Home Tour 2019

April 6th & 7th, 2019
12:30 pm – 6 pm Saturday & 1 pm – 5 pm on Sunday
Admission $35 | $40 after April 2nd

2019 Historic Wilmington Foundation Azalea Festival Home Tour

Presented by Delinda Harrelson & Associates

As part of Wilmington’s nationally acclaimed Azalea Festival, the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Home Tour is:

Saturday, April 6, from 12:30pm to 6:00pm


Sunday, April 7, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm

You’re invited to climb the porch steps, cross the threshold and explore Wilmington and its rich past in the historic Downtown, Carolina Place and Carolina Heights neighborhoods. From gracious Italianates to cozy bungalows; featuring a beautiful variety of architecture and décor to delight and inspire, this tour is not to be missed.

The 2019 Azalea Festival Home Tour Houses:

Carolina Place:

1910 Wolcott Ave. – Piner House

1719 Wrightsville Ave. – Wallace-Vanlandingham House

2010 Perry Ave.

Carolina Heights:

1709 Chestnut St.

1716 Chestnut St. – Crocker-Spillman House

1807 Princess St. – Allen-Collier House


400 S. Front St.- Governor Dudley Mansion

5 Church St. – Harper-Newbold House

120 Castle St. – Brink-Goodman House

318 S. 3rd St. – Burruss-Poisson House

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Governor Dudley Mansion will kick off the tour at 12:30pm on Saturday, April 6. Join City and County dignitaries and the Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles as we cut the ribbon and begin the tour!

Also on Saturday afternoon, Boombalatti’s will set up their ice cream truck at the parking lot of Temple Baptist Church at 1801 Market St. Free ice cream treats will be given to ticket-holders while supplies last.

Each Azalea Festival Home Tour ticket is good for the full weekend. Tour-goers can attend either or both days, and may start or end at any point along the route.

Please print your Eventbrite receipt and bring to any house on the 2019 Home Tour on April 6 or 7 to get your ticket. Each ticket will feature the full list of tour homes, as well as neighborhood maps.

Tickets are $35 on or before April 2, 2019, and tickets go up to $40 after April 2, 2019.


Premier sponsor:


Event sponsors:


Annual Meeting 2019

It’s time for our annual meeting where HWF reflects on the previous year and welcomes in new board members! All current HWF members and volunteers are invited and encouraged to attend.

Not sure if you’re a current member? Contact Blair at 910-762-2511 or middleton@historicwilmington.org. Need to renew your membership? No problem–we will be happy to accept cash, check, or card at the door and welcome you back with open arms!!

If you plan to attend, please do RSVP to hwf@historicwilmington.org so we have a headcount for refreshments.

Two Preservation Events in February 2019: Plaque Research Class and High School Speech Contest

This February HWF hosts TWO great preservation events. Originally scheduled for fall of 2018, we are excited to have rescheduled these post-hurricane:

Plaque Research Made Simple – Free Class for Budding and Veteran Preservationists
February 8th, 2019
If you’ve always been curious about your home’s history, you won’t want to miss this fun, informative, FREE how-to presentation on Wilmington’s popular historic plaque program. Professional researcher and HWF Plaque Committee member Carol Bragale will walk you through the historic plaque application with invaluable research tips, tricks, and advice. Join us for sips and snacks and see architectural artifacts from the Museum’s collection before the presentation begins.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Hosted at the Cape Fear Museum of History & Science at 6 PM.


Impact of Preservation: High School Speech Contest
February 13th, 2019
Area juniors and seniors compete in our very first “Impact of Historic Preservation” high school speech contest! HWF has pledged nearly $2000 in scholarship prizes to three winning students who must explain in 5 minutes or less why a certain local landmark matters. This event is FREE at Snipes Auditorium, Snipes Academy of Arts + Design.

Student applications due to HistoricWilmingtonContest@gmail.com by January 23, 2019
Speech Contest on February 13th, 2019 at 6:00pm at Snipes Academy, 2150 Chestnut Street, Wilmington, NC 28405.

Click here for instructions & Submittals for Speech Contest!!

Great fun! Great Cause! Trick or Trot for Preservation!

