Preservation North Carolina searching for stories from Black architects, builders

North Carolina’s nonprofit preservation organization, Preservation North Carolina (PNC), is calling out for stories from and about Black architects and builders, brick masons and artisans who have constructed churches, houses, or other structures and buildings, according to a press release. The goal is to highlight and celebrate the hands that have been involved in erecting historical, treasured places across the state.

It’s part of PNC’s new educational program, “We Built This: Profiles of Black Architects and Builders in North Carolina,” inspired from its 1998 exhibit, “African American Builders and Architects in North Carolina.” Slated to be a multi-year educational program, “We Built This” will be a traveling exhibit showcasing three centuries of makers and creators, with a goal to debut in 2022. A spinoff three-part film and book will follow.

While the 1998 exhibit paid tribute to contributions from Black artisans on statewide landmarks during the founding of the colony in 1865, PNC plans for the followup exhibit to build upon foundations of that research and uncover works done from 1866 to present. The program also will delve into that which affected Black Americans throughout history in the South, such as Reconstruction, HBCUs and local Black churches, Jim Crow laws, segregated public facilities and neighborhoods, civil rights, and rise of new Black professionals.


PNC noted in a press release the exhibit “will tell of the talent, perseverance and resilience of the Black craftsmen and designers who thrived despite the heavy weight of racism.” 

All stories are welcome and can be shared with Julianne Patterson by sending to jpatterson@presnc.org


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