accreditation for another year, according to a statement released Wednesday by the N.C. Department of Commerce.

The National Main Street Center program, which is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, cited 44 communities in North Carolina for economic vitality and following best practices for historic preservation and revitalization.

“I’m really proud of this status because it recognizes the hard work of all our volunteers who care so passionately about downtown,” said Lizzie Morrison, coordinator of Mount Airy Downtown Inc. (MAD), the organization which received the accreditation.

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(Mount Airy News, 6/23/2016)

“I love the sight of red clay.”  Those words, from a professional colleague of my wife’s as he showed her the view from his high-rise office in uptown Charlotte, were jarring for her as a newly arrived preservationist.

She had recently moved to Charlotte from Washington, where she had worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and was still trying to understand the culture and spirit of a city where even an ardent preservationist, though uneasy with the apparent disregard for most things historic and green, could nonetheless feel and appreciate the raw energy and force of a city on the make, transforming itself daily.  And she understood that her colleague, a board member for one of the city’s preservation groups, was not dismissing the city’s historic and cultural fabric.  Quite the opposite. His comment reflected, in a fundamental way, something essential about this city.

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(Urban Institute at UNC Charlotte, 6/15/2016)

Several Western North Carolina municipalities are among those achieving formal distinction as accredited Main Street communities.

The National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, identified 44 North Carolina communities this year, the state Department of Commerce announced Tuesday.

“Vibrant downtowns are important economic engines for the North Carolina economy,” North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III said in a prepared statement.

“This national recognition confirms the results we’re seeing every day in these forward-thinking communities and is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our Main Street program participants,” Skvarla said.

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(Citizen-Times, 6/21/2016)

The Pepper Building, a historic downtown landmark, has been sold and will be renovated as a hotel, the former owner of the building told the Winston-Salem Journal.

Michael Coe deeded the property to Pepper Property Investments LLC of Cumming, Ga., on June 17. According to Forsyth County Register of Deeds Office, the sale price was $2 million.

The building is at the southwest corner of North Liberty and West Fourth streets. One side of the building faces the old courthouse.

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(Winston-Salem Journal, 6/22/2016)

RALEIGH, N.C.– It’s had 3 different homes over the last century, and next week, people across the Triangle will celebrate All Saints Chapel, and raise money to help preserve similar buildings in need of revitalization and care.

Raleigh’s historic All Saints Chapel will celebrate 10 years since its historic move that saved it from demolition on Thursday, June 30, with a party to benefit Preservation North Carolina.

The event is at All Saints from 5:00p.m.- 7:30 p.m. at 110 S. East St. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. All proceeds benefit Preservation NC, a nonprofit that protects and promotes the state’s diverse historic buildings and sites. Tickets are available by calling 919-832-3652 x 227.

For decades, All Saints was part of the Church of the Good Shepherd on Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh. After the congregation grew and needed a bigger church in the early 1900s, the chapel was moved around the corner to Morgan Street. In 2005, the congregation decided it needed more space for a parking lot and planned to raze the chapel if someone didn’t buy it before demolition day.

Greg Hatem, manager partner of Empire Properties, which has been restoring historic buildings in downtown Raleigh and Durham since 1996, caught wind of the possibility, and in the 11th hour, stepped in to save the chapel.

On June 18, 2006, the 70-foot-long, 40-foot-wide, 235,000-pound structure made its second move, this time a half mile east to the edge of historic Oakwood in downtown Raleigh. Hatem and his team held their breath, praying the historic structure was not damaged en-route. After the chapel was safely settled in its new location on South East Street, the second task began: looking at dozens of old photos of the chapel to ensure the team could restore it to its original glory, from ornate lighting fixtures to intricate wood trim.

After more than $1.5 million and countless man hours, the chapel was restored in 2008 to reflect the work of its original designer, Reverend Johannes Adam Simon Oertel, and the sanctuary looks like it did upon opening for its first service on Easter Sunday in 1875. With its wooden aisles leading to a gothic cross configuration, highlighted by five clerestory windows on either side of the five-bay nave, cathedral-like ceilings, stained-glass window and pointed arches, All Saints is an architectural treasure and one of the few Carpenter Gothic structures left of its kind.

All Saints now serves as an all-purpose events space, most frequently used as a wedding chapel. Since opening in 2008, the chapel has hosted more than 700 events, most of which have been weddings and receptions.

See photos and video…

(Time Warner Cable News, 6/20/2016)

The National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation has cited 44 North Carolina communities, including Salisbury, for economic vitality and fidelity in following the best-practice standards for historic preservation and community revitalization championed by the center.

Eleven new communities joined the ranks of accredited North Carolina communities as compared to last year’s roster. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners issue accreditation to Main Street programs across the country.

The 11 communities newly appearing in this year’s list are: Cherryville, Hendersonville, Lexington, Lincolnton, Rocky Mount, Rutherfordton, Sanford, Shelby, Sylva, Waxhaw and Williamston.

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(Salisbury Post, 6/21/2016)

A new regional office for Preservation North Carolina recently opened in downtown Greenville, and its new director is already busy on the job.

The old office that served the northeastern region of North Carolina was located in Edenton, and its director of 18 years recently retired.

Preservation North Carolina then decided to expand the office to become the Eastern Regional Office and move it to Greenville. It will serve to find, protect and preserve historic properties, including homes and commercial buildings, in 31 counties in eastern North Carolina.

Some of the buildings have been on the verge of being demolished, and Preservation NC has been able to step in and save them.

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(Daily Reflector, 6/13/2016)


A pair of historic Gastonia homes that spent more than a century watching the sun set will now see it rise every day.

In recent weeks, workers removed masonry from the base of the two mill houses on Vance Street and nestled the buildings onto trailers. On Friday, they towed each home from the east to the west side of the street, where foundation bricks will be relaid.

In all, four homes on Vance Street are being relocated within the village around the former Loray Mill. The shift is necessary to make way for the second phase of the mill’s redevelopment.

Moving the dwellings, rather than simply razing them, may seem like a lot of work for properties that are far from ready to be featured in the pages of Southern Living magazine. But it’s all part of a sweeping plan to redevelop homes within the village, and establish a new template for home ownership involving historically significant properties.

“We are creating a new market in the neighborhood,” said Jack Kiser, a project director for the nonprofit Preservation North Carolina. “And core to the market attraction will be the historic character of the homes.”

Preservation N.C.’s mission is to protect and promote buildings and sites that are important to the state’s diverse heritage. It also owned the abandoned Loray Mill before selling it to a developer three years ago, paving the way for a $40 million, Phase 1 residential and commercial redevelopment of the former textile citadel.

With that project having taken flight, it has turned its attention to rehabilitating downtrodden homes nearby. The Loray Mill village once boasted 900 residences, and still has almost 500 homes that have undeniable historical significance.

“It’s absolutely no different than the York Chester Historic District, other than the fact that these are smaller houses and those are bigger houses,” Kiser said of the village’s importance. “We’re a big believer that small houses deserve the same respect.”

Small space, big market

Since last year, Preservation N.C. has worked to acquire homes and properties in the shadow of the mill. It has bought some itself, while others were foreclosed, bank-owned homes that were acquired by the city of Gastonia, then sold to the nonprofit.

The nonprofit currently owns 12 mill village homes and one vacant lot. It plans to redevelop several of them in ways that herald their historic architectural features, while also providing key modern amenities. That’s necessary to get the historic tax credits that will make the projects possible.

Most of the homes average 1,000 to 1,100 square feet. The goal will be to sell them to owner-occupants — such as millennials and empty nesters — who will appreciate the condensed living space and other factors that make them historically unique.

The one-person household is the fastest growing household size in America,” said Kiser. “We’re mainly targeting singles and couples.”

Mill homes of the early 20th century here had a specific style. Authentically restoring their exteriors means reinstating original porches, chimneys, real wood clapboard siding, and chamfered columns with beveled corners.

It also means making sure each house has six-over-six-paned, divided light windows.

