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In This Issue
Recent National Register Listings
Rehabilitation and Tax Credit Projects
HPO Eastern Office Intern
Oldest Dated House in North Carolina
Grimes Mill Burns
UNC-TV Features Loray Mill
Oteen Building #9 Stabilization Begins
Erosion at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site Raising the Past
NTHP Releases New Publication
Judges Needed for National History Day
Interior Secretary Salazar Calls for Greater Promotion and Utilization of Historic Tax Incentives
Staff in the Field
Worth Saving
The Newsletter of the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office
Events and Awards

For statewide event lists, visit the HPO Facebook event listPreservation North Carolina events list, or a  December 2012-February 2013 courtesy of the Federation of NC Historical Societies. 


February 15 3rd Annual Elliot Engel Performance - this year's topic "The Vanderbilts--All of Them" - will be held at 7:00 PM at the Long View Center, 118 South Person Street, Raleigh.  Tickets will be $25 per person.  Click here for further information.


February 19 Charles Barton Keen Symposium, 5:45 PM, Greensboro Country Club. Light hors d'œuvre, wine, and beer will be served followed by a presentation by Wake Forest University professor Margaret Supplee Smith. Tickets are $15 per person. Seating is limited! Learn more about the Keen event here.


March 6. Mayberry Modernism lecture.  Room 207 in the Elon Law School Building, 201 N Greene St, Greensboro. This is a free event.  Learn more about the Modernism event here. RSVP to Judi Kastner or call (336) 272-5003.


March 4-8 Log Cabin Repair and Restoration, Joe Gallagher instructing, offered by the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies at the Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. Third St., Little Rock, Arkansas. The cost is $550. Click here to register.  


March 22 and 23 UNCW Rosenwald School Conference. The conference will begin in Wilmington at the Watson School of Education building, UNCW, with speakers on Friday and continue on Saturday with a tour of Pender County Rosenwald schools and a reception at Canetuck School.  Save the date!


April 2 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation will present The Advanced Section 106 Seminar in Charlotte at the Dunhill Hotel. This is a one-day course designed for advanced Section 106 practitioners, including federal agency representatives, project sponsors, and other Section 106 stakeholders. Contact Cindy Bienvenue, Meeting and Event Manager, at (202) 606-8521 or [email protected] for more information and click here to read the seminar schedule. 

April 17-20 National Council on Public History Conference, Ottawa, Canada. The conference theme is "Knowing your Public(s) --The Significance of Audiences in Public History." For more information and to register go to this page on the NCPH website.


April 20. The Secrets of College Hill (Greensboro). Free lecture. Learn more about the College Hill event here. RSVP to Judi Kastner or call (336) 272-5003.


May 2-4 16th Annual US/ICOMOS International Symposium, Savannah, GA. The theme is "The Historic Center and the Next City: Envisioning Urban Heritage Evolution." Symposium sessions will provide planners, architects, educators, heritage managers, and preservationists the opportunity to discuss the evolution of our historic urban centers and how they may provide inspiration for the future. For more information, visit the US/ICOMS website or email [email protected].  


May 13-17 National Park Service's 2013 Archaeological Prospection Workshop, Ogallala, NE.  This is the 22nd year of the workshop dedicated to the use of geophysical, aerial photography, and other remote sensing methods as they apply to the identification, evaluation, conservation, and protection of archaeological resources. Entitled "Current Archaeological Prospection Advances for Non-Destructive Investigations in the 21st Century," it includes lectures on the theory of operation, methodology, processing, and interpretation and on-hands use of the equipment in the field. Application forms are available on the Midwest Archeological Center's web page. For more information, contact Steven L. DeVore by email, or by phone at (402) 437-5392, ext. 141.


May 18 and 19 3rd Annual Preservation Greensboro Incorporated Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens, featuring the Historic College Hill neighborhood. This year's tour will include ten 19th-century houses, private gardens, and two additional events for Patron Pass holders.  For more information, contact Judi Kastner or call (336) 272-5003.


