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Historic preservation nominations now being accepted

A drive around Washington’s historic district reveals a different kind of history in the making — every corner one turns, there’s another building being fixed up, restored, rehabbed and more. Whether the sight is scaffolding crawling up a business district building’s exterior or a new porch, fence or paint job on a historic district home, work — and a lot of it — is going on across the downtown historic district.

“There’s certainly been a significant amount of work for 2019 and well into 2020,” said local realtor and historic preservation supporter Scott Campbell.

The district has seen an ongoing renaissance in sales and restoration, and the City of Washington wants to acknowledge the time, effort and, sometimes, patience of the homeowners who’ve committed them to historic properties with the annual Terrell Awards.

The City of Washington’s new historic preservation planner Domini Cunningham is now accepting nominations for the awards in four categories:  Best Residential Rehab, Best Commercial Rehab, the Good Neighbor Award and the Stewardship Award.

The city, along with Campbell, hosts the awards each year to acknowledge property owners who make the extra effort to preserve history. The awards are named for one of Washington’s founding historic preservationists, Rena K. Terrell, and are the outgrowth of the Local Government Commission requirement of the city to “give back” to those in the community upholding historic standards.

ON THE WEST SIDE: The Fowle family was awarded the Terrell Award for Stewardship for multiple generations of the Fowle family caretaking several West Main Street homes over the past five decades. Pictured is the quaint formal garden in the backyard of Sadie Fowle’s West Main Street home.

The awards come in four categories, to ensure all the property types are covered: rehabilitation of a commercial property; rehabilitation of a residential property; good stewardship, awarded to those who’ve worked over time on the continued upkeep of a historic property; and the good neighbor award, for those who’ve either done work that not benefits their own property, but neighbors’ as well, or someone who’s been a great advocate for the historic district. Nominations can come from anyone.

“The awardees will be folks that followed the guidelines, meaning they went to the planning department and the historic district office, discussed their plans and filled out the applications.

Minor work, the city staff approves right there, but if it’s major work, they have to go to the historic preservation commission and get approval,” Campbell said.

That process refers to the Best Commercial Rehab and Best Residential Rehab categories.

CARRYOUT THE AWARD: A past Terrell Award for Best Commercial Rehab went to the owners of Carryout by Chrislyn, who transformed a historic district home into a popular takeout/catering establishment without sacrificing the building’s historic charm, inside and out.

“The Good Neighbor Award — a good neighbor means that there’s been work done on a property, commercial or residential, and the work was done keeping in mind the neighborhood and neighbors, being sensitive and in keeping with the charm and historic nature of the neighborhood,” Campbell said. “The Stewardship Award means stewardship of a historic property, which means a property that maybe has not had work done this year but has been extremely well-maintained throughout its history.”

Campbell said anyone can nominate property owners for the awards, by emailing nominations to HPC@washingtonnc.gov or mailing them to City of Washington Terrell Awards, P.O. Box 1988, Washington NC 27889. The nomination deadline is April 15 and awards will be announced in May. For more information about nominations, call 252-946-0897 or email HPC@washingtonnc.gov.