Livingstone College, Historic Salisbury Foundation work together to revitalize houses in West End

SALISBURY – Six houses on West Monroe Street in Salisbury’s West End neighborhood will undergo a major revitalization now that Livingstone College and Historic Salisbury Foundation, Inc. have reached a Memorandum of Agreement.

The properties are located on West Monroe Street, directly across from the college. They are all owned by Livingstone, are vacant and are in need of extensive repairs. Additionally, all of them except two are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in the Livingstone College Local Historic District.

Revitalization of the six properties will dramatically improve the West End neighborhood economically and socially while making the houses habitable and increasing their property values.

(The Salisbury Post, 2/5/2016)

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The Historic Preservation Committee recently submitted the results of a survey that examined 110 properties in the Boone area to the Boone Town Council, aiming to designate those found to be significant for protection.

The survey was commissioned by the Town of Boone and overseen by Carolina Historical Consulting LLC.

Eric Plaag, the founder of Carolina Historical Consulting, said his work on the report was done on a volunteer basis. Plaag said he got involved to give back to the town and get the ball rolling on what he feels is an important process.

“So much has disappeared from downtown Boone just in the last 30 years, and I’m fearful that Boone will lose its character,” Plaag said.

The designation requires that any changes to a property or district considered historic be approved by their preservation commission to ensure that any modifications do not negatively affect the area’s historical character.

The process of designation takes place on a local level, being authorized and reviewed by the town council. The town also conducts a public hearing on the results.

Mayor Rennie Brantz said he believed the designation was very important and is excited about the progress being made, including plans to recognize downtown Boone as a historic district.

(The Appalachian, 2/10/2016)

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Buildings that have been standing for generations often look the part but still tell a vital story about the communities where they were constructed.

That’s one reason Lucy Penegar was sad to hear of a brewing plan to demolish another local landmark. Gaston County commissioners on Tuesday will consider spending $90,000 to raze the old nurses dormitory beside the former North Carolina Orthopedic Hospital at 901 S. New Hope Road in Gastonia.

(Gaston Gazette, 2/8/2016)

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Have you been to downtown Lenoir lately? It’s so worth a trip. Not only does the city look great due to all the improvements made during its streetscape project a few years ago– new streetlamps, planters, sidewalks, and so on — but there also are fabulous restaurants and antique stores and artsy places and big and small sculptures throughout the downtown and in the surrounding county.

Traveling into and out of the historic district, visitors find even more go-to places: shops, fresh markets, eateries, florists . . .

I hadn’t stopped in Lenoir in a long time when I decided to take some out-of-town friends on a trip to see what we could find in Caldwell County’s largest city. We weren’t disappointed, especially since we started the exploration on a full stomach thanks to 1841 Café on Main Street.

(Hickory Daily Record, 2/7/16)

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More than 65 history buffs and even some descendants of Scotch Loyalist Kenneth Black, a prominent pre-Revolutionary War figure in Moore County, came out Tuesday to see grave sites marked in his family cemetery off U.S. 15-501 in Southern Pines.

The cemetery, about 100 yards off the highway behind the Chamber of Commerce building and Chick-fil-A, was first discovered in the 1960s. Time had erased all of the inscribed grave markers by the time the cemetery was discovered. A rock wall around Black’s grave had fallen and was eventually covered up.

The Moore County Historical Association, which serves as the agent for two descendants of the Black family, began a restoration of the cemetery last spring. Volunteers unearthed the stones and erected the wall around Black’s grave.

(Southern Pines Pilot, 2/5/16)

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Sunday was a day to celebrate, and not just for Rick and Susan Stone, who opened the doors to the restored William Crawford House — their new home — as a fundraiser for Preservation Greensboro.

In just a few weeks, the Stones will move into this 1902 Colonial Revival home on Spring Garden Street. After 1½ years of renovation, the house that sat burned and vacant for five years is once again a showplace home in the historic College Hill neighborhood.

This isn’t simply a victory for the Stones or for College Hill or for Preservation Greensboro. It’s a victory for the whole city.

(News & Record, 2/3/2016)

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— A historic piece of property in Fayetteville with ties to the Civil War is now at the center of another battle. A company wants to turn the residential home into a private middle school, but some residents are concerned about their peaceful neighborhood. 1

Mary Lynn Jordan has lived next door to a historic home on Morgantown Road in the Haymount community for 53 years. She says Union Gen. William Sherman may have stayed at the home during his rampage through Fayetteville during the Civil War.

(WRAL, 2/1/2016)

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A group of residents from Franklin and Cherokee have been meeting for the last eight months to explore strategies to work together for economic development and historic preservation. Calling themselves Mountain Partners, the group has engaged in discussions regarding a potential Nikwasi-Cowee corridor that promotes heritage-tourism and related economic development opportunities.

According to Barbara McRae, one of the Mountain Partners from Franklin, the group’s efforts have been productive and insightful. “It’s been an exciting experience, especially getting to know the Cherokee members and their perspectives on the history and culture of the Nikwasi Mound.”

(Cherokee One Feather, 2/2/2016)

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Two blocks off Broad Street, the bustle of boutique shopping and trendy eateries gives way to quiet tree-lined roads. Old stately homes loom large beside smaller bungalows, throwbacks to a bygone era when stables and working class dwellings were accouterments to these modest estates.

In a section of Southern Pines first mapped out in the mid-1880s, three such homes are undergoing a transformation. Originally slated for demolition in favor of eight new luxury townhomes, property owner Dean King instead had a change of heart once the houses’ old bones, so to speak, were made bare.

“We decided to turn back the clock,” said King, a Southern Pines-based architect.

Instead of starting from scratch and trying to imbue charm from the ground up, King said the metal roofs and exteriors of the homes will be restored while the interior spaces are given a thoroughly modern renovation. Old walls are coming down as the homes are cleaved in half to create new duplexes that embrace open-concept floor plans. The green space between the old homes will be reimagined to include two new cottages to enhance the neighboring architecture.

(The Pilot, 1/27/2016)

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in his announcement Thursday that the state has reached a deal with to sell the landmark Second Empire-style Heck-Andrews House in downtown Raleigh also disclosed that more opportunities are on the way for buyers seeking to restore several of North Carolina’s most historic homes.

(Triangle Business Journal, 1/28/2016)

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RALEIGH–The state has found a buyer for the 146-year-old Heck-Andrews House on North Blount Street in downtown Raleigh.

The N.C. Association of Realtors has agreed to buy the house for $1.5 million. Gov. Pat McCrory announced the sale Thursday, and the Council of State will be asked to give its approval on Tuesday.

The Realtors association’s headquarters is in Greensboro, but it has a Raleigh office on Fayetteville Street.

The sale ends more than 30 years of state ownership of the Second Empire-style mansion. The state acquired half interest in the house in 1984, then bought the remaining share by eminent domain in 1987. The state has spent more than $1.2 million on exterior renovations over the years, but the three-story home anchored by a four-story central tower remains a ruin inside.

(News & Observer, 1/28/2015)

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The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program used for restoring historic properties in North Carolina has successfully been reinstated. The tax credit system, which also includes the credit for income-producing properties, phased out at the end of 2014 as part of state tax reform measures taken by North Carolina lawmakers. Since first introduced in 1998, experts estimate that the tax credits have generated $1.4 billion in statewide revenues with each project generating approximately four jobs.

After the tax credits expired in 2014, supporters in Raleigh were not convinced that phasing out the credits was a sustainable decision and worked to resuscitate the program. Members of North Carolina’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, which houses the State Historic Preservation Office, began touring the state and visiting locations that shared success stories, such as New Bern, Kinston, and Rocky Mount. New Bern has had more than $3 million invested in historic home projects, while Kinston’s Historic Mitchelltown district is undergoing a renaissance targeting a burgeoning creative class, in part from the assistance of tax credits.

(Sustainable Cities Collective, 1/27/2016)

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CONCORD — A proposal to sell and redevelop the Hotel Concord is on the table.

The proposal by Rehab Development includes a more than $5.3 million project that would transform the old hotel into a high end apartment complex with 38 units. The proposal also includes keeping the event space and developing a market/restaurant space with a brewery.

Rehab Development is the company that redeveloped the former downtown Heilig-Meyers building, transforming it into Lofts 29, which is directly behind the Hotel Concord complex.

(Independent Tribune, 1/27/2016)

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Breathtaking seems the best adjective for the 308-acre Dix property Raleigh recently acquired from the state for $52 million. And the only aspect more breathtaking than its size, scope and beauty is how far-reaching a challenge this rolling, wooded landscape presents the city.

Its development as a park calls for solutions that get it right – now, and for the ages.
Mike Welton.
Mike Welton. 2015 News & Observer File Photo – Juli Leonard jleonard@newsobserver.com

That means looking back to the recent past for lessons learned from the politics of design. The 2012 withdrawal by artist Jaume Plensa of his world-class, downtown sculpture (along with its $2.5 million funding from Capitol Broadcasting President and CEO Jim Goodmon) comes immediately to mind.

Controversy over the city’s 2011 design competition for Moore Square – some of its “i’s” and “t’s” neither dotted nor crossed – was only recently resolved when a new Sasaki design replaced the original winner.

These are symbols of a city striving mightily for a larger presence on a regional stage. Missteps might be allowed on smaller projects, but Dix Park is no minor affair. Goodmon, a key supporter, is calling for it to be “the greatest park in the nation.”

Its monumental scope will require a master plan that proposes many uses over a long period of time.

However it’s programmed, this park will serve not only today’s citizens, but their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. As Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane notes, it must offer place-making for gatherings on a grand scale – as well as intimate spaces for thoughtful solitude.

That’s a tall order. It’s complicated by the expense of developing the property while looking for ways to pay for maintenance – making its master plan more an economic development tool than a design proposal. Broad uses will be laid out in this plan, but designs for its spaces should come later.

“It’s about programming, connections and funding,” says Durham landscape architect Walt Havenner of Surface 678, designers of the exquisite Rodin sculpture garden at the North Carolina Museum of Art. “It helps the city narrow down what it wants to do; then designers come up with approaches.”

The city already has a leg up on planning. Among its partners is a group of philanthropists formerly known as the Dix Park Visionaries, now the Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy. Goodmon is chairman of the group that has already pledged $3.5 million toward a master plan.

So now, as near-giddiness over the land acquisition recedes, the hard work of developing the park commences.

Thomas Woltz, principal in Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects of Charlottesville. Va. and New York City.

The first question to be asked, says Mark Johnson of Civitas, the Denver-based landscape firm creating a new set of gardens and parks at NCMA, is: What opportunities does this property open up for the city of Raleigh that didn’t exist before?

“The act of doing the master plan might be the process by which you get the answers,” he says.

To be relevant, Dix’s programming must be informed by the citizens of Raleigh – and the park’s past incarnations. “Think about the 200 years behind you and the 200 in front,” says Thomas Woltz, principal in Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects of Charlottesville, Va. and New York City. “You’re in the middle – the steward of the stories of the land that are linked to the past – to deliver a resilient and beautiful park for the long-term future.”

Woltz is a Mount Airy native, currently at work designing a 4 1/3-acre park in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, implementing a master plan for the 1,500-acre Memorial Park in Houston, and creating a botanical garden on the grounds of a former mental hospital in Traverse City, Mich. Each project is different because each owns its history, written by its citizens. “It’s important to build coalitions of groups and people invested in this park,” he says.

Here, the first coalition might be those connected to Dorothea Dix Hospital – doctors, nurses, former patients, and their families – even those at rest in its cemetery. But embedded too within the park are other stories: the land once farmed as part of patient therapy, the 1856 hospital designed by noted architect Alexander Jackson Davis, and the pre-Dix uses by settlers, African-Americans, Native Americans, and even prehistoric inhabitants. Hispanics and the arts community also may have more contemporary narratives to contribute.
Other questions

Within the master plan, questions surely will abound, preservation among them. In addition to the 19th-century hospital, 26 other buildings dot the landscape, 22 of them considered “contributing” in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s register. Which should be preserved, and which demolished?

What would be their highest and best use? Could they be renovated and leased to generate income?

Would the Tuscan Revival hospital make, as Preservation North Carolina’s Myrick Howard suggests, an excellent boutique hotel and a destination unto itself? That would brand Raleigh one of the few cities with two functional Davis buildings – the other being the State Capitol. Again, income generation is a possibility.

(News & Observer, 1/23/2016)

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Wilmington resident Sharon Stone, not of “Basic Instinct” fame, first volunteered at the Bellamy Mansion 18 years ago for the history lesson.

Moving from the Midwest with her husband who grew up locally, she was briefed on the city’s greatest hits, but she wanted the full story.

“I’m a Type A personality. It needs to be linear, defined,” she said. “So I started taking classes with a history professor at UNCW and volunteering at Bellamy Mansion. It puts context around just random facts.”

(Star News, 1/15/2016)

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Dryborough, a community in New Bern with a rich history, has become the first African American neighborhood designated as a National Historic Place.

The State Historic Preservation Office made the announcement Thursday. Notification letters, a legal notice for New Bern, and certificates for owners will be mailed later.

Ethel Staten, a lifelong resident of the Dryboroghh area and president of the Dryborough Association, was thrilled with the news. She and many others have worked for several years to complete the national designation for the community.

(Sun-Journal, 1/15/2016)

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CARY

The Walker Hotel sat vacant, deteriorating in downtown Cary for nearly five years. Its walls were coated with mold and graffiti, and its roof leaked during every rainstorm.

Hidden behind overgrown shrubbery, this historic building hardly resembled the grand French Second Empire style hotel that once housed passing railroad travelers. At its lowest point, the crumbling building was valued at $4,000, and for many, was beyond repair.

The building has since been transformed into the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, which attracts an average of 25,000 people per year for classes, events, concerts, historical and fine arts exhibitions.

While it took hundreds of people to restore the once dilapidated building, and Anne Kratzer is known for deflecting credit to others, many say this dream would not have become reality without her. She rallied dozens of people behind the goal of transforming the historic building.

“She is, as one of my friends said, the ‘matriarch of historic preservation’ in Cary,” said Brent Miller of Cary. “She always acknowledges the contributions of all the others, but 30 years ago, she was the one with the heart and the spirit and the courage to really take on this effort.”

About 30 years after the restoration began, Kratzer has been recognized for her efforts to preserve the building as well as other historic buildings in Cary. She was selected by the Town of Cary as the 2015 Hometown Spirit Award Winner – an annual recognition bestowed upon a Cary resident who has demonstrated leadership and integrity.

Miller, who was also a finalist for the award, and Cary resident Leesa Brinkley nominated Kratzer for the recognition.

Kratzer’s passion for preservering history goes beyond the Page-Walker Arts & History Center. She also has planted an education herb garden with friends around the Page-Walker’s smokehouse to preserve it; oversaw the restoration of the White Plains Cemetery; and helped create the Cary Heritage Museum. She continues to serve as an active board member of the Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel to sustain and bring recognition to the town’s history.

(Cary News/News & Observer, 1/12/2016)

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 14, 2016 – High Point University will host Dr. Marjoleine Kars, an expert in early American history, for a special presentation commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Alexander Martin Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

The event will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and continue with the lecture at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 28 in the Plato S. Wilson School of Commerce Ballroom. It is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. RSVP by Jan. 25 at reservations@highpoint.edu or 336-841-9209.

Kars will present, “North Carolina Regulators: America’s First Revolutionaries.” She will share research from her book, “Breaking Loose Together,” which documents the history of North Carolina farmers involved in the Regulator Rebellion, the largest organized movement for rural justice in colonial America, which took place in the Piedmont. While the Regulators were defeated at the Battle of Alamance in 1771, their demands and ideas foreshadowed popular demands of the Revolution that followed.

“Dr. Kars’ work offers important new insights into a crucial but lesser-known period of North Carolina history. It’s a great opportunity for interested local folks to learn more about our collective past,” says Paul Ringel, associate professor of history at HPU, who is helping coordinate the event as part of the Department of History’s fifth annual American Discoveries series.

Kars is an associate professor and chair in the History Department at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in Baltimore. She received her Ph.D. in early American history from Duke University and teaches early American and Atlantic history, women’s and gender history, and the history of Atlantic slavery.

This event kicks off a yearlong celebration for the Alexander Martin Chapter, which is highlighting historic preservation throughout 2016.

(High Point University, 1/15/2016)

 

Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal:

Question: What are the oldest buildings in Asheville and Buncombe County that are still in use? What’s the history of the oldest commercial building?

My answer: And let the arguments begin!

Real answer: As a bit of a history buff myself, I got a little carried away on this one.

I talked and emailed with Jack Thomson, executive director of the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County; Jennifer Cathey, restoration specialist with the State Historic Preservation Office, part of the North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources Western Office; and John Ager, who lives in the oldest house in the county.

The preservation folks and I agreed that it’s probably best to use phrases such as “earliest known” or “oldest known surviving” when referring to these structures, as some folks may beg to differ, and some buildings have been renovated or added to over the years.

Having offered that disclaimer, Thomson offered up No. 1 Biltmore Avenue as the oldest operating, strictly mercantile building in Asheville, dating from 1887.

(Asheville Citizen-Times, 1/13/2015)

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WAYNESVILLE, N.C. — Haywood County’s old, abandoned hospital in Waynesville could be getting new life.

Other attempts to convert the building into affordable housing have failed, but an easing of state restrictions could lead to a company called Landmark renovating the old hospital into 50 to 55 apartments for low income seniors.

The $7 million project would be done with the help of state, federal and historic tax credits.

“As the county we’re hoping it will have the affordable housing because there is a shortage for seniors,” Haywood County Commissioner Kevin Ensley said. “And also we hope for there to be a veterans’ component to it to where we can have veterans apply.”

A nonprofit partnership is required for the project. The Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina has agreed.

It still could be a year before tax credit awards are determined.

(WLOS, 1/6/2016)

The fight to save Charlotte’s vanishing historic buildings is getting a boost with news that the Charlotte Museum of History and Historic Charlotte are merging to create a unified front on preserving and promoting local history and historic sites.

The alliance comes at a time when homes and buildings associated with history are under siege because of booming revitalization, including historic neighborhoods from the 1950s that are seeing older homes razed to be replaced with much larger homes, sometimes derided as “McMansions.”

Both organizations stand to gain.

The museum, which recently rebounded from financial problems, will see its role as a cultural leader elevated beyond tours and school programming. And it will get an infusion of support from community leaders involved in historic preservation.

(Charlotte Observer, 1/6/2016)

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While the cranes have returned to much of uptown, and the west side of Tryon Street is noisily being transformed, here at Mint and Trade streets, a significant resurrection of the federal courthouse is quietly taking place.

It is being led, inch by square inch, by a Charlotte-born judge and a ponytailed Dutch artist.

Presiding U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney gave the order to restore the first-floor ceiling in the lobby of the historic government building. Adrianus Van Der Staack is executing the plan.

The work was launched last year as part of the courthouse’s 100th anniversary celebration. Now, a third of the lobby ceiling has been returned to its original neoclassical grandeur. Van Der Staack has repaired the plaster ornaments and adorned them with their original pastel colors. New gold leaf has been added, and restored brass fixtures now gleam like fine butterscotch.

(Charlotte Observer, 1/5/2016)

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When a business owner is deciding on where to place their business their number one concerns is location. Lately many business owners have been trending towards reusing old buildings to enhance their own endeavors. In an effort to encourage the repurposing of these properties city leaders have adopted a more “business-friendly” attitude.

According to Tammy Absher, executive director of the City of Lexington Business and Community Development, the city leadership has made it easier for businesses to come to Lexington. Two of the top 10 goals adopted by the Lexington City Council include focusing efforts on improving the city’s appearance and playing active role growing the local economy.

(The Dispatch, 12/29/2015)

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GASTONIA

In the shadow of the six-story Loray Mill, where Bubbles Styers has lived for nearly 60 years, she feels a new vitality stirring.

In the spring, tenants began moving into the recently renovated mill building’s loft-apartments, and some wave at Styers as they come and go. She has high hopes for Preservation North Carolina’s plan to rejuvenate the 30-block Loray neighborhood made up of about 500 small mill houses built between 1900 and the 1930s.

The Raleigh-based nonprofit has purchased nine properties, which will be modernized and sold.

Styers, 59, is among the 25 percent of Loray village residents who own their homes; 75 percent of the properties are rentals, and many aren’t well-maintained.

Preservation North Carolina hopes to reverse those figures by demonstrating how attractive the remodeled houses with small yards can be to millennials and empty nesters. The nonprofit’s other projects with restored mill houses have been successful in such places as Edenton and near Burlington.

Styers, who has lived all her life in the same six-room house on Dalton Street, remembers the Loray neighborhood when mill employees owned most the homes.

“It was fabulous,” she said. “Everybody looked out for each other. They’d do anything in the world for you.”

She’s optimistic about Preservation North Carolina’s effort to change the dynamics of a neighborhood that fell into decline.

“I’m glad they’re doing it,” Styers said. “I’m sure the neighborhood will come back someday.”
Historic property

The 600,000-square-foot Loray – once known as the “Million Dollar Mill” – is a Gastonia landmark that opened in 1902. At its peak in the late 1920s, the mill employed 3,500 workers, many who lived in the village. The Loray name became permanently stamped on American labor history as the site of the bloody 1929 strike that claimed the lives of Gastonia Police Chief Orville Aderholt and union activist and balladeer Ella May Wiggins.

Firestone Textile and Fibers bought the building in 1935 and stayed until construction of a new tire cord manufacturing plant in 1993 in Kings Mountain. Preservation North Carolina got the vacant mill 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.

The first phase of a more than $40 million residential/commercial restoration project began in April 2013. N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory spoke at the grand opening ceremony in March.

Currently, 150 of the 190 loft apartments have been occupied and the remaining are being leased, said developer Billy Hughes. A 14,000-square-foot fitness club recently opened in the building, and he’s in negotiations with a coffee shop, taproom and restaurants, and to lease office space.

Meanwhile, Preservation North Carolina will start work soon in a neighborhood that was once larger than the city of Gastonia.

Two basic house types – A and B – date from 1901 and a third, type C, was added when the mill expanded around 1919-1920. As the original village took shape, the mill loomed like a giant watchtower. In April 1901, The Charlotte Observer reported that houses in the Loray village were going up daily and that “streets and drives are being laid and the place is fast becoming a town in itself.”

Mill owners considered incorporation, but in 1912, the mill and village became part of Gastonia.

Before World War II, the company started selling the houses. But as retired millworkers moved away or died, the properties fell to heirs and change set in. By the late 1970s, the former neighborhood of homeowners was in a decline.
Increasing home ownership

Preservation North Carolina President Myrick Howard said “we’re trying to focus on a neighborhood that’s troubled, if not blighted.”

The nonprofit’s goal in the Loray village is to buy, renovate and sell 20 mill homes in the next five years. Protective covenants attached to the deeds require the properties to be sold to homeowners and to meet preservation standards.

“We’re trying to help turn the market and re-establish home ownership in the neighborhood,” he said. “I’d love to see this as a stable, integrated neighborhood with a lot of ownership and lots of regard for small homes. We’re hoping to turn some peoples’ heads to the value of small homes.”

In March, 17 students in Professor Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll’s interior architecture II class at UNC Greensboro, came to Gastonia where they photographed and measured houses in the Loray neighborhood for a class assignment.

Using that information, they came up with design recommendations for Loray’s three mill house types, reflecting new market demands of baby boomers and millennials.

He said some of the students’ ideas will be incorporated in the Loray house designs.

While the restoration effort will take years, Howard said, “we’re betting it will work.”

Project manager for the Loray revitalization is Jack Kiser, who worked on the Loray Mill project for 20 years as Gastonia planning director. He sees great potential in the old mill houses, which are part of the Loray Mill Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

“The houses are well-built,” Kiser said. “There’s some really stout construction.”

Over time, some houses have been remodeled with additions such as artificial siding, asbestos shingles, aluminum and vinyl. These will be removed. Original features such as heart pine floors, clapboard siding, 10-foot ceilings and old-style windows will be restored. The energy-efficient houses will be rewired and replumbed and come with modern appliances, counters and cabinets.

Instead of scattering home renovations all over the neighborhood, the revitalization effort will focus on two areas at first. Kiser said the houses will likely sell in the low $100,000s. He hopes the project will raise property values and help revitalize west Gastonia.

“It’s something that doesn’t happen overnight,” he said one afternoon while inspecting what will be the project’s model house.

Built in 1902, the structure is showing its age with a sagging roof and a look of abandonment. But Kiser can visualize a refurbished house looking like it did when the big mill just up the street was new.

It’s a house that will appeal to people “who want something authentic and historic,” Kiser said.

Bubbles Styers called the prospects of a neighborhood revival “wonderful.” When the mill closed, she said things starting going downhill with an increase in crime.

The neighborhood’s appearance suffered as renters neglected their yards “and drug in all sorts of mess like junk cars,” she said.

The Loray Mill still dominated the neighborhood, but its many lights no longer glowed at night, casting a deeper gloom along the streets.

But Styers, who plans to stay in the neighborhood, feels the momentum is turning in the right direction.

“It’s nice to see lights back on in the mill,” she said. “Now it’s alive again.”

Joe DePriest: jdepriest@carolina.rr.com

(Charlotte Observer, 1/2/2016)

Cheers to the city and county for agreeing to support the Bailey site. This is a fine Christmas gift to Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, and it comes just in the nick of time, taking full advantage of the state’s historic-preservation tax credits program.

The Winston-Salem City Council and Forsyth County Board of Commissioners each promised $3 million for the redevelopment of the Bailey Power Plant site in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the Journal’s Wesley Young reported Tuesday. Votes were unanimous during city and county board meetings on Monday. Both entities had signaled their desire to help earlier, but the county had taken the time to find the best legal avenue to assist.

(December 26/2015, Winston-Salem Journal)

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Six historic sites will receive funding from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund for land preservation.

One of the sites was where The Battle of Bentonville, one of the final clashes of the American Civil War,and the largest battle ever fought on North Carolina soil was fought. N.C. officials estimate that visitation to the Bentonville Battlefield generates nearly $7 million annually for the regional economy.

Governor Pat McCrory recognizes both the importance of the battlefield’s history, as well as all of the other historic sites that are maintained across the state.

“Each and every one of North Carolina’s historic sites plays an important role in telling our state’s history,” said Governor McCrory in a press release. “It is important that we continue to do all we can to preserve them for generations to come.”

In late November, the state increased its financial support for Bentonville, through the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, as well as five other cultural resource sites around North Carolina during the annual meeting of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund meeting.

(North Carolina News Network, 12/22/2015)

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National advocacy and education group Preservation Rightsizing Network released a new action agenda last week. Focusing on legacy cities, the agenda’s points widen the interpretation of historic preservation, connecting the saving of old buildings to everything from municipal code enforcement to warding off modern redlining.

In recent years, preservationists have been finding peers in folks like Carol Ott, the creator of the blog Slumlord Watch, and Candy Chang, the artist behind the “I Wish This Was …” project. What the new agenda demonstrates is how this expanded view is refracting inward:
Preservationists need to pursue strategic efforts in foreclosure prevention, down payment assistance, homesteading, code enforcement, and strategic property acquisition and disposal. … Intangible heritage and culture — the stories that make a community what it is — should be recognized and preserved through oral histories, community storytelling events, and in other ways.

There’s great distance between this class of preservationists, who essentially prioritize stabilizing neighborhoods, and the common perception of one — an architectural historian-advocate who swoops in when buildings he deems significant need protecting. Most certainly, all practitioners do plenty of the latter. It’s just that the campaigning happens alongside engaging activities such as, say, throwing a birthday party for a park.

Several preservationists tell me this interdisciplinary shift is a matter of necessity rather than ambition. As Patrick Grossi, advocacy director at Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, put it, “If I’m not intimate with the zoning code, if I’m not following what’s happening with the land bank, if I’m not conscious of what certain members of city council’s priorities are, I don’t think I’m actually doing my job.”

Emilie Evans, director of the Rightsizing Cities Initiative, is a co-leader of Brick + Beam, a new Detroit-based initiative that will offer support for rehabbing houses to nonprofits, developers and residents alike. I ask Evans if she pictured herself sharing pointers for DIY home renovations to Detroiters back when she was a historic preservation grad student. She laughs. No, she “did not see [that] coming explicitly.”

“Who knows where we’re going to end up as professionals,” she says. “But it’s really exciting.”

The action agenda’s points are divided into three sections: calls for a new approach (which focuses on a healthy urban fabric), a new toolkit (programs and policies to buttress this broadened vision), and more cross-agency partnerships.

“We have good preservations tools, but they don’t go far enough,” says Preservation Rightsizing Network Chair Cara Bertron. “Many preservationists working locally in legacy cities and distressed neighborhoods have known for a long time that historic tax credits are not going to be applicable to every neighborhood. They’re a great tool! But they can only be used in locally or nationally designated properties.” The agenda, in this sense, is an overview of how practitioners are addressing that gap, she says.

Bertron’s quick to note that preservation that focuses on the built environment rather than the gems within in it isn’t new. Michael Allen agrees.

“As much as I believe in the principles, I don’t believe that they’re new or radical,” says Allen, who’s director and architectural historian at St. Louis-based Preservation Research Office and who edited the action agenda. “The challenge is how do you move these points of view from the margins to the center of practice.”

Allen says the preservationists arguing for new approaches are “those who are on the ground and being frank practitioners saying, ‘This isn’t working. Here’s something that might work.’” He continues, “The wrong way to do this is the way that fails to save the buildings, right?”

There’s a joke about historic preservationists: If you get them started, they’ll rhapsodize endlessly about cornices. Bertron recognizes it instantly. “And we love those people. They’re great! They have to be only a small part of the choir in legacy cities,” she says. “Talking about revitalizing neighborhoods instead of rehabbing [sole] buildings, it’s more complicated, so it’s a harder sell. I think sometimes we as a movement, default to talking about something that’s an easier win.”

Grossi estimates that only 3 percent of Philadelphia’s buildings are protected. One of the tough wins, thus, would be a series of district designations, particularly those outside of the city’s core.