“Windows are a big thing in historic preservation,” Kiser said.

Buyers will have much more leeway on what they can do inside the homes. And on the outside, they’ll also have options on color schemes, albeit nothing too garish.

“All of these mill homes were white with brown or black trim,” said Kiser. “We will redevelop these with some nice color options that fit in to the neighborhood.”

Preservation N.C. is redeveloping one of its mill village properties on Second Avenue as a model home with all the historic architectural bells and whistles. Kiser said they are hoping to partner with one or more real estate professionals who will help them to aggressively market the houses in the Charlotte region.

Similar projects within mill villages and blue-collar neighborhoods in Edenton, Burlington and Durham have been extremely successful.

“In every one of those cases, we have been able to dramatically increase property values in the neighborhood,” said Kiser.

See photos and video…

by Michael Barrett, Gaston Gazette, 6/10/2016


A four-year veteran of the Burgwin-Wright Paint-Out and a newcomer received the top awards in the annual plein-air painting event.

Ann Lees of Wilmington, who has participated in every Burgwin-Wright Paint-Out since it launched in 2013, received the Poster Image award. Her iconic painting of the orchard, “Sundial Pomegranate Tree,” will represent next year’s Paint-Out on posters and other marketing materials.

Paint-Out first-timer Annie McCoy of Cambridge, Md., received the People’s Choice award, having racked up the most votes by visitors who viewed the show on its opening night, May 20. McCoy happens to be married to a sixth-generation lineal descendant of John Burgwin, who built the Burgwin-Wright House in 1770-1771.

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(Star News, 6/10/2016)

SALISBURY — An archway will soon be added to the entrance of Hogan’s Alley.

Paula Bohland, director of Downtown Salisbury Inc., and Josh Canup, an architect and urban designer, went before the Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday to get its approval on the design, fabrication and installation of an archway leading into Hogan’s Alley.

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(Salisbury Post, 6/10/2016)

The North Carolina Preservation Consortium (NCPS) will hold a workshop to explore the nuts and bolts of maintaining historic properties on June 20, at the Western Office of the NCDCR, 176 Riceville Road, Asheville, NC 28805.

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(Tryon Daily Bulleton, 6/8/2016)

Julian Price was born into money but spent most of his life giving it away.

A new documentary looks closely at how his social and entrepreneurial vision shaped downtown Asheville.

When Price arrived there in 1989, the downtown was vacant and boarded up. More than two decades later it has a vibrant and thriving arts scene, thanks in large part to his investment in key institutions like Malaprop’s Books, The Orange Peel, and the Mountain Xpress.

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(WUNC, 5/25/2016)

DENVER–Growing up on a farm in eastern Lincoln County, Betty Gwynn spent four hours a day riding a bus to and from an all-black high school in Lincolnton.

It was a long trip, but it gave her time to do homework and look out the window at a rural landscape where her family had tilled the soil for generations. She remembers seeing wheat blowing in the breeze and thinking how beautiful it was.

Three years ago, when Gwynn moved back to her home county from Michigan, where she worked as a family planning nurse practitioner, she found a much-changed landscape. Explosive growth on the west side of Lake Norman had transformed former farmlands into sprawling neighborhoods with big, expensive houses, and shops, restaurants and businesses seemed to pop up everywhere.

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(Charlotte Observer, 5/30/2016)

A once-grand hunting lodge perches on the edge of Lake Mattamuskeet. Its garnet-red tile roof and blue-and-white 12-story observation tower, which resembles a lighthouse, hint at its former glory.

Kris Noble, who played at the lodge as a child, still gets a little wide-eyed when recalling what it looked like inside. “There were animal heads and stuffed animal furs and big fireplaces,” she says.

Mattamuskeet Lodge was once a hotspot for bird and game hunters, parties, and special guests. Author Rachel Carson, who penned the seminal environmental book Silent Spring, stayed here while writing for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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(Our State, 5/16/2016)

The North Carolina Preservation Consortium (NCPS) will hold a workshop to explore the nuts and bolts of maintaining historic properties on June 20, 2016 at the Western Office of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, 176 Riceville Road, Asheville NC 28805.

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The morning session will feature a lecture and discussion. After lunch the workshop will move to the Smith-McDowell House Museum located at 283 Victoria Road, Asheville NC 28801.

Speakers Reid Thomas and Jennifer Cathey of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (HPO) in the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources will share more than 35 years of “lessons learned” assisting historic house museums and other heritage properties. Thomas specializes in early building technology, historic paints, building conservation, and disaster planning and recovery. Cathey began her career in collections management at historic houses and museums including Biltmore and the North Carolina Museum of History, before transitioning into architectural history and preservation.

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(Biltmore Beacon, 6/2/2016)

With the purpose of drawing attention to an historic site in the area, the Bethel Rural Community Organization (BRCO) Historic Preservation Committee recently placed an historic marker at Pigeon Gap Watering Hole atop Waynesville Mountain. The signage is the fourth historic marker erected by the organization.

The hard work of several individuals went into making the marker — The Historic Preservation Committee designed the marker; Wayne McCrary and Jared Best, from the welding department at Haywood Community College, developed the plasma-cut imagery; Gifford and Glenda Farmer, with G&G Media Blasting, provided a metal finish; and Jason Swope and Jacob Deaver, with A to Z Signs & Engraving, inscribed text to complete the attractive marker, which commemorates a watering site that was used by people traversing the mountain in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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The Mountaineer, 6/1/2016

A campaign to fix up an iconic symbol of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park needs support from park lovers — in the form of daily online votes through Tuesday, July 5.

Clingmans Dome Tower, which straddles the North Carolina-Tennessee state line at 6,643 feet, is in the running for a $250,000 grant to correct up to 4 inches of foundation settlement and address deterioration along the stone masonry walls, concrete and flagstone terrace. The tower, completed in 1959, is still structurally sound but needs help now to avoid further settlement of the foundation and prevent the need for a more extensive structural repair in the future.

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(Smoky Mountain News, 6/1/2016)

A family of investors bought more than 80 historic downtown rental homes recently for nearly $5 million.

Olson Portfolio 2 LLC, whose managing members Amariah and Larry Olson are from Wilmington but now live in Atlanta, bought 83 houses with a total of 93 units for about $4.9 million, according to an announcement from Cape Fear Commercial.

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(Wilmington Business Journal, 6/1/2016)

ASHEVILLE – Not many cities in the South can boast gargoyles and griffins guarding their downtown.

“If you look at the tourists downtown and what they’re looking at, it’s not just the mountains, it’s the built environment,” said Jack W.L. Thomson, executive director of the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County. ”Outside of South Beach, Florida, Asheville has the richest array of Art Deco buildings.”

Banking on its architectural past when many cities were busy razing downtowns in the name of urban renewal in the 1960s and 1970s, Asheville invested in its future as a visitor destination.

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(Citizen-Times, 5/30/2016)

The Tide Water building on Chestnut Street that reopened earlier this year as a modern office complex stands today as a testament to the power of preservation.

It was a building once thought better off razed than rehabilitated, until a little attention from the Historic Wilmington Foundation (HWF) got the notice of New Hanover County government officials, who ultimately decided to give it new life as administrative space.

HWF will once again shine a spotlight on some struggling older properties across the tri-county region with the release of its annual Most Threatened Historic Places list on Tuesday.

Compiled each year with the help of residents’ feedback, the list is released in May as part of National Preservation Month.

While alone it’s not enough to save old homes, hidden cemeteries, local landmarks and little rural gems, HWF director George Edwards said in an earlier interview that “the beauty of the list” is that it often gets the ball rolling by putting a public focus on otherwise abandoned, forgotten or dilapidated sites.

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(Port City Daily. 5/30/2016)

By J. Michael Welton


Here we have a quintet of little architectural gems designed during the birth of the cool – when Stan Getz, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker were reinventing music, when icy gin martinis ruled at the bar and when glass, aluminum and stainless steel were de rigueur materials for modern living.

