Greensboro has a powerful new tool in historic preservation.
Although the Preservation Greensboro Development Fund (formerly the Revolving Fund) was established in 1989, it has recently enjoyed a surge of energy that will enable a new strategy in saving Greensboro’s defining historic and architectural sites. The Fund is an autonomous sister organization to Preservation Greensboro, and it is governed by a majority of Preservation Greensboro board members.
Initiated to acquire and improve sites of historical or architectural significance in and around Guilford County, the fund has had a hand in several high-profile projects. In 1991, the Fund worked to preserve the 1856 Daniel P. Foust House near Whitsett (image, above right). A year later, the Fund acquired the 1847 Troy-Bumpass House in College Hill (now the Troy Bumpas Inn) and sold the property to a couple who restored the antebellum site for use as a bed and breakfast (image, center right).
Through the next decade, projects including a $20,000 loan to develop the Aycock Neighborhood Plan and a grant to the City of Greensboro to assist the c. 1885 Hanner House restoration in the Old Asheboro neighborhood broadened the Fund’s strategic course.
Stung by the loss of the ca. 1850 Arbor House, Greensboro’s preservation community rallied around the Fund as a proactive tool in engaging the city, developers, and property stewards in preserving historic sites. The organization has opened a dialog with the Redevelopment Commission of Greensboro to sell a 100-year old home at 1120 Randolph Street to an individual under terms to restore the house for single family occupancy. The Fund worked with Guilford College intern Lauren Talley to explore the history of the house. Using Sanborn Maps, Greensboro’s Polk City Directories, and the Guilford County Census, Talley discovered the house was built in 1905 and first housed Breeden family.
The Breeden House stands on a prominent corner in the heart of the Arlington Park neighborhood. The 2,753+ square foot Queen Anne home features an L-shaped porch and a second-floor sleeping porch. Interior appointments include a grand foyer and a spacious stair hall. Three fireplaces exist on the first level which still retains their ornate mantels.
The Development Fund has a bright future. Its role is adaptable and flexible, and can range from purchasing, relocating, or rehabilitating historic structures to utilizing preservation easements, covenants, and rehabilitation agreements to help protect historic properties in perpetuity. Finances raised by the organization through projects will be reapplied to the Fund’s non-profit mission through future projects.
Stay tuned for updates related to the work of the Preservation Greensboro Development Fund. Theirs is an investment not only in history, but in the economic revitalization of Greensboro’s neighborhoods and tax base.