“Even more important I think is just reframing what the values of preservation are,” he says. “Preservation does play a role in how you approach and navigate growth, how you provide a sense of empowerment in neighborhoods that are lacking. And that’s really more of a hearts and minds campaign about what the historic built environment can do for you. As opposed to ‘Hey, we’re preservationists, and we haven’t been here in a while, and we think all these buildings belong on the register. How do you feel about that?’”

Concurring with Grossi, Bertron says the registry can’t be the end goal. “Community needs” should be, she says, and as such, the field need a larger, more collaborative set of strategies.

“It’s been fun to be able to say, this is a movement. And because you guys are here, you’re part of it. Because you’re reading this, you’re part of it, because you care about cities and historic neighborhoods, you’re part of this movement,” she says. The agenda “is not the only document. It’s not the first time you’ll read any of these ideas. But it helps to frame what we’re doing.”

(NextCity.org, 12/17/2015)

Local author and historian Louisa Emmons recently published a book titled “Glen Alpine Springs Hotel: A History of Burke County’s Finest Accommodation.”

The book relates the story of an historic Burke County landmark, an elegant mineral springs resort which was once the largest frame structure in North Carolina. The book will be available at the History Museum of Burke County one week before Christmas.

(The News Herald, 12/16/2015)

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APEX (WTVD) — There was a lot of excitement Tuesday as a historic home was moved across Interstate 540 in Apex.

Neighbors gathered to see the moving of the historic Upchurch Williams House down Roberts Road.

“We set up a tent, just so that we could stay out of the sun and here in a little while we’re going to cook hot dogs and make a day of it,” said Gerald Woods. “It’s a big deal. It really is.”

(WRAL, 12/15/2015)

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WILMINGTON – When he lived in Wilmington, President Woodrow Wilson went by the nickname Tommy – as a bookish, bespectacled pastor’s son bound for the Ivy League and the White House, an erudite teenager who once complained that the local girls couldn’t carry on intelligent conversation.

He stood tall in Southern high society, one of handful of college boys in all of Wilmington, member of the blueblood Presbyterian Church on Third Street, best friend to John D. Bellamy Jr., whose father was perhaps North Carolina’s richest man.

He inhabited a city only nine years removed from the Civil War, and he passed his afternoons in the palatial Bellamy Mansion built with slave labor and financed by plantation profits – a culture where racism was the unquestioned norm. That house would be set on fire in 1972, largely, it is thought, because Wilson’s boyhood chum had aided the mobs that attacked leading black citizens in the 1898 race riot.

I never knew this about our 28th president. When I think of him – and it’s not often – I picture him in a top hat and overcoat, hammering out the Treaty of Versailles or dreaming up the League of Nations. But the protests at Princeton University, Wilson’s alma mater, demanding that his name be removed from a campus building as posthumous punishment for his segregationist views, caused me to turn up his roots.

And after a week of getting to know “Tommy” Wilson, I can say that I’m nauseated by several aspects of his character. And that’s precisely why we ought to keep his name on that Princeton building. Without its being written there, we might be tempted to forget.

(News & Observer, 12/6/2015)

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At a recent annual meeting of the Historic Hotels of America in Indiana, Blowing Rock’s Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock has been honored with the organization’s 2015 Best Small Hotel Award for properties with under 80 rooms.

Green Park Inn General Manager Lorry Mulhern received the award from Larry Horowitz, Executive Director of HHA, who said the Green Park “represents the pinnacle in historic hotel achievements.”

slide_3The Green Park was also officially recognized for its upcoming 125th Anniversary celebration, scheduled for June, 2016. It also received a Best Practices in Creative Historic Marketing and Promotions Award for its efforts to attract the cultural and historic traveler.

Lorry Mulhern accepted the award and praised all those who helped earn it:—”the owners, staff and local contractors who contributed to saving our architectural treasure from destruction in 2009, and restored it to its former and deserving glory.”

(High Country Press, 12/7/2015)

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SHELBY – A small group of volunteers spent Saturday morning on site at a historical property in Shelby, boarding up windows, cleaning debris from the inside and securing it for the winter months.

Cleveland Training School #2, an enormous brick building nestled off Hudson Street, is a former Rosenwald School, said Bettie Murchison, principal consultant for The North Carolina Rosenwald Schools Coalition. Murchison said the building is the only known remaining Rosenwald School in Cleveland County and is currently being considered for the National Register of Historic Places.

M ore than 5,000 of these schools, established by Julius Rosenwald, were built across 15 southern states during the early 20th century and used primarily for the education of African-American children.

Fred Blackley, a Historic Shelby Foundation board member, said the group of volunteers came out Saturday because preservation of any historical building is critical, especially because a developer has expressed interest in restoring and repurposing the property through Preservation North Carolina.

“What we’re doing ensures the build is preserved and gives the developer the tools he needs to begin the re-development process,” he said. “It’s all part of economic development. If this building were to disappear, probably nothing would happen at all on this site.”

Dewey Anderson, of Black Pine Development, was on site as well and said he’ll be working on the property re-development when the time comes. He said the building’s structural integrity is sound, but it does have some water damage on the inside.

“It would need rebuilt from the inside out,” he said. “It would need all new electrical systems, mechanical work and a new roof. We’re looking at about $3 million to $3.5 million.”

Anderson said he envisions turning a portion of the former school into living spaces that he feels would suit the neighborhood. The gymnasium and auditorum, on the other side of the building, could be turned into something for public use.

“With a building like this, we’re really trying to find that sustainable use for it,” he said. “This type of school building sets up perfectly for one-bedroom apartments, so that’s generally what we’re looking at.”

Having the building named to the National Register of Historic Places would assist with the re-development, Anderson said.

“If not for the historical tax credits, we could not protect the legacy this building has,” he said.

Murchison said it’s difficult to locate Rosenwald schools, so to find one in such good condition is exciting.

“With one in such great shape, as this one is, we have to do all we can to preserve it,” she said. “Any time we can save a historic landmark, especially an African-American landmark, it makes it that much more significant.

(The Shelby Star, 12/5/2015)

BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Fixer-uppers, you might say. Except the buyers will be operating under historic preservation rules that will not allow them to turn that 120-year-old sleeping porch into a media room or build a six-car garage for the Porsche collection.

No, the ambitious citizens who bought one of five historic and state-owned houses on North Person Street near downtown Raleigh, for prices ranging from $245,000 to $536,000, will be restoring the stately but long-vacant old homes. By the time their work is done, the buyers may spend as much on bringing back the fine old structures to their original beauty as they did buying them.

The sale of the homes, approved by the Council of State, is no small feat. Preservation North Carolina, a sturdy and determined nonprofit, has been after the state to sell the houses for years, and in 2003, lawmakers passed a bill to push the sale. A private developer failed to get the projects moving because of the recession.

This year, the State Property Office got the word from the General Assembly to get the homes sold, and now bids have been accepted. The restored houses will be a terrific addition to blend in to the Oakwood neighborhood, where there are many nicely restored older homes.

(Raleigh News & Observer, 12/3/2015)

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State sponsored tax credits for revitalizing historic buildings have returned after a brief hiatus, but would-be renovators may not get as much help as they did before.

Something is better than nothing.

That’s the attitude some representatives from North Carolina Natural and Cultural Resources are taking with the return of a state tax credit program geared toward breathing new life into stagnate communities and time-worn buildings. After the General Assembly allowed the program to expire at the end of 2014, the state will continue contributing to the federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive program, beginning New Year’s Day, though it won’t be as lucrative as it was before.

The program gives tax breaks to firms and individuals who take on renovation programs for homes, office buildings, theaters, mills, and farms – just to name a few – that have gone into disuse, but have the potential of enjoying a second chance. Natural and Cultural Resources secretary Susan Kluttz said the tax credit helps North Carolina transition into a new economic era.

“Especially right here in North Carolina and we’ve been left with so many older buildings, it is just critical to our economic recovery…that historic preservation is practiced.”

In 1998, North Carolina began matching the federal government’s tax credit rate and according to data from the state government, the program has affected more than 2,400 structures and contributed $1.6 billion to the state’s economy.

The original program matched the federal 20 percent tax credit for restoring “income-producing historic properties.” It also offered a state tax credit of 30 percent for “nonincome-producing” structures that are a “certified historic structure.”

There are nearly 3,000 entries in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places database in North Carolina. That includes the Robert Lee Humber House on 5th Street in downtown Greenville, now home to the North Carolina Natural and Cultural Resources’ eastern office.

Reid Thomas, a restoration specialist out of the eastern office, says it’s like working from home.

“It actually (is) quite inspiring. It really was a home, but it feels more like a home and you feel more relaxed, I get a lot more accomplished, I don’t mind staying, working at night.”

One of the structures revitalized, in part, through the tax credits, is Blount-Harvey Building, which shares a downtown Greenville address with the historical society. Built in 1923, it had gone out of use by 2004, when it was purchased and renovated, returning the building to its high-end, retail roots.

One of Thomas’ favorite stories, though, comes 63 miles north of Greenville in Edenton when a couple found out, on accident, they owned the oldest known house in North Carolina.

Thomas, a Martin County resident, says some of the poorest parts of the state feature some of the richest history.

“Quite a bit survives in Northeastern North Carolina, in areas particularly where it’s economically distressed, we have quite a few buildings, rural properties that still survive.”

For 16 years, this program progressed, but as the North Carolina faced an ever widening fiscal deficit in 2013, tax reform was on the minds and lips of law makers in Raleigh. Many tax credit programs were put on the chopping block, including the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. That program expired New Year’s Eve, 2014.

Supporters of the reform said it was unfair for North Carolinians not living in registered, historical areas. The John Locke Foundation stated in a January publication there’s “no justification for compelling state taxpayers to subsidize the preservation of historic properties in particular cities or towns,” though they did concede there’s “justification” for local taxpayers to “chip in” to renovate historic buildings if they pose a public safety hazard.

The program, according to Kluttz like the buildings to which they catered, were history.

“The leaders in the legislature made it clear to me and to my department that they had no intention of bringing it back, that there would be no tax credit, that they felt that they wanted to do away with all tax credit for tax reform, and that, no matter how far we got, in the process, it would be killed in the end.”

But some in Raleigh –including Gov. Pat McCrory – and throughout the state were not convinced and fought with legislators over resuscitating the program. Members of Natural and Cultural Resources began touring the state and visiting places that had success stories – including New Bern, Kinston, and Rocky Mount – drumming up interest in the program’s revival.

Kinston’s Historic Mitchelltown district, home to Mother Earth Brewery, is undergoing a renaissance in part because of assistance from tax credits and New Bern has had more than $3 million invested in historic home owner projects, according to reports.

An online petition garnered 5,558 signatures and op-eds were written in newspapers across the state. As deliberations over the biannual budget progressed in the General Assembly, the issue of the historical preservation tax credit program resurfaced, until a new version of the program was agreed upon by both houses and signed into law by McCrory in September.

The governor celebrated the legislation by marking Oct. 14 “Historic Tax Credit Day” in North Carolina by a proclamation. Kluttz said though concessions were made, she’s pleased with the outcome.

“I’m very thrilled that it included residential, which had been a threat. There was a lot of talk from legislators who didn’t understand why…if a home is called ‘non-income producing, why that benefits the state. And so we had a challenge to explain to legislators and the public that with your older downtowns…the oldest residential circles and that’s usually the most expensive to rehabilitate and bring back.”

Now, this isn’t the same tax credit program passed in 1998. Instead of the 20 for 20 match for income producing historic properties, there’s a tiered system that gives a 15 percent tax credit up to $10 million dollars of qualified restoration expenses – or QREs – 10 percent from $10 to $20 million and no credit for expenses above $20 million. Those expenses must be on or within the structure and does not include acquisition and site work.

A 5 percent bonus is available for development in moderately to largely economically underdeveloped counties – tier one and two counties, which makes up the vast majority of counties in the east – and for projects specifically targeting manufacturing and agriculture, so long as the structure was at least 65 percent vacant for two years before it was certified on the national registry. In other words, the 20 percent match from the state is still possible for some would be renovators, but not through a flat rate like before.

The tax credit for non-income producing structures – like homes – has been cut in half to 15 percent with a cap at $150,000 worth of eligible rehabilitation expenses – that’s a maximum of $22,500 worth of credit.

Here’s Thomas on the new tax program.

“Well, I’m just happy there’s some new provisions, for example, now…you only have to spend $10,000 for the non-income producing in order to qualify verses having to spend $25,000, and you can also take the tax credits both for the income and non-income producing all in one year or spread them all out to 9 years, whereas before you had to take them at equal increments over a 5 year period.”

With the return of the tax credit program’s, some individuals have expressed their interest in participating. Stephen Hill, one of the owners of Mother Earth brewery, hasn’t been shy about his intent to continue Kinston’s downtown revitalization efforts.

Bob Shuller of the Swansboro Historical Association, also hopes the town will continue its downtown renaissance with a few key investments. His organization is trying to convert an old, Unitarian school house into a museum chronicling Swansboro’s long history, though he said it doesn’t qualify for the joint state-federal tax credit program. He said some long vacant lots in Swansboro’s Historic District could be a choice spot for investors looking for space near the water. That is, of course, as long as they don’t mind a little less space.

“Most of the buildings around here are small, wood frame structures and it’s very hard to keep those and convert them into a public or for profit facility, though people are doing it to varying degrees…there are some nice buildings, in my opinion, be converted into some commercially viable facilities.”

The state, historical preservation tax credit program begins in earnest in January.

(Public Radio East, 12/2/2015)

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Raleigh – After years in disrepair under state ownership, five historic houses on North Person Street near downtown Raleigh will now get restored under new owners.

The Council of State, chaired by Gov. Pat McCrory, voted Tuesday to accept bids on five of the six houses it put on the market this summer. The winning bids ranged from $245,000 for the 2,200-square foot Worth House, built in 1904, to $536,000 for the 3,300-square-foot Lamar House, built in 1896.

The sale comes with strings attached: Buyers will face historic preservation covenants designed to prevent major alterations or demolitions. Matthew Brown, a longtime resident of the adjacent Oakwood neighborhood, said he’s happy to follow the covenants with his purchase of the Lamar House.

Brown’s new home has been vacant and slowly deteriorating at the corner of North Person and North streets since the state bought it in 1999. He said he expects renovations will take two years.

“My plans are to restore it meticulously and live in it,” he said Tuesday. “I find it thrilling, to be honest. The worse shape a house is in, the more important that it’s in the hands of someone who will bring it back to its proper state of renovation.”

The nonprofit Preservation North Carolina has been pushing state leaders to sell the houses for more than a decade. Legislators passed a bill in 2003 calling for the sale, but the private developer the state picked to buy the properties wasn’t able to complete the project amid the recession.

(Raleigh News & Observer, 12/1/2015)

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The NC Board of Architecture would like to remind you that in order to renew your license for 2016-2017 you must obtain 12 hours of continuing education in the areas of health, safety and welfare by December 31, 2015.

The Board of Architecture has worked with AIA-NC to produce relevant continuing education programs. The next event will be a year-end review of major legislative and regulatory changes affecting the practice of architects in the design and construction industry in North Carolina. In addition to a review of Board of Architecture regulations by Executive Director, Cathe Evans, other guest speakers will discuss the upcoming $2 billion bond referendum and review changes to the reinstated Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

The programs will be offered in Charlotte and Raleigh.
December 9, 2015 – Charlotte, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
December 10, 2015 – Raleigh, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you would like to register for either session contact the AIA-NC

General questions related to CE requirements are found on the Board of Architecture web site.

ASHEVILLE – The Patton-Parker House, home to a 19th century Asheville mayor, then a leading civic leader in the 20th century, won’t be forgotten in the 21st century.

As new development comes to Charlotte Street, one of Asheville’s new innovation districts, the 146-year-old residence that was home to seven generations of one family will now house a family law practice.

Attorney James Siemens purchased the Charlotte Street property Nov. 13 from surviving Parker family members in a sale brokered by the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County.

(Asheville Citizen-Times, 11/21/2015)

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It’s a little embarrassing.

Here we are in Raleigh, wearing our “world-class” buttons and boasting a College of Design at N.C. State that’s among the nation’s best. So why is there such a “disconnect”—as Robin Abrams, the head of the college’s architecture program, put it delicately—”between the aspirations of Raleigh residents and the reality of our built environment?”

In other words, why is so much of the new in Raleigh blah? And, really, does it matter?

Yes, it does. This is why a group that includes Abrams and Frank Thompson, chair emeritus of CAM Raleigh and the man whose dogged determination is the reason we have a contemporary art museum, hosted a symposium last week called “Build Raleigh Better: Innovation, Architecture, and Creating a World-Class City.” They had the perfect place for it at CAM, a triumph of design that tells us how powerful small buildings can be and that breaking the mold in Raleigh will be a long slough.

The group signaled its aspirations by leading off with Paul Goldberger, the renowned architecture lecturer and critic for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.

(The Independent Weekly, 11/18/2015)

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State Rep. Steve Ross, R-Alamance, received the 2015 Metro Mayors Coalition Legislative Award last week from the N.C. Metro Mayors Coalition. Ross was recognized for legislative leadership on behalf of urban centers.

“As a former mayor, Ross is a true and honest advocate for our cities across North Carolina,” House Speaker Tim Moore said. “This session, he worked tirelessly to restore the Historic Preservation Tax Credit, that will allow towns of all shapes and sizes to revitalize their Main Streets and develop their economic potential. I commend him on his great work, and congratulate him on this distinguished honor.”

(Times-News, 11/17/2015)

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Back in July, North Carolina’s state property office announced that it was finally selling six long-neglected, historic homes on Person Street, all of which are in or near Raleigh’s Oakwood historic district.

Longtime Oakwood resident and neighborhood expert Matthew Brown learned last week that the offer he made on the 3,500-square-foot, Queen Anne’s style Lamar house, at 401 North Person Street, was accepted by the state—following a minor bidding war.

According to agent Joy Wayman who works at the State Property Office, offers have been accepted on four of the other homes as well; a fifth is under negotiation. The sales must now be approved by the state’s Joint Legislative Commission on Government Operations, and then by the Council of State. This could happen by the end of the year, at the earliest.

I sat down with Brown at his other Oakwood home on Lane Street to discuss the sale and the historic preservation process (disclosure: the state also accepted an offer from my family on the Watson House at 411 North Person Street; Brown is a friend and future neighbor).

You’ve lived in Oakwood since 1986. Can you give us a rundown on the history of these homes?
Well, the state Legislature had passed a statute that any house between Person Street on the east and Peace Street on the north, maybe McDowell on the west—anything to come on the market, they had to outbid anybody and buy it. Three of those houses were already state offices. The other three were moved there—the Watson House was moved from Wilmington Street, and the [Gay and Worth houses] were moved from Peace Street as part of a 2003 state law saying this is a ridiculous waste of our money, it’s so much cheaper to just have a regular office. So we’ll sell them all. But they wanted to sell them to a developer because that’s easier, to just do it all at once. They had a bunch of community meetings about how to do it and what was the best result. I went to all those and, actually, it was my idea to move them…because I figured with that land over there, they’d get torn down eventually if they were off by themselves and not in a neighborhood…Let that other land be used for more dense development. So [developer] L&R got the low bid on the whole thing, the whole square between Person, Peace, Wilmington and Lane. They were going to buy it in four sections, and L&R moved those three houses… But the problem was, L&R signed that contract, in maybe 2006, 2007…Then the crash came, fall of 2008, and every single one of those houses under contract, the buyers backed out. Maybe the banks wouldn’t lend them anymore, or the buyers freaked out. And so L&R sat on them for a long time, they lowered the prices. They’d already moved those other houses and spent all that money…They finally paid a million dollars to get out of the whole thing and they gave up those three houses they had moved, back to the state as part of that deal. They couldn’t sell them, until they bought that quadrant of land. They owned the buildings because they had paid to move them there, but the state still owned the land, so they couldn’t sell them. They could have just held on… It was just timing. So they bought out in, I think, 2011 or 2012. And then the state just sat on their ass for several years. And we kept pestering them, writing letters to everybody, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of Administration, Secretary of Cultural Resources, Head of the State Property Office, all on down the line, Governor’s staff, anyone we can find. July 15, they finally got off their asses and put them on the market. And they probably did the right thing, because the prices kept going up, they probably did themselves a favor by waiting.

(The Independent Weekly, 11/13/2015)

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Raleigh real estate developer John Lyon has found a buyer for the 1960s-era, Modernist-style office building at 3515 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh, but the plan, he says, is to still demolish the structure and replace it with a more sleek three-story structure.

County records show that the Bank of North Carolina (Nasdaq: BNCN) has paid $4.35 million for the 34,000-square-foot building on 4.2 acres that for many years was occupied by Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic. The clinic relocated to new building in late 2013 in west Raleigh.

(Triangle Business Journal, 11/2/2015)

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A West Asheville home dating to the 1870s and Mars Hill’s downtown have been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Seven Oaks, on Westwood Place, is one of only seven brick houses dating from the 19th century in Asheville.

Constructed in the 1870s, Seven Oaks is significant in Asheville for its Italianate-style architecture and brick construction. Buildings of this style, once common in the city, were largely removed in the later 1800s and early 1900s as Asheville’s population grew, Seven Oaks showcases penciled mortar joints on the facade, bracketed porch eaves, segmental-arched windows and doors, carved mantels, tall ceilings, and ornate interior moldings.

(Citizen-Times, 11/2/2015)

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The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is pleased to announce that one district and five individual properties across the state have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The following properties were reviewed by the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee and were subsequently approved by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register.

“North Carolina is a leader in the nation’s historic preservation movement and the National Register is a vital tool in the preservation of our state’s historic resources” said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “If we count all of the buildings classified as contributing to the significance of historic districts listed in the Register, it is estimated that North Carolina has approximately 75,000 National Register Properties.”

The listing of a property in the National Register places no obligation or restriction on a private owner using private resources to maintain or alter the property. Over the years, various federal and state incentives have been introduced to assist private preservation initiatives, including tax credits for the rehabilitation of National Register properties. As of January 1, 2015, over 3,100 rehabilitation projects with an estimated private investment of over $1.96 billion have been completed.

(Via NCDCR, 10/30/2015)

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About 200 people gathered Oct. 17 in Charlotte for the historic marking of the Slave and Native American Cemetery at Sardis Presbyterian Church. The Gov. John Archdale Chapter of the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century placed the granite marker to commemorate and honor the approximately 80 individuals who were buried in unmarked graves from 1790 until the 1860s. Restoration of the cemetery has been the Eagle Scout Project of Hoke Thompson, a member of Boy Scout Troop 133, which meets at the church.

The National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century is dedicated to the preservation of historic sites and records. In North Carolina, the first Colonial Dames XVII Century marker was placed in 1955 by the Sir Walter Raleigh Chapter at the Thomas Norcom Home in Chowan County. Since then, the North Carolina Society and its chapters have achieved and marked more than 30 sites in North Carolina, Virginia and England.

(The Gaston Gazette, 10/30/2015)

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Grassroots support from local officials and historic preservation groups helped restore North Carolina’s historic preservation tax credits, the state’s top culture official said Thursday in Wilmington.
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“We made the impossible possible with your help,” Susan Kluttz, N.C. secretary of natural and cultural resources, told the annual fundraising luncheon of the Historic Wilmington Foundation at the Coastline Convention Center.

Since the 1990s, the credits resulted in $1.67 billion in credits for historic properties, Kluttz said.

(Star News, 10/29/2015)

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KERNERSVILLE, NC—Historic Körner’s Folly, 413 South Main Street, is pleased to announce the continuation of Operation Restoration, a long term project with the goal of restoring and preserving the Victorian house museum.

Jule Körner died in 1924, and his wife died in 1934. After that, Körner’s Folly was never again lived in as a full-time family home. Over the decades, time, age, and weather have all taken their toll on Körner’s Folly. Despite multiple re-purposes, by the 1960s, the house sat unused and vulnerable to vandalism. Fortunately, in the 1970s, a group of 26 local families, including Körner descendants purchased the house. Their goal was to restore and preserve Körner’s Folly for the education and enjoyment of the public. They eventually created the Körner’s Folly Foundation, a nonprofit organization, and had the house listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Over 40 years later – from 2012-2015 – the first major restorative work took place, to completely stabilize the exterior structure of Körner’s Folly. The house’s foundation was repaired, the porches were restored, and the entire roof was replaced. Now that the home is water-tight and structurally stable, interior restoration work is underway. This summer, restoration work began into the home’s main kitchen.

Restoration is the process of depicting the form, features, and character of a property at a particular period of time. Throughout the restoration process at Körner’s Folly, the Foundation focuses on the house’s 1897-1905 appearance, when the home was at the height of family activity. The goal is to move through the house, restoring one room at a time, so the house is never closed for tours. New rooms are being restored each year, three were completed in 2015. It is a remarkable time to see historic restoration in action.

One of the most challenging aspects of restoring the 135 year-old house is to maintain the home’s historic charm, character, and “lived-in” feel. Although restoration work brings in new materials and revitalizes each room, it is important that Körner’s Folly remains historic in appearance, and is not overly restored to look brand new. For example, during the kitchen restoration, extra care was taken to save the original tile floors and hardware, rather than replace them with a modern equivalent.

The first step in the restoration process is to research the history of the room, including the original paint color schemes. To determine the original paint colors of the kitchen, David Black, AIA/APT of HagerSmith Design of Raleigh, North Carolina, took multiple paint samples of the kitchen. Samples were removed from the wood trim, doors, window sash, wall plaster, and built-in cabinets using a scalpel. Each sample was evaluated with a microscope to identify its original color.

With the historic color analysis complete, work began to repair unstable infrastructure, remove modern elements added to the house over time, replicate and repair missing or damaged plaster details and woodwork, and refinish, clean, and paint architectural surfaces. However, this project really came to in the final phase – when painters were able to successfully restore the kitchen to Jule’s original color scheme. The plaster walls and the furniture have been returned to a dark red color; the wood window and door trim, window sash, ceiling, baseboards, fireplace trim, and cabinet doors are dark brown – a distinctly Victorian look. The dark trim and vibrant color scheme will offer visitors a stark contrast to the previously white walls and trim in the kitchen.

As we peel back the layers of paint, read through family letters, and look back at old photographs, we begin to gain a better understanding of not only the house itself, but also the people who lived, breathed, and slept here. Even more of Jule’s eccentric personality becomes clear when we uncover the original color schemes. The floor tiles match the original wall colors, giving visitors a better sense of Jule’s original vision. We learn about the family’s likes, their interests, their joys, and their fears. Eventually, as all the pieces begin to come together, we gain a glimmer of what it might have been like to live here.

Restoration of the Kitchen is made possible by Wolfe & Associates in Honor of Mary Cook for her more than twenty years of service to the Law Firm and her many years as Board Member and Secretary of the Körner’s Folly Foundation. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting restoration project!

(Via The Körner’s Folly Foundation, 10/29/2015)

A Piece of Charlotte History Seeks New Home –
Pappas Properties to Award Legendary Queen Park Cinema Signage to Contest Winner

Charlotte’s Queen Park Cinema sold tickets for 16 years as a fixture of the second-run movie scene. Opened in 1982, Queen Park showed countless movies to Charlotteans looking for affordable, family entertainment. Eventually succumbing to an ever-evolving world of entertainment media and Charlotte’s dynamic real estate market, Queen Park Cinema closed in 1998.

Fast forward to 2015 and Pappas Properties is currently finalizing plans to develop the property with
the intent of bringing a new, transit-oriented development along Charlotte’s Lynx light rail line.

Despite repeated attempts to incorporate the sign in its entirety within the new development, Pappas was forced to carefully dismantle the sign in 2014.

What remains is a lozenge-shaped “Queen Park Multi-Cinema” sign made from Plexiglas and metal (5’x10’) and a plastic “QP” sign (2’x4’). Both of the signs have acquired an appealing patina in their 32 years of service.

In partnership with Historic Charlotte and D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co., Pappas Properties is graciously
offering the sign for free to a new owner. Those who are interested in the sign should write to Historic Charlotte at info@historiccharlotte.org or PO Box 32782, Charlotte, NC 28232 with a description of the following:
1. Why you think you are the most deserving caretaker of this piece of Charlotte’s History?
2. Where it will be displayed if you win?
3. Who will see it once on display?
4. How the piece will be protected and preserved.

Submissions will be accepted (via email: info@historiccharlotte.org) until October 30th at 5:00 PM.
Free delivery of the sign within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area to the contest winner. For more photos and information, please visit www.historiccharlotte.org.

###

About Pappas Properties
Pappas Properties develops, manages and markets residential and mixed-use projects that meet the changing lifestyle needs of the market by utilizing innovative planning and offering exceptional design and amenities that add value to the overall community. The principal at Pappas Properties, Peter A. Pappas, has more than 25 years of experience in real estate, including the development of resort, residential, office, retail, mixed-use properties and master-planned communities. Charlotte-based Pappas Properties and its
team of professionals provide in-house expertise in land development, construction, project financing, marketing, sales and property management. Pappas Properties has executed a number of nationally and internationally award-winning multiuse and mixed-use projects throughout the Charlotte area, including Phillips Place, Metropolitan and Birkdale Village. To learn more about Pappas Properties, visit www.pappasproperties.com.
About Historic Charlotte
Historic Charlotte promotes people saving historic places. We do this by supporting and coordinating activities of history and heritage groups throughout the region and by encouraging individuals to learn about and protect the stories of their pasts. Understanding and preserving tangible evidence of our diverse histories allows us to see the present and plan the future with more clarity, turning the places where we live into the places that we love.To learn more about Historic Charlotte, visit www.historiccharlotte.org

Media Inquiries:
Shep Reynolds
Historic Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
p: 704.295.4704
e: info@historiccharlotte.org
w: historiccharlotte.org

Durham, NC is the final stop in the 2015 Traditional Building Conference Series; Materials and Methods is the theme.

The theme of Materials and Methods comes to life in Durham December 1-2, 2015. Tours and demonstrations of the Duke University West Campus, Sarah P. Duke gardens, brick masonry, plastering, wood flooring, restoring cast iron and more.

