2022 Preservation Awards

Each year, Historic Wilmington Foundation honors the very special people enacting our mission through exemplary preservation efforts through adaptive reuse, rehabilitation, and restoration.

(Want to peruse our past Preservation Awards recipients? Click to view our winners from 2021, 2020, and 2019!)


 definition: a building that has been preserved and revamped for a purpose other than its intended original use

PBC Design + Build Headquarters (former Pearsall Memorial Church, 3902 Market Street)

PBC Design + Build

In August of 2022, PCB Design + Build completed the adaptive reuse of the church’s 1970 fellowship hall into their company’s new headquarters with the goal of creating relevant and purposeful spaces while not disturbing the original structural integrity of the historic building. Their scope of work included opening up the steel truss ceiling, bringing in natural light with a clerestory at the ridgeline, and creating workspaces for 25 employees – including preserving the fellowship hall’s stage as the company’s design studio. PCB believes that preserving the campus of Pearsall Church will help create a sense of place for their employees and residents in the Market Street corridor.


definition: a building that has been fixed up with a respectful nod to history yet not necessarily faithfully restored

314 Orange Street

James & Laura Luddy and Holliday Construction

Once on HWF’s “Most Threatened Places List,” the Langdon House was rehabilitated by owners James & Laura Luddy, along with their general contractor, Holliday Construction.

The rehabilitation of this 1808 Federalist home included replacing the standing seam, metal roof, an interior redesign to accommodate four bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as new plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. All original windows, doors, trim, and baseboards were preserved when possible. Remarkably, the house’s boasts ten fireplaces, and each was preserved in the original form.

Delgado Mills House #17: 2117 Wrightsville Avenue

Old School Rebuilder & Co. and Dogwood Architecture

This rehabilitated property serves as the offices of Old School Rebuilder & Co. After purchasing the house, Old School Rebuilder & Co. removed the exterior aluminum wrapping  and vinyl siding in favor of the property’s cypress siding. 

Windows were replaced to match the original 6-over-6 pattern. New plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems were installed. Upon completion, the mill house now features office space for at least five employees, two break rooms, two restrooms, a conference room, all of which is ADA compliant. The interior design is a harmonious mix of original interior finishes with more contemporary lighting, hardware, glass doors, and cabinetry.

Bissinger House (515 Princess Street)

Dominador Gobaleza; Rob Romero; Adler Restoration; Will Aluiter

Formerly Hewlett, Collins, and Allard Law Firm, Dor Gobaleza purchased the property and rehabilitated the house back to its original use as a single-family home. The law office’s former parking lot was reclaimed as a pool, gardens, and guesthouse. Rob Romero served as the architect for the project and Adler Restoration was the general contractor. Floorboards from the center entry hall were used to repair floors in the rest of the house. Doors, moldings, and baseboards were preserved inside the home. Dilapidated, rear porches were converted into guest bathrooms, laundry room, and mudroom. A large side piazza was added to the house’s east elevation, overlooking the pool complex, which was enclosed with a brick wall that preserved much of the existing, historic brick wall.

Pender Inn Bed & Breakfast (former Black Hotel, 214 Dickerson Street)

Larry & Beth Owens

Formerly vacant, the Owens rehabilitated the historic Black Hotel in Burgaw as the Pender Inn Bed & Breakfast. The rehabilitation left the house’s original layout, including eight rooms, unaltered. 

Half the wood floors on the first story were replaced due to termite damage using salvaged wood from Legacy Architectural Salvage. Additionally, several framing members were repaired due to termite damage. A mantel and trim were fabricated to restore original architectural details. No surprise, the rehabilitation included new plumbing, electric, and mechanical systems.

Wilson Cottage (620 South 2nd Street)

Aaron & Tara Phillips and Martha Mendoza

This rehabilitation of this circa 1896 cottage included replacing the standing-seam, metal roof, replacement of rotted siding, and painting.

A modern bathroom and new closets were constructed, yet the homeowner preserved original architectural features such as wainscoting, doors, and a mantel. On the porch, the turned balustrades, porch supports, and spindlework were preserved, allowing this house to retain its architectural integrity. Aaron and Tara Phillips, former owners, served as the contractor with assistance from AMC East Coast Remodeling, LLC.

Pender County Courthouse (100 South Wright Street)

County of Pender

Damaged during Hurricane Florence in 2018, the rehabilitation of the Pender County Courthouse (built in 1938) in Burgaw included repairing storm damage, updating electrical and mechanical systems, lead and asbestos abatement, and ADA improvements. Resiliency work on the building’s envelope included brick repointing and addressing wood rot around windows, doors and the roofline. 

LS3P provided architectural services and Thomas Construction Group served as the general contractor for interior work. Today, the Pender County Courthouse is more resilient against climate events and will continue to serve the community for generations to come.


definition: a building that’s exterior has been brought back to its original glory, with great effort taken to replicate use of materials employed at the time of construction

Roof of St. James Episcopal Church (25 South 3rd Street)

St. James Parish

Finished in 1840, St. James Episcopal Church is a gothic revival structure designed by Thomas U. Walter. Last year, St. James Parish restored the sanctuary’s standing steam, metal roof. Originally thought to be original to the sanctuary, later evidence suggested the roof dated to the mid-20th century. Ian Johnson served as the project’s architect and Highland Roofing was the project’s contractor. Additionally, Dale Hayes repointed masonry for the project. The new roof included sixteen-inch, aluminum panels in the color Dove Gray. Completed last month, St. James’ new roof will protect one of Wilmington’s oldest houses of worship for decades to come.