These five midcentury moderns were created by gifted postwar architects intent on ushering in a new language for Raleigh’s built environment. Today, they stand as hip, modern symbols of the 1950s and ’60s, when this city boldly projected itself as a forward-looking hotbed of progressive ideas onto the international design stage.

All five were designed by architects from N.C. State’s School of Design, most recruited by Dean Henry Kamphoefner from around the globe. Four were envisioned as homes and offices for the architects themselves. Each is protected today from demolition and alteration, either by local landmark status or protective easements in perpetuity – or both.

Those designations differ in their effectiveness. “Landmarked is the Raleigh historic designation – that’s really good but not the ultimate thing to do,” says Catherine Bishir, curator in architectural special collections at N. C. State. “The ultimate is to put an easement on it. If it’s landmarked, it can be torn down after a year.”

Both protections seem absolute necessities now, in light of the recent destruction of Milton Small’s 1966 office building on Glenwood and James Fitzgibbon’s 1950 Paschal House. Most of these five are relatively small structures built on large lots assessed in value as much as four times the buildings themselves. The challenge for caring owners now is to assure that these and others like them won’t ever be sacrificed at the twin altars of demolition and development.

Raleigh’s honor roll of currently protected midcentury moderns includes:

The Kamphoefner House, 3060 Granville Drive: Designed in 1950 by Kamphoefner and George Matsumoto, this home earns distinction as a place where both Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe once slept. Influenced by Wright’s affordable Usonian homes designed for middle-class families, its original rear elevation overlooks Carolina Country Club’s golf course through a wall of windows. In 2002, architect Robert Burns, a Kamphoefner protégé who succeeded him as dean at the School of Design, added more square footage.

Out front, it offers a facade of brick, clapboard and glass, with Burns’ addition seemingly floating in midair. But its real significance lies elsewhere: “It’s a very concrete symbol of everything represented in Kamphoefner’s vision for that historical era,” says architect Michael Stevenson. It enjoys both local landmark status, recommended by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission and approved by Raleigh’s City Council, and a protective easement from Preservation North Carolina. It’s currently on the market at $729,000.

The Fadum House, 3056 Granville Drive: A compact little home designed by Fitzgibbon in 1949, it’s almost ship-like with its built-ins and its place for everything and everything in its place. “It’s one of those houses where every condition, everywhere you turn, has been so carefully thought about,” says architect Louis Cherry.

In 2007, Fitzgibbon’s colleague Brian Shawcroft renovated the house and added one of the most sensitive complementary structures this city will ever see. “He was able to take so many cues from that house – it was such a great generator of ideas and forms that he took into the addition,” Cherry says. “Of all of Brian’s work, that is the finest example. It’s very seamless to the original and a beautiful addition – it seems like an homage to Fitzgibbon.” It’s landmarked, with a protective easement.

The Matsumoto House, 821 Runnymede Road: Designed and built in 1954, this 1,752 square-foot home takes its cues from van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill. But where Farnsworth is a sparkling sonnet in glass and steel, Matsumoto’s house explores the opacity of wood, block and paneling.

“George showed how to use wood and plywood for the same modern experience – it was earthshaking that way,” says architect Frank Harmon. Featured on the cover of Better Homes & Gardens in 1956, the home repositioned Raleigh nationally as a cool and modern place to live. “There’s not an inch of space wasted –it feels like it’s twice as big as it is,” Harmon says. The home is landmarked, without an easement.

The Owen Smith House, 122 Perquimans Drive: In 1950, achitect Owen Smith built his own home with a full basement dedicated to his practice. Upstairs was to be a showcase for his work – and the materials of the day. “It has got some of the finest interior detailing of a midcentury modern house that I have seen,” says Myrick Howard, president of Preservation North Carolina. “Clearly, he was building a house to impress his customers and to walk them through different kinds of woods and tiles in a very elegant building.”

Smith graduated from N.C. State in 1938, 10 years before Kamphoefner arrived, and by the time he died in 2012, he was the longest-practicing architect in the state. His home is landmarked today, but unprotected by an easement.

The G. Milton Small & Associates Office Building, 105 Brooks Ave.: For the past 4 1/2 years, David Burney, founding partner at a branding company named New Kind, has been living a life that’s the envy of all midcentury modern aficionados. In a near-ritual every morning, he pulls into a ground floor parking lot below Milton Small’s best work – the architect’s own office – and embarks upon a carefully scripted entry sequence. He’ll walk past a water feature, ascend a flight of exterior stairs and drop to his knees at the front door. “We call it the temple – the lock is way down on the ground and you have to kneel before you can go in,” he says. “You have to do the same thing if you’re the last to leave.”

Inside, he and his team collaborate at treetop level in a glass-clad building that’s now celebrating its 50th anniversary. It’s landmarked but lacks a protective easement.

These five Raleigh midcentury moderns are a drop in the bucket of the Triangle’s inventory. George Smart, executive director of North Carolina Modernist Houses, estimates that more than 800 residences alone populate this area. But of the 152 buildings earning landmark status through the Raleigh Historic Development Commission, only 15 are midcentury moderns. And of more than 750 structures granted easements by Preservation North Carolina, only 10 date from the mid-20th century.

Too young to be considered antiques, those without easements exist at a vulnerable point in their lifespan.

“Fifty years from now, I hope they’ll move from being important to being sacred,” says Preservation North Carolina’s Howard. “People have a tendency not to like what they grew up with, but to like what their grandparents grew up with – so these will be older, rarer and more distinctive.”

Until then, their best hope for survival lies with a more enlightened approach from tax assessors.

According to the Wake County website, assessors value the Matsumoto house at $112,960, while the land it’s built on comes in at $418,500. “That shows something about the assessors; they’re viewing the building as a teardown,” Howard says.

For a three-dimensional, Mondrian-like, jewel-box work of art, designed and built during the birth of the cool, that could add up to a wasteful and very uncool ending.

J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art and design for national and international publications, and edits a digital design magazine at He is the author of “Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand (Routledge: 2015). He can be reached at

(News & Observer, 5/27/2016)

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and the Historic Jamestown Society honors it by presenting awards to contributors to the preservation of Jamestown history.

This year, there was a bumper crop of excellent nominations, each and every one of award-winning stature. It was impossible to select just one, so two were honored and received their awards May 22.

First among honorees was Quentin “Wimpy” Hodgin, who has spent most of the last century in the Oakdale community of Jamestown, where he apparently knew or knew of every person or event that made up the history of that old place. This community of mine and mill workers created much of whatever wealth and fame came from our town’s past, and Wimpy knows all of it.

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(News & Record, 5/27/2016)

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) is hoping to restore a historic place in East Tennessee.

The park entered to win a $250,000 grant from Partners in Preservation (PIP) for the Clingmans Dome Tower. The park would like to preserve the tower which is located on the North Carolina-Tennessee line.

“Clingmans Dome is a special treasure for the people of North Carolina and Tennessee,” said Friends of the Smokies President Jim Hart. “Visitors from all over the world flock to this iconic tower and with everyone’s help, we can preserve this magnificent structure for generations to come.”

It is the highest point in the national park and in the state of Tennessee at 6,643 feet. The tower has been a destination for visitors since 1959. Visitors are able to see 100 miles of the park’s scenery. Over 600,000 people drive on Clingmans Dome Road between April and November, according to GSMNP.

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(WATE, 5/25/2016)

For 282 years’ worth of Sundays, someone has sat, and stood, and sung, and knelt, and prayed here, in this space, inside these very walls. Someone in a waistcoat, in a hoop skirt, someone holding a homemade rag doll or an imported, porcelain-headed version, has stood at the first strains of the opening hymn. Someone wearing a bustle, or Confederate gray, or denim overalls, or deep black mourning, has unobtrusively bowed his or her head as a sign of humility as the processional cross was carried aloft and down this very aisle toward the altar. Someone in a middy blouse or boxy suit; in knickers or a knitted cloche; in a belted, darted, shirtwaist dress or Army fatigues, has opened the Book of Common Prayer and followed a liturgy dating from 1549. Like these colonists, these forebears, these faithful, this Sunday, in the oldest town in North Carolina, in the oldest standing, active church in North Carolina, in a short-sleeve dress and flats, I’m doing what they did, and what has been done every week for 282 years.