Speakers include the following: John Speweik, historic masonry specialist, Elgin, IL; Wayne Thompson, historic mason, Hillsborough, NC; Mark Hough, FASLA, Landscape Architect, Duke University, Durham, NC; Paul O. Manning, Director of Facilities, Duke University, Durham, NC; James S. Collins, Architect, Greensboro, NC and New York, NY; Robert A. Baird, vice-president, Historical Arts and Casting, West Jordan, UT; Brian Stowell, president and ceo, Crown Point Cabinetry, Claremont, NH; Daniel Chasse, carpentry instructor, Edgecombe Community College, Historic Preservation Program, Tarboro, NC; Jeffrey Allen, ASLA, Winston-Salem, NC and Patrick Webb, Professor of Plastering, American College of the Building Arts, Charleston, SC

Sponsors who will bring experienced technical representatives available for project discussion and project research include the following:

Gold Sponsors: Marvin Windows and Doors and Historical Arts and Casting

Silver Sponsors: Allied Window, Inc.; Connor Homes; Crown Point Cabinetry; Heritage Tile, Ludowici, and The Unico System

Bronze Sponsors: Old World Stone and Wiemann Metalcraft

Registration for the Traditional Building Conference in Durham may be made at www.traditionalbuildingshow.com and if you register by November 23, 2015 and you will get the best rates. Please contact Carolyn Walsh at CWalsh@aimmedia.com or 781-779-1560 if you wish to register a group of three or more for a discounted registration rate for the Two-Day conference tuition.

The Traditional Building Conference Series serves professionals who do traditional building including, historic preservation, and renovation for residential, commercial and institutional markets. The events are produced by Active Interest Media, based in Boulder, Colorado, which also publishes Clem Labine’s Period Homes, Clem Labine’s Traditional Building Old-House Journal, New Old House, Early Homes, Arts & Crafts Homes and the Design Center Sourcebook.

Free webinars- live and on-demand- are available through the show website as well. Most offer AIA Health Safety and Welfare credits for architects seeking continuing education. Both the conference and webinars offer credits for some NAHB certifications and for NARI and AIBD members seeking continuing education credit.

For more information, please contact the following:

Registration Inquiries- Carolyn Walsh- CWalsh@aimmedia.com 781-779-1560; Education Inquiries- Judy L. Hayward, JHayward@aimmedia.com 802-674-6752; and Sponsorship Sales Inquiries- Robin Habberly

HICKORY — Hickory’s Historic Preservation Commission has completed an updated survey of the city’s historic properties, identifying potential candidates for historic places and districts.

Hickory’s first historic properties survey was completed in 1980, serving as the basis for original historic districts and landmarks. Another survey occurred in the 1990s, targeting residential areas near downtown and leading to the expansion of two of the city’s historic districts, according to a press release from the city.

The City of Hickory received a $15,000 grant from the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office in 2014 to update the existing architectural survey of the city and to record undocumented properties and neighborhoods constructed before 1970.

The survey updated all the existing records from the 185 properties that were previously studied. It found that 63 had been demolished since the last survey.

Historic properties are listed through either the National Register of Historic Places or through designation as a local landmark or district.

(Hickory Daily Record, 10/21/2015)

Read full story…

Raleigh, N.C. — Organizers are one step closer to building a park dedicated to highlighting the African-American experience in North Carolina, but they still need financial support to making it a reality.

The North Carolina Freedom Monument Project would be located on a 1-acre plot at Wilmington and Lane streets in downtown Raleigh, across the street from the Legislative Building.

The organizers have leased the site, which is now an open green space, from the state for $10 million, but they need another $5 million to build an amphitheater and a sculpture park there.
“This is the time to really recognize the fact that African-Americans played a very important role in North Carolina from the very beginning and continue to do so,” said David Warren, a professor emeritus at Duke University and co-chairman of the Freedom Monument Project. “A whole lot of things have happened in North Carolina – positive as well as some negative, and we want to show both.”

(WRAL, 10/19/2015)

Earlier this year, Preservation NC sent out an appeal for new wheels, and received an overwhelming response!   We let you know that our “fleet” of cars, which constantly carry us from one corner of the state to another, needed to be replaced.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have raised close to $40,000 and were able to purchase three new (to us, at least), safe cars at good deals for the Headquarters, Western and Piedmont Offices.  You can check out the smiling faces and new wheels below!  And, once again, thank you to all of the generous folks who responded to our appeal for new wheels!

Turner_with_car_for_web2 Alexander_with_car_for_web2Howard_with_car_for_web3

By Sarah Woodard David

This summer, I took my children to Alamance Battleground, the scene of a pre-Revolutionary War skirmish. The conflict’s small scale created a landscape that a child can digest easily, and my boys scouted the field from the Regulators’ high-ground and crouched behind a rock to take aim at Governor Tryon’s “bad guys.”

On the drive back to Raleigh, I attempted to answer a torrent of questions. Once the queries about the actual battle had passed, my 7-year-old took up more abstract contemplation. We covered a lot of ground including the Constitution, the First and Second Amendments, and how our government officials are not above the law. Eventually, he formulated this question, “So the Regulators were like the people at the protests?” He was referring to the various protests we regularly see at the Legislative Building, and, now, because he had visited someplace old, he suddenly understood something new about our current world.

Our old buildings, landscapes and streetscapes, even the modest ones, provide us with so much: proven opportunities for economic development demonstrated in the Raleigh Historic Development Commission’s recent study of preservation’s impact in Raleigh; a sense of place that helps us “buy in” to our city and foster its well-being; and sustainability because the greenest building is the one that’s already built.

But preservation also provides Raleigh with something even more valuable: history-based conversation that leads to understanding and empathy. Old buildings and landscapes are the only historic documents we can walk into. They are the best way for us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, or, more literally, in someone else’s house or neighborhood or place of business or worship. That comprehension and recognition of a perspective different from yours are priceless human experiences that our elected officials and economic leaders should support even though they can’t run a cost-benefit analysis on them.

It’s our collective duty to understand our current political, economic and social climate. That climate affects where our tax dollars go, and understanding it helps us recognize why people respond to the world in certain ways. Learning about our past is how we come to that understanding, and buildings and landscapes give us the perfect starting point.

Look around Raleigh and ask questions. Why do we have two beautiful carousels? Why is there a house on Boylan Avenue that’s facing the wrong way? Why did Dr. Manassas Pope build his house where he built it? What’s that stone hut on Glenwood Avenue at Harvey Street?

A visit to Yates Mill can help one appreciate the bags of cornmeal at the grocery store, but it also can provide an understanding of the state’s geography and agriculture that eventually created cotton mills that led to company towns that are now ghost towns. Today, those job losses are at the root of many conversations in the General Assembly: Learning about Yates Mill can help you understand why politicians talk about job creation.

Sitting in a classroom in the Panther Branch Rosenwald School or comparing the architectural embellishment of Washington Elementary School to that of Wiley Elementary can open up a world of conversation about Jim Crow: To figure out why The News & Observer writes about school diversity, start at a Rosenwald School.

Asking why there are Confederate soldiers in Oakwood Cemetery reveals a bit about Reconstruction, which might help one understand how a losing battle to maintain the horrors of slavery morphed into a romantic Lost Cause commemorated with monuments. That conversation can provide a context for many of today’s headlines: Start at disinterment, work your way to Black Lives Matter.

Buildings and places ignite the whys and the whos and the whats that cannot help but produce the I-get-its, the ah-has and the oh-that-explains-a-lots. When residents and visitors enjoy Moore and Nash squares, Oakwood, St. Augustine’s or the Capitol, they might ask a question that fires up a conversation that yields the understanding, recognition and empathy that make us better citizens.

The development pressures in downtown Raleigh and on the historic resources, districts and landmarks in Raleigh are tremendous at the moment. Hopefully, we have the confidence in our attractiveness to developers that we can occasionally say no to a few things in order to say yes to our collective self, our collective place, our collective history. The knowledge that an old place can give us is more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey. It contributes to making us better and smarter, and more tolerant, peaceful and responsible. Can a new hotel do that?

Sarah Woodard David, an architectural historian, is chair of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.

(originally published in the News & Observer, 10/18/2015)

 

Carl and Gladys Carpenter have watched the Loray Mill’s residential redevelopment command all the attention in west Gastonia over the last two years.

Now, they’re seeing quiet progress on plans to breathe new life into the community that surrounds it. And as lifetime residents of that historic mill village, they’re encouraged that it’s moving toward a prosperous future after years of a gradual decline.

“It makes us proud to see this place growing like it is,” said Carl Carpenter, 87. “It’s really picking up again.”

The $40 million redevelopment of the mill has produced 190 upscale lofts over the last two years, as well as 79,000 square feet of available commercial space. A second phase will eventually rehabilitate the far west wing of the historic one-time factory.

In the surrounding mill village, a nonprofit is leading a similar resurgence. It is acquiring neglected mill homes, with plans to redevelop them in ways that herald their historic architectural features, while also providing key modern amenities.

The goal will be to sell them to owner-occupants — such as millennials and empty nesters — who will appreciate the condensed living space and historical “cool” factor.

(The Gaston Gazette, 10/17/2015)

Read full story…

Developers around the state are dusting off dormant renovation projects after the legislature restored historic preservation tax credits in its budget last month.

The tax credits expired last year as part of a broader Republican-led tax reform plan. Without them, many historic preservationists said renovating old buildings wouldn’t be financially feasible.

The credits will cost the state about $8 million a year, a fraction of the total budget, but the program was a big priority for Gov. Pat McCrory. He traveled to Burlington this week to celebrate the program’s return.

“This is going to help revive the Main Streets of North Carolina,” McCrory said Wednesday. “What we proved was a grassroots effort can make a difference in the state capital … to change bad legislation and make it even better, to preserve our history, to preserve our culture and to continue economic development and to create jobs.”

Myrick Howard, director of Preservation North Carolina, said many historic renovation projects were revived “right off the bat” when the budget deal became final.

(News & Observer, 10/19/2015)

Read full story…

BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory and one of his Cabinet chiefs have taken a victory lap of sorts after this year’s North Carolina budget restored a tax credit for renovating historic buildings.

McCrory and natural and cultural resources Secretary Susan Kluttz visited downtown Burlington on Wednesday to celebrate the revival of the historic preservation credit. McCrory signed a proclamation declaring it “historic tax credit day.”

The legislature allowed the credit to expire at the end of last year, but the governor kept pressing for its reinstatement, saying it had helped revitalize downtowns. Kluttz said in August she had made 73 stops in 52 cities and towns to build up local support for the restoration break.

The Senate and House ultimately agreed to a less generous version of the previous credit.

(10/15/2015)

BURLINGTON — In the past year, Susan Kluttz and her staff traveled to 73 historic sites in North Carolina, drumming up support for renewing the state’s historic-preservation tax credits.

Kluttz, the state’s secretary of cultural resources, visited Saxapahaw. She stopped at Greensboro’s Revolution Mill. And on Wednesday, she and Gov. Pat McCrory hit the railroad depot, built in 1892, in Burlington — but this time, to celebrate rather than to stump.

(Greensboro News & Record, 10/14/2015)

Read full story…

Oct 14, 2015
Burlington, N.C.

Governor Pat McCrory and Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz celebrated the preservation of Historic Tax Credits (HTC)  in North Carolina at an event in Burlington today. Restoring the HTC was a major element in Governor McCrory’s legislative agenda that he detailed in his State of the State Address.

“The Historic Tax Credit has a proven track record of attracting private investment for the rehabilitation of historic buildings,” Governor McCrory said. “These renovated buildings house new businesses that take pride in strengthening our economy and preserving a part of North Carolina’s history.”

Governor McCrory also signed a proclamation declaring October 14, 2015 as Historic Tax Credit Day “Reviving Downtowns” in North Carolina. The proclamation can be viewed here.

Historic Tax Credits in North Carolina have resulted in $1.65 billion in private investment since their beginning in 1998. More than 2,400 projects have been made possible by the credits.

HTC rehabilitations not only bring once vacant or underutilized buildings back to life, but also dramatically increase their property values and local property tax revenue from them.

A non-partisan study of the state HTC program projects that the state historic rehabilitation tax credit would attract 2.5 times more jobs at the same cost to the state treasury as an across the board tax reduction.

(From the Office of the Governor)

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) – For months North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Cultural Resources Secretary and former Salisbury mayor Susan Kluttz toured the state in support of restoring Historic Tax Credits to the state budget, and despite some opposition from his own party, those credits did make back into the recently passed state budget.

The tax credit program expired last December and Governor McCrory’s office spent months trying to convince lawmakers to restore it. Kluttz also visited dozens of communities to drum up support, including Salisbury, Kannapolis, Concord, Morganton, and many others.

The HTC is used by cities and towns of all sizes and provides an incentive to taxpayers who contribute to the preservation of historic buildings by rehabilitating them in a way that preserves the historic character of the building while allowing for new uses.

(WBTV, 10/14/2015)

Read full story…

 

HILLSBOROUGH–The Hillsborough Town Board will begin eminent domain proceedings to take control of the Colonial Inn, capping a 12-year struggle with owner Francis Henry to save the historic site from further decay.

“I have spent a good amount of time on this and am saddened that it has come to this,” Town Commissioner Eric Hallman said before Monday night’s unanimous vote. “It would be a failure to this board if we did not address this public safety issue.”

Eminent domain is the right of a government or its agent to take possession of private property for public use, with compensation. In the case of a historic site, this falls under North Carolina Eminent Domain Law section 40A-(b)(8).

The inn, built in 1838, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was granted “Statewide Significance” in 2003 by the State Historic Preservation Office.

Town leaders have wrestled with Henry since soon after he bought the inn for $400,000 in 2002.

(News & Observer, 10/13/2015)

Read full story…

A tiny patch of Pinehurst is creating a stir amongst coffee drinkers and the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office. And now the Village Council wants the governor to get involved.

Council members unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday asking Gov. Pat McCrory to grant a waiver from a decision by the preservation office that a small brick patio adjacent to The Roast Office coffee shop must be removed. The coffee shop, which opened in April, is one of two businesses inside an old federal post office building at 95 Cherokee Rd.

“They want the mud back,” said Kelly Elliott, co-owner of the coffee shop.

“This old building which was such an eye sore is now this social hub,” said Elliott. “When you go there you see your neighbor talking to your neighbor.”

Elliott has collected 1,300 signatures on a petition to save the brick patio. She said before they put it in, the area on that side of the post office was only dirt. She said a large shade tree makes it a difficult place for grass to grow. Green space seems to be what the preservation office prefers.

No one from the state spoke at Tuesday’s meeting, but Council member Clark Campbell called the decision by the preservation office a “rigid read” of the building covenants.

(The Fayetteville Observer, 10/13/2015)

Read full story…

HILLSBOROUGH – Drawing applause from the audience in attendance Monday evening, the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to begin eminent domain processes for the town to take ownership of the long-debated Colonial Inn.

The inn, at 153 W. King Street, has been a point of contention between the town and its owner, Francis Henry, for more than a decade. Henry purchased the inn at an estate sale in 2001 for $410,000. Since then, Henry has faced fines and lawsuits because of the inn’s condition.

Commissioner Eric Hallman said that although it was unfortunate the town had to resort to eminent domain, it was necessary because the fire marshal condemned the inn as unsafe in July.

(Durham Herald-Sun, 10/13/2015)

Read full story…

As part of our “Block by Block,” series, this report takes you to Gastonia. In the early 20th century, Gastonia was home to one of the largest textile mills in the South:  The Loray Mill. It grew to employ 3,500 workers, and most lived in the surrounding mill village. The neighborhood’s ties to the mill stayed strong well after the company stopped providing housing. In fact, it’s still strong 22 years after the mill closed and accelerated the community’s decline.

Today, the neighborhood and the mill are in transition. The mill has been turned into loft apartments with ground-level retail on the way. Developer Billy Hughes says this isn’t another example of gentrification that pushes out long-time residents.

Fifteen years ago, Hughes was redeveloping a few historic sites in the south, when his partner in Atlanta talked him into traveling to Gastonia to check out a rundown, 600,000-square-foot property. It was the Loray Mill.

“I saw it from a mile away and just fell in love with it from day one,” Hughes said. “The great brick structure, the towering stair tower that overlooks the entire valley that you can see for miles. We knew at that time we just had to figure out how to get it done.”

Loray Mill building, of the largest mills in South in the 20th century, is being renovated and turned into loft apartments. Credit Loray Mill

That was in 2005. Hughes and his partners drew up plans to carve out 190, loft apartments in phase one of the project and 110 in phase two. Those plans stalled a couple of years later when the Great Recession hit and financial credit lines dried up.

The renovated Loray Mill features loft apartments with the floor-to-ceiling original window frames and 100-year-old wooden beams intact. Credit Loray Mill

Mill village residents like Irma Styers, who’s lived in the house she was born in for 59 years felt the project was desperately needed to save her neighborhood.

We were thinking that we’re at the end and there’s nothing more for our neighborhood,” Styers said. “We were going down because most of our neighbors had left or died.”

Hughes says although he and his associates at Historic Preservation Partners dropped other development projects, they held onto Loray Mill.

“As we dug into it deeper, we understood the passion behind the building and the historic significance and as we met the people of Gastonia, we fell in love with the whole area. They just wouldn’t let us walk away which is what it came down to,” he said.

Developers incorporated the original interior of the Loray Mill into renovations. Credit Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

It took nine years, but when the recovery kicked in, the developers secured the $60 million they needed for the first phase renovations.

“So many people can’t believe this is the same building,” said Lucy Penegar, who

gave frequent tours of the 5-story mill where workers turned out bed sheets and later tire materials for Firestone. Penegar talks about the mill’s negative past too. African Americans were only hired to do the low-paying, and most dangerous jobs, they couldn’t live in the mill village, many young children worked there and in 1929, a violent strike at the mill attracted international media attention.

“We hid this history for a long time, pretended it didn’t happen. It was a bad time for Gastonia,” she said.

Penegar proudly shows off the 20-foot exposed ceilings and shiny concrete floors that replaced buckled, splintery wood flooring. The brick walls, thick, century-old beams and floor to ceiling factory windows are still intact throughout the complex.

“It took 20 years to get it going but it’s been worth every minute. The space is fantastic,” Penegar said.

Expansive, long hallways of the former production floors are lined with taller than normal doors that lead to one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

“These are loft apartments, so the bedroom doesn’t have a door, it’s open and the wall doesn’t go to the ceiling to let the light bleed out into the space,” she said.

Mill village residents say they are glad to see the mill renovated because the mill and mill village have always been connected and helped each other thrive. It’s also about preserving a part of the residents’ history.

Carl and Gladys Caprenter live in the mill village directly across the street from Loray Mill. They hope the renovations at the mill will help to revitalize their neighborhood. Credit Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

Sitting on their front porch across the street, Gladys and Carl Carpenter can look directly at the mill. Gladys’ father worked there and the family lived in a four-room mill village house.

My daddy bought it from the company and we bought it from him,” Gladys Carpenter said. “We owned it 43 years, so a lot of memories here.”

Carpenter also worked at the mill, starting when she was 16 years old.

“I was a spare hand spool winder and so I made a pretty good living. I was blessed to have a job,” she said.

After the mill closed, like others, the Carpenters says it became an eyesore. The grass often went uncut, vagrants sometimes broke into the building and over time, the mill village deteriorated as homeowners moved out, slum lords came in and crime in the area increased. The Carpenters are glad to see the mill redeveloped.

We’re just thankful to see someone around knowing someone is looking this way because it was so empty for so long,” Gladys Carpenter said.

“I think it’s wonderful the way they got it fixed up. I hope it does well. I wish it had happened earlier,” Carl Carpenter said.

Carl and Gladys Carpenter’s home (R), and Irma Styers’ home next door are original mill village homes. Both families have lived across the street from Loray Mill for more than forty years. Credit Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

So does Irma Styers, whose grandparents and father worked at the mill. Her family was thinking about moving if the mill had not been renovated

“The conditions were so bad, theft, people constantly taking stuff from our yard,” Styers said. “If it was outside, it was gone. I had to chain the furniture to the porch but we don’t have that now and it’s so wonderful that it’s turned around because we have no desire to go anywhere else.”

That’s what developer Hughes says he wants to hear because he wanted to create an environment that welcomes the surrounding community. He hopes the planned public gym, brewery and other retail will bring mill village residents and others into the mill’s public spaces. There’s also an interactive, digital gallery space under construction to document the mill’s history. Hughes hopes all of this will make the mill the epicenter of the community that it was years ago.

“We look at this as establishing an icon within the city and county,” Hughes said. “We look at this as providing an economic impact to bring jobs, provide quality housing. It is not our intention to displace people or replace the population here.”

In steps Preservation North Carolina officials. Firestone donated the mill to them after it shut down and they sold it to Hughes. The organization’s president Myrick Howard says they secured a half million dollar loan to buy and renovate mill village homes, with the exterior designs intact.

“We’re trying to knock out the vacant house, the problem houses where drug dealers and prostitutes cluster around these vacant properties,” Howard said. “We want to sell them with restrictions that they have to be owner occupied and with restrictions on their future size so they will stay small houses and we think they will have an anchoring effect on this community.”

They plan to have a model home to show millennials and empty nesters, their target buyers. The renovated homes will go for about 100 thousand dollars.

A street in the mill village across the street from the renovated Loray Mill. Credit Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

Jack Kiser is Preservation North Carolina project manager. He was also Gastonia’s planning director for 17 years. He hopes the redeveloped mill and their fully renovated homes will be incentives for others to buy rundown rental homes in the mill village and renovate them.

“The neighborhood is 75 percent rental and 25 percent homeownership. We want to see that flip,” Kiser said. “The mill is a perfect fit in terms of the renovated project being 80 percent residential and 20 percent commercial space and works hand in hand with the community.”

Hand in hand, side by side and depending on each other is how the mill and mill village two properties have always coexisted. Something the developers and preservationists hope they will continue so they will not just survive but thrive.

(WFAE, 10/12/2015)

A Big, Big, Big Win
Myrick Howard

Woo-hoo!

With the resolute support of Governor Pat McCrory as well as a bipartisan coalition of legislators, North Carolina once again has historic rehabilitation tax credits, effective January 1, 2016. Over the next four years, these credits may well stimulate another $500 million or more of historic renovation. That’s not chump change!

It feels like a miraculous come-from-behind victory – just before the final buzzer.

The 2013-14 general assembly had let North Carolina’s rehabilitation tax credits expire on January 1, 2015, in the name of tax reform. These credits had incentivized nearly $2 billion (no typo there!) of historic renovation since their first adoption in 1993 and expansion in 1997 and 2006 – legislation passed at PNC’s behest.

This spring (2015) the North Carolina House of Representatives passed the Governor’s revised version of the tax credits by a 6-1 margin. But the Senate sent the bill to its graveyard committee, never to see the light of day. We always thought that the bill would pass in the Senate if we could just get it to the floor for a vote.

This summer the House put the credits in its budget, but not the Senate. For nearly two months, we waited with bated breath while the conference committee on the budget met. It was an exercise in uncertainty. First, we’d hear that things were fine; then, we’d hear that they weren’t. Until the final committee bill was unveiled in September, we didn’t know whether the homeownership credit would be retained in the bill. It was a real nail-biter.

The new tax credits are at a lower rate, but they may be taken in one year rather than five. (You can still carry them over for nine additional years.) Most folks would prefer having $15 today rather than $4 a year for the next five years, so the lower rates are offset by the ability to take the credits quicker. That change will be a great advantage for income-producing projects.

The homeowner credit survives at a lower rate, but with a project cap. No project will receive more than $22,500 in credits, but that’s still a respectable incentive for home renovation. Many times through the process we thought we were going to lose the homeowner incentive altogether, so we are relieved.

We were told repeatedly over the last two years that we’d never succeed. We saw the end of tax credits for the film, solar, affordable housing, land conservation, and many other industries or causes.

How did we survive and succeed? Preservationists know all about persistence and the importance of coalitions, and that’s what it took. We had many institutional partners (municipalities, counties, realtors, architects, engineers, bankers, chambers of commerce and others) who helped us out.

Secretary of Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz (a PNC property owner, by the way) criss-crossed the state, drumming up support and publicity for the cause. At PNC’s conference in Salisbury, she noted that her tour persuaded her even more of the value of the credits in turning around communities and creating new jobs.

Tony Adams, PNC’s lobbyist, went door-to-door around the legislature, not just once, but numerous times. He helped get a majority of House members to sign on as bill sponsors, a showing that demonstrated the depth of support in the House during negotiations with the Senate. On a daily basis, Tony knew who was with us and who might be with us with a little encouragement.

Our friends (members, professionals, local preservation organizations, etc.) from throughout North Carolina let their legislators know about the value of the credits – with letters, phone calls, tours, letters to the editor, and more. It was an easy case to make. We could point to specific landmarks and entire downtowns and neighborhoods that had been revived by the tax credits.

In the end, it was a team effort, and the entire state will be the beneficiary.

At the Salisbury conference, speaker Don Rypkema noted that the preservation community across the entire country was watching North Carolina. Our tax credits were viewed as exemplary nationally. We were among the first states to adopt a workable program, and its success has kept North Carolina in the top five nationally for the last decade for the use of the Federal tax credit. To lose the credits in 2014 was a blow to the movement, and their revival this fall is being celebrated by preservationists everywhere.

Our most sincere thanks to everyone who worked to make this victory a reality. There’s plenty of work left to do in preserving North Carolina’s rich heritage, and the renewed tax credits will continue to make our great state a better place to live, work and visit.

This article appeared in the 2015 Fall issue of NC Preservation, PNC’s magazine.

The Memorial Industrial School site is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Forsyth County received notification that the property, which is located at Horizons Park near Rural Hall and owned by the county, was designated in August as a historic site.

Memorial Industrial School served as a home for black orphans and needy children from the 1920s to ’70s. There, the children received an education and agricultural and domestic skills training.

A former resident is hoping to generate support for efforts to preserve the legacy.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 10/9/2015)

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Hillsborough, N.C. — Town commissioners are weighing a possible eminent domain action to take control of a Hillsborough landmark.

The Colonial Inn, which historians say was built in 1838 – a weathered sign that hangs from the West King Street building says 1759 – survived the Civil War and entertained guests as notable as the late actor Paul Newman for generations. But it has been closed for more than a decade and is now a rundown eyesore, with rotting wood, peeling paint and a weed-choked sidewalk.

(WRAL, 10/10/2015)

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DURHAM — While the James A. Whitted School is already listed on the National Register of Historical Places, developers have started the legwork to ensure it’s a local historic landmark as well.

(Durham Herald-Sun, 10/10/20150

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As water levels recede and residents begin to recover from the torrential rainfall and flooding, it’s amazing to think there are a few local buildings that have seen this type of weather many, many times over and they’re still standing.

This includes the DuBois Boatwright House in the first block of South Third Street, which at nearly two and a half centuries, is firmly historic Wilmington’s second oldest home and one of the longest-standing buildings of any sort here.

While the home built in 1767 may still be standing, it does need help. Over the past five months Beth Pancoe of SDI Construction has worked to take this piece of Wilmington’s history, and make it work better than it did before.

According to Pancoe, the home was originally owned by John Dubois, a local merchant and alderman, which she describes as the equivalent of a modern day city councilman. The Wooster family inherited the house in the 1840s. Through marriage, ownership was transferred to the Boatwright family who have owned it ever since.

(Port City Daily, 10/9/2015)

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – At one time, there were nearly 100 plantation homes built along or near the Cape Fear River. But neglect and Mother Nature has reduced that number to only a handful that are still standing today.

Now, a California professor, originally from North Carolina, is restoring a nearly 200-year-old dwelling, one room at a time.

Every day, hundreds of people travel on Old Stage Road in Columbus County, just like Everett Lewis did a couple of years ago. But the top of a chimney at an old house caught his attention.

It turned out what he saw was the top of the Allen-Love house, part of the old Black Rock Plantation, but the structure looked a lot different now than when he first noticed it.

“The front porch was incased, along the porch, up the walls and across the ceiling in ivy,” Lewis said, referring to the condition of the home.

(WECT, 10/3/2015)

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RALEIGH – The state announced Friday that it will sell two historic homes near the Executive Mansion in downtown Raleigh, including the 145-year-old Heck-Andrews House on North Blount Street.

The administration of Gov. Pat McCrory had hoped to hang on to Heck-Andrews and the Bailey-Tucker House on Lane Street and restore them so they could be used for special functions for state government. McCrory had sought money for the necessary renovations in a proposal to issue bonds to generate money for building and road projects across the state, but the legislature stripped the houses out of the final version.

“We all agree these magnificent houses need to be restored,” McCrory said in a statement Friday. “But these projects are better suited for the private sector.”

(10/2/2015, News & Observer)

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For more than a century, the Second Empire-style Heck-Andrews House has held court over the comings and goings along downtown Raleigh’s historic Blount Street, setting a standard for the architecture built in Raleigh after the Civil War.

The 6,300-square-foot mansion, though, has been under state ownership since the mid-1980s, used for a while as offices for state government officials but standing vacant and unused for several years as state leaders debated over its future and whether to spend the money needed to rehabilitate it and bring it up to code standards.

(10/2/2015, Triangle Business Journal)

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RALEIGH

John Goode learned agriculture, arithmetic and French at the Berry O’Kelly Training School.

He also learned leadership skills that helped him climb the ranks during a 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force.

“For a small school, they did turn out some excellent citizens,” said Goode, 69.

Descendents of Berry O’Kelly, a prominent black leader, and alumni of the African-American school that operated in Raleigh during segregation hope the lone remaining building on campus will become a national historic place.

They are working with the city of Raleigh, which owns the building in the Method community of west Raleigh, to apply for the designation. The city uses the space as part of the Method Community Center.

They also hope the Oak Grove Cemetery, an African-American cemetery that dates back to the Civil War in the Method community, will become a national historic place.

On Tuesday, the Raleigh Historic Development Commission invited residents to share photos and other relics from the cemetery and the school, which closed in 1967 when schools integrated.

(10/5/2015, News & Observer)

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Preservation North Carolina has presented Chatham County with a major statewide award recognizing the rebuilding and restoration of the Chatham County Historic Courthouse. The project earned the 2015 Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit. Hobbs Architects in Pittsboro served as project architects for the courthouse, which was badly damaged by fire in March of 2010. Shown receiving the award are County Commissioners Chair James Crawford, left, and Taylor Hobbs with Hobbs Architects.

