It’s not a stretch to say that without the Historic Wilmington Foundation, downtown Wilmington would look very different than it does today.
Formed in 1966, the group has helped save dozens if not hundreds of homes and prominent properties from their likely destruction. In that way, the Historic Wilmington Foundation has done as much as any group to preserve the history of Wilmington.
May is National Preservation Month, also known as Historic Preservation Month, which of course is an important time for the Historic Wilmington Foundation. In honor of Preservation Month, the current episode of Cape Fear Unearthed, the local history podcast of the StarNews, focuses on the many initiatives launched by Historic Wilmington Foundation this month, and takes a look at how the group is evolving to meet present-day challenges.
For the current episode, I sat down with Travis Gilbert, the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s new executive director, and Isabelle Shepherd, its outreach and development coordinator, to talk about preservation month and some of the new initiatives the Foundation has taken on.
Some of the topics we touch on include:
- the HWF’s partnership with Giblem Lodge on Princess Street, a historic Black history landmark and the second-oldest Black Masonic lodge in North Carolina;
- its partnership with the 1772 Foundation, a national preservation organization, to spend $75,000 to repair historic houses on the city of Wilmington’s “demolition by neglect” list;
- the five “preservation challenges” issued by the HWF this month;
- and the winners of the HWF’s 2021 Preservation Awards held on May 20, including the Award of Merit for longtime local craftsman Bobby Farrar.
More:Historic Wilmington Foundation to help restore iconic Black history landmark
For a full list of the Preservation Awards winners in the categories of Adaptive Reuse, Rehabilitation and Restoration, as well as the list of preservation challenges, go to HistoricWilmington.org.
Contact John Staton at 910-343-234 or John.Staton@StarNewsOnline.com.
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