2024 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  2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019!)
On May 16, the Historic Wilmington Foundation honored the winners of our 2024 Preservation Awards at the historic New Hanover County courthouse.
 
To the right, you may peruse a gallery of photos from the event, taken by Leigh-Anne Stump (creativefocusbyla.pixieset.com).

 

To view captions, click on the image, and the gallery will expand into a slideshow, including the caption text at the bottom.

To view the galleries (with before and after shots!), hover over the image and use the left and right arrows to view all the photos; you may also click to expand the image.

ADAPTIVE REUSE

 definition: a building that is preserved through a new use that maximizes the retention of distinctive materials, features, spaces, and spatial relationships

Olivero (522 S. 3rd Street)

James Goodnight | Sunny Gerhart | Laurie Jackson, Maurer Architecture | Jaime Meares, Kilt Creative | Christopher Yermal & Tim Hamilton, Old School Rebuilder & Co.

This historic building was constructed in the 1940’s as Mill’s Grocery Store, and later served the community as a laundromat before falling into disrepair. In 2018, James Goodnight purchased the vacant building and assembled a project team including architect Laurie Jackson with Maurer Architecture, interior designer Jaime Meares with Kilt Creative, and general contractors Christopher Yermal and Tim Hamilton with Old School Rebuilder & Co. to transform the building into the vibrant Olivero restaurant, a concept by James Beard-nominated chef Sunny Gerhart.

Although the property is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the project team largely adhered to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Preservation by retaining the building’s exposed masonry walls, steel beams, steel windows, and aluminum doors. By leaning into the building’s history, the project team developed a warm and intimate dining experience through features such as an open kitchen with a wood-fired grill. The adaptive reuse of Mill’s Grocery Store into Olivero reactivated the prominent corner of S. 3rd and Castle Streets, further strengthening the integrity of the Wilmington Historic District.

Burgaw Brewing (103 S. Wright Street)​

Richard Johnson, Burgaw Now | Emmaline & Kevin Kozak, Burgaw Brewing | Clark Hipp, Hipp Architecture | Frank Lewis, Lewis Builders

Since 1947, this building has been an integral part of the Burgaw Historic District as Farrior’s Department Store, and later, Tim’s HVAC. In 2019, Burgaw Now founder Richard Johnson purchased the historic building and completed an adaptive reuse of the structure into Burgaw Brewing with business owners Emmaline & Kevin Kozak, along with a project team consisting of architect Clark Hipp of Hipp Architecture and general contractor Frank Lewis of Lewis Builders. A full kitchen, state of the art brewing system, and biergarten were installed while preserving the building’s character-defining features, including original masonry, pressed tin ceiling, and the street-facade’s windows. Alterations to the front facade introduced a front patio while respecting the original facade’s form and massing. Today, the adaptive reuse of this 1947 structure into Burgaw Brewing contributes to the revitalization of downtown Burgaw and its foundational dedication to historic preservation.

Lucas Farms (27770 NC Highway 210)

Rebecca and David Lucas Jones | Lawrence Spriggs | Tim’s Heating and Air | Security Plus Electrical | Atlantic Roofing | Milam Plumbing | David Jones, Michael Jones, and Hadyn Brooks | Jack Innis | Gregg Murray | Parks Floor Sanding | Robert Palmer | First Class Tile

Built c. 1840, this Pender County tobacco farm has been in the Lucas Family since 1875.

In 2019, Rebecca and David Lucas Jones purchased the farm and performed a two-year adaptive reuse of the farm into a venue for weddings and special occasions. The project team included: Lawrence Spriggs (general contractor); Tim’s Heating and Air; Security Plus Electrical; Atlantic Roofing; Milam Plumbing; David Jones, Michael Jones, and Hadyn Brooks (painting and landscaping); Parks Floor Sanding; Gregg Murray (contractor); Robert Palmer (demolition); First Class Tile; Jack Innis (concrete and walkways).