(10/2/2015, Courier-Tribune)

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Boone Tavern, the historic hotel owned by Berea College, has been nominated for the Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence as Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel in the category for hotels with less than 75 guestrooms. Boone Tavern’s Dining Room also has been nominated as Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel. The Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence recognize and celebrate the finest historic hotels and hoteliers across the nation.

Boone Tavern is one of 11 nominees in the Best Small Historic Inn category for hotels with 75 rooms or less. Other nominees include: Castle Hotel & Spa (1910) Tarrytown, New York; Cork Factory Hotel (1865) Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Green Park Inn (1891) Blowing Rock, North Carolina; Hotel Brexton (1881) Baltimore, Maryland; Hotel El Convento (1631) San Juan, Puerto Rico; Kelley House of Martha’s Vineyard (1742) Edgartown, Massachusetts; Mast Farm Inn (1792) Banner Elk, North Carolina; Nottoway Plantation (1859) White Castle, Louisiana; The Smith House (1899) Dahlonega, Georgia; and Timberline Lodge (1938) Mount Hood, Oregon.

(Berea Online, 9/29/2015)

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The new Downtown Associate Community program is designed to provide Aberdeen with the organizational foundation required for long-term downtown economic development success.

“This is not a project,” said Sherry Adams, coordinator of downtown programming and technical assistance for the N.C. Main Street Center at the state Department of Commerce. “A project has a beginning and an end. This is a program geared toward sustainable economic development within the context of historic preservation.”
Flooring Solutions

The program is also a three-year precursor to potential reinstatement in the Main Street program. Aberdeen joined that program in 1990 but soon became inactive.

“This is a pathway to the Main Street designation,” Adams said. “Our goal is to have you move up.”

Adams and Liz Parham, the center’s director, gave Aberdeen officials an overview of the Downtown Associate Community program during a public forum Thursday. They will return about once a quarter.

(The Pilot, 9/24/2015)

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A public hearing will take place in Pender County Monday night to consider a Special Use permit for a historical school museum.

The building, on Union Chapel Road, was previously a school. It has not been in operation since 1953, according to Monday’s agenda. The property owner wants to restore the building and maintain it as a museum.

According to the applicant, the Union Chapel School was “the hub of the community during the 1930s and was also a Rosenwald school built to educate African-American children.”

(WECT, 9/24/2015)

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DURHAM — City staffers will move forward with a design for the new Police Department headquarters that doesn’t include saving a 92-year-old former Chevrolet dealership on the site.

On Thursday Mayor Bill Bell and council members Diane Catotti, Eugene Brown and Cora Cole-McFadden indicated they didn’t want to spend city money to save the building.

“I’m a preservationist,” Brown said, “but in this case the dollar signs, as well as future usage, make saving the Carpenter building rather difficult.”

Councilmen Steve Schewel and Eddie Davis preferred an option proposed by a local organization that saved the Carpenter Motor Co. building and brought the potential for private development to East Main Street.

Councilman Don Moffitt said he opposed the site altogether.

At a City Council work session in August, architectural consultant firm O’Brien/Atkins presented five options for arranging the headquarters, surface parking and a parking deck on the 4.5 acre block at 600 East Main Street.

(News & Observer, 9/24/2015)

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The legislature has approved a bill that would allow local governments to make grants or loans toward the rehabilitation of historic structures.

The question now is how attractive will the pending legislation be given that a slimmed-down version of the historic preservation tax credits was restored in the state budget compromise that Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Friday.

Senate Bill 472 was approved without amending by an 87-18 vote in the House on Tuesday — nearly five months after it cleared the Senate.

The bill would go into effect with McCrory’s signature. The bill’s primary sponsors are Sens. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, and Andrew Brock, R-Davie.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 9/23/2015)

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Pittsboro, NC –  Preservation North Carolina has presented Chatham County with a major statewide award recognizing the rebuilding and restoration of the Chatham County Historic Courthouse. The project earned the 2015 Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit, which was presented at a ceremony last week.

(The Chatham Journal, 9/22/2015)

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WINTON – The reasoning behind an effort to establish a historic district here in Hertford County’s oldest municipality is twofold: to preserve the proud past of the town and hopefully serve as an economic springboard.
On Wednesday, town citizens and other interested individuals participated in a pair meetings designed to share information on a plan devised by the Winton Historical Association (WHA) to create a historical district containing nearly 100 properties.
WHA member Libby Jones, who lives in one of the town’s numerous historic homes, said the creation of a district would be a “win-win” for all involved, including potential visitors to Winton that typically tour historic towns.
“We have so much historic architecture here; plus the creation of a historic district will perhaps serve as an economic catalyst for the town. We can advertise the fact that we have a historic district and encourage people to come and visit us,” she said.
The two meetings were held in the late afternoon and early evening, using the Winton Town Hall and the old cafeteria at C.S. Brown School as the gathering points. Both featured Scott Power, employed in the Greenville office of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Among other duties, his department administers the National Register of Historic Places, which is a federal program under the National Park Service (NPS).
“They (NPS) have the ultimate authority for listing historic properties and historic districts,” he stated.
Power also briefly explained the state and federal tax credits that owners of historic properties can take advantage of should they opt to follow certain guidelines during the renovation/restoration process.
“However, if you choose not to accept the tax credits, you can basically do whatever you want to your property, even if it’s been declared as historic or part of a historic district,” Power noted. “But the tax credits are there if you want to apply. The credits can save you as much as 30 percent against the money you spend for renovation purposes, even if you operate a historic property as a commercial business, such as a bed and breakfast.”

One key element of having a designated historic district is the fact that it protects those properties from negative impacts caused by governmental action (i.e., road widening; erection of cell phone towers, etc.).
Power also explained the criteria for having property listed on the National Register. The starting point, he said, was the place must have physical integrity from the period in which they were important and must be significant for something.
“We have found instances where properties cannot be listed in the National Register because they have been altered in some way over the years or because they’re simply not significant,” he said.
To have a property listed on the National Register, they must meet one of four items of criteria: associated with events that have made significant contributions to the broad pattern of history; associated with the lives of significant persons of the past; embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period of method of construction, or represent the work of a master, or represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; and have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.
Power said the WHA’s plans to hopefully establish a historic district would fall under criteria #3. In Winton’s case, that district already has the presence of two properties listed on the National Register – the Gray Gables house and the auditorium at the old C.S. Brown High School.
“What you have here is a collection of buildings that represent a particular era as well as many different styles of architecture that come together as a collection unit,” Power remarked.
In order to get a district listed, Power said a concentration of historic resources is needed.
“They have to maintain enough integrity that as a collection of buildings you can look at them and tell that you’re riding through an area with a lot of history and architecture,” he stated.
A historic boundary has already been established as the WHA moves forward in establishing a district, centering along Main Street (stretching from East Weaver Street to just beyond East and West Cross Street) and includes areas along King Street, West Mulberry Street, one block of East Dickerson Street, and East and West Richard Street. The properties there can either be “contributing” or “non-contributing.”
Power explained the difference, calling contributing properties as those at least 50 years of age and have maintained their physical integrity from whatever period of importance; and non-contributing as properties that are 50-plus years-old but have been altered in some way over the years and no longer represent their period of time.
“We like to see a much higher percentage of contributing properties, as much as 80-to-85 percent, when performing an evaluation to see if an area is qualified for historic designation,” Power stressed. “That will include your commercial properties, churches and schools.”
The Winton Historical Association will hire a consultant to perform the ground work necessary to move forward to the next step – making an application for historic district designation. Power said his office will work closely with that consultant as the process moves along.
“The boundary now established may have to be tweaked a bit once the consultant you hire gets here and begins their research,” Power said.
The application for nomination as a historic district must also include a history of the town; an inventory and photographs of the historic properties (to include a written historic narrative of each); and a context statement – which is a comparison of Winton to other similar communities in the local area and the region. The consultant will perform all of the aforementioned work.
“All of that becomes your argument for national registration,” Power said. “All of those documents first come to our office for review and we may send some comments back to your consultant in order to gain additional information. Once we finalize things on our end, your nomination is forwarded to Raleigh and from there to the National Park Service who makes the final determination.”
Power said the initial step to gain designation in Winton has already been taken as the determination has been made that the town does possess a potential historic district.
“What makes Winton so unique is that it has a pre-Civil War history and a post-Civil War history since the majority of the buildings here were destroyed by Union forces back in 1862,” Power noted.
The next step is for the WHA to hire a consultant. That will cost as much as $15,000. The Association has launched an effort to raise those funds, and donations are tax deductable.
“As of the present, we are in the process of gaining non-profit status,” said Jones. “In the meantime, the Murfreesboro Historical Association has graciously agreed to shelter our group with theirs. You can help us by writing a check to the Murfreesboro Historical Association and in the memo line of the check, write Winton Historical Association and mail to us at PO Box 15, Winton, NC 27986.

(The Roanoke-Chown News-Herald, 9/20/2015)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A mothballed state prison that closed more than two decades ago is slowly crumbling in Buncombe County because the state hasn’t allocated money to knock it down.

Old Craggy Prison looks like something straight out of a horror film.

It was dedicated in 1924. Age would eventually take its toll.

Newspaper headlines throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, chronicled what was once called the “hell hole” of the state’s prisons.

“The prison flunked on every test,” says retired attorney Lou Lesesne.

He played a big part in getting Old Craggy shut down.

“We spent a lot of time in a lot of N.C. prisons in the 1980s and a lot of them were in really bad shape and this was sort of in a class by itself,” he said.

(WLOS, 9/22/2015)

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View the video at Time Warner Cable News (9/21/2015), here: http://www.twcnews.com/nc/coastal/news/2015/09/21/historic-preservation-tax-credits.html

The latest generation of Pfafftown residents celebrated the recognition of a 229-year-old community trying to hold tight to its heritage even as much of it has been swallowed in annexation.

The sponsors of the historic marker — placed on the south (county) side of the intersections of Transou and Yadkinville roads Sunday — offer a glimpse of the complexity when describing Pfafftown.

The Forsyth County Historic Preservation Commission and the City of Winston-Salem combined on the effort, with Mayor Allen Joines and two council members among the speakers.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 9/20/2015)

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RALEIGH — A reinstatement of the historic preservation tax credit is included in the state budget approved last week by state legislators.

Lawmakers let the tax credit, which will now provide for up to a 25 percent credit for improvements that are made to an income-producing certified historic building, sunset on Jan. 1. Since then a movement to reinstate the credit has been under way throughout the state.

Non-income producing historic structures are limited to a 20-percent tax credit on rehabilitation projects of $10,000 or more. In short, any project that is covered under the federal historic preservation tax credit will once again receive the state tax credit.

(The Mount Airy News, 9/19/2015)

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The legislature giveth and the legislature taketh away.

It is now pretty certain that North Carolina’s compromise budget will restore the tax credits for property owners who restore historic buildings. The rest of us should be grateful.

The penny pinchers in the General Assembly had abolished North Carolina’s long-standing historic preservation tax credit in their last budget round. Local officials, preservation groups and Gov. Pat McCrory — a man not often accused of tax-and-spend liberalism — had urged the Honorables to bring the tax credit back.

Even the libertarian John Locke Foundation — which sometimes seems to question whether state government should do anything other than round up hippies and Arab terrorists — thought the tax credits were a good idea.

(Star News Online, 9/18/2015)

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LENOIR, NC…Following months of the NC General Assembly, the North Carolina budget bill includes the restoration of the historic rehabilitation tax credits for both income and non-income producing historic structures. The NC League of Municipalities had lobbied on behalf of cities and towns citing the importance of the preservation tax credits to economic development projects across the state.

Secretary of Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz visited Lenoir in May as part of her state-wide tour of historic districts in cities that have the potential to utilize the historic preservation tax credits in their economic development strategies. While in Lenoir, Secretary Kluttz toured several historic buildings in downtown Lenoir.

(Caldwell Journal, 9/18/2015)

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The new state budget has thousands of details to sift through and analyze. One item, however, was an immediate hit with a group convening in Salisbury this week: the restoration of historic rehabilitation tax credits. Members of Preservation North Carolina count that as a great victory, even if the credits are scaled back. And the preservation advocates are in the perfect place to celebrate the win, Salisbury, a community where historic tax credits and a preservation mindset have made all the difference.

Visitors can see the results in many business buildings downtown and stately homes around the city. Among those who tackled ambitious projects just before the tax credits expired were Chad Vreisema and Bryan Wymbs, who bought the former Bernhardt Hardware building on North Main Street in 2013. Since then, the building has been transformed into retail spaces on the street level and apartments above — worthy of being on OctoberTour next month. Without historic tax credits, the old structure might have languished and deteriorated.

(Salisbury Post, 9/17/2015)

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Clement spoke Wednesday afternoon at Preservation North Carolina’s annual conference in Salisbury about the importance of revolving funds in the saving of historic properties. But Clement, founding president of Historic Salisbury Foundation in 1972, also took time to give preservationists in the room a list of marching orders.

(Salisbury Post, 9/17/2015)

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The latest version of the North Carolina budget bill to go before the General Assembly includes a provision for historic preservation tax credits, which have been used in renovating several Morganton buildings.

“We are very happy to see that included,” said Morganton City Manager Sally Sandy. “We certainly hope they will all vote (to approve it), and we hope the governor will support it — and he’s a big supporter of (the credits) anyway.”

The state’s historic tax credit program expired at the end of December, and a bill that would have restored them earlier this year died in the N.C. Senate, according to previous reports.

Members of the Senate passed the bill Tuesday afternoon, and members of the House are slated to vote on it Thursday, according to www.ncleg.net.

(The News-Herald, 9/15/2015)

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SALISBURY — “Revolving Funds Rock” is the theme to Preservation North Carolina’s Annual Conference to be held in Salisbury Wednesday through Friday. This is the first time Salisbury has been host to the conference since 1996.

The conference will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the revolving funds of both Preservation North Carolina and the Historic Salisbury Foundation.

Donovan Rypkema, principal of PlaceEconomics and a leading expert on the financial impact of historic preservation, will be the keynote speaker from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Thursday at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Other speakers that morning include Daniel Carey, president and chief executive officer of Historic Savannah Foundation, and professor Justin Gunther of the Savannah College of Art & Design. Both Carey and Gunther will be talking about the impact of revolving funds.

The conference gets under way Wednesday afternoon at the Rowan Museum, when speakers will include Ramona Bartos, deputy state historic preservation officer; Myrick Howard, executive director of Preservation North Carolina; and Ed Clement, one of the founding members of Historic Salisbury Foundation.

(Salisbury Post, 9/15/2015)

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The legislature, particularly the Senate, heeded constituents in agreeing to restore a limited level of film production grants and historic preservation tax credits in the proposed final state budget.

The compromise also restores deductions for medical expenses with no spending cap, and does not alter the sales tax refund levels for not-for-profit and nonprofit groups.

The budget compromise, expected to be more than 500 pages, is expected to be posted early today.

The Republican tax-reform code foundation approved in 2013 eliminated numerous popular tax credits and exemptions in a trade-off for increasing the standard tax deduction. Several key Senate leaders worried that making any changes to that foundation opens the door to unraveling it completely.

Gov. Pat McCrory crisscrossed the state this year in support of the historic preservation tax credits, drumming up support from local officials along the way.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 9/14/2015)

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The Town of Boone Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) announces that work will begin this month on a Historic Resources Survey of Downtown Boone.

The survey area will roughly correspond to the boundaries of the Municipal Service District (MSD), but the survey will also include seven additional properties scattered throughout the community, including the Rivers House, Horn in the West, the Daniel Boone Gardens, and the Boone Cemetery. This survey is intended to gather essential information about the architectural and historical significance of the surveyed properties.

While a number of individual properties located within the municipal limits of Boone have been surveyed as part of the countywide surveys completed in 1989 and 2002, no comprehensive historic resources survey of Downtown Boone has ever been completed.

In spite of numerous attempts by local residents, historical organizations, and the HPC since the 1970s, extensive background information on the architecture of Boone’s historic downtown has never been compiled either.

The HPC anticipates that this survey will include approximately 110 survey-­‐eligible properties located within the MSD and provide critically important documentation of the architecture and history of Boone’s downtown. In addition, the survey will provide similar documentation on properties at risk for near-­‐term development, as well as important background information for properties that may be eligible for local landmark designation, such as the Rivers House and Horn in the West.

(High Country Press, 9/14/2015)

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ASHEVILLE — The city and Buncombe County now have a plan to protect historic buildings.

But how much effect the plan will have will depend on a wide variety of factors — ranging from how legislators vote on a statewide tax proposal to how many steps property owners would have to take before demolishing downtown buildings.

The City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday to adopt the Historic Preservation Master Plan for Asheville and Buncombe County.

In recommending the plan, Historic Resources Commission Director Stacy Merten said old buildings, particularly those downtown, are important culturally, economically and even environmentally.

“Old places create a sense of community that helps people feel more balanced, stable and healthy,” Merten said.

(Asheville Citizen-Times, 9/9/2015)

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A panel was held in the Merrimon-Wynne house Sept. 2 to discuss the state of historic preservation in Raleigh. The panel was moderated by City Councilor Bonner Gaylord and included Mary Ruffin Hanbury, an architectural historian who started her own consulting firm, Ed Morris, the chair of the Wake Historic Preservation Commission, and Myrick Howard, president of Preservation N.C.

According to the panelists, preservation is coming to the forefront, where it used to be a fringe issue.

“We may have gotten in a little late in the game, but Raleigh’s doing a great job [preserving historic sites],” Morris said.

The conversation initially hinged around policy issues. The private sector is often preferable for preservation, in the form of nonprofits; however, there are areas where the private sector for one reason or another is unwilling to invest. Sometimes these buildings are ignored, and other times the city buys the properties and takes care of them itself.

The panel unanimously agreed that one of the reasons the public sector does not invest in historic areas is property taxes. Lower property taxes can greatly reduce the burden that nonprofits must bear to protect historic buildings. In the 1970s-80s, the state of preservation was grim. Many properties were purchased by the government, not for preservation, but for demolition and development.

Luckily, the decision was made to protect the historic buildings, and many were spared, including the Merrimon-Wynne house, which is described on the Preservation North Carolina website as “the quintessential southern mansion” when it was built in 1876.

(The Technician, 9/9/2015)

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For more than half a century, Lexington’s downtown post office functioned as just that: a post office, the place to buy stamps, rent a P.O. box and attend to one’s ordinary postal chores.

When a “new” post office was constructed in 1967, the “old” post office on South Main Street took on a new identity, as a Davidson County library branch, for another 16 years. After that, it served as a county arts center for another 17 years.

And then, nothing.

Since 2009, the majestic stone building has fallen victim to peeling paint and a chipped, weathered exterior. What historians and preservationists call “one of the most monumental structures” in all of Davidson County has been more than once a “For Sale” listing at online real estate sites.

(The Dispatch, 9/7/2015)

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The LandTrust for Central North Carolina has announced the preservation of one of North Carolina’s most significant historic sites at Fort York on the Davidson/Rowan County border at the Yadkin River.

This project is one that has been in the making for 20 years – since the first months of the founding of the organization, according to a press release. “The Fort York site was identified in 1995 as one of the most important historic sites in our region and has remained at the top of our list of highest priority potential acquisition tracts,” said executive director Crystal Cockman. Thanks to private funding and a grant from the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund, The LandTrust was able to purchase the site in July.

(The Dispatch, 9/4/2015)

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Rep. Mark Brody Sponsors House Bill 799

Raleigh – A piece of legislature in the North Carolina House, sponsored by Rep. Mark Brody (R-Union), stands to have a major impact not only in Oak Ridge, but across the state, as it proposes to enable individual properties to be removed from a historic district.

House Bill 799, titled “Zoning/Changes to Historic Preservation Procedures,” was changed the evening before it was to be heard by the House Finance Committee on Tuesday, Aug. 18. Brody says the opt-out provision has been in the bill for some time; however, there is no evidence of the provision in earlier versions of the bill.

The opt-out provision would let an owner of property within a designated historic district petition for removal from the district.

A local historic preservation commission (HPC) would have 10 days to submit the owner’s petition to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for review, which in turn would have 30 days to make a recommendation to the HPC. The HPC would hold a public hearing, and then make a recommendation to the local municipal government (i.e. the town council) – which would make the final decision on whether to allow the property to be pulled from the historic district.

The opt-out provision “is kind of benign” because the state’s opinion on the petition “is not binding,” said Brody.

J. Myrick Howard agrees. He’s president of Preservation NC, a nonprofit founded in 1939 to promote and protect historic buildings, landscapes, and sites. “The opt-out provision probably won’t result in that many exemptions, but it will require (historic) commission and city councils to deal individually with everyone who has a beef with the historic district process,” said Howard. I can imagine disgruntled property owners who have been denied COAs (Certificate of Appropriateness), and contractors wanting to do teardowns, filing for removal from the district – gumming up the work of commissions and creating a steady drumbeat of discontent with city councils.”

Ann Schneider, chair of Oak Ridge HPC, echoes Howard. “This provision would be incredibly burdensome for our historic preservation commission and town council. It’s also completely inappropriate because changes to the historic district should be initiated only by the HPC, working with town council, not by individuals who want to be in the historic district but want a pass on its special zoning requirements,” she said.

“This is bad for Oak Ridge, bad for the historic district, bad for any town with a similar district – and a dangerous precedent for all zoning requirements. We have all run into zoning requirements that we don’t like – but we comply,” Schneider continued. “I don’t think any of us want our town services to be burdened with the extra time and money necessary to create special reports and enlist consultants to cater to this type of request.”

The provision “sets a scary precedent for zoning laws – it goes against the basic premise of zoning, that everyone in a zoning district is treated similarly,” said Howard.

“At heart, it is a spite bill,” he said, citing strains in Oak Ridge, where CrossFit’s facility was constructed but did not adhere to the facility’s approved COA. After a request for a retroactive COA was denied, as well as appeals to the town’s Board of Adjustment and Guilford County Superior Court, one of the owners of the facility “vowed he would take his case to the governor and the legislature,” said Howard.

Brody acknowledged he was not involved in historic districts whatsoever until he took a phone call from that Oak Ridge property owner in the summer of 2014.

“If you have a historic district like in Oak Ridge, and they take a broad brush and scoop up vacant land, including farmland with nothing historic about it, the property owner should be able to opt-out of the district,” said Brody.

In 1993, the Guilford County Joint Historical Properties Commission sent a report to the SHPO, as required by law, seeking the designation in the unincorporated community of Oak Ridge. SHPO had 30 days to analyze the report and make recommendations.

According to the report, the proposed historic district encompassed 440 acres. Of its 66 properties, 50 included structures and 16 were open land tracts. Nineteen properties (28 acres) were referred to as “noncontributing,” as they were not associated with the history of the area.

“Normally, when a historic district is being looked at, it’s as a district with boundaries, and comments are made on a district basis, not on an individual property basis,” said Howard. “How is this any different from spot zoning, where one person is treated differently?”

Howard was very involved in establishing Oak Ridge’s historic district, and noted that it was a challenge, because “this was a rural area in the path of great development. It was a rural community that was going to be laid to waste if restrictions were not put into place.”

Howard was also involved in the laws that empowered governing local governing bodies to designate historic districts.

“When we drafted the legislation, the intention was that the State Historic Preservation Office was not involved… it’s a local political zoning decision,” he explained. We wanted the state office to have input in case of future legal actions, but not in any sense was there a controlling intention.”

Howard further said the state just needs to give its professional advice.

“But what will the state say when it’s a vacant parcel with no building, but it’s between two other historic properties?” he asked. “It shouldn’t really matter… its historic if it’s in the district.”

Administrator Ramona Bartos – who Brody said helped with bill language – and local government coordinator Laurie Mitchell of SHPO responded to questions about HB799 via a combined email sent by their media liaison.

“Our review of any de-designation proposal…would include our offices feedback on the cause given, just as it would for the initial designation,” stated their response. “As with designations, the state does not make the final judgment as to the district designation or boundaries, but merely has an advisory role by providing non-binding comments.”

Bartos and Mitchell further wrote, “The utility of any local historic district is best supported by an intact district that has a strong cohesiveness. ‘Spot’ de-designations may be counter-productive to the purpose of local historic districts, and our office discourages such de-designations.”

HB799 was not heard by the House Finance Committee on its scheduled date of Aug. 18. As the legislature is still working on its budget, it is unclear when the hearing will occur.

By Gerri Hunt

(Northwest Observer, 9/4/2015)

The 30 percent tax credit homeowners once received from the state of North Carolina for restoring historic properties, and the 20 percent credit for income producing projects could be back in this year’s budget, according to Myrick Howard, the longtime President of Preservation North Carolina.

Speaking at a panel of historic preservation experts at the Merrimon-Wynne house in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday, Howard said Republican members of the state House listed restoring the tax credits, which sunset at the end of 2014, as their number one budget priority after a recent caucus. The House voted in favor of restoring the tax credit earlier this summer by a 5:1 margin. House members and the Governor have been working to convince the state Senate, which never put restoring the tax credits to a vote, of their importance to the state’s economy.

A legislative conference committee is considering whether to include the tax credits in the final budget, expected to be released by September 18. Howard says a majority of the lawmakers on the conference committee are in favor of restoring the tax credits.

“We’ll know more in a few weeks, but there’s a good chance at the moment that the tax credits will be back,” Howard said. “I’ve got a good feeling, but I’ve been wrong before.”

The tax credits have generated $500 million in Raleigh since they were introduced in 1998, and $1.4 billion in revenues statewide. They have created more than 14,000 local jobs.

Panelist Ed Morris, chair of the Wake Historic Preservation Commission, pointed to the restoration of the Pine State Creamery building on Glenwood South as a Raleigh success story that couldn’t have happened without the tax credits. The area experienced a resurgence after a group restored the building and in 1997 got it listed as a Raleigh Historic Landmark.

“From an economic perspective, historic preservation is essential to Wake County’s growth,” said Jeremy Bradham, a Historic Preservation specialist at Capital Area Preservation who was also on the panel. “Every preservation project creates four and a half jobs. Preservation engages everyone in a community, and gives back.”

The panelists also addressed historic preservation versus new development, the former being work-intensive, while the latter is materials- intensive.

“I don’t think you need to balance historic preservation with economic development,” said Mary Ruffin Hanbury, a Raleigh preservationist and architectural historian. “There’s as significant an economic impact with preservation as with new development, so they are actually working hand-in-glove.”

Howard said it is time for Raleigh to “get serious” about the tear-downs occurring across the city, and that the UDO, the city’s new code, does not address the issue strongly enough. He says the model of tearing down smaller homes and replacing them with giant new houses is unsustainable, since the single-person household will soon be the largest demographic in the country.

Amending the UDO and applying protections like Neighborhood Conservation Overlay and Streetside Historic Overlay Districts, which have demolition controls, to neighborhoods could be ways for the City Council to achieve this.

“We need twice as many historic districts as there are in Raleigh currently, and we need them to be less restrictive,” Howard said. “You don’t have to be as pure with restoring a ranch house than with restoring a Victorian home. But some neighborhoods have houses now that do not fit. They’re eyesores now, and they’ll be eyesores in the future.”

Hanbury added that aesthetics isn’t necessarily a good enough reason to decide what to tear down and what to keep. She pointed to the old Clyde Cooper’s barbecue restaurant downtown that was torn down last year. It was one of the last buildings in Raleigh to have separate entrances for blacks and whites to use.

“Places are historic because of what happened there, and that’s something people don’t necessarily know,” she said. “There are great opportunities to use these places to have discussions and share our community’s values, and for people new to the area to find out why they’re important.”

By Jane Porter

(Indy Week, 9/3/2015)

 

The ceilings and floors in the old Cascade Saloon in downtown Greensboro are crumbling, but Rentenbach Constructors sees beyond the junk and damage inside a historic building that long has been used as a storage warehouse of sorts.

The Cascade Saloon building at 408-410 S. Elm St. is sandwiched between the railroad tracks and neighbors the old Southern Railway Office. It dates to 1895 and is among several buildings that make up Greensboro’s historic district.

(Triad Business Journal, 9/2/2015)

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N.C. Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz is making a final push to convince state lawmakers to include historic preservation tax credits in whatever budget deal is ultimately reached in the General Assembly.

Kluttz is calling on state residents to reach out to lawmakers and encourage them to renew the credits, which expired last year after many Republicans on Jones Street said they cost taxpayers too much.

Between 2007 and 2013, North Carolina allocated $106 million in state income tax breaks to property owners, developers and investors of historic properties. That comes to about $15.2 million per year and doesn’t count federal tax credits.

Supporters, including Kluttz, argue some form of state tax credits are necessary to encourage investments in historic buildings, which are often much more expensive to renovate. Without the credits, they say many parts of the state have seen projects dry up.

(Triangle Business Journal, 9/3/2015)

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EDEN — Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques sat in front of his computer screen in his Paris photography studio studying the image of a city more than 4,000 miles away — Eden, N.C.

The young Frenchman had no connection to the town.

But in December of 2014, he was pretty confident that it was just the kind of place he was looking for to execute a grand-scale art project, one that would join two countries in a cooperative art endeavor.

(Greensboro News & Record, 8/31/2015)

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Preservation North Carolina’s Annual Conference will be held in Salisbury Sept. 16-18 at various locations throughout the city.

The conference, last held in Salisbury in 1996, has a theme of “Revolving Funds Rock,” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the revolving funds at both the Historic Salisbury Foundation and Preservation NC.

The conference will feature several speakers from out of state, including keynote addresses from Donovan Rypkema (principal at Place Economics), Tom Mayes (National Trust for Historic Preservation) and Arthur Ziegler Jr. (Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation).

(The Salisbury Post, 9/2/2015)

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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – A vacant, aging house barely visible behind trees and brush holds rich tales of its history.

Inside the three-story home, overlapping “Vs” are scratched into door frames and studs as a symbol to ward off evil spirits. Handmade nails fasten upstairs floorboards.

