Preservation Month began as National Preservation Week in 1973. In 2005, the National Trust for Historic Preservation extended their week-long celebration of preservation to the entire month of May. Now, local preservation groups, state historical societies, and business and civic organizations across the country celebrate Preservation Month. Associated events promote historic places and heritage tourism, and demonstrate the social and economic benefits of historic preservation.

Each May, the Historic Wilmington Foundation holds various events that honor local preservation efforts, encourage advocacy, and educate our community about our incredible built history. With this year’s lineup of events, HWF hopes to shine a light on the pressing advocacy issues facing our growing city, spark interest in the Lower Cape Fear region’s rich and storied past, and showcase the remarkable preservation projects taking place all around us.

Preservation Month Events

Saturday, May 1st from 9:00AM – 2:00PM
Legacy Architectural Salvage (1831-B Dawson Street, behind Stevens Ace Hardware)

Press Conference

Wednesday, May 12th at 11:00AM
Giblem Lodge (720 Princess Street)

We’ve got big plans up our sleeves, and we’re thrilled to share how HWF’s mission of preserving and protecting the irreplaceable will be adapted for the 21st century. At the press conference, we’ll announce our partnership with Giblem Lodge to preserve the historic building in perpetuity. Plus: we’ll be unveiling an exciting new initiative that’s sure to surprise and delight preservationists far and wide!

Preservation Awards Ceremony

Thursday, May 20th at 5:30PM
Hi-Wire Brewing (1020 Princess Street) / Facebook Live
The Preservation Awards Ceremony’s in-person reception will be private, with a public stream through Facebook Live


Saturday, May 22nd at 8:30AM
Meet at Maides Park (1101 Manly Ave, Wilmington, NC 28405).

Our region’s rural cemeteries and burial grounds for traditionally-marginalized people are in danger from development and neglect. As part of HWF’s 2021 Preservation Challenge, this service project will bring our community together to care for the historic African-American Cemetery near Wilmington’s Maides Park.


Saturday, May 22nd (10:00AM-11:30AM)
Legacy Architectural Salvage (1831-B Dawson Street, Wilmington, NC 28401).

Tracey of Tracey Lynn’s Studio will lead a free, demonstration-only workshop on all things resin art. The workshop is limited to 12 attendees; email to save your spot! Click here for more information. 


Sunday, May 30th at 2:00PM & 3:30PM
Tours depart from HWF’s headquarters (211 Orange Street). 

Preservation Month Proclamation

WHEREAS, historic preservation is an effective tool for managing growth and sustainable development, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering local pride and maintaining community character while enhancing livability; and

WHEREAS, historic preservation is relevant for communities across the nation, both urban and rural, and for Americans of all ages, all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds; and

WHEREAS, it is important to celebrate the role of history in our lives and the contributions made by dedicated individuals in helping to preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that has shaped us as a people; and

WHEREAS, National Preservation Month 2021 is co-sponsored by both the Historic Wilmington Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it proclaimed May 2021 as National Preservation Month and call upon the people of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear region to join their fellow citizens across the United States in recognizing and participating in this special observance.

Proclamation Week

During the first week of May, the Preservation Month Proclamation will be read and adopted at the following local governmental meetings:

Monday, May 3rd at 4:00PM

Tuesday, May 4th at 6:30PM

Thank you to our valued sponsors!

Our sponsors allow us to carry out a vital mission that began in 1966 and is still going strong. We are grateful to each and every one! 

To sponsor HWF, contact Isabelle Shepherd, Outreach & Development Coordinator:


Corinthian Sponsors