11/16/08 — Preservation group meets in Goldsboro

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Preservation group meets in Goldsboro

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on November 16, 2008 2:00 AM

Members of the Preservation North Carolina Board of Advisors, the only private nonprofit historic preservation organization in the state, visited Goldsboro this weekend for their quarterly board meeting.

Preservation North Carolina picked the city in part because of the collaborative effort between the group, the city and Self-Help to preserve historical homes in Goldsboro and "to see all of the work that's been done so far," PNC event coordinator Diana Dimsdale said.

"Goldsboro is certainly setting a great precedent for historic preservation in the state. It's a good example of what other small towns can accomplish," she added.

Mayor Al King extended the invitation for the group to meet at the historic City Hall.

The board members attended a reception Friday night at the home of Charlie and Rhonda Gaylor, had their board meeting Saturday at City Hall, ate lunch at the Flying Shamrock and then took a trolley tour of the city.

Preservation North Carolina's mission is to protect and promote buildings, landscapes and sites important to the diverse heritage of North Carolina. The group has helped with historical preservation efforts in Goldsboro by placing historic homes for sale in the area on the its Web site, www.presnc.org.

But the Preservation NC board is not the only historically minded group to visit Goldsboro.

On Wednesday, seniors and graduate students from the History Department of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington will also come to the city for a historical tour.

William D. Moore, Ph.D., associate professor and director of public history at the university, has been bringing his class to Goldsboro for some time -- this will be the third group in four years.

"The students I bring to Goldsboro are enrolled in a class on historic preservation. I take them on field trips to visit various sites to learn about the range of activities that are practiced under this title," Moore said.

He said the visits coincide with class discussion of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Program.

"The Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. is a model for how a community can invest in its historic infrastructure through creative promotion, marketing and adaptive use," Moore said. "The DGDC has been broadly recognized for its programs and has received awards from Preservation North Carolina, the state's most important non-profit preservation organization."

The trips to Goldsboro provide the students with "a greater understanding of what historic preservation can mean for a community," Moore said, and many, he added, are inspired by the difference that preserving historical elements can provide for the life of a town.

"Goldsboro shows them how historic preservation is not simply about old buildings, but rather is about community identity and sense of place," he said.