A wooden beam bows from where support posts at each end settled over two centuries. A brick chimney holds up the center. Overhead beams reveal saw and ax marks.

The home, known as Woodleys Manor, dates to the 1740s.

(The Virginian-Pilot, 8/30/2015)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN_ – One of the oldest houses in Raleigh is now under contract after being moved off its location on Wake Forest Road to make way for an apartment complex.

The Crabtree Jones home, named for one of the early owners, was built around 1795. It remained surrounded by a thick grove of trees for two centuries, hidden from view near the busy intersection of Wake Forest Road and Six Forks.

Realtor Paul Setliff told WNCN earlier this month that the home is scheduled to close Oct. 26 and will be a single-family home. He said he could not reveal the contract price.

On Feb. 3, 2014, the home was moved to nearby Hillmer Street to make way for the Jones Grant apartment complex.

(WNCN, 8/31/2015)

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MANTEO, N.C. — The town of Manteo is hoping to get a historic designation to raise its prestige and boost tourism.

Incorporated in 1899, the town of about 1,500 hopes to get federal tax breaks that could encourage entrepreneurs to renovate buildings such as the old Fort Raleigh Hotel, built in 1930 with moonshine money.

To lose the three-story building would be disappointing, said town planner Erin Burke.

“It’s an icon in downtown Manteo,” she said of the structure that stands near prime commercial waterfront.

Large front porches and picket fences with American flags on display dot the narrow downtown streets. Some of the architecture replicates features from the lifesaving stations built along the Outer Banks in the late 1800s.

(WRAL, 8/30/2015)

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On Monday, August 17, the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice and Iron Mountain Inc., the data storage and management company, announced a new partnership that will work to establish the Pauli Murray House, a National Treasure of the National Trust, as a national historic site.

The partnership includes a generous contribution from Iron Mountain that will help preserve the house’s foundation and fund brick-and-mortar restoration work. Once work is completed, the Pauli Murray Center will use the space to honor Pauli Murray’s legacy and create social justice programming for students and the community.

“We’re pleased to support the Pauli Murray Center in their mission to tell Pauli’s story,” said Ty Ondatje, Iron Mountain’s senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer. “Our Living Legacy Initiative is our commitment to help preserve cultural and historical information, artifacts and treasures with nonprofit organizations.”

(The Huffington Post, 8/24/2015)

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The building standing just north of the railroad on the east side of North Queen Street has been many things over its centuries of use. Now, the four heirs who inherited it – with an assist from Preservation North Carolina – are trying to sell it to someone who has the same drive and vision that’s led to other real estate rehabilitations along Queen and Herritage streets downtown.

The West Building – which for a time was known as the Cobb Hotel – was built around 1900, several years after a massive fire took out blocks of the city.

As Mayor Joe Dawson proclaimed in 1921 about the growth of the brick commercial area, “Much of interest (can) be said of the wonderful increase in values within the city limits and to the replacement of the shabby wooden buildings with their over-reaching sheds, which, prior to 1895, lined the sidewalks of Queen Street, practically all the way on the east side and with not a great many exceptions on the west side, from (the) Caswell monument to the Norfolk Southern depot prior to the great fire in February, 1895, which, in its sweep consumed every building on the two blocks which border Queen Street and lie between Caswell and Gordon.”

He continued, “This great conflagration, as great for Kinston then as Chicago’s great fire was for Chicago, left an unbroken view from McLewean Street to Neuse River; but what many then thought was Kinston’s finish proved to be only the beginning of the greater Kinston of which we are so proud today.

“The burnt district was rebuilt with brick buildings of modern construction and its rebuilding became contagious, and soon most of the available space from the courthouse to the Norfolk Southern depot was built up as we see it today.”

It should be noted that the Caswell monument, which now sits at the Lenoir County Courthouse, stood for years in the middle of North Queen Street, between what’s now the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center and the Lenoir County office building.

The West Building last contained a military surplus store, though the second floor bears much of the features and general detritus of its hotel and boarding house days, including sinks in the rooms and rusted-out box springs.

PNC Northeast Office Regional Director Claudia Deviney acknowledged the challenges of overhauling the building, which is why the 5,200-square foot structure carries a $12,000 price tag. Not only will all the systems in the building need to be replaced, but the structure also needs another roof.

But, hope exists that a number of potential buyers, encouraged by the revitalization and growth of Kinston’s downtown district, will literally buy into its long-term success with a new idea and new plans for the West Building.

Wes Wolfe can be reached at 252-559-1075 and Wes.Wolfe@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesWolfeKFP.

(Kinston Free Press, 8/23/2015)

HICKORY — Many historic buildings have become something of local landmarks for Hickory thanks to restoration by business owners, but the state tax credit for projects like these is no longer available.

The credits were expanded in 1998 to provide a 20 percent credit. According to the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office, 2,146 projects with a total estimated rehabilitation cost expended by private investors of $1.36 billion have been completed in the state since then.

These credits expired at the beginning of the year as a part of Republican-led tax reform, but the state legislature has been debating a bill to reenact credits on a slightly smaller scale.

NC House Bill 152 lowers the rates slightly from the previous credits at 15 percent for rehabilitation expenditures up to $10 million and 10 percent up to $20 million. The bill passed the House 98-15 in March but has hit a delay in the Senate since reaching the Ways and Means committee.

(Hickory Daily Record, 8/23/2015)

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The third year of a governor’s four-year term isn’t often given over to political stumping, but this year was like that for Gov. Pat McCrory.

Between his highway-and-infrastructure bond proposal and his attempt to revive the state’s historic-building restoration tax credit, he and his cabinet have logged a lot of miles.

The governor is still pushing both, and time’s running short. He gave a big push to the tax-credit revival bill last week, arguing that, “We shouldn’t even have a fight about it. … We need action today.”

We do. The House passed a restoration of the credit – which expired at the end of 2014 – in March. But the Senate referred it to its Ways and Means Committee, which is where it sends legislation to die.

Meanwhile, hundreds of projects wait in hope of the tax credit’s return. That includes the restoration of Fayetteville’s landmark Prince Charles Hotel.

The tax credits have helped rejuvenate historic downtowns across the state, and we need them back.

We hope the Senate leadership will take off its blinders and restore a program that brought billions of dollars in investment to North Carolina’s cities and towns.

(Fayetteville Observer, 8/17/2015)

Historic Wilmington Foundation recently presented its annual Preservation Awards to 15 individuals and organizations, recognizing “restoration, rehabilitation, compatible new development, as well as preservation leadership and individual contributions to the field,” according to a news release from the foundation.

(WilmingtonBiz.com, 8/18/2015)

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2-Minute Charlotte gets you caught up on the day’s most important local news before your coffee has a chance to cool down. Today’s edition: 274 words. Expected reading time: 1 minute, 21 seconds.

A gym and gathering place once considered to be the heart of Huntersville’s black community could be on the chopping block. Mecklenburg County says the Waymer Center is too costly to repair because of the electrical and asbestos issues in the nearly 60-year-old building.

THE BACK STORY: The Waymer Center shares a site with the Torrence-Lytle School, which opened in 1937 as the Huntersville Colored School. It was renamed after two African-American leaders who fought for a black high school in the northern part of the county. The gym went up in 1957. After the school closed in 1966, the Waymer Center became a go-to spot for community events and sports. Even though the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission has wanted to redevelop the property, it doesn’t actually have historic landmark status.

WHY THIS MATTERS: The county estimates it will cost between $1 million and $2 million to restore the facility, which is a lot – but the county is already committed to spending more than twice that for the Carolina Theatre renovations. Commissioners were also quick to commit $500,000 for murals inside the theater and the marquee outside. It doesn’t look like it’s too late to stop the Waymer Center demolition, so it’s worth having the conversation about where our priorities lie in historic preservation.

(Charlotte Observer, 8/17/2015)

 

RALEIGH – The 1896 Lamar House has been vacant and slowly deteriorating since the state bought the North Person Street home in 1999.

Paint is peeling off the outside walls. Parts of the ceilings are missing. Decades-old appliances are rusting in the kitchen.

Now the state is looking for buyers to restore the Lamar House and five of its neighbors along North Person Street. “For sale” signs went up on the six historic homes this summer without much fanfare – 12 years after the legislature voted to sell the properties.

“These houses are not being used by the state, and with increased property values along Person Street, now is a great time to sell for the benefit of taxpayers,” said Chris Mears, a spokesman for the Department of Administration, which is handling the sale.

The sale comes with strings attached: Buyers will have to follow historic preservation covenants designed to prevent major alterations or demolitions. Developers looking to turn the block into condominiums need not apply.

(News & Observer, 8/16/2015)

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The Woodleys House in Weeksville is slowly coming to life. It is an historic structure whose provenance has been the subject of owner Harvey Harrison’s research since he began plans to restore it in 2012. But these days, because of the history he has uncovered, questions of dating have given way to a little bit of scientific research.

Last Monday a man whose specialty is so specific that he can pinpoint the dates of structures with almost absolutely accuracy joined Harrison at the house across from Weeksville Grocery on Nixonton Road. Michael Worthington is a sort of history detective. If the famed fictional detective Sherlock Holmes were an historic preservationist, he would be a dendrochronologist, using tree rings to date historic structures.

(The Daily Advance, 8/15/2015)

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RALEIGH – Officials with the state Department of Cultural Resources have plans for the historic Heck-Andrews House on North Blount Street, but they admit they haven’t done a good job of publicizing them.

The department wants to turn the 145-year-old home into an extension of the nearby Executive Mansion, where state officials can host special meetings and woo corporate executives. Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz says the house would help the state create jobs by providing a fitting venue for recruiting businesses.

The challenge is finding the money to pay for the renovations. The state has spent $256,000 in the past year renovating the outside of the three-story Second Empire home, restoring the ornate woodwork to its 19th century condition.

But the inside remains a ruin – vacant and essentially untouched since the state acquired full ownership in 1987. Making the space suitable as a showplace meeting space would cost an estimated $1.88 million, not including furnishings, which Kluttz says would be bought with private money.

(News & Observer, 8/14/2015)

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BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD:

The American Tobacco complex in Durham is often cited as what the state’s historic tax credit program has done in terms of helping to revitalize unused or depressed areas in a city, but in fact the program giving property owners credits for rehabilitation and development in historic but neglected areas has helped towns and cities large and small across North Carolina.

The credit’s preservation will be critical to keep revitalization going in some places and in getting started in others.

That’s why Gov. Pat McCrory, who saw the value of the program as mayor of Charlotte, made a fresh pitch this week to create a version of the program the state Senate apparently would be perfectly happy to let go. This version passed the state House overwhelmingly.

The bullheadedness in the Senate comes from leaders who want to focus exclusively on tax cuts (many of them benefiting the most wealthy citizens and large corporations) and do away with most incentives, no matter how much practical good they do.

To illustrate the program’s value, McCrory brought on, in a press gathering, Rep. Stephen Ross of Burlington, who sponsored the House program. He cited the use of the historic tax credit to help convert a former and long vacant furniture factory in Mebane into over 150 apartments. Without the tax credit program, which is overwhelmingly supported by local government officials, that project would not have happened.

(Raleigh News & Observer, 8/13/2015)

MANTEO, N.C. — The town of Manteo is hoping to get a historic designation to raise its prestige and boost tourism.

Incorporated in 1899, the town of about 1,500 hopes to get federal tax breaks that could encourage entrepreneurs to renovate buildings such as the old Fort Raleigh Hotel, built in 1930 with moonshine money.

To lose the three-story building would be disappointing, said town planner Erin Burke.

“It’s an icon in downtown Manteo,” she said of the structure that stands near prime commercial waterfront.

(The Virginian-Pilot, 8/13/2015)

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RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory and Senate Republicans held dueling rallies Wednesday seeking support late in this year’s session from local government leaders and the public for two tax bills involving local governments.

McCrory anchored a public event outside the old Capitol building calling on senators to pass a House bill that would revive a state tax credit for renovating historic buildings that expired at the end of 2014. House Republicans, three Cabinet secretaries and dozens of local government leaders also attended.

(ABC11, 8/12/2015)

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RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — Some Republicans have not only been at odds with each other over the budget negotiations, they also have strong words for each other about certain tax credits.

On Wednesday, the Governor lobbied for North Carolina to bring back the Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

But, not all are convinced.

Lawmakers allowed the tax credits to expire on January 1.

Some will tell you these tax credits can help bring certain communities back to life again.

Others say it’s nothing more than corporate welfare and it has no place in North Carolina.

“We’re fighting for the history of North Carolina and the future of North Carolina,” said Gov. Pat McCrory.

(WNCN, 8/12/2015)

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RALEIGH, NC (WECT) – As state lawmakers continue hammering out a budget, some historic preservation projects in the Port City are stalled, according to George Edwards, executive director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation.

Edwards and other preservation advocates from across the state gathered outside the state capitol Wednesday to push lawmakers to reinstate tax credits used to offset the cost of rehabbing historic homes and commercial properties. The credits expired at the end of 2014.

“People like to experience real places, and Wilmington is a real place because we have valued, retained and recycled our history over and over again,” Edwards said. “And the tax credits make that history economically feasible.”

The House included scaled-down credits in its budget proposal this year. The Senate did not. Preservation backers are hopeful the program will be included in the compromise budget that emerges.

“Main Street is the living room of North Carolina in every region of this state,” Gov. Pat McCrory said at the rally. “And the Main Street shows whether the entire region is viable or not for a good quality of life and economic prosperity.”

(WECT, 8/12/2015)

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MERRY HILL, N.C. — Under a blistering sun, Nicholas M. Luccketti swatted at mosquitoes as he watched his archaeology team at work in a shallow pit on a hillside above the shimmering waters of Albemarle Sound. On a table in the shade, a pile of plastic bags filled with artifacts was growing. Fragments of earthenware and pottery. A mashed metal rivet. A piece of a hand-wrought nail.

They call the spot Site X. Down a dusty road winding through soybean fields, the clearing lies between two cypress swamps teeming with venomous snakes. It is a suitably mysterious name for a location that may shed light on an enigma at the heart of America’s founding: the fate of the “lost colonists” who vanished from a sandy outpost on Roanoke Island, about 60 miles east, in the late 16th century.

(The New York Times, 8/10/2015)

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Even a 214-year-old house can be full of new surprises. Intriguing new details of the history of Haywood Hall – the oldest house in Raleigh that still stands on its original foundation – were unveiled when restorer Dean Ruedrich recently opened up its walls. It was the first step in honoring a request from the will of the last Haywood family member to own the home. “It’s been a blast to see things down in these wall cavities that nobody has seen for 100 years,” says Ruedrich.

Built by John Haywood, who was the state’s first treasurer and Raleigh’s first mayor, the columned house sits modestly under a towering magnolia tree on a dead-end street just a short walk from the Capitol building. It was one of the largest structures in town when it was built, accommodating Haywood’s ardent sense of hospitality, and quickly became an informal meeting place for legislators and dignitaries.

The house remained in the Haywood family until 1977, when John’s granddaughter, Mary Haywood Fowle Stearns, left it to the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in North Carolina. In her will, she requested that Haywood Hall be used for the “enjoyment of the community” and to promote a greater understanding of the history of the state and of Raleigh. She also asked that a wall separating two great rooms flanking the spacious front hall be removed to restore the grand ballroom that existed during John Haywood’s entertaining heyday.

(Walter Magazine, 7/31/2015)

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The Crabtree Jones House was built in 1809, for the prominent Wake County and state politician, Nathaniel “Crabtree” Jones, and the Jones family continued to live in the house until 1973, when it was sold off for development.

Formerly located on Wake Forest Road, the home was threatened with demolition in 2012. Preservation North Carolina acquired the Crabtree Jones House, and a plot of land on a Hillmer Drive hill near the North Hills shopping center, from an anonymous donor. The house was moved onto that property in Crabtree Heights in February of 2014; the Jones family cemetery is located on a plot of land nearby.

The sales price on the 3,448 square-foot house had been set at $299,000; estimated costs of renovation were between $400,000-$500,000.

The house is probably Raleigh’s oldest home still in residential use, according to Preservation N.C.

(Indy Week, 7/31/2015)

RALEIGH – The ornate exterior of the mansion that industrialist Jonathan McGee Heck built on North Blount Street in Raleigh starting in 1869 was recently restored to its 19th-century glory, down to the salmon-colored paint trimmed in olive green.

But inside the three-story home with a four-story tower, the walls and floors haven’t been touched in decades. The paint is peeling, big chunks of plaster have crumbled into piles and the kitchen floor is near collapse, all a result of the fact that the home’s owner, the state of North Carolina, doesn’t know what to do with it.

“There hasn’t been an identified use for this property,” said Chris Mears, spokesman for the state Department of Administration, which oversees the house. “Without that, we won’t know how to renovate the inside.”

The Heck-Andrews House, as the home is now known, has survived the state’s shifting plans for the surrounding Blount Street Historic District. Looming behind the house is the Bath Building, a largely windowless 5-story laboratory put up in the early 1970s when the state still looked to this neighborhood to expand the State Government Complex.

More recently, the state has moved to turn over several square blocks around Blount Street to a private developer who would restore what grand old houses are left and build new apartments and townhomes on the empty lots facing Wilmington, Peace and Person streets.

But the recession stopped those plans short of a full redevelopment, and in any event it’s not clear the state ever intended to let the Heck-Andrews House go. Since before the state acquired the house 30 years ago, various state officials, particularly in the Department of Cultural Resources, have floated ideas for using the building for offices, gallery space or other public purposes.

(News & Observer, 8/2/2015)

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The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources is pleased to announce that 15 individual properties and districts across the state have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The following properties were reviewed by the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee and were subsequently approved by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register.

(NCDCR website, 7/29/2015)

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Nearly 20 years after the municipality first considered the possibility, the Town of Manteo may be moving closer earning the designation as a National Historic District.

Town commissioners directed the staff earlier this month to get cost estimates on hiring a consultant to conduct preliminary work to determine the town’s eligibility for the designation and to submit a nomination.

National Historic Districts are designated through the U.S. Department of the Interior. Designated districts are placed on the National Register of Historic Places, but there are no restrictions placed on property owners in the district unless a town chooses to do so, said Town Planner Erin Burke.

(Outer Banks Voice, 7/29/2015)

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HILLSBOROUGH – Businessman Francis Henry brought news from the historic Colonial Inn to the Town Board before sharing his hopes Monday for what could happen there in the future.

The inn, at 153 W. King St., is “at a real dangerous spot right now,” Henry said. The roof over a back room recently fell in, he said, and the room, which has a brick floor, filled with water. There have been break-ins over the years.

Hillsborough firefighters also responded Tuesday to a call about smoke coming from the inn. Firefighters found Henry in the room with the collapsed roof, burning old, wet papers in a fireplace. Fire Marshal Jerry Wagner said the fire did not affect other parts of the inn and was never out of control.

(News & Observer, 7/27/2015)

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The New Bern Historic Preservation Commission provided an update to aldermen last Tuesday on work it has done to modernize and become a more user-friendly agency.

Tim Thompson, chairman of the nine-member commission, said it worked with the city attorney and reached out to other state historic agencies over the past three years to make updates in its Historic Preservation Ordinance and guidelines for the Historic District.

“We have one of the best updates in the state,” he said.

The HPC now has a formal training program for new commissioners to bring them up to speed on rules and regulations and how to better serve the Historic District, Thompson said.

(New Bern Sun Journal, 7/26/2015)

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Two Western North Carolina projects in Buncombe and Henderson counties were each awarded a grant from the 2015 Federal Historic Preservation Fund. Grants were given to 11 projects across the nation with monies totaling $95,050.

The Asheville-Buncombe Historic Resources Commission was awarded $19,000, which will go toward roof repairs at the Smith-McDowell House. A release from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources explains the project as such:

Working through the City of Asheville, the Smith-McDowell House has been awarded a federal Historic Preservation Fund grant of $19,000 to repair sections of the slate roof as well as recent interior water damage. The Department of the Interior, National Park Service listed the Smith-McDowell House in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The house is believed to be oldest brick structure in Buncombe County and the oldest house in Asheville (c. 1840). Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College will contribute $9,200 in matching funds for the project.

The City of Hendersonville was awarded $2,500, and those funds will be used to hire a consultant to “write a nomination for the National Register of Historic Places for the Berkeley Mills Ballpark,” according to the same release, which details the project further:

The City of Hendersonville has been awarded a federal Historic Preservation Fund grant of $2,500 to hire a consultant to write a nomination for the National Register of Historic Places for the Berkeley Mills Ballpark. The City will contribute $4,000 in matching funds for the project.

Constructed in 1949, the Berkeley Mills Ballpark was the home field of the Berkeley Spinners, the baseball team for Berkeley Mills. Although the Spinners played their final season at the ballpark in 1961, the facility continued to be used by local residents. Hendersonville High School won two state championships on its field and youth baseball leagues continue to play there today. The completion of a National Register nomination will give Hendersonville a complete history of the property and help recognize the importance of it continued preservation. For more information about the National Register of Historic Places, please visit http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/whatis.htm.

(Mountain Xpress, 7/25/2015)

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Waxhaw’s historic downtown district was built in 1889 and the 360 acres within it have remained a cornerstone of character for the town.

According to Lisa Hoffman, Waxhaw’s events and promotions manager and former interim main street manager, Waxhaw’s downtown has set it apart from other neighboring communities and will provide a valuable opportunity for businesses and residents, with the insight of a full-time main street manager.

This month Waxhaw Town Manager Warren Wood announced James Curtis White has been hired as the town’s first main street manager. White’s role will be to work with the N.C. Main Street Center’s main street program. That program requires that main street communities work to build economic development while preserving the historic downtown community.

White said he is enthusiastic about his new position.

“Lisa (Hoffman) and the main street advisory committee has a great vision and I will work within that context to build on what is already there,” he said.

(Charlotte Observer, 7/24/2015)

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Redevelopment Plans for Greensboro’s Historic Cascade Saloon Announced

Christman Capital Development Company (Christman) has announced the signing of a statement of intent between Christman, Preservation Greensboro Development Fund, Inc. (Preservation Greensboro) and Rentenbach Constructors Incorporated (Rentenbach) to move forward with Christman’s acquisition and redevelopment of the historic Cascade Saloon in downtown Greensboro, NC. The building, which is located in Greensboro’s S. Elm Street Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, is planned for use as the regional offices of Rentenbach, a North Carolina and Tennessee-based construction management and contracting firm which merged in 2013 with Christman’s own 120 year-old nationally-ranked construction services firm. The agreement paves the way for Christman to continue its investment in due diligence work on the project.

(via The Christman Company, 7/20/2015)

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Seeking to preserve reminders of its past, Mooresville is preparing for a comprehensive survey of historic properties in and around town.

The survey will take inventory of buildings and other properties that have existed since at least 1970 and that have remained relatively unchanged, taking into account their historic and architectural significance.
The D.E. Turner & Co. business in downtown Mooresville is more than 100 years old. A new y survey will take inventory of buildings and other properties that have existed since at least 1970 and that have remained relatively unchanged, taking into account their historic and architectural significance.

Coming as the town is preparing for commercial and residential growth, it is meant to “preserve what was here as we keep growing,” said Andy Poore, the town historian.

(Charlotte Observer, 7/17/2015)

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North Carolina is primarily recognized by preservationists for its tobacco barns, mill villages and one-room schoolhouses. Many of these historic properties have been saved through federal, state and local grant incentives, while others have found new life through property owners with enough passion and capital to ensure their preservation. Sometimes, a combination of both factors serves the cause.

The road to preservation is often a long one but, through education and knowledge of the resources available, a dream can become a reality.

At the request of the North Carolina State Preservation Office, counties within the state were asked to compile a list of historic properties in 1985, via an architectural survey, that stood as examples of extraordinary or unique architecture and were at least 50 years old, among other criteria.

Throughout Lincoln County, there are many examples that fit this mold. Some have been lovingly preserved and others could be considered endangered.

“Sometimes the effort is too little, too late,” said Vicki Davis, Lincolnton’s Community and Business Development department director. “Anything that we can do to bring awareness and appreciation and to start that conversation is a positive thing.”

(Lincoln Times News, 7/17/2015)

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APEX – If the house at 7328 Roberts Road could talk, it would tell a century’s worth of stories.

And while little is known about its origins, the home’s architecture speaks for itself, saying it deserves saving.

The Apex Town Council voted unanimously last week to give a no-interest loan of $75,000 to Capital Area Preservation to move the home in northwest Apex across Roberts Road. Otherwise, it could be torn down by a landowner anxious to develop the land the home sits on.

“It’s got some really unique features,” said Stuart Jones, an Apex engineer who also serves as chairman of the Capital Area Preservation board of directors. “The upstairs has never been painted. It’s all wood, and it’s never been painted. That’s really rare. And there’s also hand-carved fireplace mantles.”

(Raleigh News & Observer, 7/13/2015)

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In deliberating expansion of Beaufort’s Historic District, we urge caution.

A story by News-Times staff writer Jackie Starkey in Friday’s edition said town Historic Preservation Commission members “moved unanimously Tuesday to authorize staff to proceed with the work.”

She said, “the local historic district runs south of Cedar (Street), from the west side of Pollack Street west. … If the district was expanded, supporters say it could improve property values and town appeal, as historic district standards maintain the ‘Old Beaufort’ aesthetic.”

While Beaufort’s Historic District encompassing much of the town’s history increases and enhances the town’s charisma and esteem, owners of residences in the district are regulated requiring them to meet Historic Preservation Commission guidelines and seek approval before doing repair or renovation. This supports a prevailing thought among the homeowners that this not only preserves the district’s integrity and dwellings in the district, but also maintains and in some cases increases their monetary value, regardless of tax value assessment.

(Carolina Coast Online, 7/11/2015)

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The Mount Airy Downtown Inc. recently made some changes to its facade grant program, and while that means a little less money available to business owners, local officials still believe the program has major benefits for downtown.

The program offered a 50-percent matching grant, with a cap of $3,000, to downtown property owners restoring or renovating business facades. In an effort to stretch the organization’s dollars, officials have changed that to a one-third match, with a $2,000 cap.

Small business owners in the district can apply for the grant program and receive design assistance and grant money to improve their businesses, improvements that many may not have been able to afford to make without this program, according to MAD officials.

(The Mount Airy News, 7/11/2015)

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RUTHERFORDTON — The Rutherfordton Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) unanimously approved a request from the Rutherfordton Presbyterian Church to demolish a home located on the church’s property during the commission’s monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

In late May, the church announced it was working with the HPC to find a new owner to preserve the home located at 299 North Main Street. Situated in the heart of the Rutherfordton Historic District, the two-story home was built in 1926 and provides the district with classical period architecture.

The church owns the home and is using it for storage, however, church members approached the HPC in March with a request for demolition of the house because it does not fit the church’s need for growth. Moving forward with its master plan, the church would like to expand its fellowship hall.

(The Daily Courier, 7/9/2015)

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On a clear day you can see the skyline of downtown Charlotte from the roof the Loray Mill, the 600,000-square-foot building situated on the west end of Gastonia. The 113 year-old-building is a behemoth with six expansive floors that peer over the historic mill village flanking its perimeter. For 20 years the future of this landmark was in peril.

In 2013, developers bought the mill and, today, phase one of the restored mixed-use property is nearly complete. When finished, it will benefit from the state’s historic tax credit program that expired at the end of 2014. Community members and city officials are hopeful the mill’s restoration will breathe new life into the city.

The road to restoration has been long.

(Big & Grain, July 2015)

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With July now here, restoration plans for the historic Satterfield House also are heating up — including a new website to promote those efforts, and plans to use the house as a learning site for local students.

This summer, members of the Sandy Level community, Mount Airy Historic Preservation Committee and Surry County Schools are working together to create a communitywide coalition for the continued restoration of the structure.

The Satterfield House, which occupies a four-acre site at the corner of North Franklin Road and West Virginia Street, is touted as the first property deeded to an African-American in Surry County. That occurred in 1892, 27 years after the Civil War ended.

(The Mount Airy News, 7/9/2015)

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One of the few things more massive than the Greystone Apartments project is the headache that ensues after listening to the Historic Preservation Commission discuss it. That’s not to say the commission hasn’t raised essential points about what would be a game-changer for Morehead Hill. I’m just pointing out that a 20-minute discussion on the definition of “vegetation”—well, couldn’t the city legal department head this off?

To catch you up on the saga, Lomax Properties proposed a 160-unit apartment complex to be built adjacent to the Greystone Inn in the historic Morehead Hill Neighborhood. Since last summer, when Lomax Properties floated the plan, the Greensboro-based developer has heard a persistent refrain from displeased residents of the Morehead Hill Neighborhood Association, Durham planning staff and the HPC: Too big. Too tall. Too ugly. Go away.

(Independent Weekly, 7/8/2015)

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DURHAM — In order to meet the needs of a growing congregation, the Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church is one step closer to acquiring three plots of land on Iredell Street to use for parking and future development.

The nearly 100-year-old church sits at the corner of Perry and Iredell streets, just off of Ninth Street. And in the past two decades, it has seen exponential growth. What once was a congregation of about 250 has grown to almost 600.

In 2005, after a capital campaign, the city told the church it required off-street parking. So last year the church’s parking committee was asked to address the issue.

Jack Simonds and Bill Francis, members of the parking committee, said in 2005 they were lucky to get an agreement with Duke University to use one if its lots across from the church. But that only provided about 170 spaces.

“When the original church was built, mill workers, most of them lived around here and walked to church,” Francis said. “There just wasn’t a concern about parking.”

(Durham Herald-Sun, 7/6/2015)

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What was once the region’s largest mill under one roof is now the subject of the largest digital humanities project ever undertaken by the University.

Digital Loray came together through a near-perfect alignment of business, philanthropy, volunteerism, education and technology. Preservation North Carolina president Myrick Howard and Loray Redevelopment LLC partner Billy Hughes wanted to include the 113-year history of Gastonia’s Loray Mill in a $39 million transformation of the structure into modern apartments, offices and stores. The developer set aside 1,100 square feet at entry level for a history center, as a resident amenity and visitor attraction. More than a decade ago Carolina alumnus Rick Kessell had contributed the funds for the center in honor of his father, Alfred C. Kessell, who had worked in the mill for more than 25 years. By the time the 630,000 square foot mill re-opened in the winter of 2015, its redevelopment had taken 15 years.

