Historic Wilmington Foundation celebrates 50 years preserving local landmarks

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Local architectural historian and Foundation volunteer, Ed Turberg, lecturing the crowd at last years tour. Ed will lead the Post Thanksgiving Tour once again this year. (Credit: Historic Wilmington Foundation)

Wilmington, N.C. – Celebrating its 50th year, Historic Wilmington Foundation has worked to protect and preserve the irreplaceable architectural and historic resources of the Lower Cape Fear region since 1966.

The Foundation was established by a group of citizens concerned about the destruction of Wilmington’s historic buildings. They established a revolving fund, the first of its kind in NC, to save historic properties by purchasing them, applying protective easements and then selling them under terms requiring the buildings’ rehabilitation and future protection.

Historic Wilmington Foundation has been directly responsible for saving over 100 buildings such as the de Rosset House (now the City Club), the Coastline Conference and Events Center building and the three buildings which house the Children’s Museum of Wilmington.

Its influence has impacted the preservation and restoration of far more. Beyond saving buildings, Historic Wilmington Foundation educates the community on historic preservation through talks, seminars and a partnership with New Hanover County Schools, Tar Heels Go Walking, which educates approximately 2,400 3rd grade students annually. It advocates for tools which make preservation possible such as the state tax credits and National Register designations and makes preservation more attainable through its salvage outlet, Legacy Architectural Salvage, which accepts and re-sells donations of architectural elements c.1960 and older.

The Swart-Mathis house located at 314 Colonial Drive, where this years Post Thanksgiving Tour will be hosted. (Courtesy: Historic Wilmington Foundation)
The Swart-Mathis house located at 314 Colonial Drive, where this years Post Thanksgiving Tour will be hosted. (Courtesy: Historic Wilmington Foundation)

In addition to all these activities, Historic Wilmington Foundation hosts special outreach and fundraising events throughout the year. One such event is its annual Post-Thanksgiving Tour, now in its 22nd year.

This year’s tour will be of the Swart-Mathis House, 314 Colonial Drive in Wilmington on Sunday November 27, 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Local architectural historian and Foundation volunteer, Ed Turberg, will lead an in-depth look at the architecture and history of this home. Light refreshments will follow. The tour is free for HWF members and $10 for guests. Call 910.762.2511 to reserve your spot.

Looking ahead to 2017, Historic Wilmington Foundation is already planning offerings for the public including its Annual Meeting on January 26 and its famed Azalea Festival Home Tour April 8 and 9 which will offer an inside peak at 9 of the areas gorgeous historic homes and an historic church. More info on these events and the Foundation can be found on their website at www.historicwilmington.org.

-Information compiled and submitted by Historic Wilmington Foundation

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