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(Our State, 5/29/2016)

Longtime local history buffs might recall an inventory of Surry’s architectural treasures which was conducted by Laura A.W. Phillips in 1980.

Though done more than 35 years ago, the Surry County Architectural Inventory that included 638 properties has remained a valuable historical resource, with Phillips’ work often consulted by those wanting to learn about older local sites.

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(Mount Airy News, 5/21/2016)

WILMINGTON — Historic preservation for homeowners and home buyers will be the topic of a workshop by the Historic Wilmington Foundation to be held at 8:30 a.m. June 4 in the Wilmington City Council chambers at 102 N. Third St.

The four-hour program will cover buying and renovating a historic property, using the newly enacted North Carolina tax credits and incentives.

Such topics as financing, insurance, energy efficiency, project planning and design and complying in historic districts will also be covered, according to foundation executive director George W. Edwards.

Continuing education credits (CEU) are available to architects who take the workshop.

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(Star News Online, 5/20/2016)

Winston-Salem is a city that cares about its history, as Mayor Allen Joines noted during the May 14 unveiling of a historic marker to commemorate Five Row. He might have added that the city’s reverence for history sometimes amounts to memorializing what’s been lost rather than sustaining what has value.

The community was home to the African-American workers who helped build and maintain Reynolda, the early 20th Century country estate of the Reynolds tobacco family.

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(Triad City Beat, 5/18/2016)

WHITE OAK — Though the crowd was small Saturday at harmony Hall Plantation Village, the grounds were abuzz with the annual homecoming activities under a sunny sky that brought only brief periods of puffy, white clouds passing by the historic Revolutionary War-era homeplace of Col. James Richardson.

It’s been a little thin today, but we’ve had a lot of fun here,” said Sunday Allen, a members of the Harmony Hall Plantation Village Committee charged with organizing the event.

For those who chose to wander the iconic 1760 plantation residence and surrounding property, those in attendance included more than just those modern-day folks who came to tour the buildings, watch as period-style dolls were being made on the home’s porch, eat some chicken bog cooked over an open fire, watch a musket get fired and see the period costumes being worn.

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(Bladen Journal, 5/14/2016)

On a hill in Nebo, a new bed and breakfast seeks to provide a quiet and comforting place where families of special needs children and adults can relax and renew their bonds with each other.

On Wednesday, May 4, the McDowell Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Jason’s Getaway at Holly Hill. Located on 5 acres, the non-profit bed and breakfast is for families with special needs children or people who live in group homes. It is intended for children and adults who are developmentally disabled or autistic and those who care for them.

The house has two adult bedrooms, two children’s bedrooms and two staff bedrooms. Six meals will be provided with a two-night stay. The meals will be served family-style and will be tailored to the guests’ tastes. Jason’s Getaway at Holly Hill has a game/sensory room and playroom, a large wraparound porch, outdoor games, a spacious front yard and a back yard complete with a fire pit.

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(McDowell News, 5/12/2016)

Celebrating a 100-year anniversary is an accomplishment for any entity, even more so for a country club described as “nestled in a picturesque valley away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.”

Such a place sounds like it is out of a travel magazine in some faraway destination.

In fact, that place is the Tryon Country Club located right in our backyard in Polk County, and it celebrated its 100-year anniversary earlier this month.

In 2010, club members Jane Templeton and Clay Griffith prepared an application to the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office to get the Tryon Country Club’s golf course and clubhouse placed on the list of the National Register of Historic Places. Their application was subsequently approved in 2013, joining just a handful of other historic golf courses across the state.

Adding to the uniqueness of the club is the fact that secondary sources attribute the course design to preeminent golf course, architect Donald Ross.

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(Blue Ridge Now, 5/15/2016)

Efforts to help repair and save the Salvo Day Use Cemetery – also known as the Midgett Cemetery – are heating up as community members recognize the current dire state of the site, as well as the devastating effects the next major hurricane or storm could inflict on the already troubled area.

The cemetery, which is located on National Park Service land within the popular Salvo Day Use Area just south of the tri-villages, has been battered by storms and erosion, particularly for the past five to 10 years, and has rapidly deteriorated to the dismay of the descendants of the islanders who are buried there.

Headstones have broken, washed away, or have been removed by concerned family members who worry they could disappear altogether, and tombs are becoming exposed as the soundfront area steadily recedes from a regular battering of high water and waves.

Tri-village community members have been fighting for a long time to address the issue, but it’s quickly becoming a race against time to raise the roughly $120,000 required to protect and save the site.

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(Island Free Press, 5/5/2016)

GREENSBORO — Here’s your chance to turn a Greensboro landmark into one of North Carolina’s “Great Places” and earn bragging rights over a few other cities.

A year after developers reopened the Southeastern Building at 100 N. Elm St., the American Planning Association has chosen the building as a finalist for a “Great Places in North Carolina” award for historic preservation.

Developers Barry Siegal and Willard Tucker spent two years and $15 million restoring the 100,000-square-foot building for high-end apartments, offices and retail. They paid special attention to returning the building’s exterior to the classical stone facade it had when it opened in 1920.

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(News & Record, 5/9/2016)

Workers are putting the finishing touches on a new entrance and reception area at Edenton Street United Methodist Church downtown, part of a $4 million capital campaign to improve the church’s outreach efforts.

Two blocks away, St. Paul A.M.E. Church is in the midst of a more modest capital project, that includes repairing and refurbishing some of the church’s stained-glass windows. After more than 100 years of winter cold and summer heat, the leading that holds the thousands of pieces of colored glass together has begun to deteriorate, causing many of the windows to bow out or sag.

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(News & Observer, 5/6/2016)

A proposal that would turn Waynesville’s historic hospital, the first public hospital in North Carolina, into affordable housing units, is inching its way forward through a complicated process.

Landmark Developers, a Winston-Salem company that specialized in restoring historic buildings through the use of tax credits, has assumed the $8,000 cost of putting the county building most recently used for the department of social services, on the National Register of Historic Places. That application should be submitted this month, said David Francis, who handles special projects for the county.

In the first round of competition for the tax credit dollars, the Haywood project received a perfect score. It will be August before county leaders learn whether the structure will be among those awarded funding that will turn the former hospital rooms/offices into 54 one- and two-bedroom apartments earmarked for veterans, elderly and low-to-moderate income individuals.

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(The Mountaineer, 5/6/2016)

May is National Preservation Month-and this year is a particularly special May for the Historic Wilmington Foundation (HWF). This year is HWF’s 50th Anniversary, so the organization has been celebrating all year. This month, the celebrations are in high gear.

Pat Marriott spoke with George Edwards, the Executive Director of HWF; listen to the interview above.

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(WHQR, 5/6/2016)

There are at least 10,000 barns in Madison County, according to a conservative estimate by the Appalachian Barn Alliance — that’s roughly one barn for every two people in the area. It’s already a shocking figure, but the organization’s lead researcher, architect Taylor Barnhill, says a more realistic estimate would near 20,000 or 30,000 barns. Many people quote a lower barn-count estimate, “because they really can’t believe how many barns there are here,” Barnhill says. His countywide study averages about five barns per mile of county road. At 3,800 miles of county roads, that’s 19,000 barns at least, and, “That doesn’t count all the barns up all these hollers and private roads that you can’t see from a county road,” he says.

To celebrate that particular crop, the Appalachian Barn Alliance hosts Barn Month 2016, a series of events surrounding the third annual Barn Day on Saturday, May 21. The festivities kick off Friday, May 6, with the opening reception of The Barns of Madison County exhibit at The Madison County Arts Center.

