Alexander County Historic Preservation Committee visits Wilkesboro

The Town of Wilkesboro hosted the Alexander County Historic Preservation Committee on September 29. Pictured, L-R: Alexander County Commissioner Larry Yoder; Alexander County CHP member Helen Chestnut; Pamela Holder, Wilkesboro HPC member; Alexander County CHP member Walter Lee Sharpe; Dylan Powell, Wilkesboro city planner; Wilkesboro CHP member Donnie Bumgarner; Alexander County CHP member Nancy Coley; Ann Showalter, member of the Wilkesboro HPC; Marilyn Payne, CHP member from Wilkesboro; and Alexander County CHP member Betty Long.

WILKESBORO, NC – The City of Wilkesboro shared its experience in preserving historic downtown Wilkesboro with the Alexander County Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) during a visit Thursday, September 29.

The day began with historical documentation from the turn of the century to the present presented by the Town of Wilkesboro’s Director of Planning and Community Development, Andrew Carlton. During his presentation, Carlton shared the value of the “four Ps” – positivity, perseverance, patience and partnerships. He said the “four Ps” are essential when implementing long-term revitalization plans.

Wilkes County has a nearly nine-mile greenway that intersects with historic downtown Wilkesboro. Cub Creek runs through the city with a city park of over 150 acres surrounding the creek. Nine miles of biking and hiking trails provide outdoor recreation opportunities for citizens and visitors who spend time and money downtown when visiting Cub Creek Park.

As North Carolina’s Main Street community since 2009, Wilkesboro has developed a multi-phase revitalization plan for historic downtown Wilkesboro.

The City of Wilkesboro provides financial incentives to property owners in the historic district through an annual matching grant program. Wilkesboro’s Historic Downtown Grant Program includes four categories of funding: architectural services, capital improvements, facade improvements, and signage. A guided tour of historic downtown Wilkesboro confirms the community benefits received from the grant program.

The town of Wilkesboro hosted the Alexander County CHP for lunch in a renovated historic building, followed by a tour of the Wilkes Heritage Museum in the restored 1902 Wilkes County Courthouse. Wilkes Heritage Museum Director Jennifer Furr offered a guided tour of the educational and cultural attraction. Many stories of early settlement, military history, industry, agriculture, medicine, communication, education, entertainment and transportation are told through a collection of artifacts and images.

Historic downtown Wilkesboro has provided HPC with many beneficial lessons and strategies as HPC strives to preserve the history and culture of Alexander County.

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