October 2-4 PNC's 2013 Annual Conference is October 2-4 in Edenton. Save the date.  

Recent National Register Listings

Wright's Automatic Machinery Company (Durham County), prepared by C. de Miranda, listed 12/26/12


Wright's Automatic Machinery Company is a 1942 industrial building that represents the collaboration between the federal government and private industry to outfit the American military in World War II.  The company built gunfire control equipment for the United States Navy in this plant and, after the war, continued to build precision instruments for the U. S. military and later for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.  The brick exterior of the main building is covered with stucco and a wide ribbon of glass block underscored by a continuous concrete sill stretches across the facade at each story, evoking the Modern Movement without placing itself firmly within any specific modernist style.


Richard B. Harrison School (Johnson County), prepared by J. Mitchell, listed 12/26/12


The Richard B. Harrison School complex chronicles the advancement of African American education in Selma in the mid-20th century in the context of a segregated school system.  The mid-1950s and 1960s classroom and agricultural buildings and gymnasium best represent the Harrison School as an important pre-integration era African American school and evoke the period in Johnston County when schools for African Americans fought to receive funding, educational materials, and new buildings.


Coinjock Colored School (Currituck County), prepared by M. Malvasi and B. Snowden, listed 1/9/13


The Coinjock Colored School is a frame, one-story schoolhouse and one of three serving African American students in Currituck County that received assistance from the Rosenwald Fund for construction.  It was in operation by 1920 and was built using a plan similar to a standardized school plan known as the Public Schoolhouse Floor Plan No. 2-A distributed by the North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction and created by Raleigh architect Frank K. Thomson.  The overall exterior appearance of the school remains largely intact with many of the original painted and stained surfaces remaining on the interior.


Uptown Suburbs Historic District (Guilford County), prepared by H. Wagner, listed 1/09/13


The Uptown Suburbs Historic District in High Point encompasses a cluster of separately platted subdivisions dating from 1907 through the 1940s.  Historically important for community planning and development and for its architecture, the cohesive and distinctive residential district represents High Point's expansion in the early to mid-20th century.   The most prevalent architecture in the district are Queen Anne-style houses, Craftsman-style bungalows, Colonial Revival- and Tudor Revival-style houses, smaller Period Cottages and Minimal Traditional-style houses, and Ranch houses.  Other styles represented in the district are the Neoclassical Revival, Renaissance Revival, Prairie, Georgian Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Art Deco, and Art Moderne styles.


Sunset Hills Historic District (Guilford County), prepared by J. Mitchell, listed 1/14/13


The Sunset Hills Historic District in Greensboro is historically significant for community planning and architecture as the city's expansive western suburban subdivision dating from the 1920s through the 1960s.  The district's streets feature hundreds of residences that are excellent local examples of various architectural styles, with Colonial Revival being the predominant style.  


Mary Duke Biddle Estate (Durham County), prepared by B. Gohdes-Baten, listed 1/09/13


The Mary Duke Biddle Estate in the Forest Hills neighborhood is historically important for its noteworthy architectural design and as the Durham home of philanthropist Mary Lillian Duke Biddle, granddaughter of pioneering tobacco industrialist Washington Duke. The elaborate Tudor Revival-style residence, named "Pinecrest," was built for real estate developer, James O. Cobb, in 1927. Mrs. Biddle purchased the house in 1935 and had it enlarged and renovated by New York designer Karl Bock in the late 1930s through the 1950s. The result is an eclectic pink-colored house exhibiting a variety of architectural styles inside and out including Art Moderne, French Eclectic, and Art Deco. The estate's designed landscape features a long wooden pergola with statuary, ornamental wrought iron gates, stone grottoes and picnic area, and a bathhouse. With her inherited fortune, Mrs. Biddle provided generous and enthusiastic support of Duke University and numerous humanitarian and cultural organizations.


