Survey to document local African American history

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

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

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

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

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(Smokey Mountain News, 6/13/18)