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(Mountain Xpress, 5/2/2016)

As a boy in the Depression, Q.J. Stephenson wandered into the woods out of need, trapping muskrat, mink and raccoons for their meat and their pelts, which Sears & Roebuck bought for $1.60 apiece.

But as he got older, he rambled through the wilderness of Northampton County out of pure wonder, plucking fossils and arrowheads out of prehistoric dirt, pulling petrified wood from deep holes in the mud, gathering bullets fired in the Civil War. One time, after years of scouring swamps, he found a meteorite.

Then over 50 years, Stephenson slowly built a museum out of his collection, shaping it into a house in his front yard, its walls made from soapstone, mussel shells and beaver teeth. He carved dinosaurs out of cedar, using deer hoofs for the tail spikes. He built totem poles out of cypress knees, poison ivy vines and feathers.

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(News & Observer, 5/1/2016)

As part of what they called a “surprise attack” on utility companies Tuesday, pipeline opposition groups and leaders of the Nelson County community held a press conference at the Natural History Center in Nellysford to voice disapproval of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Representatives for the pipeline project were not notified of the event and were not present, making it a surprise, according to organizers.

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(Nelson County Times, 5/3/2016)

On a previous visit to Mount Airy, Susan Kluttz drummed up support for reinstating historic tax credits that had aided restoration projects statewide – now she’s returning to thank local leaders for helping to achieve that.

Kluttz, who is the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources secretary, is scheduled to speak at Mount Museum of Regional History Monday at 11:30 a.m.

The state Cabinet official’s primary purpose will involve thanking Mount Airy for its efforts in leading to the historic preservation tax credit program being brought back from the dead. It has benefited a number of local projects.

Those credits had expired on Dec. 31, 2014, as part of budget-reform efforts by the N.C. General Assembly. That led Gov. Pat McCrory, a supporter of the program, to join with Secretary Kluttz on a statewide tour aimed at reinstating the credits, which are a major funding source for revitalization efforts.

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(Mt. Airy News, 5/4/2016)

As part of a week long (May 9-15) event christened “Celebrate The Old North State!”, the Bienenstock Furniture Library is hosting two extraordinary events.

On Wednesday May 11 at 2PM, The Furniture Library will host Johanna Metzgar Brown, Director of Collections and Curator of Moravian Decorative Arts at Old Salem Museum and Gardens for a presentation on the history of Moravian decorative arts in North Carolina between 1753 and 1850.

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(Furniture World Magazine, 5/1/2016)

The kickoff event for Historic Preservation Month in Winston-Salem features a rare chance to look inside two historic houses on Cherry Street that will be open for public viewing from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

One house is the Col. William Allen Blair House, at 210 S. Cherry St., and the other is Hylehurst, at 224 S. Cherry St.

“It is exciting to have both of these houses open,” said Michelle McCullough with City-County Planning Department. “Cherry Street used to be residential, and both of these houses are fabulous inside and outside.”

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(Winston-Salem Journal, 4/29/2016)

Nearly 100 years ago, residents of Currituck County rallied to build a school for the underserved African-American population. Recently, residents of the same community chose to save the dilapidated structure from destruction. Chris Thomas reports.

How do you make the best out of a bad situation?

In the old Coinjock Colored School’s case, the answer seems to be “move it about a mile down the road.”

Listen to and read full story…

(Public Radio East, 4/29/2016)

May serves as National Historic Preservation Month, a month dedicated to events promoting historic places, heritage tourism, and instilling a sense of national and community pride.

On May 1 from 4–6 p.m., the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission kicks off a month of local events by inviting the public to an open house of two historic landmarks: John W. Fries’ 1884 Hylehurst and the 1901 Col. William Allen Blair House. Stationed side-by-side on S. Cherry Street, the properties are both listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places—the official list of America’s historic places worthy of preservation. Both homes have been converted into office space in recent decades, and both are currently on the market.

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(Winston-Salem Monthly, 4/29/2016)

ELKMONT – The former Wonderland Hotel annex in the Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park burned to the ground Tuesday after the 8,600-square-foot building was consumed by flames, a park news release states.

The park fire management crew and the Gatlinburg Fire Department responded to the scene after a passer-by reported the fire at 7:15 a.m., according to the release.

The fire spread about half an acre with flames contained to the immediate area of the structure. Gravel roads and a dense alluvial forest of hemlock and rhododendron helped slow down the fire, the release states.

(Asheville Citizen-Times, 4/21/2016)

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In its heyday, Loray Mill was the largest textile mill in North Carolina. The 600,000-square-foot factory employed more than 3,500 and spurred construction of a 1,000-home mill village. The Loray Mill Village had more homes than the rest of Gastonia in the early 1900s, but as the textile industry declined, so did the village.

Working with private investors and the City of Gastonia, Preservation North Carolina aims to turn that around and restore an important part of North Carolina’s history. Jack Kiser, retired City of Gastonia planning director, is now overseeing the Loray Mill Village project for Preservation North Carolina.

“Over time, those workers moved out or passed on,” Kiser said. “As that happened, a neighborhood, which was vast majority homeowners, went to rental housing over the course of decades. We want to create our own market.”

He estimates there are 400 remaining houses in the village – most ranging from 800 to 1,200 square feet– and Preservation North Carolina is starting the project by buying, renovating and selling about a dozen homes. The ownership/rental ratio is about 30/70, and Kiser said they would like to flip those numbers by spurring private investment.

Preservation North Carolina will buy the homes for $15,000 to $20,000 on average, restore them to their historically accurate appearance, with wood clapboard siding and original windows. The interiors will also be inspired by the history of the village, with pine flooring and bead-board walls, but they will be modernized for today’s market.

Kiser said the houses will sell for around $100,000, and by restoring the houses’ historic appearances, Preservation North Carolina will be able to pass along tax savings to the new homeowner because of the recently restored state historic preservation tax credit, in this case a 15-percent tax credit of the eligible rehabilitation costs.

“We are going to do quality work and upfitting,” Kiser said. “These are small houses, but with today’s housing trends, a huge demographic is going to smaller households. The one person household is by far the largest growing household segment, and we think we can appeal to that market.”

Preservation North Carolina saw great success with similar projects at the Edenton Cotton Mill and Burlington Glencoe Cotton Mill areas. As an added bonus, the village will benefit from its proximity to the Loray Mill itself, which was recently transformed into high-end apartments and commercial space by a private investor.

Firestone Tire and Rubber occupied the Loray Mill from 1935 to 1993. In 1998, Preservation North Carolina assumed ownership until it was sold to a private investor 15 years later.

“These developers stuck with it through thick and thin – the worst recession we’ve seen,” Kiser said. “When the recession hit, I think they picked their best project and stuck with it.”

The investors were set to close on the project with conventional financing, but overnight all credit dried up, and the investors went through a lengthy process to secure funding through a Federal Housing Administration loan.

After completing the largest historic preservation project under one roof, the mill is now open for business once again with 190 apartments on the third through sixth floors and space for retail below. The first commercial tenant is a fitness center, and developers are looking to attract a hair salon, café, brewpub, restaurants and the like. A second phase of the project will add an additional 100 apartments and a 6,000-square-foot memorial hall with mementos, old machines and photos.

The apartments range in rent from $850 to $1,550, which is on the more expensive end of the rent spectrum in Gastonia, but it’s a unique place to live, especially for commuters, who Kiser thinks make up the majority of tenants.

“They can get what they want: something historic, authentic and different than a regular, old two-bedroom garden apartment – you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all,” he said. “There are a lot of people, particularly in the millennial generation, who do want something different. We think these houses will have something to offer, too. Anyone who can afford to rent at Loray Mill can afford to buy one of these houses.”

The village and mill apartments are easy driving distance to Charlotte. For Charlotte Douglas International Airport employees, Kiser said the commute is probably even shorter from Gastonia than some parts of Charlotte.

In addition to attracting citizens who work throughout the region, Council Member Robert Kellogg said the City of Gastonia is interested in connecting the mill village to its historic downtown and the York Chester Historic District. He said that while the three districts are close to each other, there isn’t anything that holds them together.