Rehabilitation and Tax Credit Projects


After suffering a major structural collapse, the Hill Warehouse in Durham's American Tobacco Company complex was rehabilitated for a high tech company with a construction cost of $20,199,700. The rehabilitation of the entire American Tobacco Company complex is the largest historic tax credit project to date in North Carolina, with a total investment of $167,430,700.
The Hill Warehouse before (left) and after rehabilitation

Five McAden Mill Village Brick Mill Houses in the McAdenville Historic District (Gaston County) were rehabilitated for continued residential use as four 1880s duplexes and one ca. 1896 single-family home with a total investment of $862,400. 


A typical duplex after rehabilitation (left) and a typical single-family house after rehabilitation


The ca. 1917 Bank of Four Oaks in the Four Oaks Commercial Historic District (Johnston County) was rehabilitated for commercial office use with an investment of $103,800.
The Bank of Four Oaks before (left) and after rehabilitation
The ca. 1929 Marc C. and Elizabeth A. Leager House in the West Raleigh Historic District (Wake County) was rehabilitated for continued residential use with an investment of $116,600.

The Leager House before (left) and after rehabilitation

HPO Eastern Office Intern Starts


HPO Eastern Office intern Justin White
On January 16, 2013, Justin White started his tenure as an intern at the HPO Eastern Office. Justin is a senior in the Public History Program at East Carolina University and will be completing his internship this semester. His professional interest is in archival research and museums and he will be working on background research for a proposed historic district in New Bern, as well as archival and primary documents research for an exhibit on 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century furniture makers in the Coastal Plain counties. The exhibit will be held at the NC Museum of the Coastal Plain in Wilson. 

Oldest Dated House in North Carolina


The house, located at 304 E. Queen St., Edenton
The rare survival of early 18th-century architecture in North Carolina attracts considerable attention from scholars and lay people interested in historic architecture, especially when a building or vestige of a structure from the period is discovered.  The exciting find of a nearly three-hundred-year-old timber-frame structure offers a rare glimpse into an all but lost vernacular building type in North Carolina.

Shortly after 11:00 am on Friday, January 11, 2013, Steve Lane introduced Michael Worthington, dendrochronologist with Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory, in a ceremony on the porch of small house located on East Queen Street in Edenton. Michael Worthington read the findings of his research on the house and announced "the felling date for the primary timbers used in this building is Winter 1718/19."  The excited participants learned that they were standing in front of the oldest dated house in North Carolina. 


Historic preservation and history enthusiasts Steve and Linda Lane of Edenton acquired this small one-and-a-half-story residence for use as a rental property in 2009. At the time, Steve and Linda thought the house dated to the turn of the twentieth century as it is listed as a contributing building in the expanded Edenton National Register Historic District with an assigned date of ca. 1900. 


While removing deteriorated early twentieth-century bead board wall sheathing, restoration carpenter Wayne Griffin and expert cabinetmaker Don Jordan exposed timber framing members and the back side of weatherboarding that retains a heavy accumulation of whitewash. Upon further exploration they learned that the ceiling joists were exposed, whitewashed, and molded at the base with a robust ogee, all indications of an eighteenth-century construction date.    


A molded ceiling joist found above 
later ceiling finishes
Steve and Linda Lane sought professional guidance from the Restoration Branch of the State Historic Preservation Office in order to learn more about this unique building. Restoration Specialist Reid Thomas assisted the Lanes in coordinating and leading three volunteer architectural study visits and prepared research questions and follow-up reports.  Architectural historians with the Architectural Research Department at Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Preservation Office staff, and local historians participated in the architectural investigations. Realizing the potential importance of this house, the Lanes agreed that more of the original framing needed to be uncovered for examination.  Don Jordan carefully removed 20th-century wall and ceiling paneling to expose the historic framing system for subsequent study visits. 


