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Thu May 31, 2007
Threatened Historic Places
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – Abandoned cottages, bungalows and shotgun homes are on this year's Most Threatened list out of the Historic Wilmington Foundation.
Many of the homes were built between the Civil War and Great Depression. Historic Wilmington Foundation Director George Edwards says historic officials in Wilmington receive up to four requests a month to demolish these kinds of homes. Edwards says keeping these homes ensures diverse neighborhoods.
What would we be in 25 years if our history has slipped away? Modern Wilmington? Well, we can be modern Wilmington, but we need to be historic Wilmington too.
Edwards says he hopes residents step in to rehab these homes and turn them into affordable housing.
Historic Wilmington Foundation also put Wilmington's 5th Avenue Baptist Church and Glenn Hotel in Wrightsville Beach on its most threatened list. While area fishing piers like the 84-year-old pier in Kure Beach topped the most threatened list.
The African-American beach resort of Seabreeze in New Hanover County and abandoned Rosenwald school buildings in Pender County are also listed.
State Historic Preservation Officer Jeffery Crow says there is a statewide push to save Rosenwald schools buildings.
There are more Rosenwald Schools in North Carolina than any other state, which surprises people when they hear that. Of course many of them are gone now, but there are still a large number that could be saved.
Crow says communities across the state are using historic Rosenwald School buildings for community centers and non-profits.
The schools were built in the early 1900's by Sears Roebuck president Julius Rosenwald to help educate rural black children across the south.