“Loray Mill could be the piece of the puzzle that fuses everything together. We’d like to take what’s happened with the revitalization and try to connect that with the redevelopment of our downtown, which is also starting to take off,” Kellogg said. “If we can connect the two, we’ll be able to see some good things happen in downtown Gastonia.”

Kiser said the city has been helpful in terms of infrastructure by replacing sidewalks and hopefully streets, but the city is also moving the western branch of the police department into the Loray Mill. Kiser said it isn’t a particularly high-crime area, but the mere presence of officers, additional law enforcement programs and community policing will be a positive addition.

“It’s been a huge effort with a host of different groups coming together to make it happen. I think it symbolizes our ability to embrace our past and use that past to further economic development,” Kellogg said. “If there’s anything we can do to help spur that, most of us will be on board.”

Preservation North Carolina is funding the project through a revolving fund from the 1772 Foundation, so as they sell homes, the profits go back into another rehabilitation project. Kiser said it could take years to create the new market they envision as the decline in ownership took more than three decades to evolve, but Preservation North Carolina plans to stay as long as it is needed. Homes will be ready in October for an open house ceremony to start showing off the properties.

“The overwhelming majority couldn’t see the Loray Mill for what it could be, but once it was done, it really knocked their socks off. I think a lot of people never imagined what these mill cottages could be until they can see one done,” Kiser said. “All we need to do is keep doing this over and over again, and, over time, we’ve turned the neighborhood around.”

by League Communications Associate Jessica Wells

(NC League of Municipalities, April 2016)

Historic Wilmington Foundation continues the observance of its 50th anniversary celebration during the entire month of May, which is National Preservation Month. An array of multi-generational, free public events and special ticketed events are planned for local Wilmington residents and visitors beginning with a ribbon cutting 10 a.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center, Second and Orange streets.

Here is a list of the commemorative events occurring 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the center. Some are exhibits that will be around for additional periods.

(Star News, 4/19/2016)

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Donald LaHuffman, 73, remembers a handful of times when he’s been touched by community support for a place dear to him: his church of 67 years, St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church.

Words of encouragement and support have poured into the church – where his family has attended for generations – since a fire engulfed the sanctuary and ceiling last March.

Roughly $20,000 in donations from supporters and area churches has been gifted to St. Joseph’s on Ramsey Street to restore it to its beauty as a fixture in Fayetteville’s history since 1873, LaHuffman said.

“We’ve received support from those who are not Episcopalian,” LaHuffman, a senior warden at the church, said. “We didn’t ask for anything. It was all spontaneous. It was just so heartwarming.”

A year ago, the ordeal crushed many and those who appreciate the church for being a cornerstone in one of Fayetteville’s booming African-American neighborhoods.

A year later, the mood has changed.

(Fayetteville Observer, 4/14/2016)

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BLAIRS — The Dan River Region’s historic tobacco barns will forever be remembered in history, thanks to a new highway marker preservation officials unveiled Friday morning.

Officials dedicated the state historical marker from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources recalling the numerous tobacco barns once found in Pittsylvania County and other Southside Virginia counties.

(GoDanRiver, 4/15/2016)

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The Salisbury Historic Preservation Commission decided to postpone a decision on the use of colored lighting at the Gateway Park fountain during its meeting on Thursday.

The city is performing maintenance on the fountain and proposed to replace the existing light bulbs with LED bulbs that can change colors.

(Salisbury Post, 4/15/2016)

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In 1966 bulldozers were poised to raze a bloated antediluvian structure leaking and collapsing on a prime block of downtown Greensboro real estate, perched on a hill in one of the last residential neighborhoods in the shadow of the Jefferson Building.

For almost 70 years this compound served as a lonely outpost for The Keeley Institute, a live-in rehabilitation program promising drunks and drug addicts ‘That New Freedom’ after weeks of four times daily injections of bichloride of gold laced with alcohol, strychnine, apomorphine and willow bark.

The Keeley Institute’s methodology had fallen into disrepute long before the local proprietors’ death in a plane crash led to abandonment of this sanitarium delirium. Paint peeling, cracking plaster, sagging porch, shattered windows, a malingering Munster mansion entwined in knotted trees, runaway ivy and tangled weeds; a landscape nearly as terrifying as the Keeley Cure. They should have shot Dark Shadows there.

Two blocks away the glistening Carolina Theater was packing them in, which was great for Greensboro’s first Krispy Kreme, a block away on Greene Street. Downtown Greensboro was much larger in ‘66, a great deal more vibrant. Two high-rise and three smaller hotels, 40 restaurants, three lavish movie palaces, multi-storied department and dime stores, a buzzing hub of finance, commerce and, most especially, shopping.

With downtown bursting at the seams an expansion of businesses to the west was a natural. Kroger had their eye on the lot the Keeley Institute was deteriorating on so a crew was dispatched to clear the land. And they would have, had Anita Schenck and her mother Mary Lyon Caine not stood between the heavy machinery and that sacred place steeped in ceremony, where the Civil War came to an end in North Carolina, a once stately manor they knew as Blandwood.

(Yes! Weekly, 4/13/2016)

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Last year, the death of Freddie Gray in police custody placed his neighborhood in a tragic spotlight, highlighting an all-too common urban misery: epidemic poverty, blighted lots, and shattered homes. Gray’s Baltimore has become notorious as the site of failed “urban renewal” projects, rife with liberal talking points but showing precious little progress in alleviating poverty and joblessness. There’s now a plan to generate change from the inside out, creating community housing as a source of collective healing.

Facing a change in administration in pending elections, activists are pushing a plan before the City Council to devote about $40 million to housing development, not just to fix up vacancies or construct commercial towers but to overhaul neighborhoods through developing Community Land Trusts. As we’ve reported before, the idea would be to establish communally owned property under a democratic governance structure, which allows residents and the surrounding neighborhood to cooperatively manage land and property use.

(The Nation, 4/11/2016)

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Sixty years of Fayetteville dining and community history collapsed early Saturday morning as the Haymont Grill & Steak House was gutted by a pre-dawn fire.

According to fire officials, the cause cannot yet be determined, Fayetteville Battalion Chief Michael Martin said. Traffic in the area around the restaurant, including Fort Bragg Road and Morganton Road, was rerouted most of the day until a lane was opened in the afternoon.

As fire crews from across the city doused hot spots among the debris at the top of Haymount Hill, friends stopped to offer condolences and support to owner Pete Skenteris. He and his wife, Frederika, sat across the street on a pair of restaurant chairs rescued for them by city firefighters.

(Fayetteville Observer, 4/12/2016)

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Natural disasters have taken a heavy toll on historic landmarks around the U.S. When Hurricane Katrina swept through parts of New Orleans in 2005, floods damaged 19th- and 20th-century buildings, causing some to collapse. High winds smashed windows and stripped away the outer layers of houses, shops, and museums. More recently, Hurricane Sandy took down monuments in the 1849 Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn and damaged the electrical system of the Fraunces Tavern Museum—which dates back to the American Revolution—in Manhattan.

Between rising sea levels, predictions of increasingly extreme weather patterns, and the Big One always looming over the West, the U.S. is bracing itself for more natural disasters. But a recent report out of the University of Colorado Denver and University of Kentucky finds that the U.S. may not be as prepared as it could be to protect historic sites from floods, wildfires, and tornadoes. In fact, almost two thirds of all states lack historic-preservation goals and strategies in their disaster plans.

(CityLab, 4/8/2016)

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RALEIGH–The Council of State approved the sale of two more old houses in the Blount Street Historic District this week but held off making a decision about two others at the urging of Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

That’s because the buyer of the two houses plans to tear one of them down. The roof of the McGee House, a brick Tudor-revival home built on North Blount Street in the late 1940s, has collapsed, leaving most of the inside in ruin.