While the volunteer research team has resolved several architectural mysteries about this building, many unanswered questions remain. The original house, measuring about 16' x 25', was divided into two rooms on the first floor and two in the attic.  There is evidence for two large exterior end chimneys each measuring about 9' in width. The original framing system in the first floor and attic was largely exposed and whitewashed. The research team is currently evaluating complex questions about the interior stair and rear shed rooms. 


Owners Steve and Linda Lane

The Lanes have been most generous in their willingness to allow scholars to study the building and to fund the dendrochronology study. Their sincere interest in not only preserving this rare surviving early building but also their curiosity in learning as much as they can about the architectural and historical importance it might have to our state is greatly appreciated. Without the Lanes' interest, patience, and financial commitment to this project, this house would likely have been lost.  


Read an article about the house here and click here to read Reid Thomas's full report.


Grimes Mill Burns
Grimes Mill before the fire. Photo courtesy of


On January 16, fire destroyed Salisbury's Grimes Mill, built in 1896.  The Historic Salisbury Foundation owns the property, located on North Church Street.  The flames were visible for miles as bystanders looked on while the historic structure burned.  An investigation into the cause will be made.


The fire at Grimes Mill. Photo by Hugh Fisher and
courtesy of

The mill historically produced feed and flour products and was operational until 1982. It was built in the Second Empire style, an unusual choice for an industrial building in North Carolina, and still contained much of the mechanical working of the mill, including chutes, belts, silos, rollers, ladders, elevators and pulleys, making it "a special time capsule speaking to the industrial--and agricultural--heritage of the region."


Click here to read more about the fire and here to read about the preservation efforts at the mill.


UNC-TV's North Carolina Now Features Loray Mill in Gastonia


The six-story, 600,000-square-foot, ca. 1900 Loray Mill was a major industrial fixture in in Gastonia until Firestone, the last company to operate in the mill, left in 1993.  The mill was the site of a deadly 1929 labor strike that made headlines around the world. The violence claimed the lives of Gastonia police chief Orville Aderholt and union activist and balladeer Ella May Wiggins.


Click here to watch the video.


Oteen Building #9 Stabilization Begins


In the October issue of Worth Saving, we announced that Building #9 in the Oteen Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital National Register Historic District will be rehabilitated and put back into use by the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville.  This building is the nurse's residence next the recently rehabilitated nurses dorm that serves as the western headquarters of the Department of Cultural Resources' Office of Archives and History.  As of January 14, 2013, stabilization efforts have begun and will be monitored and recorded by our staff in the Western Office. 


Erosion at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site Raising the Past


Read about the latest developments at the site here and here.


NTHP Releases a New Publication: Preserving African American Historic Places


With the new push in the historic preservation community to preserve significant resources with ties to under-represented groups, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has released a timely publication to assist those working with African American resources.  Preserving African American Historic Places "presents an overview of traditional preservation networks and their roles, offers tips on how to get preservation underway in your community, and looks at various legal and financial tools that help protect historic properties."  The booklet provides case studies (including North Carolina's Ware Creek Rosenwald School in Beaufort County) to illustrate various preservation strategies. 


Click here for the publication.


Judges Needed for National History Day in North Carolina

Judges are needed for the National History Day in North Carolina state competition on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.


National History Day is a hands-on academic program that makes history come alive for young people by engaging them in the discovery of the past. This year, middle and high school students across the state are developing research projects around the theme "Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events." The Office of Archives and History is the primary sponsor of National History Day in North Carolina.  Co-sponsors are the Office of Archives and History, the North Caroliniana Society, the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, and the Federation of N.C. Historical Societies.


More than 70 judges are needed each year to help make the state contest a success. Judges will review student projects (grades 6-12), provide constructive feedback for all participants, and choose those projects that will move on to represent the state at the national academic competition in College Park, MD. No prior experience is required.


Judging materials are provided in advance of the contest, and an orientation is held the morning of the contest. Judges work in teams of two or three, and every effort is made to include at least one experienced person on a team. The time commitment for the day is roughly 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. A continental breakfast and lunch are provided.