Robert Allen, director of Carolina’s Digital Innovation Lab (DIL) in the College of Arts and Sciences, saw the renovation of the iconic mill as a unique opportunity to collect, preserve and share both the history of the mill and the stories of some of the tens of thousands of people who have worked there and lived in the mill village over the last century. The DIL focuses on bringing together the humanities and digital technology, promoting community involvement, assuring public access and building systems that can be easily adapted to other projects.

As restoration work on the mill finally got started in the summer of 2013, Howard and Hughes asked Allen to work with local volunteers and cultural heritage organizations to identify images and other historical material documenting the mill’s long and, at times, tumultuous history that might be displayed in the planned history center. Two years later, the Digital Loray project has identified and made digitally accessible more than 1,500 items, with more being discovered and added every week.
Professors and students tour Loray Mill

The project has grown into a partnership among a far-sighted historical property developer, multiple University units, local and state-wide preservation and cultural heritage organizations, and members of the local community.

Digital Loray is not only DIL’s biggest project so far, it’s also the most ambitious public digital humanities project the University has ever undertaken, according to Allen, James Logan Godfrey Distinguished Professor of American Studies. The DIL was set up in 2011 and is funded by the College of Arts and Sciences. It develops interdisciplinary, collaborative projects that extend humanities scholarship across and beyond the campus through the use of digital tools.

The project has received key support from several other sources, including a $25,000 gift to support digital public humanities work from Preservation UNC as well as the $75,000 that Allen received in 2008 as the first recipient of the recipient of the C. Felix Harvey Award To Advance Institutional Priorities. Proceeds from the Harvey Award were used to design the software platform for “Main Street, Carolina,” a flexible, web-based platform that allows libraries, schools, historical associations and other local organizations to build densely layered historical maps of their downtowns.

Allen emphasized the critical role of the University Library, in particular the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. It made possible the digital publication of hundreds of photographs held by the Gaston County Museum of Art and History and digitized the North Carolina Collection’s near-complete run of the mill newspaper published during the period of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company’s operation of the facility between 1935 and the mill’s closure in 1993.

Libraries and museums in small cities like Gastonia, 25 miles west of Charlotte, do not have the resources to create something like this on their own. The project required a top public research university with a commitment to engaged scholarship, said Allen, who grew up in Gastonia and has family roots in the Loray/Firestone community.

“This is a great example of the impact the University can have in local communities across the state,” Allen said. “We are uniquely capable and positioned to do this.”

The Place

Inside of Loray MillLoray Mill is massive. A Romanesque Revival tower looms over five stories of red brick framing banks of tall windows. The interior is more than a half-million square feet.

Founded by two local families (Love and Gray) the Loray Mill dominated Gaston County’s economy as much as it did the landscape. Like most mills of the era, it was its own community, equipped to make its own bricks and shoe its own horses. More than 1,000 employees lived in the 30-block, company-owned village adjacent to the mill.

In 1935, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company bought the mill to produce tire fabric. At the height of production, 2,500 people worked in the mill. Firestone began to sell the mill houses to their tenants in the 1940s. In 1993, Firestone closed Loray and moved its operations to King’s Mountain.

But the mill was preserved. While other vacant textile mills were reduced to rubble, Loray Mill survived because Firestone donated the property to Preservation North Carolina in 1998. The mill and about 350 surrounding mill houses now comprise a National Register of Historic Places district.

The Data

Documentation of the mill’s 110-year history has been sporadic at best. No company papers survive to provide any historical record of the tens of thousands of families who worked and lived in the mill. But in 1908, famed photographer Lewis Hine came to Loray to document child labor practices. Allen ran across his portraits of grubby working kids, several of whom lived on the same street as his grandfather, in the Library of Congress. The mill is also famous for the violent Loray Mill strike of 1929, when a policeman and a labor activist were both killed in the turmoil of an attempt to organize a union.

Many publications of the day ran stories and images about the strike and related murder trial, some now digitized. The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center (housed in Wilson Library) also digitized the whole 1952–1993 run of Firestone News, the company newspaper. Census forms provide a data snapshot every 10 years. Gastonia residents and former employees, the Gaston County Museum of Art and History and the Gaston County Library also allowed the team to digitize photos, clippings and other artifacts.

The ever-expanding digital archive includes more than 2,000 images scanned and documented as much as possible. The items have color-coded frames and can be viewed by topic, location or source. Census data combined with fire insurance maps inform an interactive map of the mill village in the 1920s. Click on a house to see its address and photo. Then click on the dot representing a resident of the house and discover the person’s name, address, race, occupation and relationship to the householder. Students in Allen’s 2015 spring seminar traced the journey of African-American families from farm work in South Carolina to mill work at Loray.

The Historian

The public face of Digital Loray is Julie Davis, who joined the team in September 2014 as a Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow, supported through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Davis is project director and historian-in-residence at the mill. (The developer is subsidizing one of the new loft apartments there for her use.) She is working with local organizations to create innovative public programming that makes full use of Digital Loray.

One of her first jobs was to incorporate history into the March 26 grand re-opening of the mill, attended by more than 400 business and civic leaders, including Gov. Pat McCrory. Davis and her team worked with community partners to produce content for six interactive history stations placed throughout the event space.

The Students

Carolina students have done much of the research needed to populate Digital Loray, not only online but also by going to Gastonia to meet with community members, hear their stories and dig through boxes of memorabilia.

The interactive map of the mill village in the 1920s began as an independent study project by Karen Sieber, who is combining a major in American Studies with a self-designed concentration in urban history. From a six-block visualization, the map expanded to more than 100,000 data points on over 2,000 residents of the mill village in 1920. Now Sieber is preparing to collect data for 1930, to track demographic changes over time. The archive also includes seven household spotlights prepared by Sieber and five American studies graduate students that give more details about the families and their history.

Elijah Gaddis, a doctoral student in American studies, has worked on the project for the past 18 months. He built and imaged the database for the digital archive and created the online displays of the archive and timelines of the mill’s history.

“Doing this kind of work on a more institutional level is really important and is something that I want to see UNC doing more of, both as a student and as a North Carolinian,” said Gaddis, a native of Cabarrus County.

Lindsay Ogles is a recent graduate of the School of Information and Library Science who also worked with the North Carolina Collection. For the Loray Mill project, she is designing a 3D map of the mill village, complete with virtual peeks inside based on floor plans.

The Community

The Digital Loray team is adamant that they couldn’t have done their work without the help of the community. Specifically, Passmore and Lucy Penegar, vice chair of the Gaston County Historic Preservation Commission, both contributed thousands of photos and artifacts to the project and led mill tours.

In exchange, Gastonia residents get what Sieber calls “an anchor” for their memories, a digital anchor they couldn’t have made by themselves. “There is not a person in town without some sort of connection to the mill, even if they themselves never worked there,” she said. “People crave a place where they feel their stories, and often the stories of the generations that came before them, are heard.”

Eventually, the mill and its history center could become a destination for tourists, history lovers, researchers and genealogists.

Meanwhile, the team still needs the help of the community for this ongoing project. They encourage anyone with stories to tell and memories to share about the mill or the village to contact them through the loraydigital.org website or by emailing loraydigital@unc.edu.

Allen said there is hope the Loray redevelopment project, which represents a $40 million investment, will spur economic development in the surrounding community.

The Future

The DIL is using Digital Loray as a laboratory for extending the work of the humanities at Carolina into communities across the state and throughout the country.

“Through this project, we are learning how to leverage the capabilities and resources of a public research university to help communities preserve their cultural heritage and history,” Allen said.

At the same time, they are learning how this kind of engaged scholarship can be “brought back” to Carolina and used as part of undergraduate teaching and graduate training.

“This is the most exciting and energizing thing I’ve worked on in my 37 years at the University,” he said.

By Susan Hudson, Gazette, and Claire Cusick, Office of University Development

Published July 7, 2015, UNC Chapel Hill.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – Ayden and Williamston are among nine communities in North Carolina achieving Main Street Status.

“The new Main Street communities will serve as role models for other municipalities interested in downtown revitalization,” said Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III. “If you can show just one great building reuse in a downtown center, more revitalization projects follow and that means many news jobs.”

Both town’s Main street directors will get additional training and resources from the NC Main Street Center to organize their down town revitalization work in accordance with the Main Street Four-Point ® program.

The programs are based on an approach to downtown revitalization developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The approach calls for downtowns to build on existing assets such as cultural and architectural heritage, local businesses and community pride. It focuses on four points: Organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring.

The other towns named today, include Benson, Bessemer City, Cherryville, Elizabethtown, Tryon, Valdese and Waxhaw. These municipalities join 56 other active Main Street communities. In 2014, North Carolina Main Street downtown districts generated 248 new businesses, 110 business expansions, and 1,011 new jobs.

(WNCT, 7/6/2016)

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The Foundation for the Carolinas is slated to ask Mecklenburg County commissioners on Tuesday for a $4.2 million grant that would be used solely to restore historical elements in the 88-year-old Carolina Theatre uptown.

The theater, vacant since 1978 and now a largely gutted structure, was turned over to the foundation by Charlotte City Council two years ago to restore as a civic arts facility and community gathering space. The foundation paid $1 for the theater and property.

“County funding will help add components to the project that will make the facility truly exceptional,” foundation President and CEO Michael Marsicano wrote commissioners in late June.

Those components, Marsicano wrote, would include technology, pit lifts to enlarge the theater’s stage, restoring and replicating historical elements and enhancing seat quality.

The restoration is expected to begin in the first three months of 2016, he said. The foundation is asking for four equal quarterly payments beginning in the second quarter of 2016.

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(The Charlotte Observer, 7/4/2015)

 

‘South Carolina is eating our lunch,” quipped a legislator at a recent committee meeting about economic development. For a native Tar Heel, those are painful words.

First we lost the race for Volvo to South Carolina, and now we’re losing our advantage in the preservation of architectural and historic resources.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley just signed a bill to expand her state’s credit for the rehabilitation of historic buildings from 10 percent to 25 percent. Even though South Carolina modeled its tax credit after ours, last summer North Carolina’s tax credit became a thing of the past, having been allowed to sunset.

This spring the N.C. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to enact a revised version, with strong support from Gov. Pat McCrory. Unfortunately, the bill was assigned to the Senate “graveyard,” an inactive committee where bills are sent to quietly die. The House, with the strong support of its leadership, recently included the credits in its budget, but the Senate didn’t.

South Carolina isn’t the only state to replicate our tax credits. Texas this year enacted a new tax credit program. Other states have been impressed with the remarkable impact that this incentive has had all across North Carolina – in large cities, small towns and the countryside.

The revival of downtown Durham, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Asheville, Salisbury, Mount Airy, New Bern and Edenton, to name a few, hasn’t been coincidental. Nearly $2 billion have been spent by the private sector, stimulated by this statewide incentive. The impact has been tangible.

Studies show that the state actually makes money from the incentive. Properties must be renovated according to preservation standards. Only after all the work has been satisfactorily completed does the owner or developer get the incentive. Before the state puts out a penny, it gets taxes off of labor and materials. Local governments also benefit from property tax increases.

Historic rehabilitation is superb as a local jobs producer. You can’t outsource renovation jobs. Rehab requires more skilled jobs than new construction and returns much more money to local economies. Renovation also has a lower carbon footprint than even the “greenest” new construction.

Historic downtowns, mill villages, older neighborhoods, vacant industrial factories and even barns have been transformed by the tax credits. Places that were downright scary 20 years ago are now magnets for businesses, tourists and locals alike.

Heritage tourism, a major industry for North Carolina, used to focus mainly on museums. Now, entire communities are heritage destinations, thanks to the tax credits.

For example, this summer you might go to Asheville to visit Biltmore Estate, a wonderful attraction. Now, you’re likely to stay over a couple of days and enjoy the revitalized downtown, visiting shops, galleries, restaurants and breweries – just chilling out amid historic charm. You’ll quickly see why several new businesses have moved to Asheville, another spinoff from the tax credits. Twenty years ago, you wouldn’t have even ventured into downtown Asheville; it was pretty depressing. Now it rocks.

South Carolina figured it out: The tax credits are working in North Carolina, so let’s up the ante. If North Carolina is offering 20 percent, let’s go to 25 percent. And then the North Carolina legislature goes and shuts down a huge economic development success story. What a shame!

At first, the objection to the rehabilitation tax credits was: We don’t like tax credits, any tax credits, because that goes against tax reform. That argument didn’t get much traction. It’s hard to deny that these tax credits strongly enhance the economic vitality of our state.

So, a new objection was trotted out: Local governments need to have “skin in the game.” In reality, local governments have put a lot of skin in the game – expensive infrastructure updates, such as parking decks, roads, water, sewer and sidewalks, all necessary to make projects work.

Probably no tax incentive in North Carolina has generated a better return for the state in jobs, economic development and community livability and pride. Without this incentive, North Carolina is losing out; jobs and investors are leaving the state in droves. Buildings are sitting empty.

In the past, legislative support for these tax credits hasn’t just been bipartisan – it’s almost always been unanimous, bringing together liberals, conservatives and everyone in-between. We believe a majority of Senate members support the credits, and the House has already shown its overwhelming support. Let’s revive this important incentive.

Don’t let South Carolina eat our lunch once again. That would be devastating to Tar Heel pride – and to our rich heritage.

Myrick Howard is president of Preservation North Carolina.

This op-ed ran in The News & Observer, July 4, 2015.

EDGEFIELD — A big brick building downtown that once was a cotton warehouse could be demolished soon.

The two-story structure is on the Edgefield County Campus of Piedmont Technical College on Main Street. School officials believe it is in an advanced state of disrepair and want it torn down.

A group of local residents known as the Edgefield Historic Preservation Committee, however, would like to save the nearly 100-year-old building and renovate it so it can house a folk art museum on the second floor and an open-air market for farmers selling produce and other vendors on the first floor.

(The Aiken Standard, 7/1/2015)

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BEAUFORT — A change of heart spared this town’s Board of Adjustment from granting a variance to two lots at the corner of Live Oak and Ann streets, but the historic Owins-Bedford House was not ensured a future.

More than 50 community members filled the train depot Monday to rally for saving the structure, once home to several prominent Beaufort locals and dating back to roughly 1730, causing the potential buyer to withdraw his variance application.

“I’m totally disgusted that this (request) is even here tonight,” Thomas Cunningham, one of the owners of The Cedars Inn said.

(Carolina Coast Online, 7/1/2015)

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A State Employees’ Credit Union land deal announced Wednesday will preserve a landmark building and bring new jobs to Chapel Hill, officials said.

The credit union signed a $35 million agreement to buy the former U.S. 15-501 headquarters of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. SECU officials could close this fall on the deal for the 39-acre site, which includes six houses and two vacant parcels of land.

SECU plans to upgrade and refurbish the building – a rhomboid, glass structure that opened in 1973 – as the home for a new disaster recovery center. The center will take advantage of an existing Blue Cross data center, backup generators and data communication lines, SECU President Jim Blaine said.

The move includes relocating an existing branch office on Elliott Road. SECU has seven Orange County branches and more than 70,000 members in the Chapel Hill area, officials said, but the Elliott Road office, which employs roughly two dozen people, has outgrown its location.

(News & Observer, 7/1/2015)

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Heirlooms and antiques from seven generations of one of Asheville’s most prominent families will be revealed this weekend as the historic Parker-Patton house opens its doors for an estate sale.

“It’s not often that you can see 150 years of history in one place,” said Jack W. L. Thomson, executive director of the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Thomas W. Patton, who rose to the rank of captain during the Civil War, designed and built the sprawling family home with the help of three black carpenters in 1868 at the corner of Charlotte and Chestnut streets.

The property owned by his father, James, had been known as Camp Patton, which served as a military encampment used by both Confederate and Union troops during the war.

(Asheville Citizen-Times, 6/26/2015)

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Comprehensive and unprecedented, “Winston-Salem’s Architectural-Heritage” is a book like no other in Camel City history. Providing historical context along with the meticulous research this project has produced a “must have” volume for Winston-Salem citizens. Our city has a rich, deep, and tumultuous history that is told in the built environment that we all occupy every day. From the ever-changing and evolving downtown, to East Winston’s storied neighborhoods and architecture, to Buena Vista’s timeless elegance this encyclopedic volume takes us to every corner of Winston-Salem, including many that have been forgotten or lost to the brutalities of time.

“Winston-Salem’s Architectural Heritage” is the culmination of an eight-year survey and research project paid for by the state Historic Preservation Office and the City of Winston-Salem. The project expanded the scope of previous historic architectural resource analyses, including Forsyth County’s first comprehensive survey which was completed by Gwynne Stephens Taylor in 1980.

(Camel City Dispatch, 6/23/2015)

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WILMINGTON | Once inside the DuBois-Boatwright House, Beth Pancoe gravitates to an exposed beam where two walls meet.

An adoring Pancoe points to a mortise and tenon joint entwining the house’s original timber – 248 years old, she recites proudly.

“It impresses me so bad I can’t stand it,” she said.

The corners are among some of the tantalizing discoveries yielded by the renovation of the aging South Third Street house, one of four 18th century residences still standing in Wilmington.

At the top of the two-story white house, rafters are fastened together by wooden pegs. Wooden shakes, or shingles, in the ceiling could be remnants of the home’s original roof.

“It’s just like presents,” Pancoe said with a gleeful laugh.

(Wilmington Star News, 6/20/2015)

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As the Raleigh crowd hunkers down for the budget showdown, Gov. Pat McCrory and state House leaders should insist that the Senate join them in restoring historic-preservation tax credits, which have been so instrumental in getting local projects up and running.

The state House and Gov. Pat McCrory support reviving these credits, albeit at lesser amounts than they had been. But the Senate has shown no sign of budging.

We understand that the Senate has its own priorities. It has been rigorous in trying to tighten the state’s belt, and its budget would eliminate support for many programs while changing the way others are paid for. It has far-reaching implications for education, health care and taxes. For instance, its budget eliminates $8.6 million for the N.C. Biotechnology Center, expecting it to make up the difference with private funding.

The preservation tax credits are among the most glaring of the Senate budget’s omissions. These credits support projects that the private sector would not undertake on its own, projects that are expensive and labor-intensive. With the tax credits, however, combined with federal tax credits, developers can help revitalize downtowns.

Historic-preservation tax credits have been put to good use in cities of all sizes to restore downtowns and preserve history. They create jobs, increase the tax rolls and often lead to further development.

In Winston-Salem, they’ve been instrumental in several revitalization projects downtown, including the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a prime example of what can be accomplished with state assistance.

It’s entirely possible that historic preservation tax credits can be revived at the budget bargaining table if the House and the governor hold out and the Senate favors results over ideology.

We’ll son enter the final budget dance. There’s not much wiggle room among the competing projects, personalities and egos.

But for the good of the Old North State, the historic-preservation tax credits should be revived.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 6/20/2015)

GREENSBORO — Anita Schenck loved Governor Morehead’s Blandwood Mansion.

In the 1960s, she helped raise $400,000 to preserve the 19th-century landmark.

At a time when women were often overlooked for leadership roles, two Greensboro women helped save historic Blandwood Mansion, and started a movement to preserve local history that continues today

She chaired Preservation Greensboro, which operates Blandwood, and oversaw efforts to restore the mansion’s carriage house. She served as the president of the Blandwood Guild.

(Greensboro News & Record, 6/19/2015)

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DURHAM — Over the years, noted North Carolina educator Dudley Flood has earned degrees from N.C. Central, East Carolina and Duke universities.

But Flood told an audience at the Carolina Theatre on Thursday that he learned 75 percent of what he knows, that’s worth knowing, while a student a C.S. Brown School in Winton.

“When I left C.S. Brown High School, I knew 75 percent of what I know now that’s worth knowing,” Flood said to applause. “I knew how to act, I knew how to speak, I knew how to conduct myself. But more than anything else, I knew how to make myself compatible in any situation.”

C.S. Brown was one of the more than 5,300 schools built across the rural, segregated South to educate African-American children as the result of a partnership between educator and historian Booker T. Washington and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, part owner and president of the Sears & Roebuck empire.

Slightly more than 800 of the so-called Rosenwald Schools were built in North Carolina, more than any of the other 14 states where they took root.

(Herald-Sun, 6/18/2015)

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The Senate budget recommendations for economic development mirror the overhaul unveiled last week.

The budget, introduced Monday, highlights limited additional spending for the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, along with creating an avenue for recruiting megadeals and the cutting of corporate and individual tax rates.

The budget, however, does not include restoring funding for the historic preservation tax credit that is included in the House budget.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 6/16/2015)

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DURHAM – On St. Mary’s Road out in northwest Durham County, there stands a white frame building with twin front doors and a sign out front: “The Russell School is a Rosenwald School c. 1926.”

It is, said Tracy Hayes, “a beautiful pristine example of a surviving Rosenwald school.”

Tracy Hayes speaks with authority. She is project manager with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s program for preserving Rosenwald Schools, which opens a four-day conference Wednesday in Durham.

“The Raleigh-Durham area is really central to a great deal of the Rosenwald School restoration activity,” Hayes said. “So it was a good place to draw folks from … all of the neighboring states which have a good bit of activity going on.”

The Russell School is the only remaining of 18 Rosenwald Schools for black children that were built in Durham County, according to a database maintained at Fisk University (nando.com/1dd).

Between 1913 and 1932, years of Jim Crow segregation, the Chicago foundation helped finance over 5,000 schools, workshops and on-campus homes for teachers and principals, from Maryland into Texas.

(Durham News, 6/14/2015)

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Mark Ray thinks two new Coca-Cola murals will be one more step toward the revitalization of the 600 block of North Main Street.

The last segment in the city’s makeover and infrastructure replacement downtown, the 600 block could see a surge in tourism interest and local visitors as it gets more stores. Bright red Coca-Cola signs on both the northern and southern facades of the Ray’s Dad’s Collectibles at 620 N. Main St. “ought to really pop,” he said. “We’ve made good progress in the last 60 days. I was on the Seventh Avenue Advisory Board and part of that is we’re trying to grow Main Street closer to Seventh Avenue. I think it’s a significant opportunity for us to really take the next step.

“It’s going to take a destination type of store, which I think this is, to get across 64 and onto the 600 block,” he added. His shop stocks hard-to-find toys, signs and collectible antiques. Ray has worked with the Tourism Development Authority, too, to make his store a sort of unofficial northern outpost of visitors information. He has a rack card display filled with brochures of things to do.

(Hendersonville Lightning, 6/11/2015)

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — The city of Hendersonville wants to preserve an old ballpark. Berkeley Mills Baseball Park was built in 1949.

Hendersonville’s Historic Preservation Society applied to get the park on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hendersonville residents voted against a referendum to raise taxes to help pay for upgrades in November, 2013.

Landing on the National Register of Historic Places may help Hendersonville get grant money.

The ballpark used to be the home field for the Berkeley Spinners. Workers from the nearby textile factory played there in the Western North Carolina Industrial League.

The city says it may be the only Industrial League field remaining in the mountains. They want to keep it.

(WLOS, 6/12/2015)

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Gov. Pat McCrory and Susan Kluttz, N.C. secretary of cultural resources, will visit a historic building in Mooresville on Friday that benefited from the state’s recently expired historic preservation tax credit program.

Keeping the program is a top priority of the governor, and Kluttz has pushed it across the state.

A scaled-back version of the program was included in the House budget. The Senate’s budget comes out next week, and backers of the program fear the Senate’s plan won’t include the tax credits.

At 2 p.m. Friday, McCrory, Kluttz, Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins and other local leaders are scheduled to visit a building at 133 N. Main St. that received tax credits under the program.

(Charlotte Observer, 6/11/2015)

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CLEMMONS — Myrick Howard and the rest of the folks at North Carolina Preservation were secretly thrilled when they learned in 2014 that Tom Gray and his partner, Paul Zickell, were going to buy an 18th-century home in Clemmons.

The preservation society holds an historic easement on the house, meaning that changes to the house can only be made with its approval.

It’s a stipulation that ensures that historic homes won’t fall into disrepair, but the group tries not to set unreachable standards, said Howard, the president of the organization.

“It’s generally asking people to do no harm. But Tom has taken this to an A-plus level,” he said. “They’ve done a remarkable job with the house.”

Howard talked about the house Sunday under the shade of one of the majestic trees sprinkled throughout Gray and Zickell’s leafy nine-acre spread, the remaining piece of what was once a 2,000-acre farm in the sleepy outpost of Clemmons.

Nearby stands the Philip Hoehns House, fully restored to its 1798 grandeur — a stunning example of Colonial architecture that would not look out of place in Williamsburg, Va. — just a stone’s throw from the ranch and split-level houses in the Clemmons West neighborhood.

Gray and Zickell opened their new home to the public Sunday for the first time at a reception that served as a fundraiser for North Carolina Preservation, letting people roam around the grounds and the 5,000-square-foot home, which includes a 1,200-square-foot addition.

“This is not a preservation, but a restoration,” said Gray, whose grandfather, James A. Gray, was a former chairman of the board of directors for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.

Gray means that his intent was for the house to look, as much as possible, as it did in 1798, and not merely make it habitable.

That was no small task. But Gray is an expert, having supervised the restoration of several houses in Old Salem and serving as chairman of a state preservation group that eventually became part of North Carolina Preservation. He and his mother, Anne P. Gray, also established a library and research center at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem.

Gray recalls seeing the Hoehns House (a name known now as Hanes) as a boy when he and his parents would visit such family friends as the Lasaters, whose estate still stands on Valley View Drive in Clemmons; the Reynoldses, who had a retreat at what is now Tanglewood; and the Lybrooks, who had a farm at what is now Bermuda Run.

“Architecturally, this is the most important house in Forsyth County outside of Old Salem,” Gray said. “It’s an architectural gem and also the earliest house in Clemmons.”

Gray and Zickell bought the house last year from one of the Hoehns’ descendents and researched its history. Philip Hoehns was a German immigrant who moved to the Clemmons area in the 1770s to farm. He also operated a distillery and became known for his brandy, which he served in a portion of the house that served as a tavern. He and his wife, Susannah Frye, had 10 children, four of whom died in the Civil War, Zickell said.

Pieces of the farm were eventually sold, some of which became Clemmons West. A descendant, P. Huber Hanes, restored the house in 1946. But renovation standards were different then.

Some updates were made, room configurations were changed and a staircase was moved.

“That was four years before Old Salem started, so it was a very early preservation effort,” Gray said.

The house had not been lived in for a few years when Gray and Zickell bought it in 2014. The two had lived in Wilmington several years.

For the restoration, Gray and Zickell hired experts in the field, including John Larson, the vice president of restoration at Old Salem Museum and Gardens, to serve as an architectural consultant.

The interior of the house was gutted and through a type of archeology, they were able to put the rooms back together in their original configuration. They also discovered bright orange paint chips in the ground near the house and determined it was used on the foundation.

Gray and Zickell declined to have photos of the house’s interior taken. It emits a Colonial aura, with small rooms, wide-planked hardwood floors, eight fire places, exposed beams and small, wood-framed doors.

Another compelling feature of the house is the acreage on which it sits off Middlebrook Drive. Many historic homes are sandwiched among modern ones, which look out of context.

The setting of the Hoehns House is more pastoral, making it easier to imagine what life was like for the earliest inhabitants.

“This is an incredible early house with a lot of significance for North Carolina,” Howard said. “It hits all sorts of check marks, with the Hanes’, the Moravian influence and the acreage. And having an easement on this really important setting means it’s here to stay.”

lodonnell@wsjournal.com (336) 727-7420

(Winston-Salem Journal, 6/10/2015)

The catch in the giveaway is the request to keep the historical house, built by a 19th century Southport merchant, intact as a preservation of the home’s history and the history of the church and town.

“If we tore the house down, I worry it would lose the connection we have with the past,” said St. Philip’s interim rector the Rev. Betty Glover, who prefers to be called Mother Betty.

The house was built in 1886 and the parish says it’s important to both town and church history. The church hopes someone interested in historic preservation may want it but so far there have been no takers.

It’s estimated it would cost between $20,000 and $80,000 to move the house, depending on the mover. The house would also require some fixing up to be livable.

(ABC11, 6/8/2015)

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The historic Winkler-Perkins House at the corner of Bridge and South streets in Wilkesboro could face demolition if the Wilkesboro council votes at its next meeting to recommend this action to the Historic Preservation Committee (HPC).

Council members discussed the future of the vacant house last week at their June meeting, but agreed to postpone making a decision on demolition until the July 6 meeting.

Planning and Community Development Director Andrew Carlton said the council must make the recommendation to the HPC, and not take the action itself, because the HPC has ultimate authority to issue demolition permits for buildings in the historic district.

(Wilkes Journal-Patriot, 6/8/2015)

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This year’s General Assembly has spent a lot of time repairing and patching the great ideas that last year’s legislature had.

One of these is doing away with the state tax credit for property owners who fix up old, vacant buildings and turn them back into usable properties.

Last year, the Honorables let North Carolina’s historic preservation tax credit die. That was a bad idea.

Renovating and revitalizing old houses and office buildings doesn’t just prettify a neighborhood. It puts more real estate tax revenue into city and county coffers. It gentrifies and revives neighborhoods that could otherwise become pockets of drugs and crime, costing local governments extra money to police. It’s good for everybody.

Thankfully, a federal preservation tax credit is still in force. And, as part of its budget plan, the state House recently approved provisions for a new, revised version of North Carolina’s tax credit.

(Jacksonville Daily News, 6/3/2015)

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A history lesson for Winston-Salem residents old and new, the Preserve Historic Forsyth trolley tours went through 20 of the city’s historic areas Saturday.

As the culmination of Historic Preservation Month, the organization sold out its trolley tours of some of the historic neighborhoods of Winston-Salem including West End, Dreamland Park, West Highlands and Reynolda Park.

The tours explored the architectural history of the city from the revitalization of tobacco warehouses in the Innovation Quarter to bungalows for working families in Reynoldstown.