Forest wants to make sure demolishing the house is consistent with the preservation goals of the legislation that authorized the sale of the houses in 2003. That bill requires that sales of state property in the Blount Street district be subject to preservation agreements that “ensure that the use of the property is consistent with the historic and architectural character of the district.”

(News & Observer, 4/9/2016)

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The 2016 NC Main Street Conference was held this past month in downtown Goldsboro, NC. An annual event which involves over 100 communities from across the state and draws more than 500 attendees each year, the conference features a variety of speakers alongside a coveted downtown award and downtown champion programs. In what has become a theme for our community, Downtown Hendersonville was awarded its third program award in as many years and was fortunate to see one of our fabulous “Friends of Downtown” recognized for her efforts in making our community a success story.

Main Street Champions are recognized for their commitment to downtown improvements and strong communities during the annual awards breakfast and our own Patty Adamic, owner of Mike’s On Main in downtown Hendersonville, was one of the thirty-seven individuals from around the state to receive honors for their contributions in 2015. Speaking at the awards ceremony NC Secretary of Commerce John E. Skvarla noted, “Main Street Champions recognize the possibilities in their downtowns and strive to make those possibilities a reality, they represent some of our communities most valued leaders.”

(Mountain Xpress, 4/7/2016)

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The salvation of a historic hospital dormitory in Gastonia will depend on whether someone commits to leasing space in it.

Partners Behavioral Health Management is the most logical candidate to move into the old nurses dorm, which sits on its campus along South New Hope Road. But the agency may not have any need for offices that would be created as part of the building’s redevelopment. And in that case, its preferred alternative would be for the decrepit structure to be demolished, said Partners Executive Director Rhett Melton.

“The concerns I raised before will really remain as long as the building is in its current condition and shape,” he said Thursday.

(Gaston Gazette, 3/31/2016)

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A nearly 140-year-old home in Lincoln County was donated to Preservation North Carolina to ensure that the home’s historic integrity would remain intact.

The home, located at 134 Nellie Circle in Stanley, was built in the 1880’s by J.P. Hager, a farmer. The home served as a post office in the area for many years. Former owners Eddie and Jane Hager were motivated by preservation to donate the home. Preservation North Carolina can incorporate covenants in the deed that would require a rehabilitation agreement with the new owners that would, among other specifics, prevent it from being demolished.

“That was the motivation,” Jane Hager said from Florida, where the couple resides today.

Lincoln County Historical Association director Jason Harpe spoke to the Hager family at a reunion in late 2014 and said that the family as a whole was on board with the idea.

(Lincon Times-News, 3/31/2016)

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The historic, antebellum mansion known as Fair Oaks in Haymount has a new prospective buyer.

Suzanne Pennink, the real estate agent for the family wanting to sell the 158-year-old home at 1507 Morganton Road, said Thursday that someone put in an offer this week to buy the home, after the Fayetteville City Council rejected a proposal to convert it into a 90-student private school.

Pennink said the prospective buyer, whom she could not publicly identify, wanted to wait until the council acted Tuesday on the school proposal before submitting the offer.

(Fayetteville Observer, 3/31/2016)

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CHAPEL HILL–Preservation Chapel Hill let its executive director go last week in an attempt to cut expenses and stabilize the nonprofit’s budget.

The organization’s board of trustees will be exploring ways to address increasing shortfalls and declining revenues, Vice President Evan Rodewald said. They’re also looking to members and volunteers to keep programs going, he said.

Executive Director Cheri Szcodronski could return on a contract basis for some projects, he said.

“We hope that in energizing our volunteers and getting people more directly involved in the operations of the organization that that will also have a positive effect on our donations and membership,” Rodewald said.

(News & Observer, 4/3/2016)

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LUMBERTON — A panel discussion on Tuesday night will focus on how to make visions of a revitalized downtown Lumberton a reality.

The discussion will feature experts with know-how in architecture, historical preservation and economic development.

Lumberton’s Planning director, Brandon Love, will serve as moderator. Love is the 2016 president for American Institute of Architects’ North Carolina Eastern Section and a North Carolina State University graduate with degrees in Environmental Design in Architecture and Master of Industrial Design.

(The Robesonian, 4/2/2016)

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An upscale gym became the first commercial tenant of the Loray Mill Loft Apartments early this year, offering a means to shed weight and get in shape.

Soon, residents and visitors to the historic building will enjoy a guiltier pleasure — eating, drinking and making merry at a new 4,000-square-foot craft brew pub.

“You look at the historic nature of this building and the edginess of the space, and it just screams for the concept we’re trying to bring,” said Matt Coben, a managing partner and franchise owner of Growler USA, during a walk-through at the site Wednesday.

(The Gaston Gazette, 3/25/2016)

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Out of the approximate 2,850 properties in North Carolina listed on the National Register of Historic Places, only 73 of them are cemeteries.

The Old Chapel Hill Cemetery is one of them.

“It is really unusual for cemeteries to be listed on the national register,” said Cheri Szcodronski, executive director of Preservation Chapel Hill.

Preservation Chapel Hill aims to raise awareness about the importance of the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery and the need for its ongoing preservation.

(The Daily Tar Heel, 3/21/2016)

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Uptown Shelby learned March 17 it will host the 2017 North Carolina Main Street Conference, while Kings Mountain and Cherryville collected 2015 honors at the recent awards ceremony held in Goldsboro.

Fourteen awards were given in four categories – design, organization, economic vitality and promotion. Kings Mountain (Best Innovation – The Small Business Success Project) and Cherryville (Best Public Relations Effort – The Cherryville Communications Campaign) both earned awards of merit under the organization heading.

(Shelby Star, 3/21/2016)

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With old and abandoned buildings strewn across 308 acres of lush hills just south of downtown Raleigh, the Dorothea Dix campus beckons the imagination.

And the City of Raleigh, which last year purchased the land from the state government for $52 million, indeed hopes to transform it into an iconic destination park.

But designing such an amenity isn’t as easy as imagining one. City leaders can’t simply hold a meeting, put pencil to paper and start planning.

The city this year is in its “planning to plan,” stage, said Kate Pearce, one of the city’s main project planners. Staff will work with the City Council over the next few months to figure out how Raleigh will decide on the future of Dix Park over the next two years, adopting a master plan somewhere around the end of 2018.

(News & Observer, 3/20/2016)
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The state’s efforts to find buyers for several old houses in the Blount Street Historic District have gone well so far.

Eleven of 12 old houses the state put up for sale in recent months are under contract with new owners. With the exception of one house that has been condemned and will be demolished, the new owners plan to restore the homes and bring new life to a quiet part of downtown.

After years of neglect by the state, extensive restoration work will be needed to make the houses usable again. Still, the sales have come quickly since the state put the first two on the market last July.

(News & Observer, 3/18/2016)

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Each of the 12 historic homes that the North Carolina state government is seeking to sell in downtown Raleigh’s Blount Street Historic District has a story.

And, in the 13 years since the state started working on a plan to revitalize the district, Joy Wayman has become their storyteller.

(Triangle Business Journal, 3/18/2016)

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HAMLET — The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 established a federal grant program to aid states in preserving historic properties, requires all federal agencies to take historic properties into consideration in project planning and development and created the National Register of Historic Places.

During Hamlet’s monthly city council meeting last week, Claudia Brown and Jeff Adolphsen of the North Carolina Historic Preservation office made a presentation that could benefit the town not only financially but also in preserving a large portion of the historic area.

“They started calling in the fall when the new historic preservation tax credits were passed,” said City Manger Marcus Abernethy. “They called to let us know they’ve been passed, and Hamlet could expand its national register district. A map was created for much of the residential area of Hamlet that encompasses 75 percent of the town. Getting the map designated would allow homeowners to file for the tax credit. Their presentation was to be informative and let the town know this is an opportunity to pursue in the future.”

(Richmond County Daily Journal, 3/17/2016)

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A weathered, nearly 200-year-old slave cabin in northern Pasquotank County endures as its tenants once did.

