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


Tuesday, May 3rd from 5:30pm – 6:30pm
New Hanover County Library (201 Chestnut Street)

Hear from a panel of experts and advocates, speaking to the challenges facing historic preservation in the Lower Cape Fear region and how you might make a difference in your community. Topics will include Point Peter, African American burial grounds, and the deepening connections between environmentalism and historic preservation. 


Saturday, May 7th from 10:00am – 11:30am
Legacy Architectural Salvage (1831-B Dawson Street, behind Stevens Ace Hardware)

Legacy Volunteer and local raconteur Bill Petry, with his background in antiques and interior design, will host an interactive talk covering furniture styles and periods from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Bill will touch on how to identify and date items/periods/movements, concepts of “value,” and what to look for when you’re doing your own antiquing. Space is limited; register by clicking here or signing up in person at Legacy.


Saturday, May 14th from 9:00am – 12:00pm
Meet at Maides Park (1101 Manly Avenue)

Our region’s rural cemeteries and burial grounds for traditionally-marginalized people are in danger from development and neglect. This service project will bring our community together to care for the historic African-American Cemetery near Wilmington’s Maides Park.

Saturday, May 14th from 9:00am – 2:00pm
Legacy Architectural Salvage (1831-B Dawson Street, behind Stevens Ace Hardware)

Shop beautiful items from local artisans of every stripe! Our curated vendors offer jewelry, vintage clothing, woodworking, plants, signs, and art of all forms, including pottery, mixed media, upcycled goods, and more.

Sunday, May 15th from 2:00pm – 3:30pm & 3:30pm5:00pm
Tours depart from HWF’s headquarters (211 Orange Street)

The first tour has reached maximum capacity, but there’s still availability for the 3:30pm tour! To reserve your spot, click here.


Thursday, May 19th from 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Thalian Hall (310 Chestnut Street)
Sponsored by Residents of Old Wilmington


Saturday, May 21st from 9:00am – 11:00am
Greenfield Lake (1739 Burnett Boulevard)

As part of HWF’s Preservation Challenge (and partnership with Cape Fear River Watch!), volunteers will be cleaning up trash from this historic property (one of seven Designated Local Landmarks in the City of Wilmington). Supplies and tools will be provided, but if you would like to bring your own (e.g., work gloves, trash bags, etc.), feel free! At 9am, volunteers will meet at Greenfield Lake, by the boathouse.


Saturday, May 21st from 10:00am – 1:00pm
Legacy Architectural Salvage (1831-B Dawson Street, behind Stevens Ace Hardware)

We are delighted to announce our very first Appraisal Fair! Michael Moore (Michael Moore Antiques), Jim and Karen Booth (Cape Fear Antique Center), and our very own antiquarian-at-large Bill Petry will provide informal appraisals of your cherished possessions, your oddball inheritances, and your sundry “what-is-its?” We do request that you limit yourselves to 3 relatively portable items. 

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:

2022 Annual Sponsors

Brigitte Simone Real Estate, Inc.

1025 N. Lake Park Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Mason & Mason, Attorneys at Law

514 Princess Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

First Bank

201 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

MoMentum Companies

103 South Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Patriot Roofing

5041 New Centre Drive, Suite 115
Wilmington, NC 28403

The Ivy Cottage

3030 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28403


1022 N. 4th Street
Wilmington, NC 28405

Jeff Gordon Chevrolet

228 College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403

WHQR Public Media

254 N. Front Street, Suite 300
Wilmington, NC 28401