Michelle McCullough, a staff member of the Historic Resource Committee with the City of Winston-Salem, led the afternoon tour.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 5/31/2015)

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This year’s General Assembly has spent a lot of time repairing and patching the great ideas that last year’s legislature had.

One of these is doing away with the state tax credit for property owners who fix up old, vacant buildings and turn them back into usable properties.

Last year, the Honorables let North Carolina’s historic preservation tax credit die. That was a bad idea.

Renovating and revitalizing old houses and office buildings doesn’t just prettify a neighborhood. It puts more real estate tax revenue into city and county coffers. It gentrifies and revives neighborhoods that could otherwise become pockets of drugs and crime, costing local governments extra money to police. It’s good for everybody.

Thankfully, a federal preservation tax credit is still in force. And, as part of its budget plan, the state House recently approved provisions for a new, revised version of North Carolina’s tax credit.

(Star News, 5/30/2015)

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SOUTHEASTERN N.C. | Overgrown cemeteries, rural churches, historic African-American churches and old Wilmington houses are among the structures on the 2015 “Most Threatened Historic Places” list, released Wednesday by the Historic Wilmington Foundation.
Enlarge

Foundation officers – joined by Romana Bartos, director of North Carolina’s State Historic Preservation Office – unveiled the 10th annual list in front of the Jaffe Building at 714 Castle St. in Wilmington.

(Star News, 5/27/2015)

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If traffic seemed a bit slow through downtown Sylva on Friday (May 22), it probably had something to do with Gov. Pat McCrory’s afternoon stroll along Main Street that day.

He — as well as a group of local decision-makers including Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, members of the town board and county commissioners and local government administrators — joined Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, on her 68th stop in a statewide tour espousing the pros of renewing North Carolina’s historic tax credit.

“Isn’t it beautiful? This is Americana right here,” McCrory said as he walked through the sunny downtown.

The group walked down the 107 steps of the Jackson County Library, along Main Street and then back up Mill, touring a district that landed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places last fall. Sylva’s downtown is officially a historic district, and if the historic tax credit is reinstituted as McCrory hopes, more than 40 buildings there could benefit.

North Carolina’s historic tax credit program began in 1998, giving credits of 20 to 30 percent to more than 2,400 projects. Those projects brought in more than $1.67 billion of private investment until the program expired at the end of 2014, according to statistics kept by the state.

(Smoky Mountain News, 5/27/2015)

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A pared-down film grant program and modified historic preservation tax credits are part of the N.C. House budget, but it is not a given that they will survive in the Senate. The $22.1 billion budget passed the House 93-23, with a number of Democrats joining the majority Republicans in supporting the spending measure. New Hanover County’s House delegation, including Democrat Susi Hamilton, voted in favor of the bill.

In a newsletter to constituents, Hamilton specifically mentioned the historic preservation credit, as well as other economic incentives as reasons she supported the House budget. The budget also would give state employees a pay raise and continue an effort to increase teacher pay.

The preservation credits approved strongly resemble a proposal by Gov. Pat McCrory, who has lobbied hard to restore the credits that were allowed to expire at the end of 2014. The program focuses on revenue-producing property, but local officials are relieved the modified credits are part of the House budget.

House leaders estimate the budget impact at $8 million per year in the form of lost tax revenue, as opposed to expenditures. But supporters say the credits have more than paid for themselves over the years.

(Lumina News, 5/27/2015)

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DURHAM — The National Trust for Historic Preservation will host the 2015 National Rosenwald Schools Conference, “Sharing the Past, Shaping the Future,” June 17-20 here.

Durham and its surrounding area will serve as a living laboratory with field tours, workshops, and seminars on documentation and preservation of Rosenwald Schools nationwide.

In 2002, the National Trust named Rosenwald Schools to its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. That same year, the National Trust created the Rosenwald Schools Initiative to help raise awareness, provide training and resources, and assist in the preservation and rehabilitation of these aging school buildings.

“For more than a decade, the Rosenwald Schools Initiative has helped communities across the country restore and reuse these historic schoolhouses, which were the bedrock of the African-American K-12 education system in the days before Brown v. Board of Education” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We are excited to bring this year’s conference to the City of Durham and look forward to collaborating with Rosenwald School alumni, historians, and preservationists to envision the future of these historic buildings.”

The National Trust has also named Rosenwald Schools one of their National Treasures — a portfolio of nationally significant, highly threatened places for which the Trust works to find long-term preservation solutions. Another historic site in Durham included in the portfolio is the Pauli Murray House, which was added in March.

The story of the historic Rosenwald Schools began with a strategic partnership between Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and Booker T. Washington, renowned African-American educator and first president of Tuskegee University in Alabama. Rosenwald, who sat on the board at Tuskegee University, provided more than $4 million in seed money to build schoolhouses in 15 states. African American communities raised more than $4.7 million.

(Durham Herald-Sun, 5/26/2015)

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The City will accept offers to purchase the house only – located on a lot at 2423 Reynolda Road.

The successful Buyer will be responsible for moving the house off the existing lot and relocating to a lot provided by the Buyer.
All costs related to the purchase and move will be born by the Buyer.
Upon receipt of an acceptable offer, the offer will be presented to the City Council for approval. The City Council meets once a month.
All sales are subject to the provisions of N.C.G.S. 160A-269, An Upset Bid Procedure.
A sale approved by City Council will be advertised once in the Winston-Salem Journal and An Upset Bid period will begin in which anyone may upset the original offer by bidding at least 5% more. If no one upsets the bid during those 10 days, then the sale is concluded.
If the original bid is upset, then the new bid is advertised for 10 days and anyone, including the original bidder, may upset the new bid by increasing the bid. The process continues until a bid stands for 10 days without being upset.
Inspections of the house will be determined and scheduled at the discretion of the City.

The deadline for removal of the house from the lot will be coordinated between the Buyer and the City.

Tax information is available on the Forsyth County Geo-Data Explorer

The house will be open for inspection Thursday, May 28, 2015, between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Find more information here: http://www.cityofws.org/departments/engineering/real-estate/properties

The state House budget is a long way from enlightened and certainly isn’t helpful to the middle class, a characteristic of budgets drawn by the Republicans now in charge. But it’s straight from the pen of Franklin D. Roosevelt compared with some of the budget attitudes being floated in the state Senate.

The bottom line: This General Assembly is liable to be in session over a long, hot summer as senators and House members fuss over their differences.

In the House, what has been unveiled would appropriately increase spending in the general fund by 6.3 percent. Though many North Carolinians are still struggling, the state’s economic situation is improved, and thus the budget should reflect more investment. The House would boost most state employees’ pay by 2 percent, modest by any definition for people whose wages have been stagnant for too long. And it would raise starting teacher pay to $35,000, better but hardly competitive.

House budget writers, led by Rep. Nelson Dollar of Cary, also appear to recognize something that some lawmakers in the other chamber do not: Without an emergency lift in the state’s incentives money for the film industry, movie-making and the shooting of television commercials and series in North Carolina will be over. A grant program, now empty, would get $60 million a year. That’s still not preferable to the tax credit rebate program that was in effect and was wildly successful. Filmmakers would have to apply for grants. In nearby states, incentives are more robust, and those states are taking business from North Carolina.

(News & Observer, 5/29/2015)

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North Carolina’s historic preservation tax credit would be partially restored under the version of the state House budget released Sunday. How serious is this proposal? Viable enough to draw fire from Americans for Prosperity.

“The ink was barely dry,” according to The News & Observer, when the conservative group started lobbying against the fee and tax credit proposal in the budget. In addition to the historic preservation tax credit, Americans for Prosperity opposes the extension of tax credits for solar and other renewable energy projects included in the proposal.

The General Assembly let the state’s longstanding historic preservation tax credit program expire at the end of 2014. Gov. Pat McCrory has lobbied for reviving the credit in some form ever since. Former Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz, now secretary of cultural resources, has been a big part of that effort, too.

(The Salisbury Post, 5/28/2015)

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Raleigh, N.C. — Members of the House Finance Committee will take up a budget bill Monday afternoon that would at least partially restore North Carolina’s historic preservation tax credit program and give seniors back a tax deduction on medical expenses.

Committee members are expected to meet at 5 p.m.

The budget bill circulated to members of the House Finance Committee on Sunday night contains raises to certain Division of Motor Vehicles fees outlined in portions of the budget rolled out last week. For example, the fee for renewing a driver’s license would go up by $2 per year, from $4 to $6 for Class A, B, and C licenses. That would be a $20 increase for a license renewed for 10 years.

House budget writers would also increase the fees for restoring a driver’s license that had been revoked and for obtaining a learner’s permit.

(WRAL, 5/18/2015)

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The N.C. House is using its state budget proposal to revive several intensely debated tax credits, including historic preservation projects and the medical expenses exemption for seniors.

The House released its 322-page draft budget Monday and several summations. Rep. Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth, is one of four lead budget writers.

The historic preservation and medical expense exemption tax credits would be made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015, with the historic preservation tax credit extended to Jan. 1, 2021.

The budget also would authorize a bond that would include providing almost $13 million for a new medical examiner’s facility for Wake Forest University.

Other extension issues include the research and development credit; renewable energy credits; sales tax preferences for aviation fuel; service contracts for the aviation and motorsports sectors; and for data centers.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 5/18/2015)

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The words “Save our history” and “Restore state historic tax credits” were displayed in bright, red letters on the marquee of the Gem Theatre in Kannapolis.

That’s where N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory visited Thursday morning to encourage the public to push the General Assembly to reinstate the Historic Preservation Rehabilitation Tax Credit program of the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office during this session.

Cities across North Carolina, in conjunction with the N.C. Metro Mayors Coalition, are working toward the reinstatement of the program. Concord and Kannapolis mayors have joined more than 4,400 people who have signed an online petition supporting the efforts.

McCrory was joined by several state and local leaders, who toured the historic downtown properties the city is buying.

Kannapolis is in the process of purchasing more than 40 acres of property that includes eight blocks of historic buildings. The city has begun the process of revitalizing these properties, and the goal is to find private partners who will purchase and redevelop the properties.

State historic tax credits will be a key component to attract these partners.

McCrory also visited Concord in January to stress the importance of the credits as an economic development tool.

(The Charlotte Observer, 5/14/2015)

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Gov. Pat McCrory visited the historic Gem Theatre in Kannapolis Thursday morning to encourage the General Assembly to reinstate the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program of the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office.

Kannapolis is purchasing more than 40 acres, including eight blocks of historic buildings. The city intends to resell the property to people who will redevelop the buildings. McCrory and local leaders say the tax credits are needed to attract private developers.

Concord and Kannapolis mayors are among those who want reinstatement of the tax credit, which supporters say has helped complete 2,400 projects in the past 17 years.

(The Charlotte Observer, 5/14/2015)

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PILOT MOUNTAIN — “Historic preservation provides current and future generations a tangible link to our collective heritage through the continued use of the historic built environment,” according to the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office.

After five years of renovations, the Vintage Rose is open and ready for business. Charlotte York, owner of the Vintage Rose, said the business has actually been much longer in the making. “It has taken 23 years to acquire and restore all the buildings,” said York.

The new business will specialize as a full service wedding venue with lodging accommodations. The site is also suitable for other special events, such as family reunions and corporate functions.

(Pilot Mountain News, 5/13/2015)

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The protests we see today echo a movement that was felt in eastern North Carolina more than 50 years ago. This week on the Down East Journal, we examine the history of Standard Drug #2 in Kinston, a location recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. The property’s racially segregated lunch counter was the site of two sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement.

(Public Radio East, 5/8/2015)

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Additional historic structures in Flat Rock have been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places in updated documentation filed through the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

A total of 610 contributing resources have been added to the National Register, up from 28 properties listed in the original 1973 document.

“This was a comprehensive survey, which follows up a broadly drawn survey,” said Ann Swallow, National Register coordinator for the State Historic Preservation Office.

(Blue Ridge Now, 5/8/2015)

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Few events rile the residents of a historic district like a new home—especially when it requires the demolition of a well-maintained, 90-year-old Craftsman bungalow.

Today’s Durham Historic Preservation Commission meeting (8:30 a.m., Durham City Hall) is likely to be an impassioned one as the the HPC has the unenviable task of weighing in on the fate of the Williams-Muse House at 2308 W. Club Blvd. Built in the 1920s, with two chimneys, sash windows, a gabled roof and French entrance door, it is considered a contributing structure to the historic Watts-Hillandale neighborhood.

(The Independent Weekly, 5/5/2015)

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Eighteen properties in North Carolina, including places in Caswell and Guilford counties, were added recently to the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the properties were reviewed by the state National Register Advisory Committee. The state Historic Preservation Officer approved the list and forwarded it to the National Register’s keeper for documentation.

“North Carolina is a leader in the nation’s historic preservation movement, and the National Register is a vital tool in the preservation of our state’s historic resources,” N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz said.

The state has about 75,000 National Register properties, which now include the William Henry and Sarah Holderness House in Yanceyville. The house was built in 1855 and features a Greek Revival-style finish with interior woodwork by master artisan Thomas Day, according to the state Department of Cultural Resources.

(Times-News, 5/4/2015)

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Now looking younger than its years with a fresh coat of paint, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse will open for public climbs on May 12.

The exterior paint was at the end of its life cycle due to the harsh weather environment and followed by three recent hurricanes, Irene, Sandy and Arthur, which furthered caused the paint to fail exposing the brick to moisture and deterioration, according to seashore officials.

After Hurricane Sandy, the park submitted and received the funds to repaint the lighthouse.

“The lighthouse looks amazing and visitors are going to really enjoy seeing the lighthouse,” said Superintendent Pat Kenney. “We hope that everyone will come out and visit the park and see the great work that was accomplished to help preserve this iconic lighthouse.”

Working closely with the National Park Service Historic Preservation Center in Maryland, Amidon Contracting Solutions from Wake Forest, North Carolina, was selected as the project prime contractor. H.I.S. Painting from Titusville, Florida, was the sub-contractor that performed the painting.

The painting crew was made-up of two painters and two ground tenders. In preparing for the painting of the masonry portions of the tower, the National Park Service Preservation and Skills Training Program crew and staff for the Cape Lookout reconstructed and installed ten new windows and sashes that had become severely weathered. All the work was officially completed April 17.

(National Parks Traveler, 5/4/2015)

Steve and Debbie Brown stood looking out over the Robertson Mill Pond for a few minutes. Steve was thinking about his younger years.

When he was a college kid more than 30 years ago, he loved to go hunting and fishing in that pond right outside of Wendell. But he didn’t think much about the aesthetics then, he said.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t have the appreciation I have today for the unique habitat that it provides,” said Brown, 66. “Now I’m less consumptive and more appreciative of a place like this.

“I wasn’t really observant of the unique birds out here. I’m really looking forward to getting out there on our canoe when it opens and learning about the different birds there are.”

With people like Brown and wife Debbie, 63, in mind, the Wake County Historic Preservation Commission designated the Robertson Mill Site & Dam a historic landmark in 2014. The commission plans to open the 84.6-acre site up for public use later this summer.

The dam, originally built in 1820, is intact.

“It was very similar,” Brown, 66, recalled. “It was a cyprus mill pond like it is now. I remember it being a little more open though.”

The county purchased the dam in 2014. Before the county bought it, it was privately owned by Ed Gerkhe, and was closed to the public for about 25 years.

(News & Observer, 5/3/2015)

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The Old German Baptist Brethren church at 4916 Charnel Road has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office said.

The church was built in 1860 and expanded and remodeled over the years. It has a lovefeast kitchen where food was prepared for the silent meditation service, which included foot washing and communion. The church is the state’s oldest existing meeting house of the German Baptist Brethren. It is not currently in use.

The church was among 18 North Carolina places named to the national register. For the full listing, visit the web site of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources at www.ncdcr.gov and click on News.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 4/30/2015)

Forsyth County history buffs have a feast of offerings for Historic Preservation Month in May, with events around the county giving individuals the chance to learn more about history and even taking part in writing it.

The events begin today with a kickoff reception from 5-8 p.m. at the newly restored Rosenbacher House at 848 W. Fifth St.
Click Here!

The house was built in 1909 by Carrie Rosenbacher, the widow of Sigmund Rosenbacher, who was associated with Rosenbacher and Brothers, a local clothing store.

On May 8, the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission will unveil a historic marker highlighting the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. labor strikes in the 1940s. After the 6 p.m. ceremony, there will be a tour of the Plant 64 complex, a former tobacco factory that has been renovated into apartments.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 4/30/2015)

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RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources has included the D. C. Umstead Store and House near Bahama in northern Durham County as one of 18 individual properties and districts across the state that have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The D. C. Umstead Store and House served an important role in the commerce and communication of its rural community. The store was built around 1880 and from 1882 to 1903 it also operated as a post office.

In the late 1870s storekeeper D. C. Umstead built the two-story frame house that contributes to the historic character and setting of the store, together with outbuildings dating to the late nineteenth century. The one-story frame store has a small post office space partitioned off on the interior and is a rare survivor of this rural building type in the county.

The properties were reviewed by the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee and were approved by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register.

(Herald-Sun, 4/29/2015)

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The North Carolina Senate’s Finance Committee on Tuesday passed a measure allowing counties and cities to give grants or loans for historic restoration.

Sen. Andrew Brock, R-34, is one of two primary sponsors of the bill, which adds historic rehabilitation to a portion of state law that allows for economic development incentives. Speaking after the bill’s passage, Brock separated his measure from a state historic tax credit that’s already passed the House. He said allowing counties and cities to provide money for local historic rehabilitation is needed regardless of the state’s historic tax credit’s outcome.

Some cities, including Salisbury, already have grant programs in place for historic rehabilitation. Salisbury’s program was passed by the city council in late 2014.

“We thought that if the towns want to take it upon themselves to do this, then we’ll give them that ability to do it and have the tool in their tool belt,” Brock said. “It allows locals to use their money, so they can have just as much skin in the game as the state does. They can benefit directly from projects that affect them.”

(Salisbury Post, 4/29/2015)

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Counties and municipalities could create their own incentive programs for historic preservation under a bill that passed the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.

Senate Bill 472 would allow counties, cities and towns to issue grants or loans – funded by property taxes – to public and private property owners seeking to restore historic buildings.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Andrew Brock of Mocksville, said some towns have already tried to offer incentives. “The problem is that they wound up in the court system,” he said, pointing to lawsuits questions local governments’ authority on incentives. “It’s just another tool to preserve our historical buildings.”

The Senate proposal is separate from a state historic preservation tax credit that expired at the beginning of the year. Gov. Pat McCrory has lobbied heavily to restore it, and while his proposal has passed the House, the Senate hasn’t yet discussed it.

McCrory’s Cultural Resources Secretary, Susan Kluttz, was at Tuesday’s committee meeting to remind senators about the state program.

“I appreciate this bill that clarifies the authority of local government,” she said. “But I want to make sure that this committee realizes that this bill alone is not sufficient for the historic preservation needs of this state.”

(News & Observer, 4/28/2015)

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RALEIGH–A sponsor of a measure that would give local governments responsibility for historic preservation efforts said Tuesday it’s not necessarily an alternative to a state historic tax credit program – despite his co-sponsor’s previous opposition to the state credits.

GOP Sen. Andrew Brock of Davie County told colleagues that SB 472 would “give local governments the tools regardless of whether they have state tax credits.”

The bill clarifies the authority of local governments to spend money on historic structures.

The bill was endorsed by the Senate’s State and Local Government committee and sent on to the Finance Committee. The action comes after the House passed a version of the state Historic Tax Credit legislation that expired in January. That measure, supported by Gov. Pat McCrory, is a slightly scaled down version of the previous program.

Rucho, who co-sponsored the Senate bill and co-chairs the Finance committee, has sought to lower taxes while eliminating deductions and credits. He has said historic preservation is not a “top priority” for the state and suggested it best be handled by local governments.

Some senators tried to make sure the Senate bill was an alternative to a statewide program, not a substitute.

(Charlotte Observer, 4/21/2015)

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A Senate bill committee passed a bill Tuesday that would allow local governments to make grants or loans toward the rehabilitation of historic structures.

Senate Bill 472 goes from the State and Local Government committee to the Finance committee for consideration. The bill’s primary sponsors are Sens. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, and Andrew Brock, R-Davie.

The bill would allow a city or county to make grants or loans toward the rehabilitation of commercial and noncommercial historic structures, whether publicly or privately owned.

However, the bill does not restore the popular historic preservation tax credits that the legislature allowed to expire Dec. 31 except for pre-qualified projects. Rucho has said he believes local communities will give money to the historic projects they value.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 4/21/2015)

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Historic preservation-tax credits were effective and popular. Cities of all sizes across the state were putting them to good use to restore their downtowns, preserve history and boost economic development.

We, along with other revitalization advocates, have been pushing for the restoration of these tax credits that the legislature let expire at the end of 2014. Gov. Pat McCrory has also supported them, along with builders, preservationists and small-town advocates who have seen the successful results the tax credits have brought to their areas of the state, where they’ve created jobs, increased the tax rolls and brought dilapidated properties roaring back to life.

Preservation tax credits have been instrumental in several revitalization projects in downtown Winston-Salem, with a combined capital investment value of more than $700 million, the Journal’s Richard Craver reported. The main developer has been Wexford Science & Technology LLC with Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a bedrock of downtown revitalization.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 4/20/2015)

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Shirley Simmons is standing inside the building that served as post office for the community of Fuquay Springs in the early 1900s when she is momentarily stumped.

For more than an hour, she has recited a nonstop litany of facts about this town in Southwest Wake County – the occupations held by each member of its founding families, the locations of its schools, how many prisoners were typically held in its jail.

But the name of one of its postmasters has escaped her, and she is miffed.

“I should know that,” she chastises herself, as she struggles to read the name from a framed certificate hanging in the wall.

It’s a rare lapse for Simmons, 79, a retired high school history and civics teacher who is widely acknowledged to be both the town’s walking encyclopedia and the driving force behind its historic preservation efforts.

As volunteer coordinator for the Museums of Fuquay-Varina, Simmons has led an impressive expansion of the museum’s holdings over the past six years, including the addition and restoration of several historic buildings and a growing collection of artifacts.

She does her own research into historical issues, has written a book on the town’s history, and is the go-to person for anyone with a question on the area’s history.

(News & Observer, 4/18/2015)

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A restored house in Edenton built circa 1719 will be open to the public for the first time this weekend.

The house on Queen Street is the oldest in the state, according to the North Carolina State Preservation Office. It’s one of 16 homes available for viewing as part of Edenton’s 2015 Pilgrimage of Historic Homes and Gardens April 17-18.

Tour tickets cost $25; student tickets are $10.

The home was likely one of 40 or 50 described by surveyor William Byrd as originally built on Queen Anne’s Creek, reports the Virginian-Pilot.

(Triangle Business Journal, 4/17/2015)

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The N.C. Senate should join the House of Representatives in restoring the historic preservation tax credit.
The Republican-controlled General Assembly ended the program effective New Year’s Day, part of an effort to remove economic incentive programs that favored specific industries. The state’s film tax credit program was another victim of the purge.
Representatives under the dome in Raleigh — actually working in a flat-roofed General Assembly building next to the historic domed state capitol — voted 98-15 on March 26 to reinstate the tax credits for historic preservation.
Senators parked the bill in the Ways and Means committee. Whether it passes in the Senate, or even emerges from that committee, is anyone’s guess.
Gov. Pat McCrory visited a historic house in New Bern on Wednesday to press for a renewal of the preservation credits. McCrory, a Republican who was formerly mayor of Charlotte, has been a champion of the program.
Before they were eliminated, the historic preservation tax credits had been used in 90 of the state’s 100 counties, rich and poor, urban and rural, according to the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. Susan Kluttz, head of that department, joined McCrory on a recent trip to tour several historic buildings in uptown Shelby and Loray Mill in Gastonia.
Since 1998, some 2,484 historic projects had been completed in the state, creating more than $1.6 billion in private investment.
Tax credits help builders recoup some of the costs of renovations and thus encourage preservation of our architectural heritage.
Projects that received preservation tax credits include some notable local landmarks. The old Wray Building at 102 S. Lafayette St. in Shelby was renovated at a cost of approximately $2.6 million. It is now home to Bank of the Ozarks.
The Webbley building at 403 S. Washington St. in Shelby — a $461,993 investment — and the old Belk Stevens at 221 S. Lafayette St. in Shelby — approximately $1 million— are other beneficiaries of the preservation tax credits.
Historic preservation helps drive local tourism. Investing in blighted downtowns by renovating empty historic buildings can help reverse crime and spur economic vitality.
The tax value of renovated buildings is higher, providing needed revenue to cities.
We urge our area senators to restore the valued historic preservation tax credits.
And we can all benefit by visiting our downtown areas, not just in Shelby but also in Kings Mountain and Boiling Springs and other areas, to appreciate the rich architectural heritage our forebears have bequeathed us.

(The Shelby Star, 4/16/2015)

The N.C. Senate should join the House of Representatives in restoring the historic preservation tax credit.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly ended the program effective New Year’s Day, part of an effort to remove economic incentive programs that favored specific industries. The state’s film tax credit program was another victim of the purge.

Area lawmakers are hoping to replace the film-tax credits with a grant program more generous than the current program, which has a $10 million cap. This fiscal year’s program closed after helping just three projects, including the Wilmington-based “Under the Dome” TV series.

Representatives under the dome in Raleigh — actually working in a flat-roofed General Assembly building next to the historic domed state Capitol — voted 98-15 on March 26 to reinstate the tax credits for historic preservation.

Senators parked the bill in the Ways and Means committee. Whether it passes in the Senate, or even emerges from that committee, is anyone’s guess.

(The Jacksonville Daily News, 4/16/2015)

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Town Hall had a full agenda Monday night during the monthly meeting of the Elkin Board of Commissioners, who met to cover topics ranging from updates to proposals to simply sharing ideas about future projects.

The meeting was attended by a significant increase in local citizens thanks to the popular topic of the rock façade downtown. However, while many attendees chose to leave once the topic was covered, several members of the community chose to remain for the entirety of the meeting.

Surry County business owner Gene Rees led a topic discussing the state historic tax credits known as House Bill 152. The bill addresses the historic rehabilitation tax credits that were previously available for those restoring properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places in order to preserve these buildings. According to reports, 2,483 projects have been helped by the historic rehabilitation tax credit, and 90 of North Carolina’s 100 counties have completed projects with the credit.

The state legislature chose not to renew the historic preservation tax credits in 2014, allowing the program to expire on Dec. 31. “In downtown areas we have buildings where the economics of building do not work without the tax credits,” said Rees. “It improves the derelict buildings.”

(Elkin Tribune, 4/16/2015)

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SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) – The National Main Street Center®, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation has accredited 35 North Carolina communities for meeting performance standards. This year marks a 26% increase in communities that achieved accreditation. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the accredited Main Street® programs that have demonstrated exemplary commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization.

The North Carolina Main Street communities that earned accreditation for their 2014 performance are: Albemarle, Belmont, Boone, Brevard, Burlington, Clayton, Clinton, Concord, Eden, Edenton, Elizabeth City, Elkin, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Goldsboro, Hertford, Hickory, Kings Mountain, Lenoir, Marion, Monroe, Morganton, Mount Airy, New Bern, North Wilkesboro, Roanoke Rapids, Roxboro, Salisbury, Smithfield, Spruce Pine, Statesville, Wake Forest, Washington, Waynesville and Wilson.

(WBTV3, 4/16/2015)

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RALEIGH — A key Senate leader decided Tuesday to pull his bill from a State and Local Government committee that would allow local governments to make grants or loans toward the rehabilitation of historic structures.

Senate Bill 472 was pulled by Sen. Robert Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, just minutes before the committee was scheduled to discuss a recommendation. The bill’s other primary sponsor is Sen. Andrew Brock, R-Davie.

Neither Rucho nor Brock could be reached for comment. Rucho has said he believes that local communities will rally financially around historic projects that they value.

Committee co-chairman Norman Sanderson, R-Carteret, said he did not get an explanation from Rucho about his decision. “I don’t have a feel for how much support the bill has,” Sanderson said. “It can be reintroduced at a later committee meeting by its sponsors or by the committee.”

(Winston-Salem Journal, 4/15/2015)

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The question surrounding the historic listing of the rock façade, known as the former Greenwood Building at 115 W. Main St., has reached clarification, according to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. In an email correspondence between the Historic Preservation Office and Elkin town officials, the building is considered contributing to the historic district.

The email from National Register Coordinator Ann Swallow stated that, according to Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Romana Bartos, the building was originally considered non-contributing. An appeal was filed in 2001 regarding the status. “The appeals officer determined that the resource was a contributing building for tax credit project purposes, and the Part 1 application was approved,” according to Bartos.

(Elkin Tribune, 4/15/2015)

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Kings Mountain was one of 35 North Carolina communities to receive accreditation by the National Main Street Center for its commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization in 2014.

Each year, The National Main Street Center announces the accredited Main Street programs that meet its 10 performance standards. The standards of the program include fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and actively preserving historic buildings.

Kings Mountain became involved with the Main Street program in 2009 and added it as a department under the city government in 2011. Jan Harris, who was hired as program director in 2011, said the city has seen benefits by participating in the program.

“We’re hitting our mark as a city and as program. Main Street brings about difference,” Harris said. “I think we’re able to tell, as we mature as a Main Street city, that there are benefits that are being achieved by that and we’re seeing measurable results.”

The Main Street program is meant to highlight the unique culture and history of cities across the nation.

(The Shelby Star, 4/14/2015)

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When George and Jacqueline van Arnold moved to Burke County, they knew they were looking to buy a fixer-upper home. What they got in Glen Alpine was a castle.

Drawing the eye with its distinctive stone turret, the home — dubbed The Aerie — has been around for at least 110 years, and sits within sight of the town’s Main Street.

RECYCLING A CASTLE

“It appealed to us for a number of reasons,” George said. “Obviously, it’s a really unique structure. It’s in a great location. We’re also pretty environmentally conscious people, and we look at a project like this from a perspective of sustainability and reusing things that are already in existence.”

The couple began work on the home in August, and hope to have a portion of it renovated within the next month. At that point, they’ll move into the home and continue renovating it.

