WILKESBORO, NC — The Town of Wilkesboro shared their experience in preserving Historic Downtown Wilkesboro with the Alexander County Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) during a visit on Thursday, September 29.
The day began with historical documentation ranging from the turn of the century to present day presented by the Town of Wilkesboro Planning and Community Development Director Andrew Carlton. During his presentation, Carlton shared the value of the “Four P’s” — positivity, persistence, patience, and partnerships. He said the “Four P’s” are vital when implementing long-range revitalization plans.
Wilkes County has a nearly nine-mile greenway intersecting with Historic Downtown Wilkesboro. Cub Creek flows through town with a 150-plus acre municipal park surrounding the creek. Nine miles of bike and hiking trails offer outdoor recreational opportunities to citizens and visitors who spend time and money downtown when visiting Cub Creek Park.
As a North Carolina Main Street Community since 2009, Wilkesboro has developed a multiphase revitalization plan for Historic Downtown Wilkesboro.
The Town of Wilkesboro offers financial incentives to historic district property owners through an annual matching grant program. The Historic Downtown Wilkesboro Grant Program has four categories of funding: Architectural Services, Capital Improvements, Façade Improvements, and Signs. A walk-through of Wilkesboro’s Historic Downtown confirms the community benefits received from the grant program.
The Town of Wilkesboro hosted the Alexander County HPC to 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 provided a guided tour of the educational and cultural attraction. Numerous 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 provided the HPC with many beneficial lessons and strategies as the HPC works to preserve the history and culture of Alexander County.