INTERIOR PRESERVATION

definition: interior scopes of work that preserve the historic character of a property by maximizing the retention of distinctive materials, features, finishes, construction techniques, spaces, and spatial relationships

Warren House (520 Nun Street)

Trey Lewis, Lewis Coastal Homes | Shane Horan, SNS Custom Homes

The Warren House was constructed in 1906 in the National Folk style for housewife Mamie Donnelly and tugboat engineer Elisha Warren. In 2023, Lewis Coastal Homes and SNS Custom Homes partnered to purchase and rehabilitate the vacant house. The rehabilitation respected the original spatial relationships of the house’s interior by preserving the floor plan and rehabilitating the eight-foot high pocket doors into operable condition to separate rooms. Distinctive finishes such as trim and door hardware were salvaged and re-installed. Even the tubs were salvaged and returned to their original uses.

Other materials such as the staircase, wainscoting, double-hung windows with operating rope and lead weights, and mantels were sensitively rehabilitated as indicative of the historic home. Today, the Warren House interior is preserved as an early-20th century house with non-invasive nods to modern living, such as light fixtures, kitchen cabinets, appliances, and creative reinterpretations of original rooms.

REHABILITATION

definition: a building that is repaired and/or altered while preserving those portions or features which convey its historical, cultural, or architectural values; features may include, but are not limited to, porch columns, siding, balustrades, windows, and stairs

Blaney-Crowley House (508 S. 3rd Street)

William & Haywood Mason | Phillip Tuggle

The Greek Revival style Blaney-Crowley House was constructed in 1847 for Elizabeth Steem and painter John Blaney. Homeowners William and Haywood Mason collaborated with blacksmith Phillip Tuggle from Sumter, South Carolina, to rehabilitate the house’s knee wall in the front yard by crafting a historically-appropriate ornamental fence and gate which had been missing from the property.

Tuggle crafted the gate and fence using iron, hand-fabricated steel, brass, and cast iron embellishments. The project enhanced the integrity of this property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and positively contributes to the character of the Wilmington Historic District.

Padrick House (710 Walnut Street)

Janet Winn & William Winn, Jr. | Brooks Addis, Addis Home Builders

The Padrick House is a rare, surviving example of a shotgun house listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Constructed c. 1901 for Ida Melton and railroad mechanic David Padrick, the house became endangered in recent years through listing on the City of Wilmington’s Demolition by Neglect list. Thankfully, a historic preservation easement donated to the Historic Wilmington Foundation and collaboration with the City of Wilmington’s Senior Historic Preservation Planner provided an opportunity for the structure to be saved after the house was purchased by Janet and William Winn, Jr., in 2022. General contractor Brooks Addis of Addis Home Builders completed a modern, ell-addition.

Tap Tea Bar (251 N. Front Street)

David Nathans | Urban Building Corp. | Zeke Nathans | Lucas Nathans

Constructed c. 1920, this building is one of the few Tudor Revival commercial buildings in the Wilmington Historic District.

After purchasing the building in 2022, Dave Nathans assembled a project team (including Urban Building Corporation, project manager Zeke Nathans, and project superintendent Lucas Nathans) to rehabilitate the street facade from a recessed, mid-century masonry entrance to a more historically-appropriate, wooden facade featuring symmetrical display windows and a decorative cornice. Additionally, the building’s character-defining slate roof and copper trim were rehabilitated. Today, the building is home to Tap Tea Bar with offices on the second floor.

RESTORATION

definition: a building that accurately reflects the form, features, and character of the building as it appeared at a particular period of time by replacing missing elements, removing later elements, and limiting modern upgrades required to make the property functional

21 Market Street

Thomas Falcone | M. W. Williard, Architect | E. B. Pannkuk III, Pannkuk Construction | E. B. Pannkuk IV, Stature Engineering


After purchasing the c. 1910 Atlantic Paint and Varnish Building in 2021, Thomas Falcone researched the building’s history to determine the facade’s original appearance. After identifying a 1912 photograph of the building in the New Hanover County Public Library’s North Carolina Room, the project team embarked on a full rehabilitation of the commercial structure and restoration of the building’s fifteen-over-one windows, which had been replaced with aluminum windows in the 1960s or 1970s.

Additionally, the project team, which included architect M. W. Williard, structural engineer E. B. Pannkuk IV of Stature Engineering, and general contractor E. B. Pannkuk III of Pannkuk Construction, restored the ground-level storefront to its original appearance by enlarging the facade’s picture windows, introducing an awning, and preserving the building’s brass entry doors. Thanks to this team’s efforts, the Atlantic Paint and Varnish Building’s integrity bolstered, safeguarding this building’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places and contributing to the historic significance of this heavily-trafficked block. This project was supported by a grant from Wilmington Downtown Inc. (WDI)’s Facade Grant Improvement program.

Children’s Museum (116 Orange Street)

Jessie Goodwin, Children’s Museum of Wilmington | Josh Magyary, Coastal Life Painting

Since 2004, the Children’s Museum of Wilmington has been the steward of the 1945 St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which is one of three buildings that form the museum’s campus of adaptive reuse of historic structures.

Recently, the museum repaired the church’s wooden window framing in preparation for repainting the church. When choosing a new paint color, museum executive director Jessie Goodwin and Josh Magyary of Coastal Life Painting sought to mimic the original tone and appearance of the church’s masonry walls, which were once unpainted. Each window’s corner vouissor and keystone were accented in white.

Today, the former St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church reflects a closer image of its former self and it continues to serve the community as the Children’s Museum of Wilmington.

Burgaw Presbyterian Church (200 E. Fremont Street)

Burgaw Presbyterian Church Congregation & Property Committee | Joey White, Bryant Masonry | Frank Castillo, CGC Historic Restorations

Constructed in 1879, the Gothic Revival Burgaw Presbyterian Church is a fixture of Burgaw’s courthouse square. Spearheaded by the Property Committee, Joey White of Bryant Masonry, and Frank Castillo of CGC Historic Restorations performed a restoration that included repointing masonry, addressing extensive wood rot, repairing the original slate roof, and the replacement of failing floor joists and mud sills. Restoration of the church’s asymmetrical towers included the cleaning and repair of the functioning bell. All of the stained glass windows were restored and reglazed. Today, the restored sanctuary contributes to the continued preservation of the Burgaw Historic District which is revitalizing this quaint downtown.

Temple of Israel (1 S. 4th Street)

Peggy Pancoe Rosoff, Glenn Tetterton, Steve Unger, Chairs, Temple of Israel Restoration 150 Campaign | Bruce Bowman, BMH Architects | Sexton Construction

In 2020, the Temple of Israel–North Carolina’s oldest Jewish house of worship–closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and never reopened due to the adverse effects of water intrusion stemming from Hurricane Florence.

After a successful $750,000 capital campaign led by Peggy Pancoe Rosoff, Glenn Tetterton, and Steve Unger, architect Bruce Bowman (BMH Architects) and Sexton Construction restored the structure through extensive moisture and mold remediation, window restoration, and the installation of drainage systems to prevent future water damage. The Temple’s original ballast-stone foundation was modernized to ensure structural integrity, and power lines impeding viewsheds of the historic facade were buried underground. For the first time in four years, the Temple held High Holy Day services in the historic sanctuary which is preserved for generations to come.

AWARD OF MERIT

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

Pender County Historical Museum

After a four month closure, the Pender County Museum reopened in February with a pair of new exhibits that reimagine a visitor’s experience to the 1917 Burton-Noel House. The new exhibit “Canetuck Rosenwald School” interprets the preserved schoolhouse that educated Black first through sixth graders in rural Pender County from 1922 until 1958. The exhibit features the school’s original desks and scholarship of the late Claudia Stack, a filmmaker and expert on Rosenwald Schools. The museum, operated by the Pender County Historical Society, preserves the county’s history through thousands of documents, artifacts, photos, and genealogy. There is no cost to visit the museum, which is located at 200 W. Bridgers Street in Burgaw, but donations are welcomed.

Image credit: Our State Magazine, Matt Ray Photography

Barbara Sullivan

Barbara Sullivan is an advocate for native plants, having authored two books published by the University of North Carolina Press: Garden Perennials in the Coastal South and Climate Change Gardening for the South. Her garden in the Wilmington Historic District exemplifies sustainable practices in maintaining the integrity of our community’s historic districts, particularly the aspects of setting and location.

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.

Blair Middleton

From 2018 to 2024, Blair Middleton served as the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Office Manager. Middleton served as a bulwark of institutional knowledge during major transformations for the organization, including the relocation of HWF headquarters from the Wilmington National Cemetery to the William Worth House and leadership transition between executive directors Beth Rutledge and Travis Gilbert. Throughout her time with HWF, Middleton improved the quality of HWF’s programs by introducing a bluetooth headphone system called Whisper to Tar Heels Go Walking field trips, the documentation of HWF Plaque Guidelines which improved consistency, and an internal audit of HWF’s easement properties that ensured direct communication with property owners and compliance with protective covenants.

During her tenure, Middleton facilitated the digitization of the organization’s files and processes, modernizing HWF’s workflow and introducing efficiencies. As a volunteer coordinator and colleague, Middleton brought kindness, compassion, and dependableness to the workplace. Her attention to detail and capacity for organization were second-to-none. HWF is indebted to the talent, competency, and wisdom of Blair Middleton.

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.

Michael Smith

This year’s Katherine Howell Award goes to Michael Smith, a pioneer in Wilmington’s historic preservation movement. In 1977, Smith purchased the Zollicoffer W. Whitehead House and embarked on a lifetime of restoring the Queen Anne style house. Smith is a steadfast advocate for preserving the integrity of the Wilmington Historic District, and specifically, the Historic District-Residential. From 2018 to 2022, Smith served on the City of Wilmington’s Historic Preservation Commission and for many years, Smith served on the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s preservation awards committee, along with being a frequent guest at the organization’s preservation action committee. As a photographer, Smith retains an encyclopedic memory of Wilmington’s architecture and a keen eye for the historic district’s character-defining features. For his continued generosity and passion for preservation, the Historic Wilmington Foundation awards Michael Smith the Katherine Howell Award.

THOMAS & ELIZABETH WRIGHT AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

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

Captain Terry Bragg

Since 2008, Captain Terry Bragg has served as the executive director of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial. Captain Bragg is a native of Jacksonville, NC, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University before continuing his graduate studies at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He spent 30 years in the United States Navy with posts in Key West, San Diego, Charleston, and Savannah, before arriving in Wilmington to head the state’s memorial to over 11,000 North Carolinians who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWII. Thanks to Captain Bragg’s visionary leadership, the Battleship North Carolina is better preserved and more protected for generations to come.

Under Captain Bragg’s leadership, a 1,909-foot permanent cofferdam was constructed in 2017 as an acceptable alternative to the routine drydocking required to support repairs and maintenance to the Battleship’s hull. As a result of the cofferdam, 1,800 square feet of wasted steel plating and framing were repaired in 2021. One year later, the State Employees Credit Union Memorial Walkway opened unparalleled views of the Battleship’s hull and marshlands of Eagles Island.

In 2018, the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial launched Living with Water, which seeks to mitigate the effects of flooding at the park caused by climate-driven rising sea levels. The project will re-naturalize parts of the existing parking lot, elevate remaining parking, and restore 800 linear feet of hardened shoreline to living shoreline. Collectively known as the Generations Campaign, these preservation projects during Captain Bragg’s tenure have raised $23 million in public and private funds.

On the opposite side of the Cape Fear River, Captain Bragg and his wife Phoebe are the dedicated stewards of the 1884 Forshee-Sprunt House, which they’ve called home since 2009. Together, Terry and Phoebe are fierce advocates for the Wilmington Historic District and their neighborly-spirit is cherished across Old Wilmington. Numerous awards have recognized Captain Bragg’s leadership, including the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and Wilmington Rotary Club’s Leaders in Service Award. In recognition of Captain Bragg’s years of unwavering commitment to the resiliency of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial, the Historic Wilmington Foundation awards the Thomas & Elizabeth Wright Lifetime Achievement Award.

Image Credit: Justin Cook for The Washington Post