See, save and celebrate

by Shannon Rae Gentry
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Staff photo by Allison Potter 

George Edwards, executive director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, speaks to visitors during the Old House Fair on Sunday, May 5 at the Coastline Conference and Event Center.

The Historic Wilmington Foundation hosted its first Old House Fair at the Coastline Conference and Event Center on Sunday, May 5 to celebrate National Preservation Month.

The event featured about 20 vendors from local Preservation Resources Network members and nonmembers who discussed topics in rehabilitation and restoration, energy efficiency, preservation tax credits and more.

Some vendors included masonry by Carolina Solid Rock Masonry, interior designers like Karen Johnston Interiors, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and BPS Green Homes, as well as representatives from city and state historic preservation offices. There were also workshops in wood window repair and presentations on building performance.

Historic homeowner Nancy Geimer said that she had just completed work on her own house and hoped to pick up more practical “old home” tips at the fair.

“We’re just really into the idea of having an older home and taking care of it, keeping it old and letting it get older,” Geimer said. “It’s so important to me that things don’t just get torn down. These homes have so much more character [and] I think older homes are older because they were built to last.” 

George W. Edwards is the executive director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation and said that one of the goals for this fair is to become an annual event to coincide with Preservation Month every May, which carries a new theme each year. 

Edwards said this year’s theme of “See! Save! Celebrate!” coincidently tied in nicely with the fair, as well as other activities the month will bring.

“The idea is to give the consumer an opportunity to see and talk to these specialists in one place and one time, and be better prepared to care for your old house or to more knowledgably purchase an old house,” he said.

Last weekend also kicked off the Inaugural Guided Walking Tour of Wilmington’s first streetcar suburbs in Carolina Heights and Carolina Place. The second leg of the walking tour in the first automobile suburb of Forest Hills is planned for Saturday, May 11, from 3-5 p.m. The tour will be offered at no cost.

“It’s all about education … and I think the ‘See! Save! Celebrate!’ theme ties nicely into those walking tours, because you’re going to see these neighborhoods, understand how they’ve developed and celebrate the successes that occurred there,” Edwards said.

Regular tours on both new routes will begin on Saturday, May 18 at $10 per person. For details, visit


Historic Preservation Month Events

Inaugural Guided Walking Tour of Wilmington’s First
Automobile Suburb — Forest Hills

Saturday, May 11, 3-5 p.m. 

Meet at Forest Hills Elementary School, 602 Colonial Drive

Reception to follow at 414 Forest Hills Drive

Please call 910-762-2511to RSVP

Preservation Talk 

Tuesday, May 14, The Bellamy Mansion Museum, 503 Market Street, 6:30 p.m.

Address by Preservation North Carolina President Myrick Howard 

$5 general admission, free to Bellamy Mansion Museum members and volunteers,
HWF members and students

James D. and Rosalie W. Carr Plaque Dedication 

Date TBA, check  for details

Historical Wilmington Foundation Preservation Awards Ceremony 

Thursday, May 23, Historic New Hanover County Courthouse, 24 North Third Street, 6:30 p.m.

Awards to be presented for restoration, rehabilitation, compatible infill and adaptive reuse projects 

Awards of merit and the Brinkley Preservationist of the Year will also be presented

Reception to follow

Co-sponsored by Residents of Old Wilmington, New Hanover County and Wilmington Downtown, Inc.

Defending the Cape Fear 

Lectures and tour presented by Dr. Chris Fonvielle Jr., UNCW history professor and noted author 

The series is offered by Bellamy Mansion Museum, Cape Fear Museum, Historical Society of the Lower Cape Fear and Historic Wilmington Foundation. 

Colonial Era and American Revolution
Tuesday, May 21, Cape Fear Museum, 814 Market St., 7–8 p.m.

Tour of Fort Caswell and Tour of Fort Anderson
Saturday, May 25

Tour of Fort Caswell, 10 a.m. 100 Caswell Beach Road, Oak Island
Tour of Fort Anderson, 12:30 p.m., 8884 St. Phillips Road SE, Winnabow 

Civil War through WWII
Tuesday, May 28, Cape Fear Museum, 814 Market St., 7–8 p.m. 

Lectures and tour are $10 each, package price: $25

Call 910-762-2511

Most Threatened Historic Places List 2013 Announcement 

Debut of the new most threatened historic places, site TBA 

Check  for updates

Spring Shrimparoo 

Thursday, May 30, Riverwalk Landing at Elijah’s, 2 Ann St., 6:30 p.m. 

Friendraiser and membership event 

with shrimp, beer and music on the deck 

Historical Wilmington Foundation members $20; non-members join at the door

Current HWF members can bring a new member to the party and get in free

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