PCJ logo - 8.2016happy jack-o-lantern

PCJ presents Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Trick or Trot for Preservation in support of the educational third grade walking tour Tar Heels Go Walking

 Saturday October 29
Greenfield Lake Park
8:30 am 5k Start
9:00 am Trick or Treat 1 Mile Walk Start
9:30 am Awards


Super heroes, princesses, ghosts, ghouls and goblins will invade Greenfield lake park for the most fun 5k and one mile walk in Wilmington!  Whether you want to burn a few pre-Halloween calories with our fall 5k or get started adding them on with a family 1 mile un-timed trick or treat walk, we have you covered.  Register today for what will no doubt be a great Halloween tradition in the making!!

Register Now

5k registrants will receive a race T-shirt, while supplies last, and free entry to the 1 mile walk.  Participants can also purchase a 1-mile-walk-only-registration for a reduced price.

Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 5k finishers in each age group by gender, to the best costume, and more!!

Want to reach out to families, athletes or Historic Wilmington Foundation members?  Sponsorships for this race range from $50 – $1000.  To find out more or to volunteer, contract Christine Divoky HERE.

Halloween run collage.ii


Six Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings

by Julia Rocchi, Director of Digital Content at the National Trust for Historic Preservation


Children's Musuem.Lodge

1. Old buildings have intrinsic value.

Buildings of a certain era, namely pre-World War II, tend to be built with higher-quality materials such as rare hardwoods (especially heart pine) and wood from old-growth forests that no longer exist.

Prewar buildings were also built by different standards. A century-old building might be a better long-term bet than its brand-new counterparts.

Take, for example, the antebellum Kennedy-Baker-Walker-Sherrill House in West Knoxville, Tennessee. Until the City Council approved a zoning deal, the house was threatened by developers’ interests. However, following its classification as a historic site, the house―and its five-brick-thick walls―will be reborn as an office building that could withstand the fiercest of tornadoes.

2. When you tear down an old building, you never know what’s being destroyed.

A decade ago, the Daylight Building in Knoxville was a vacant eyesore. A developer purchased the property with plans to demolish the building to make way for new construction.

However, following multiple failed deals to demolish the building, the Daylight went back on the market. Dewhirst Properties bought it and began renovations only to discover the building’s hidden gems: drop-ceilings made with heart-pine wood, a large clerestory, a front awning adorned with unusual tinted “opalescent” glass, and a facade lined with bright copper.

Beyond surviving demolition and revealing a treasure trove of details, the Daylight reminds us that even eyesores can be valuable for a community’s future.

3. New businesses prefer old buildings.

In 1961, urban activist Jane Jacobs startled city planners with The Death and Life of Great American Cities, in which Jacobs discussed economic advantages that certain types of businesses have when located in older buildings.

Jacobs asserted that new buildings make sense for major chain stores, but other businesses–-such as bookstores, ethnic restaurants, antique stores, neighborhood pubs, and especially small start-ups―thrive in old buildings.

“As for really new ideas of any kind―no matter how ultimately profitable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to be―there is no leeway for such chancy trial, error, and experimentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction,” she wrote. “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”

4. Old buildings attract people.

Is it the warmth of the materials, the heart pine, marble, or old brick―or the resonance of other people, other activities? Maybe older buildings are just more interesting.
The different levels, the vestiges of other uses, the awkward corners, the mixtures of styles, they’re at least something to talk about. America’s downtown revivals suggest that people like old buildings. Whether the feeling is patriotic, homey, warm, or reassuring, older architecture tends to fit the bill.

Regardless of how they actually spend their lives, Americans prefer to picture themselves living around old buildings. Some eyes glaze over when preservationists talk about “historic building stock,” but what they really mean is a community’s inventory of old buildings ready to fulfill new uses.

5. Old buildings are reminders of a city’s culture and complexity.

By seeing historic buildings―whether related to something famous or recognizably dramatic―tourists and longtime residents are able to witness the aesthetic and cultural history of an area. Just as banks prefer to build stately, old-fashioned facades, even when located in commercial malls, a city needs old buildings to maintain a sense of permanency and heritage.

6. Regret goes only one way.

The preservation of historic buildings is a one-way street. There is no chance to renovate or to save a historic site once it’s gone. And we can never be certain what will be valued in the future. This reality brings to light the importance of locating and saving buildings of historic significance―because once a piece of history is destroyed, it is lost forever.

This toolkit originally appeared on March 3, 2014, and was adapted from Jack Neely’s article, “Nine Practical Reasons to Save Old Buildings,” at Metro Pulse.

Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and gawks at buildings.

Live in a Landmark – A Workshop on the purchase and rehabilitation of historic homes

Presented by Historic Wilmington Foundation

Saturday June 4, 2016 8:30am – 12:30pm
Council Chambers in historic City Hall / Thalian Hall, 102 N. 3rd Street, Wilmington, NC

$10 for HWF Members and $25 for Non-Members through May 31
$30 for ALL registrants beginning June 1

Register online HERE or call 910.762.2511 to register by phone.


This workshop will educate the registrant on:
• State preservation tax credits for historic homes • Local historic districts & National Register Districts
• Building & rehabilitation code • Insurance Issues
• Energy efficiency for old houses • Project planning & costs
• Mortage & rehab loans • Site visit to a home which has utilized the state historic preservation tax credits (tentative)

The workshop will feature a variety of experts:
David Christenbury and Jeff Adolphensen – NC State Historic Preservation Office
Bruce Bowman, BMH Architects
Carolyn Walls, First Bank
Dawn Snotherly, City of Wilmington
Edward McCaleb, New Hanover County
Randy Reeves, Harold W. Wells & Son
Nick Balding, Balding Brothers Restoration & Remodeling
Skye Dunning, Building Performance Specialists

Major support provided by
City of Wilmington Planning, Development and Transportation Department & Historic Preservation Commission, The City Manager’s Office, North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office

Additional Support provided by
National Park Service, Hampton Inn Wilmington – Medical Park, Thalian hall Center for Performing Arts, AIA Wilmington, Sponsors for National Preservation Month


Preservation Month Activities – May!

May is National Preservation Month!  Organizations like ours, all around the Country, are celebrating their communities’ history, culture and sense of place during the month of May.  Historic Wilmington Foundation is particularly excited to honor Preservation Month in the midst of our 50th Anniversary Celebration!  We hope to see you at our many planned activities.  More details for these events can be found under the Preservation Programs tab on our website.

All Month Long – This Place Matters!  Campaign

Preservation Month Proclamations

May 2, 4:00pm, New Hanover County Courthouse Room 301

May 2, 4:00pm, Pender County Administrative Building

May 3, 6:30pm, City of Wilmington City Hall

May 7, 50th Anniversary Activities

At Hannah Block Historic USO and Community Arts Building, 120 S. 2nd Street 

10:00am – 2:00pm  Art on Display:  Photography Exhibitions by both Cape Fear Camera Club and area high school students and an exhibit of salvaged doors, artfully re-purposed by area elementary students.

10:00am – 2:00pm  Self-Guided Walking Tours – pick up map and info at USO

10:00am – 2:00pm  Hunt for History – pick up game at USO

10:30am – 12:30pm  Hands-on Activities at Children’s Museum of Wilmington, pick up free tickets at USO for children 10 and under

May 7 Activities at Other Locations

10:00am – 3:00pm  Landmark House Tour – 3 great houses, one low price.  $28  Call Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, 910.762.2511, for tickets

12:00pm – 1:30pm  Luncheon, Landmark House Tour add-on.  $10  Call Lower Cape Fear Historical Society for reservations, 910.762.2511

6:00pm – 8:00pm  Plein Air Reception & Art Auction, New Elements Gallery, 201 Princess Street.  $25  Register at 910.762.2511 or  HERE.

Legacy Architectural Salvage Workshop – May 14, 9:30am, 1831-B Dawson Street, RSVP:  salvage@historicwilmington.org.  Also select items 50% in May.

Preservation Talk – May 16, 6:00pm – 7:30pm, Hannah Block USO and Community Arts Center

HWF Preservation Awards Ceremony – May 19, 6:00pm, New Hanover County Courthouse, 24 N. 3rd Street

Shrimparoo – May 26, 6:30pm, Riverwalk Landing at Elijah’s Restaurant, 2 Ann Street, current and newly-joined members Friendraiser Event, Call 910.762.251 to reserve your spot today!

2016 Most Threatened Historic Places List Announcement – May 31, 10:00am, location TBD

James D. & Rosalie W. Carr Plaque Dedication – May 31, 2:00pm, Hannah Block Historic USO and Community Arts Center, 120 S. 2nd Street

Tax Credit Workshop – June 4, 8:30am – 12:30pm, Historic Thalian hall, City Couincil Chambers, 103 N. 3rd Street, $10 for members, $25 for non-members.  Register at 910.762.2511.



Church of Christ, Scientist

Climb the porch, cross the threshold and enter in to a very special part of Wilmington, NC.   Nine beautiful homes and one historic church, spanning 250 years of architectural history, will be open for you to explore.  As part of Wilmington’s Azalea Festival, the Home Tour will take place April 9, 1-6pm and April 10, 1-5pm.  From cottage to mansion, this Tour is not to be missed!

A ribbon cutting ceremony will kick-off this area’s largest Home Tour on Saturday, April 9, 12:30pm, at the magnificent Captain Harper House, 311 South Front Street.  Join City and County Dignitaries and Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles as we cut the ribbon, explore the home and enjoy free ice cream provided by Dairy Queen.

The tour is self-guided and tickets are good for the full weekend.  Tour goers can attend either or both days, and can start and end at any point along the route.

Tickets are available online HERE through 3:00pm, April 4th.  These purchases will be mailed to you.  You can also purchase tickets, in person, at the Foundation’s office, 2011 Market Street (inside Wilmington’s National Cemetery gates) through April 8.  For additional ways to purchase tickets or for information on the each of the homes on our Tour, please see our Azalea Festival Home Tour Events page HERE.

#AzaleaFestival  #HomeTour  #AFHT2016

President of the National Trust for Preservation to Visit

Stephanie_1378_2015Historic Wilmington Foundation will host Stephanie Meeks, President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, on Tuesday March 8 and Wednesday March 9.

National Trust leader since 2010, Ms Meeks has directed initiatives to develop an ambitious strategic plan designed to refocus direct action on saving imperiled places, engage new audiences in preservation, and increase the organization’s impact by a factor of ten.

There are 3 opportunities for you to hear her speak.

Governor Dudley Mansion Reception:  On Tuesday March 8th a very special reception will be held in Ms. Meek’s honor at the beautifully restored, historically significant Governor Dudley Mansion from 5:30-6:45pm.  Ms. Meeks will share comments, mingle with guests, pose for pictures.  Hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served.  This is a rare opportunity to see the Mansion and to visit with Ms. Meeks in a more intimate setting.  Reservations are $75 per person, $100 per couple and can be ordered by phone at 910.762.2511 or on line HERE.


Public Presentation:  Ms Meeks will give a public presentation on Tuesday March 8, 7:00-8:00pm at the Coastline conference and Events Center, 503 Nutt Street, Room B.  Light refreshments will be served.  $5 suggested donation.  To attend, RSVP HERE.


Business and Government Leaders Breakfast:  Wednesday March 9, 7:15-8:15am at UNCW’s historic Wise Alumni House, 1713 Market Street.  Ms Meeks will conduct a brief address.  A continental breakfast and coffee will be served.  Donations Accepted.  Parking for this event is available at the Temple Baptist Church, 1801 Market St.  Enter the Church parking lot from Princess Street.  The general public is welcome at this event.  To attend, RSVP HERE.

50th Annual Membership Meeting

All members and the public are invited to

Historic Wilmington Foundation’s 50th Annual Membership Meeting

Hannah Block Historic USO / Community Arts Center

120 South Second Street

6:30 pm -8:00 pm

Kick off our 50th Anniversary Year, meet the new board members and take a look back on 50 years of highlights and accomplishments through the eyes of 3 past board presidents.  Special Guest Speakers:  Janet Seapker, Don Britt, Michael Murchison.  A reception will follow the meeting.

RSVP if attending:  (910) 762-2511 or membership@historicwilmington.org.