History Day projects can cover any era or continent, so expertise in a particular field of history is not required. Judges should have an understanding of historical research methods and sources or expertise in the category area (i.e. performance, videography, exhibit design, etc.)


To sign up, email Laura Ketcham. You may tell her what categories you would prefer to judge, listing several in priority order, and she will make every effort to honor the request. Or you may indicate that you will serve where you are most needed. Assignments will be made in late March or early April, at which time you will receive preliminary instructions. Following is a description of the categories.

  • Historical paper - traditional history research paper. These have to be read and judged during the week prior to the competition, so time is needed during the week to meet (or conference call) with other judges. While it is preferred that judges meet with students on Saturday, it might be possible for some paper judges not to be present on the Saturday of the contest, provided at least one member of the judging team is present to interview students.  (Please note: For paper judges, we prefer to use judges who live or work near the Raleigh area.)
  • Website - a website created by the student(s). These have to be read and judged during the week prior to the competition, so time is needed during the week to meet (or conference call) with other judges. While it is preferred that judges meet with students on Saturday, it might be possible for some website judges not to be present on the Saturday of the contest, provided at least one member of the judging team is present to interview students.
  • Exhibit - a standing exhibit. Judges of exhibits must be present on contest day.
  • Performance - a 10-minute original performance. Judges of performances must be present on contest day.
  • Documentary - a 10-minute original documentary. Judges of documentaries must be present on contest day.


For more information on History Day visit or


Interior Secretary Salazar Calls for Greater Promotion and Utilization of Historic Tax Incentives to Maximize Opportunities for Restoration, Economic Revitalization 


On January 25, 2013, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar asked the National Park Service to conduct an internal review of the highly successful Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program to ensure that it is maximizing opportunities to use historic preservation to promote economic development and revitalization of communities, especially in urban areas. Click here to read the full press release.


Since 1998 North Carolina has provided a 20% credit for those taxpayers who receive the federal credit, providing investors with a combined 40% credit against eligible project costs. In addition, the state provides a 30% credit for the rehabilitation of non income-producing historic properties, including private residences. New State Mill Rehabilitation Tax Credits provide even greater credit amounts for qualifying former industrial sites. Since 1976, over 2,000 completed "certified rehabilitation" projects have been reviewed by the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office, representing over one billion dollars of investment in historic properties.  In FY 2011-2012, North Carolina ranked # 3 in the United States for completed, income-producing projects that used the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit.


In the 2008 study, A Profitable Past, A Priceless Future: The Economic Impact of North Carolina's Historic Tax Credit, Rebecca Holton, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, worked with the North Carolina Department of Commerce to utilize IMPLAN, an input-output multiplier system, to estimate the program's statewide impact of the economic benefits. Using those multipliers, North Carolina Historic Preservation Office staff estimates that rehabilitation costs expended on historic tax credit projects in North Carolina since 1998 has brought over
$1.36 billion of private investment into North Carolina's communities and local economies and resulted in the creation of an estimated 23,100 new full-time North Carolina jobs, while simultaneously preserving North Carolina's priceless historic character.  Studies also indicate that tax credit projects spur further rehabilitation activity in neighborhoods, and increase property values and the local property tax base through higher assessed values for rehabilitated properties by 10% or more.


Reuse of North Carolina's existing structures supports both historic preservation and environmental sustainability principles and makes good economic sense. In addition to the powerful economic benefits of historic preservation, the North Carolina rehabilitation tax credits encourage the reuse of existing buildings, reducing the need to expand public services and infrastructure which saves taxpayers' dollars. Historic structures such as schools, textile mills, and tobacco warehouses are reclaimed for housing, retail, and office uses.     


The spin-off from all this activity includes job creation, downtown and neighborhood revitalization, improved community appearance, and greater community pride. Historic preservation is smart growth, and smart investment.


North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office
Division of Historical Resources | Office of Archives and History
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources