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See HWF’s Most Threatened Historic Places List for 2017

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John N Smith Cemetery
225 E Leonard Street, Southport, NC

The John N Smith Cemetery in Southport, is the only cemetery which interred African-Americans in Brunswick County. There is an urgent need to construct a fence around the property, restore grave markers, complete a ground penetrating radar study to identify the location of unmarked graves and place identifying markers so that new interments do not compromise existing burials.                    New Nomination -2017 MOST THREATENED

 

Rocky Point School Buildings
13991 Hwy 110, Rocky Point, NC

The first of these two school buildings is a one-story brick structure designed by Leslie N. Boney in 1925, it was originally the Rocky Point Elementary school for white students. The second was built in 1917 when local African American families organized and raised funds in order to get a grant from the Rosenwald Fund. With the grant they constructed the first building of the nearby Pender County Training School campus in 1917. These properties are historic examples of the concern for education in Pender County in the early twentieth century. The buildings are threatened by their poor physical condition and neglect, and they are also listed for sale. Potential redevelopment of this area should include these buildings. They provide a glimpse into the history of the people of this region, and their desire to educate their children.
2015 MOST THREATENED List-Relisted for 2017 MOST THREATENED

 

Historic Wood Windows
Lower Cape Fear Region

A building’s character is often determined by its windows. Frequently, however, historic windows are improperly removed when a structure is repaired or rehabilitated and are then replaced with inappropriate modern windows.  Yet in most cases, wood windows can be repaired and upgraded in an environmentally friendly manner while retaining historic integrity.Well-maintained wood windows will typically outperform new replacement windows.
2016 Threat List-2017 MOST THREATENED List

 

Fort Caswell Rifle Range
Oak Island, NC

Built in 1918, this 200- foot concrete structure has three compartments: a Store Room Passageway, a Target Pit area, and a rifle range that was abandoned by the United States Army after WW Il. It was used for soldiers in both World Wars, but now the structure is threatened and made unsafe by tree growth and failing concrete walls. A friends group has organized to protect, save and restore this site and it has recently stabilized the site. It seems appropriate to recognize this World War l site as we acknowledge the hundredth anniversary of the United States entrance into the Great War.

After five years of fundraising, trees that were compromising the north wall of the rifle range were removed.   In addition, an engineering study and hydrological study with final reports was completed. The rifle range now has a web site for the nonprofit about the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range.
2016 Threatened List –Carryover to 2017 MOST THREATENED LIST

 

Rosenwald Schools
Pender County – First Listed in 2006

Over the last several years’ public awareness of the region’s Rosenwald Schools has grown dramatically because of the hard work of Claudia Stack and other activists.  However, these structures, built as forums for African American education at the beginning of the twentieth-century, continue to be threatened by neglect, deterioration, and expanding development.  Unless dramatic action is taken, these important reminders of our state’s history of segregated and unequal educational opportunities will disappear. The rehabilitation of the Canetuck School into a senior center a few years ago, demonstrated that these sites have potential for new purposes. Hopefully, this example will be repeated.
Listed since 2006 on the Most Threatened List -2017 MOST THREATENED

 

William Rand Kenan House
110 Nun Street, Wilmington, NC
The Kenan House, built circa 1870, was awarded a plaque by Historic Wilmington Foundation and the Make America Beautiful program. It has been cited for neglect and secured by the City and it appears to be moving to foreclosure. While it is in steep decline, this house can be saved.
New Nomination- 2017 MOST THREATENED

 

 

Thematic Listing of Public & Private Family Cemeteries of the Lower Cape Fear Region

Flemington Oak Grove Cemetery 612 Sampson Street Wilmington, NC 28401
Wood Cemetery Markers, Cemeteries Brunswick County
Ferrell Coleman Cemetery
5152 New Britton Loop, Ash, NC 28420
Location: Tri-Counties (Pender, Brunswick, New Hanover)
As writer Ruth Little suggests, an old graveyard or cemetery is an invaluable source of insight and information about the families, traditions, and culture surrounding that community. Slowly, time is erasing these memorials. These historic sites are threatened by neglect, vandalism, and development. As just one example, the Lillington Cemetery in rural Pender County is the burial site for the local Revolutionary War hero, John Lillington. However, the walls and markers of this cemetery are deteriorating and crumbling due to lack of attention and exposure to the elements.
Carryover from 2016 THREATENED PLACES LIST

 

2017 Historic Wilmington Foundation Watch List

St. Peter and St. Paul Russian Orthodox Church, St. Helena, Pender County, NC – First Listed in 2006
Built to serve a community of Russian Orthodox immigrants in Pender County, this church with its
picturesque golden onion dome has long been threatened by a shrinking congregation. Members of the church are concerned about preserving this community structure into the future. The site was on the 2016 MOST THREATENED List, but a recent listing on the National Register of Historic Places gives the members hope.
Move to the 2017 WATCH List to keep this historic structure in everyone’s awareness.

 

Historic Downtown Wilmington/ Wilmington National Register District
A proposed new Cape Fear River Crossing bridge located at the existing Cape Fear Memorial Bridge would do irreparable harm to our historic downtown core and the larger Wilmington National Register District. This is the center of our Lower Cape Fear Community and it defines what is unique about the region. Other crossing options are available and a new bridge should not be built at this site. Everyone should take part in the discussions about a new bridge and its location.
New 2017 WATCH List

 

New Hanover County Library
201 Chestnut Street Wilmington NC, 28401
New Hanover County’s redevelopment study places the downtown library in a precarious spot. The report could suggest that the library be relocated and the site redeveloped. This is a critical community resource that serves all sectors of the county. It provides the county with a landmark main library and an impressive array of services. The building is also a good example of mid-century modern architecture, and a wonderful adaptive reuse. The completion of the new Story Park adds emphasis to its importance to the citizens of the New Hanover County.
New 2017 WATCH LIST

Want to know what you can do to help preservation efforts in our area?  MTHP What Can I DO 2017

 

Announcing the 2017 Most Threatened Historic Places List!

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Today, HWF Executive Director George Edwards, Board of Directors President Walker Abney and Administrator for the NC State Historic Preservation Office and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Ramona Bartos introduced Historic Wilmington Foundation’s 12 annual Most Threatened Historic Places List!

The list casts a spotlight on threatened sites and structures throughout the Lower Cape Fear Region.  In order to save sites such as those found on Most Threatened List, the  Foundation has employed various strategies such as easements and a revolving fund.  To date, Historic Wilmington Foundation has saved 101 properties in Wilmington alone.  Today, HWF Executive Director George Edwards, Board of Directors President Walker Abney and Administrator for the NC State Historic Preservation Office and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Ramona Bartos introduced Historic Wilmington Foundation’s 12 annual Most Threatened Historic Places List!

Historic Wilmington Foundation has been working to preserve and protect the historic treasures of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear since 1966.  The need for these efforts continues as evidenced by both the new additions to the list and the ongoing threat to previously listed sites.  Small historic houses, historic cemeteries, schools, and downtown areas are the landmarks of our local history and culture.  If not saved, they will be lost forever.  The Foundation’s list, combined with the efforts of preservationists, concerned citizens and local government, will result in success stories for these architectural and cultural treasures.

View 2017 MTHP Final List.

May is Preservation Month & We Have Great Activities for YOU!

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Preservation Month Activities

May 1Proclamations: New Hanover and Pender Counties will proclaim May to be Preservation Month.
May 2Proclamation: City of Wilmington will proclaim May to be Preservation Month.

May 13
Second Saturday Workshop at Legacy Architectural Salvage, 1831-B Dawson Street.
9:30AM – Free “make & take” workshop. Create a collage from vintage botanical prints and cedar shakes. Pre-registration required: salvage@historicwilmington.org.

May 15 & 16
5:30-7:00PM – NC Preservation Tax Credit Workshops
Preservation Tax Credit Workshops to be held in two neighborhoods. May 15 workshop will be held at Temple Baptist church, 1801 Market St. May 16 workshop will be held at 231 Central Blvd. Learn about state tax credits, local historic districts and energy efficiency. Free for HWF Members. $10 for non-members. Register by May 11 to guarantee a workshop package. Walk ups are welcome, but packets may not be available. Register for May 15 Workshop. Register for May 16 Workshop.

May 17
Sip -n- Shop at Legacy Architectural Salvage, 1831-B Dawson Street.
5:00-7:00PM – Enjoy free wine and snacks while shopping antiques, handcrafts and salvaged gems. Discover the hottest salvage store in the region! RSVP to attend: events@historicwilmington.org. To apply to be a vendor (by May 10): Sip N Shop Vendor Agreement.2017.docx

May 20
9:30AM – Wood Window Repair Workshop
Free demonstration workshop at Legacy Architectural Salvage, 1831-B Dawson Street. Expert instruction on how to care for your old wood windows. Register at salvage@historicwilmington.org.

May 24
10:00-11:00AM – James D. & Rosalie W. Carr Plaque Dedication
This year’s recipient will be the Cape Fear Museum, formerly the National Guard Armory at 814 Market Street. Presentation and plaque unveiling.

May 25
6:00-8:00PM – HWF Preservation Awards Ceremony
Awards to be presented for restoration, rehabilitation, compatible infill and adaptive reuse projects. Awards of Merit & the David Brinkley preservationist of the Year will be presented as well. Reception to follow. Co-sponsored by Residents of Old Wilmington, New Hanover County and Wilmington Downtown, Inc. Will take place at Historic New Hanover County Courthouse, 24 North 3rd Street.

May 27
10:00AM – Guided Architectural Walking Tour
HWF’s Guided Architectural Walking Tours begin. Tours will alternate every other weekend between Forest Hills and Street Car Suburbs. Tours offered, weather permitting, through mid-October. $10/pp, $5/students. Approx 1.5-2 hours long. Call 910.762.2511 or email, membership@historicwilmngton.org to reserve your spot.

May 31
6:30PM – HWF Shrimparoo
Riverwalk Landing at Elijah’s Restaurant, 2 Ann Street, Wilmington. Member event and Friendraiser. Fresh shrimp, cold beer provided by Ironclad Brewery & live music from 2017’s International Blues Competition Finalist Randy McQuay. Open to current HWF members and new members joining at the door. $20 for members OR bring a guest who signs up as a member and get in FREE. A Members only event. RSVP by May 26, 910.762.2511.

May 31
2017’s Most Threatened Historic Places List Release – Site and time TBA.

June 3
Black Rock Plantation Tour and Reception, Columbus County
2:30 – 5:00PM, Black Rock Plantation Tour and Reception, Columbus County
Meet the owner, Everett Lewis, who is restoring this c. 1845 plantation house and hear about his fascinating experience of living in the house each summer as he performs the restoration. The home, located at 7875 Hwy 87N in Columbus County, outside of Reigelwood, is being restored without electricity and water. A tour of Weyman Chapel Cemetery is included. HWF Members: $15, non-members $30. Register by May 30: 910.762.2511. Limited to 50 registrants.
Parking is limited; carpooling is encouraged. Register for the Black Rock Plantation Tour.

 

Friends of Preservation Month

FASTSIGNS,  Wilmington Downtown, Inc,  Ironclad Brewery,  H. Kenneth Stephens, Attorney at Law,  Angie & George Edwards,  Residents of Old Wilmington,  Johnston Architecture AIA,  City of Wilmington,  Building Performance Specialists,  Cunningham & Co. Mortgage Bankers,  Equity Restoration,  Sunset Park Baptist Church,  Temple Baptist Church,  North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, Wells Insurance, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

 

2017 Azalea Festival Home Tour!

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Azalea Festival Home Tour 2017

April 8 & 9 

Cross the threshold into a very special part of Wilmington…the Azalea Festival Home Tour.  Nine beautiful homes and one historic church will welcome visitor April 8 & 9.  Reaching as far back as 1840, these historic homes will be open for you to explore.  A part of Wilmington’s Azalea Festival, the Home Tour will take place April 8, 1-6pm and April 9, 1-5pm.  From cottage to mansion, this Tour is not to be missed!

 

David Reid Murchison House, 305 S. Third Street

A ribbon cutting ceremony will kick-off the Tour on Saturday, April 8, 12:30pm, at the grand David Reid Murchison House, 305 South Third Street.  Join City and County Dignitaries and the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles as we cut the ribbon, tour the home and enjoy free ice cream provided by Dairy Queen.

 

Tickets are good for the entire weekend.  Tour goers can attend either or both days, and can start and end at any point along the route.  Docents at each location will share a bit of the home’s history and features.

 

To view all of this year’s church and homes click here:  2017 Tour

 

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at all participating locations during the weekend of the Tour, April 8 & 9.

 

You can buy tickets online, here, and we’ll mail them to you for just .50 a ticket!  Order by March 30th for this service.

Tickets are also available through these outlets:
HWF offices ,
2011 Market Street (inside the Wilmington National Cemetery gates) (tickets are available at this location through April 7 only)
All area Harris Teeter stores
Azalea Festival Office,
5725 Oleander Drive
Fisherman’s Wife
, 1425 Airlie Road
The Ivy Cottage
, 3020 Market Street
The Transplanted Garden
, 502 S. 16th Street
Occasions…Just Wright
, 313 N. Front Street, in the Cotton Exchange
A Proper Garden
, 2 Ann Street, #5
Wake N Bake Doughnut Shops, 2 locations
– 114 Princess Street & 1401 N. Lake Blvd, Suite 46, Carolina Beach (Food Lion Shopping Ctr)
Touché
, 201 N. Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach
Momentum Companies
, 103 S. Front
Wild by nature
, 411 N. Howe Street, Southport
Southport Chamber of Commerce
, 4433 Long Beach Road, Southport

Tickets will also be available, during the Tour weekend for $35 at each location.  Cash only except for the David Reid Murchison House at 305 S. Third street, where we will also be taking credit cards.

 

Six Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings

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1. Old buildings have intrinsic value.

Buildings of a certain era, namely pre-World War II, tend to be built with higher-quality materials such as rare hardwoods (especially heart pine) and wood from old-growth forests that no longer exist.

Prewar buildings were also built by different standards. A century-old building might be a better long-term bet than its brand-new counterparts.

Take, for example, the antebellum Kennedy-Baker-Walker-Sherrill House in West Knoxville, Tennessee. Until the City Council approved a zoning deal, the house was threatened by developers’ interests. However, following its classification as a historic site, the house―and its five-brick-thick walls―will be reborn as an office building that could withstand the fiercest of tornadoes.

2. When you tear down an old building, you never know what’s being destroyed.

A decade ago, the Daylight Building in Knoxville was a vacant eyesore. A developer purchased the property with plans to demolish the building to make way for new construction.

However, following multiple failed deals to demolish the building, the Daylight went back on the market. Dewhirst Properties bought it and began renovations only to discover the building’s hidden gems: drop-ceilings made with heart-pine wood, a large clerestory, a front awning adorned with unusual tinted “opalescent” glass, and a facade lined with bright copper.

Beyond surviving demolition and revealing a treasure trove of details, the Daylight reminds us that even eyesores can be valuable for a community’s future.

3. New businesses prefer old buildings.

In 1961, urban activist Jane Jacobs startled city planners with The Death and Life of Great American Cities, in which Jacobs discussed economic advantages that certain types of businesses have when located in older buildings.

Jacobs asserted that new buildings make sense for major chain stores, but other businesses–-such as bookstores, ethnic restaurants, antique stores, neighborhood pubs, and especially small start-ups―thrive in old buildings.

“As for really new ideas of any kind―no matter how ultimately profitable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to be―there is no leeway for such chancy trial, error, and experimentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction,” she wrote. “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”

4. Old buildings attract people.

Is it the warmth of the materials, the heart pine, marble, or old brick―or the resonance of other people, other activities? Maybe older buildings are just more interesting.
The different levels, the vestiges of other uses, the awkward corners, the mixtures of styles, they’re at least something to talk about. America’s downtown revivals suggest that people like old buildings. Whether the feeling is patriotic, homey, warm, or reassuring, older architecture tends to fit the bill.

Regardless of how they actually spend their lives, Americans prefer to picture themselves living around old buildings. Some eyes glaze over when preservationists talk about “historic building stock,” but what they really mean is a community’s inventory of old buildings ready to fulfill new uses.

5. Old buildings are reminders of a city’s culture and complexity.

By seeing historic buildings―whether related to something famous or recognizably dramatic―tourists and longtime residents are able to witness the aesthetic and cultural history of an area. Just as banks prefer to build stately, old-fashioned facades, even when located in commercial malls, a city needs old buildings to maintain a sense of permanency and heritage.

6. Regret goes only one way.

The preservation of historic buildings is a one-way street. There is no chance to renovate or to save a historic site once it’s gone. And we can never be certain what will be valued in the future. This reality brings to light the importance of locating and saving buildings of historic significance―because once a piece of history is destroyed, it is lost forever.

This toolkit originally appeared on March 3, 2014, and was adapted from Jack Neely’s article, “Nine Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings,” at Metro Pulse.

Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and gawks at buildings.