“We knew it was a special house, but I didn’t expect so many people to care,” Jacqueline said. “Where I’m from in Rochester, New York, there are giant 100-year old houses falling apart everywhere, and no one really cares because it’s so densely populated and it’s a rather big town. But here it’s so small that everyone recognizes it.”

(Morganton News Herald, 4/7/2015)

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A bill to revive the state historic preservation tax credit faces possible death in the N.C. Senate despite Gov. Pat McCrory’s robust support. State tax credits encouraging preservation of historic buildings helped Historic Wilmington Foundation

Although the tax credits passed 98-15 in the N.C. House last month, a powerful Senate leader sy say they won’t take up the bill, which would provide a more limited tax credit than the program that lawmakers allowed to expire in December.

Gov. Pat McCrory actively promoted the legislation, which would provide a 15 percent tax credit for work on income-producing property costing up to $10 million. He and Secretary of Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz have been crossing the state to rally support for the revised tax credits. The pair made a stop in New Bern last week, and Kluttz came to Wilmington last month.

Renovations of $10 million to $20 million would be eligible for a 10 percent credit. McCrory has supported credits that help increase the value of revenue-producing properties, as opposed to private homes. However, House Bill 152 would provide a small tax credit for those structures. Under the previous legislation, property owners could seek a credit of up to 30 percent.

All of New Hanover County’s House delegation supported the House bill. It was sent March 30 to the Senate Ways & Means Committee. The chairman of that committee is Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, who has the power to sideline the bill.

(Lumina News, 4/13/2015)

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PINEHURST – The village could lose its National Historic Landmark status if additional changes are made to the Village Green, according to a federal record.

Turkiya L. Lowe, chief of the cultural resources, research and science branch for the National Park Service’s Southeast Region, wrote a letter about the landmark status last month to Jim Lewis, chairman of the village’s Historic Preservation Commission.

After Lewis met with park service officials in January, he told the Village Council he did not think the village was in danger of losing its landmark designation.

Lowe’s letter seems to show otherwise. She said changes to the Village Green are the biggest challenge to the integrity of Pinehurst’s historic district. Park service officials see potential expansion by the Village Chapel and the Given Memorial Library as threats to the green.

“Future changes that diminish the historic integrity will result in a recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior to de-designate the current (National Historic Landmark) district,” Lowe said.

Lewis said the letter is the first time the park service was so explicit about what will cause the village’s landmark status to be lost.

“That’s exactly what they said, and I think that’s exactly what they meant to say,” he said.

(The Fayetteville Observer, 4/12/2015)

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One of North Carolina’s hidden treasures will be unveiled for all to see Friday and Saturday during Edenton’s Pilgrimage of Historic Homes and Gardens.

The first public showing of the state’s oldest dated house is planned as part of the event, according to the Edenton Historical Commission.

Presentations about the house will be held during the Pilgrimage at the Edenton Town Council Chamber, 504 S. Broad St., at 1 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.

The ongoing architectural investigations and the steps taken to uncover the 1718 timber framing and other features of the home will be presented. The architectural study team, including a restoration specialist with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, will be on site at 304 E. Queen St., to greet visitors and answer questions about the structure.

The age of the home was determined through a process called “dendrochronology,” which gives data in dating the age of timbers used in buildings. Used since the early 20th century to date historic structures, the process is based on a scientific analysis of tree-ring growth patterns.

Historic preservation and history enthusiasts Steve and Linda Lane of Edenton acquired the small one-and-a-half-story residence for use as rental property in 2009. At the time, the Lanes thought the house dated to the turn of the 20th century — it is listed as a contributing building in the expanded Edenton National Register Historic District with an assigned date of ca. 1900.

While removing deteriorated early 20th-century bead board wall paneling, restoration carpenter Wayne Griffin and cabinetmaker Don Jordan exposed timber framing members and the back side of weatherboarding that has a heavy accumulation of whitewash. They also discovered that the ceiling joists were exposed, whitewashed and molded at the base with an ogee, a double curve, resembling the letter S, formed by the union of a concave and a convex line.

(The Daily Reflector, 4/12/2015)

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EDENTON, N.C.

A roughly 200-year-old L-shaped tree branch girds the front corner of the oldest house in North Carolina, which will open to the public for the first time later this week.

The brace, known as a ship’s knee, is among the dozens of building techniques exposed in the house built circa 1719, three years before the incorporation of Edenton.

“It is amazing just to be able to stand in a house that old,” said Reid Thomas, a restoration specialist with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office.

Edenton will hold the 2015 Pilgrimage of Historic Homes and Gardens on Friday and Saturday. Visitors can tour 16 homes, including the oldest in the state.

The home on Queen Street was likely one of 40 or 50 described by surveyor William Byrd as originally built on Queen Anne’s Creek. Town rules called for houses at least 20 feet by 15 feet.

“A citizen here is counted extravagant if he has ambition to aspire to a brick chimney,” Byrd wrote.

(The Virginian-Pilot, 4/12/2015)

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Two members of the Fisher family on Friday cranked up the heat on Rowan County’s state legislators for inaction on reviving the state’s historic tax credit program.

During a legislative breakfast hosted by the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Rowan County’s state legislators spent a majority of time talking about taxes and the state’s Medicaid costs. Sen. Tom McInnis, R-25, left for a meeting in Raleigh after an initial speech, which focused on education issues.

When it came time for questions, F&M Bank executive Steve Fisher was first up. Steve Fisher said his question was specifically for Sen. Andrew Brock, R-34.

“As I understand it Senator Brock, the senate has placed the tax credit bill in a committee that its own chairman called a place where bills go to die,” Steve Fisher said. “The statement from the senate, the public statement, is that this is just not a priority for our legislature. It’s confusing for me as a voter for something that had such a mandate at the house level, supported by our governor and supported around the state, is not even going to get a chance to be heard by the senate.”

(The Salisbury Post, 4/11/2015)

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As state legislators, and specifically our state senators, continue to decide the fate of a valuable economic development tool that has benefited much of North Carolina – the historic preservation tax credit – they would do well to consider the plight of towns like my own, Elkin.

Elkin’s history is intertwined with the manufacturing economy of the 19th century. The families who established the settlement that would become Elkin did so because of their attraction to the powerful Yadkin River and Big Elkin Creek, water sources that helped to power woolen mills, gristmills, sawmills and forges. By the early 1900s, one of those woolen mills, Chatham Manufacturing, had become the largest woolen blanket maker in the South. At its peak, the mill employed 2,500 people, and in 1985, it occupied 114 acres and had a tax value of $40.7 million.

A lot has changed since 1985. Operating as True Textiles today, the mill campus employs be-tween 80 and 100 workers. It has a tax value of $1.5 million. True Textile executives entertain all approaches for subleases or parceling of unused property for sales for other uses.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 4/20/2015)

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The N.C. Senate should join the House of Representatives in restoring the historic preservation tax credit.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly ended the program effective New Year’s Day, part of an effort to remove economic incentive programs that favored specific industries. The state’s film tax credit program was another victim of the purge.

Area lawmakers are hoping to replace the film-tax credits with a grant program more generous than the current program, which has a $10 million cap. This fiscal year’s program closed after helping just three projects, including the Wilmington-based “Under the Dome” TV series.

Representatives under the dome in Raleigh – actually working in a flat-roofed General Assembly building next to the historic domed state Capitol – voted 98-15 on March 26 to reinstate the tax credits for historic preservation.

(Wilmington Star News, 4/9/2015)

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Gov. Pat McCrory joined Susan Kluttz, secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, in New Bern Wednesday to support reinstatement of a historic preservation tax credit, which she is touring the state to promote.

McCrory and Kluttz kicked off a walking tour of downtown historic buildings with a stop at the Isaac Taylor House on Craven Street. A number of local business leaders, New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw, members of the Board of Aldermen, city staff and others were there to greet them.

Since 1998, more than 2,400 historic tax credit projects have been completed statewide, bringing more than $1.6 billion of private investment into North Carolina communities. North Carolina’s historic tax credit’s program ended Dec. 31, 2014, according to the State Historic Preservation Office.

Kluttz said the expiration of the historic tax credits created a crisis for towns across the state.

“…We have got to bring them back,” she said.

When the governor hired her two years ago, Kluttz said, he charged her with promoting economic development and job creation.

(New Bern Sun Journal, 4/8/2015)

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On April 12, 1776, a group of North Carolina patriots met in the small county seat of Halifax and vowed to rule themselves. That day marked the birth of the Halifax Resolves.

“The Resolves were important because it was the first document calling for independence,” said Ken Wilson, president of the North Carolina Society of the Sons of American Revolution and member of the Halifax Resolves Chapter. “It authorized the (North Carolina) delegates to enter into treaties with delegates from other colonies and foreign powers.”

This weekend marks the 239th anniversary of the Halifax Resolves, to be remembered with activities Saturday and Sunday.

The NCSSAR will host the Saturday events, to which the public is invited.

(Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, 4/8/2015)

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory made a second stop in the east Wednesday, continuing his state historic tax credit tour.

He was joined by Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz in New Bern. They met with Mayor Outlaw, aldermen, and city staff.

Mccrory’s visit was one of many in recent weeks. Tuesday, the governor was in Goldsboro where he said preserving history is costly, but doing so helps grow the state’s economy.

North Carolina is on the rebound, bouncing back from severe unemployment rates and a lagging economy. McCrory says although our stats are on the rise, there is still a lot of work to do. That work may be as easy as taking some cues from our past.

“I can’t sell blighted blocks,” says McCrory. “I can’t sell blighted buildings when I’m bringing industry in to sell North Carolina.”

Some historic buildings across North Carolina have seen better days. Governor McCrory says he hopes that North Carolinians will take advantage of their rich history to build a successful future.

The best approach? To restore old buildings to their former glory, pumping life back into the heart of local cities and bringing more business to the state.

(WNCT, 4/7/2015)

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A redevelopment pioneer who resurrected historic properties across the Triad, Southeast, Texas, Maryland and Wisconsin, has died.

DeWayne Anderson, the founder of The Landmark Group of Winston-Salem, died Sunday at age 78 after a long illness.

His long and sustained track record of converting old mills, factories and other historic properties into residential and mixed uses had earned Anderson numerous preservation awards and a reputation as a national expert on historic tax credits. But, as he told the Triad Business Journal during a profile interview back in 2007, it was never about the awards or the recognition. It was about bringing disparate groups together to accomplish a greater good.

“This company was founded on the idea that we could put together things that were always thought of as separate,” Anderson told us at the time. “Commercial development typically has its own agenda, and the public sector has its own agenda. They’re normally not combined.”

Anderson had a knack for getting various interests on the same page.

“He was the best at presenting these concepts to the local planners,” said David Weil, the founder of Weil Enterprises in Goldsboro and a longtime business partner of Anderson’s. “He would say, ‘Let’s look at this together,’ and get them to think it was their idea.”

The Landmark Group of companies that Anderson founded has developed more than 85 properties with 3,500 units under management. Over four decades, they developed more than $425 million in properties across the country, but Anderson’s handiwork was perhaps most evident in Winston-Salem, his “adopted hometown of more than 40 years.”

One of his most heralded projects was his redevelopment of 19th century tobacco properties in downtown Winston-Salem in 2001 into Piedmont Leaf Lofts, a luxury condominium project on East Fourth Street. That project would become an anchor for one corner of the ambitious and ongoing redevelopment of the former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. complex into what is now known as Innovation Quarter.

“DeWayne was really a catalyst for taking historic tax credits to convert abandoned buildings,” Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said in a prepared statement. “He created a nucleus downtown that has grown to have tremendous impact. The ripple effect continues today.”

Added Myrick Howard, president of Preservation North Carolina: “DeWayne’s purchase and renovation were pioneering and led to much larger renovation projects that would never have happened.”

Anderson had a hand in other projects across central North Carolina, from Hillsborough to Mebane to Asheboro. Most recently, Landmark Group had been in talks on a project in Mount Airy that did not materialize and that instead has been pursued for the ’Salvage Dawgs’ reality TV show.

Anderson’s eye for the potential of vacant properties led him to orchestrate deals across nine states.

“He had the most creative instincts of anyone I have ever worked with,” said Weil, the business partner. “He was not thinking of just one site but of the area around it; what it would take to make a community.”

Anderson earned a host of honors,including the 1992 L. Vincent Lowe Jr. Business Award from the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina and the 2007 Ruth Coltrane Cannon Award, North Carolina’s most prestigious preservation award. He was the only developer to earn the honor.

He was also nominated that year for the National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. In 2009, he was presented a lifetime achievement award by the Palmettos Trust for Historic Preservation, the S.C. Department of Archives and History and the Governor’s Office.

Howard, of Preservation N.C., put it this way: “His work went well beyond his own projects … He was incredibly articulate about how the renovation of one building could have so much impact on an entire community.”

Anderson had served as a Marine captain in the early 1960s when he and his and wife, Suzie, were living in Chicago. He earned a degree in architecture from Miami University in Ohio, worked for Skidmore Owings & Merrill and then went on to earn a master’s of urban planning from the University of Illinois. After work with planning firms in Florida and Georgia, he moved to Winston-Salem to manage the regional office of Eric Hill Associates in the early 1970s. He and Bill Benton organized Anderson Benton Co. in 1977, and the company completed downtown and housing plans for cities and towns across North Carolina. In the decades that followed, he would form partnerships covering all phases of preservation development, from raising capital to establishing public-private partnerships to rehabilitating and managing properties.

Along the way, he also became a civic servant, not just leading the state chapter of the American Planning Association, but also serving on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Planning Board and as a commissioner with the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem.

As he told TBJ in 2007, he considered civic service “a passion” and a “responsibility that we all have as citizens.”

Anderson is survived by his wife, Suzanne K. Anderson; daughter Lisa Anderson Sari and her three children, Sam, Hannah and Jack; and son DeWayne H. Anderson Jr. (Dewey), his wife Sachiko, and their three children Kumi, Walt and Zoe.

Memorials may be made to Preservation North Carolina, P.O. Box 27644, Raleigh, NC 27611-7644; or to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His memorial service will be 3 p.m. Thursday, April 9 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Winston-Salem.

(Triad Business Journal, 4/7/2015)

Gov. Pat McCrory will join Susan Kluttz, secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, in New Bern on Wednesday as part of a state historic tax credit tour.

McCrory and Kluttz will visit the Isaac Taylor House, 228 Craven St., at 2 p.m. to discuss the need and importance of the tax credits. They will be joined by New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw, other members of the Board of Aldermen, city staff, and other local officials, according to a news release from the city.

Since 1998, more than 2,400 historic tax credit projects have been completed statewide bringing more than $1.6 billion of private investment into North Carolina communities, according to the release. North Carolina’s historic tax credit’s program ended Dec. 31. McCrory, Kluttz and state legislators have been fighting to reinstate it.

Kluttz said historic tax credits brought jobs and economic development to rural towns and big cities across North Carolina.

“The rebirth of one abandoned downtown building has a ripple effect throughout a community and often sparks a renaissance of development in nearby structures,” Kluttz said in a prepared statement. “In addition, these historic buildings and mills are an emotional tie to our heritage and exemplify what makes North Carolina unique. These credits are critical for North Carolina’s economic recovery.”

(New Bern Sun Journal, 4/7/2015)

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North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and NC Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz are planning a stop in Goldsboro to talk about the North Carolina Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. McCrory, Kluttz, and Goldsboro Mayor Al King along with other local leaders will hold a Press Conference Tuesday afternoon from 1:30 -2:00 p.m. at Union Station regarding the N.C. Historic Preservation Tax Credits. Following the Press Conference, the Secretary will tour historic buildings in Goldsboro that utilized the recently expired historic tax credits.

Goldsboro and Wayne County have benefitted from nearly $5.1-million in private investment utilizing the historic tax credit program. These projects provide jobs, spur private investment, recycle blighted historic properties, and repurpose homes and commercial buildings for beneficial uses towards community, neighborhood and economic development.

The Tour bus will drive by several successful historic tax credit projects, such as the Murray Borden House at 201 N. George Street, the FK Borden House at 103 S. George Street, the Solomon Weil House at 204 W. Chestnut Street, Henry Weil House at 200 W. Chestnut Street, 127 E. Walnut Street, and 131 E. Walnut Street. Stops include the following successful historic tax credit project sites: Edgerton Apartments at 205 E. Walnut Street, 112 N. John Street and possibly 109 E. Ash Street. Also, planned is a stop is planned at the following properties that could benefit from the historic tax credits and a major rehabilitation project, including: 205/207/209 N. John Street. If timing permits, a stop at the DGDC Office Building at 219 N. John Street and the Borden Manufacturing Building on William Street may also be scheduled.

(Goldsboro Daily News, 4/7/2015)

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RALEIGH – The timing is coincidental, but organizers hope it’s also serendipitous: An exhibit of photographs of abandoned houses in Eastern North Carolina is opening at the N.C. Museum of History as state lawmakers are debating restoration of a historic preservation tax credit.

The exhibit, titled “Rural Revival: Photographs of Home and Preservation of Place,” is on view through Sept. 27. The photographs were taken by Scott Garlock of Macon in Warren County, whose fascination with old houses began when he explored one near Salt Lake State Park in Ohio.

“These abandoned homesteads, these abandoned sites, they’re one of North Carolina’s most unappreciated natural resources,” Garlock said as he walked through the exhibit before it opened Feb. 27. Some homes have architectural details specific to a county or even a part of a county, he said.

The exhibit of 46 photographs also includes images of some successful restorations. Partners for the exhibit include the N.C. Historic Preservation Office, Preservation North Carolina and the historic preservation technology program at Edgecombe Community College.

Curator Michael Ausbon began planning the exhibit at the end of 2013, before lawmakers ended the state’s historic preservation tax credit the next year. Those who oppose the tax credit have said the Legislature shouldn’t be in the position of choosing winners and losers by favoring some with a credit.

(Rocky Mount Telegram, 4/3/2015)

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Historic preservation tax credits are once again a topic of discussion in Raleigh.

N.C. House members hosted a press conference last week to discuss the significance of House Bill 152, the new historic preservation tax credit.

“After two days of debate and three defeated amendments, the N.C. House passed House Bill 152 with an overwhelming 98-15 third reading vote,” N.C. Rep. Stephen Ross, a primary co-sponsor of the bill, said. “There was overwhelming bipartisan support in the House, and now we need to carry that support on to the Senate.”

City and county officials recently told the local legislative delegation that historic preservation tax credits were among their legislative priorities for the coming year after a grant renewal did not make it into this year’s state budget.

(Port City Daily, 4/5/2015)

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The attempt by the state House to restore a smaller amount of historic preservation tax credits will be allowed to die, barring an unexpected change of heart by Senate leaders.

House Bill 152 was passed 98-15 on March 26 and was sent to the Senate for review.

What do you think about the apparent ending of the tax credits?

It was sent March 30 with the Senate Ways & Means committee, which seldom meets and is known to be where House bills that lack Senate backing are sent to disappear.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, the Senate Rules chairman, said as much Wednesday when he told the Raleigh News & Observer that the bill is “not anything the Senate is interested in.”

“I would say that the Ways & Means committee is a graveyard,” Apodaca said. House Bill 152 was on the committee’s agenda before Wednesday’s meeting was canceled.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 4/3/2015)

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The state’s historic preservation tax credit, left for dead by the General Assembly last year, is making a comeback, fueled by support not just from preservationists but also from economic development interests, local governments across the state – and the administration of Gov. Pat McCrory.

Those efforts paid off last week when the State House approved a slimmed down version of the plan, with only half the credit, for example, allowed for residential projects, and with caps for any given project. That compromise would help rejuvenate preservation efforts upended, or nearly so — like Durham’s Whitted School project, which had to scramble to cobble together new financing when the credits expired at the end of 2014.

The tax was revived with the backing not only of McCrory and his Department of Cultural Resources, but crucially the Republican leadership in the House. While last session’s leadership had been content to let the credit die, GOP House Speaker Tim Moore joined a news conference this week to urge his Senate counterparts to pass the bill restoring the credits.

“The historic tax credit, in my opinion, is one of the really great things the state has done,” Moore said Tuesday. “It’s a program that works.”

Joining Moore at the press conference was Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz, who has spearheaded a statewide barnstorming tour to promote the credit’s restoration. McCrory, as a former mayor of Charlotte, understands what the credits have meant for that city. And Kluttz is a former mayor of Salisbury, where “over $40 million in private investment was spent on historic rehabilitation projects made possible by the state tax credit,” according to the Historic Salisbury Foundation.

(The Herald-Sun, 4/2/2015)

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R.F. Outen Pottery in Matthews, the last known historic pottery kiln in Mecklenburg County, may soon earn a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

The kiln, workshop and accompanying 1.5 acres have been nominated for the National Register by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office.

The National Register is the official Federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.

To be selected, a site must be at least 50 years old and historically accurate, look much the way it did in the past and be of significance to the area where it’s located.

The National Park Service administers the National Register of Historic Places.

(The Charlotte Observer, 4/2/2015)

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RALEIGH — A bill that restores a reduced version of North Carolina’s historic preservation tax credits is in keeping with last year’s tax overhaul that did away with the credits, House members said Tuesday as they pressed senators to approve the new legislation.

“The historic tax credit, in my opinion, is one of the really great things the state has done,” GOP House Speaker Tim Moore said at a news conference where he was flanked by House members and Susan Kluttz, secretary of the state Department of Cultural Resources. “It’s a program that works.”

The House last week overwhelmingly approved a smaller version of the original tax credits. In this year’s bill, a 30 percent residential credit is reduced to 15 percent. The base credit rate for income-producing commercial properties is reduced from 20 percent to 15 percent. The bill also includes caps and other limits that the original program didn’t have.

Since 1998, more than 2,400 historic tax credit projects have been completed statewide, bringing over $1.6 billion of private investment to the state, said Rep. Stephen Ross, R-Alamance. A nonpartisan study by the legislature’s fiscal research division found the tax credit would attract 2.5 times more jobs at the same cost to the state treasury as an equivalent across-the-board tax reduction, he said.

Ninety of the state’s 100 counties have used the credit.

The program outlined in the new bill “is entirely consistent with our desire to create jobs and to foster greater economic development across the state,” said Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett.

Moore said he hopes the bill “will have smooth sailing” in the Senate. A spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said he “remains concerned about creating a new tax credit that benefits a narrow group of people, but he respects the process and will listen to the arguments his colleagues in the House are putting forward.”

The Senate referred the bill Monday to a committee that has rarely met in the past, then scheduled a meeting of that committee for today. The credits are on the agenda, as is a bill to establish an independent redistricting commission, which has little support.

Lewis acknowledged that the House hasn’t “been able to fully sell the idea of how this is compatible” with the tax overhaul and economic growth. “We’re just beginning that process,” he said. “We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to do that.”

The tax credit lets people save buildings that tell North Carolina’s story, Kluttz said. “… This is our history, and North Carolina just can’t be quiet about it,” she said. “This tells a beautiful story.”

The credits also are critical to the state’s economy, she said. “The governor continues to say he can’t sell our towns unless the downtowns are vibrant and alive and show we care about cities and towns.”

(Story via the Associated Press, 4/1/2015)

A piece of Cleveland County history will be sold at auction this month.

The historic Double Shoals Mill at 110 Moss Road in the Double Shoals Community of Shelby will be auctioned off at 1 p.m. April 25.

The community is invited to visit the mill on Wednesday (April 1) from 1-3 p.m., said Jason Dolph, an auctioneer with Charlotte-based auction firm, Modern Brokerage LLC.

“Everyone is welcome to come and tour the property,” Dolph said. “It is really beautiful out there. The river frontage is a big plus.”

Built in 1892

The mill was originally built in 1892 by E.A. Morgan and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 14.7 acre site features 1,478 feet of First Broad River frontage, just six miles north of Shelby.

The Double Shoals Mill was primarily used as a textile mill in the 1890s and throughout most of the 20th century. It was last used 1-1/2 years ago as a warehouse facility.

The mill contains a vast array of architectural materials including heart pine and steel posts, maple floors, and hand-pounded brick. The owner estimates these vintage materials alone to have a market value of more than $200,000.

(The Shelby Star, 3/31/2015)

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RALEIGH–A bipartisan group of House members pushed their version of a new historic tax credit Tuesday, saying it would boost economic development and provide jobs.

Their bill, passed overwhelmingly last week by the House, came a day after the Senate relegated the House bill to a committee that seldom meets. The Senate, meanwhile, was poised to consider a competing bill that would put historic tax credits in the hands of local governments, not the state.

Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz joined Speaker Tim Moore and other House members at a news conference extolling the credits.

“It’s truly critical for our economic recovery,” Kluttz told reporters.

The old historic tax credits expired Jan. 1. State officials say they leveraged nearly $1.5 billion in private investments in North Carolina since 1998, including the conversion of several Charlotte textile mills.

The proposed new credits differ in several ways. On residential projects, for example, applicants could get a 30 percent credit under the old plan. The most they could get under the new plan is 15 percent.

Like other House members, Moore lauded the tax credits as a way to renovate not only buildings but entire towns.

(The Charlotte Observer, 3/31/2015)

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The House bill that passed Thursday seeking to revive North Carolina’s historic preservation tax credit looks a lot different than the state tax credit law that real estate developers had been used to.

But it’s better than nothing, supporters say.

State lawmakers in the General Assembly had let the state’s previous historic tax credit provision that had been in use since 1998 to sunset on Jan. 1.

That law allowed a 20 percent rebate on the construction expenses of a historic building against an owner’s annual state franchise or income taxes. If it was a historic mill or vacant agriculture warehouse, they could be allowed a tax credit of up to 30 percent of the construction expenses.

(Triangle Business Journal, 3/31/2015)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The House speaker and the secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources will discuss a bill to partially restore the historic preservation tax credit.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz will be joined by four other House members at a news conference Tuesday at the Legislature.

The House passed the bill last week, and the Senate referred it to a committee on Monday.

Previously, the state offered a 30 percent state tax credit for rehabilitating historic structures. The House bill would offer a 15 percent tax credit for up to $10 million in qualified expenditures, and a 10 percent tax credit for between $10 million and $20 million in qualified expenditures.

The credits expired Jan. 1. Some powerful senators have opposed tax credits of any kind.

(Story via the Associated Press, 3/31/2015)

DURHAM–After 40 years’ operation, Preservation Durham is rethinking what it does, and inviting the public to join in.

“We have 40 years’ worth of programs that we run,” executive director Wendy Hillis said. “Part of this came out of … starting to question how they support our mission and, better yet, what real needs are they addressing and what benefits are they creating?”

So the organization has engaged Raleigh preservation consultant Mary Ruffin Hanbury to conduct a “needs assessment.” Her client list includes the Historic Savannah Foundation, the Baltimore National Heritage Area and the New Jersey Heritage Tourism Commission.

Assessment plans include four “community listening meetings” in April and May and is taking an online survey (nando.com/presd).

(News & Observer, 3/30/2015)

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DURHAM–The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the childhood home of attorney, priest and civil-rights activist Pauli Murray a National Treasure.

With the designation, the National Trust is taking an active role in restoring the 1898 house on Carroll Street in Durham’s West End neighborhood, said Jessica Pumphrey, a spokeswoman for the organization.

“It’s … our call to action,” she said. “We take more of a hands-on approach to preservation.”

The recognition “helps us make a national case for the refurbishing of the property, bringing it online for visitors,” said Barbara Lau, director of the Pauli Murray Project at the Duke Human Rights Center.

(News & Observer, 3/26/2015)

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The restoration of popular and effective historic preservation tax credits just passed an important hurdle, but their ultimate fate is still up in the air.

Last week, the state House passed a bipartisan compromise bill to reinstate the credits, the Journal’s Richard Craver reported. But the restoration still has to be approved by the state Senate, where it faces a much harder path.

Winston-Salem is among communities across the state that have benefitted from the tax credits. They’ve played a major role in downtown revitalization. They’ve been used to revive structures and facilities with historical and architectural significance, such as Wake Forest BioTech Place, the Nissen Building, Piedmont Leaf Lofts and the old Courthouse downtown.

The tax credits have created thousands of jobs and generated millions in community investment. Projects that otherwise wouldn’t be undertaken have become viable because of the tax credits, and the results are longer lasting and more cost-effective than demolish-and-replace projects built without the credits.

(Winston-Salem Journal, 3/29/2015)

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A bill filed late Thursday by three Republican N.C. senators would put the 308-acre Dorothea Dix property up for bid – likely revoking a deal reached between Raleigh leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory to create a park.

Senate Bill 705 calls for ensuring “the fair sale” of the former psychiatric hospital campus by using the state’s standard procedure for surplus property. Bidding would start at $52 million – the amount Raleigh had agreed to pay after months of negotiations with the McCrory administration.

The bill is sponsored by senators Ralph Hise, Louis Pate and Tommy Tucker – the same trio who sponsored the bill two years ago that revoked Raleigh’s original lease on the property, which had been signed by outgoing Gov. Bev Perdue.

Tucker, a Waxhaw Republican, said Thursday evening that the price tag negotiated by McCrory isn’t a good deal for the state.

“I just believe that the property is worth more than we’re being offered,” Tucker said. “It’s a big piece of property in the middle of a metropolitan city.”

He said the state will likely spend $100 million to build a new headquarters for the Department of Health and Human Services, which currently occupies part of the Dix site.

(News & Observer, 3/26/2014)

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When we think of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” the words that go with the recycling symbol, I am overwhelmed with “reuse” of the Loray Mill, certainly that word to the extreme.

Just this past Thursday, Governor Pat McCrory was on hand for the grand opening of this building. Charlotte has had many buildings refurbished into upscale living and commercial properties. Gaston County has had a few, Belmont is in process of another mill, but this mill is the Granddaddy of all mills.

Built in 1900-1 and opened in 1902, this mill was the largest ever constructed under one roof and by 1905 used 60,000 spindles, nearly three times that of any other mill in Gaston County.

Many families were recruited from the mountains and Piedmont of North and South Carolina as well as the mountains of Tennessee. Families were important because legally, children as young as 13 could work in mills, so each family unit could supply multiple employees.

(Gaston Gazette, 3/27/2015)

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