The Award of Merit honors an entity or endeavor that is not a piece of built history (i.e., a film, event, or website).

The Oakdale Cemetery Company; Friends of Oakdale Cemetery; Cape Fear Fabrication & Welding

Chartered in 1852, Oakdale Cemetery is North Carolina’s oldest rural cemetery. Its original boundaries feature 65 acres of funerary art, mature flora, and decorative, iron fences. In the past few years, several historic fences were restored, including the Oscar G. Parsley lot and George French lot. Currently, the Meares Circle fence, constructed in 1857, is being restored. The project encompasses the repair, stripping, and powder-coating of nearly 300 linear feet of fence, including 36 pillars and 2 entrance gates. Mark Pope, the owner and operator of Cape Fear Fabrication and Welding in Rocky Point, has completed most of the historic fence repairs in the past 20+ years at Oakdale Cemetery.


The David Brinkley Award honors extraordinary preservation work of large scale, scope, and effort.

Michael Moore & Glendal Jenkins

Michael Moore and Glen Jenkins’ individual and combined efforts in the rehabilitation of residential and commercial properties are vast and significant, going back many years. Their preservation spirit touched many properties in the early revitalization of downtown Wilmington and the communities of Burgaw and Atkinson. Jenkins opened Antiques Emporium on Dock Street when relocating to Wilmington in the 1970s. He adaptively reused the Atkinson High School and led efforts to preserve the old Train Depot in Burgaw. Moore opened Michael Moore Antiques on South Front Street. He was an unofficial ambassador for downtown Wilmington, and later, the Castle Street corridor. Relocating his antique business to Castle Street encouraged our community to reimagine this integral part of the Wilmington National Register Historic District. Our community owes a debt of gratitude to these two gentlemen for spurring the revitalization of downtown Wilmington upon the foundation of historic preservation. 

George W. Edwards Award

The George W. Edwards Award honors a volunteer, intern, or staff member demonstrating exemplary integrity and commitment on behalf of local preservation.

John Kendall

After retiring from public service, John Kendall came into Legacy Architectural Salvage, looking for reclaimed wood to use in a project. That was the start of his volunteer journey with us, and he has become our longest serving volunteer at Legacy. John is involved in all aspects of what we do, from deconstructions, donation pick-ups, deliveries, upcycling, repairs, de-nailing and cleaning incoming wood, warehouse organization, sales, helping customers load large purchases, and educating our customers on our mission to protect and preserve our historic resources. John builds relationships with our donors and customers, and they ask for him by name and request his expertise on a regular basis. Our volunteers serve as ambassadors to share our mission with our local community inside and out of the warehouse, and John Kendall takes that role very seriously.  The unique talents, hard work and commitment that John brings to our organization cannot be overstated. 

Katherine Howell Award

The Katherine Howell Award recognizes someone for their leadership, and significant contributions to the Historic Wilmington Foundation mission and, consequently greatly furthering the cause of preservation in the Lower Cape Fear region.

Sylvia Kochler

To say that this Sylvia exemplifies leadership and significant contributions to the Historic Wilmington Foundation is an understatement. For the past six years, Sylvia has served on HWF’s Board of Trustees. Her service on the board is a testament to diligent fact finding and reasoned deliberation. As a former lawyer, and self-professed “policy wonk,” our organization benefits from her detailed analysis of preservation policies. Her selflessness is extraordinary – at the drop of a dime she’ll attend any policy meeting so that I might focus on what is being said in the room while leaving note-taking in her care. Our teamwork is built on this common refrain between us: “It’s always better for HWF to have four ears in the room.” Currently, Sylvia Chairs our Preservation Action Committee.

photo credit: WILMA Magazine

Thomas & Elizabeth Wright Award for Lifetime Achievement

The Thomas & Elizabeth Wright Award for Lifetime Achievement recognizes someone for lifelong dedication to historic preservation in Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear Region.

Tony Rivenbark

Tony Rivenbark has served as executive director of Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts since 1979. His 43-year tenure has fundamentally transformed Thalian Hall into the vibrant, civic, and cultural center that our community cherishes today. In 1983, Tony championed efforts to develop a Master Plan for the expansion of the theater and the renovation of the stage. From 1988 to 1990, Tony led Thalian Hall through a $5 million dollar restoration and expansion, which included the construction of modern restrooms, ADA accessibility, backstage improvements, and a new northern wing. The project culminated in the reopening of Thalian Hall on March 2, 1990 for a two week performing arts festival. In 2010, Tony led Thalian Hall through a $3.6 million renovation, including the reconfiguration of the main stage’s seating, a hydraulic orchestra pit, and the introduction of “Alice,” the beloved Victorian-style chandelier. 

As a historian, Tony is the author of a photographic history book entitled Images of Thalian Hall, published by Arcadia Press in 2015. His work to compile and curate artifacts and collections for the Thalian Hall Archives was recognized in 1996 by the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society. Tony lectures throughout the country on Thalian Hall and historic theater renovation. His contributions to theater history include tensures on the Board of Directors of the League of Historic American Theatres. Thanks to Tony’s tireless advocacy and research, Thalian’s historic curtain, painted by William Russell Smith, was restored at the Cameron Art Museum and is now displayed for the public. Nearly every year, Tony and the staff of Thalian Hall interpret the theater’s historic thunder-roll at a free event.