The cabin, obscured by thick underbrush, is the only one of its kind in Pasquotank County and one of a handful in North Carolina that remains in its original state, said Reid Thomas, a restoration specialist for the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Many were altered for rental homes and storage sheds.

“This is a nicely constructed building,” Thomas said.

Exposed hand-hewn studs and roof beams were once painted with oyster shell whitewash to brighten the room. Long flat clapboards, gray and cracked, cover the exterior of about 30 feet by 20 feet. A second story loft is likely where the families slept after cooking all day in the fireplace that once stood in the center of building.

(The Virginian-Pilot, 3/16/2016)

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Salisbury played an important part in reinstating historic tax credits for the state, according to Susan Kluttz, North Carolina secretary of natural and cultural resources.

“I’m here today on behalf of Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to say thank you to you,” she told the City Council at its meeting Tuesday. “We want to thank you and this community for your tremendous help in restoring the State Historic Preservation Tax Credits.”

(Salisbury Post, 3/16/2016)

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A historic Wrightsville Beach cottage was recently purchased by owners dedicated to its preservation, and now the builder is working with the town’s historic landmark commission to make the house livable while retaining its historic characteristics.

When the property owners of 525 S. Lumina Ave. bought the historic Denny Cottage next door at 523 S. Lumina Ave., they realized the house was in need of many repairs. The builder of their home, Wrightsville Beach resident Christopher Parker, offered to manage construction of the house’s restoration, pro bono, and he and his family would rent it.

But the cottage needs numerous repairs before it is safe for his family.

“I don’t think any work has been done to it in 50 years,” Parker said.

Because the 1939 cottage was designated as a historic landmark in 2006, Parker had to seek the Wrightsville Beach historic landmark commission’s approval March 14 to make fixes to derelict windows, handrails, garage doors and lattice. After some debate, commission members approved fixes that would make the home safe and denied fixes they saw as mainly aesthetic.

(Lumina News, 3/15/2016)

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SALISBURY — Historic Salisbury Foundation announced today the appointment of Karen L. Hobson as executive director effective immediately.

Hobson returned to Salisbury in 2012, restoring the historic Wright-Hobson house that has been in her family for almost 50 years. She served as a member of HSF’s board of trustees from 2013 until the present.

(Salisbury Post, 3/14/2016)

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Raleigh is blessed with a sophisticated legacy of modern residential and commercial architecture. After almost seven decades of influence by N.C. State’s College of Design, the city is home to a rich heritage of contemporary buildings in a rapidly growing urban setting.

So what’s up with the ongoing demolition of buildings from the 1950s and ’60s, the turning of blind eyes to highly talented local architects and the penchant for over-scaled, out-of-proportion McMansions – not to mention those oh-so-ordinary office and apartment buildings popping up like mushrooms all over?

(News & Observer, 3/11/2016)

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The Salisbury City Council will be talking about historic tax credits and the Connect NC Bond Act referendum at Tuesday’s meeting.

The council will meet at 5 p.m. at 217 S. Main St.

Susan Kluttz, North Carolina Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources, will make a presentation about the reinstatement of North Carolina Historic Tax Credits.

(Salisbury Post, 3/15/2016)

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Wilmington’s success in preserving historic buildings comes partly from a unique funding tool that buys buildings before they are destroyed, the leader of the nation’s largest historic preservation group said Tuesday, March 8.

In making her first-ever visit to the Port City, Stephanie Meeks, president and chief executive officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, came to help commemorate the twin anniversaries of the Historic Wilmington Foundation and the National Historic Preservation Act, both of which turn 50 years old in 2016.

“It certainly lives up to the reputation,” Meeks said of Wilmington’s historic district. “Wilmington is a city that gets it.”

(Lumina News, 3/9/2016)

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In a tiny cabin on a sliver of property adjacent to the Jackson County Historic Courthouse, Sylva author John Parris spent years putting pen to paper, writing the newspaper columns and books celebrating life in the mountains that would ensure his long-lasting legacy in the hearts of Jackson County’s people.

Now, the county is poised to close on its purchase of the cabin and the 0.14 acres on which it and Parris’ old house sit.

(Smoky Mountain News, 3/9/2016)

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A new Facade Improvement Grant opportunity is encouraging downtown Aberdeen merchants to spruce up for springtime.

With funding set aside by town leaders, the reimbursable grant program kicked off in January to a solid start with three approved projects already underway.

“We believe this will help us achieve our goal to help beautify the downtown area,” said Daniel Martin, Aberdeen’s community and downtown development planner. “We want to make it more attractive to generate more pedestrian traffic and that will, in turn, increase sales activity.”

The program aims for an organized and coordinated approach to improving the appearance of the downtown shopping area. Grant funding is restricted to commercial property owners and business tenants located within the historic district of Aberdeen. Eligible projects include exterior signage, exterior painting, windows or window replacement, door and window awnings, and general maintenance needs on the facade of a building — including the front, side, or rear of a structure.

(The Pilot, 3/3/2016)

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HILDEBRAN, NC (WBTV) – It’s been five days since flames ripped through the old Hildebran High School, but it’s still the topic of most conversation there. For many, like Vivian Wilson, the school is much more than a building.

“I cried. And I cried a lot more when I came out and saw the destruction,” Wilson said.

Charred brick and warped pieces of wood are nearly all that’s left now, a sight Sonya Scott can’t force herself to drive by.

“I went to school there. My mother and father went to school there,” Scott said.

That’s a response you hear a lot around Hildebran, which is why so many came to Friday night’s council meeting, hoping for answers. The school hasn’t held student’s for many years, but the memories are still there.

(WBTV, 2/26/2016)

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A half century ago, a small group of forward-thinking Wilmington residents banded together to protect the downtown landscape against the threat of suburban sprawl.

Now, the organization that has worked to preserve and repurpose the area’s architectural history has itself reached the historic mark.

Historic Wilmington Foundation is (HWF) celebrating its 50th year of concentrated preservation efforts through the Cape Fear region. To kick off its anniversary commemoration, the local non-profit will host Stephanie Meeks, National Trust for Historic Preservation President and CEO, who will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8 in Room B at the Coastline Conference and Event Center, 501 Nutt St. She’ll also lead a breakfast discussion on preservation at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, March 9, at UNC-Wilmington’s Kenan-Wise House, 1713 Market St.

(Star News, 3/3/2016)

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CONCORD – Warren C. Coleman certainly made his mark on this town.

From a revitalized mill building to a note in history books, the former slave’s work to build the first African-American owned and operated mill in the country has not been forgotten, heralded on historic markers, street names and at memorial events—in Concord, at least.

But the old mill now has a place on the national stage.

In 2015, the Coleman Mill officially made the National Register of Historic Places, claiming attention the often-overlooked facility has in the past neglected to receive.

(Independent Tribune, 3/1/2016)

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A renovated two-story mill house built in the 1800s at the Rocky Mount Mills will soon be home to the SpringBoard Lab, whose purpose is to help develop entrepreneurs throughout the Rocky Mount metropolitan area and Eastern North Carolina region.

SpringBoardNC Inc, a nonprofit organization founded by local business leaders, serves as a resource hub for people looking to start or grow a business. The SpringBoardLab is planned to be a headquarters for innovation and entrepreneurship and a place where entrepreneurs looking to start a business can do so with low overhead expense.

(Rocky Mount Telegram, 3/1/2016)

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Documentary filmmaker Aviva Kempner was inspired when she heard civil rights leader Julian Bond speak about the 5,000 schools for black youths that Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald helped establish across the South from 1912 to 1932.

“It is one of the great unknown stories of philanthropy,” Kempner said. “I’ve always been so horrified by the Jim Crow era. (Rosenwald’s story) made me really proud as a Jew.”

Kempner’s documentary “Rosenwald,” a 12-year labor of love, is being screened Sunday at 3 p.m. at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.

“Rosenwald schools” were built in states from Maryland to Texas, but more were established in North Carolina – 787, plus 26 workshops and teachers’ homes – than in any other state, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

(News & Observer, 2/27/2016)

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