May 2012, Issue 7

Seagroves Farm: A Preservation Success Story in Wake County






To remove your name from our mailing list, please click here.

Questions or comments? E-mail us at

NC State Historic Preservation Office logo and link

For statewide event lists click here (HPO Facebook events page) and here (PNC events calendar).


May is National Preservation Month!  The 2012 preservation month theme is “Discover America’s Hidden Gems.”  Click here for more information.


2012 Leicester B. Holland Prize: A single-sheet measured drawing competition that recognizes the best single-sheet measured drawing of a historic building, site, or structure prepared to HABS, HAER or HALS standards. The competition is administered by the Heritage Documentation Programs of the National Park Service and is open to all those interested regardless of experience or professional background.  The winner of the 2012 Leicester B. Holland Prize will receive a $1,000 cash prize, a certificate of recognition, and publication of the winning drawing in Architectural Record magazine.  There is no charge to enter the competition. The entry form (available on the HDP website) must be submitted by June 1, 2012 and the final competition submission postmarked by June 29, 2012. To download the Holland Prize entry form or more information visit:

*  *  *  *  *

Edenton’s Broad Street was named last week one of four great main streets in the state by the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association, joining Charlotte, Hillsborough and Asheville. Mt. Airy received the people's choice award for having a great main street.  Click here for the full story.


Congratulations to the recipients of the FY 2012 HPO Federal pass-through grants. Click here for the full list.


Department of Cultural Resources logo and linkDivision of Historical Resources logoPhoto montage of historic buildings across NCText Box: Workshops and Classes

Historic Preservation Trade Courses at Edgecombe Community College, Continuing Education Weekend Workshops Spring and Summer 2012:


Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Section 106 Training Sessions: W:\ah\hpo\Newsletter\2012 Course Announcement 2.pdf

*  *  *  *  *

Do you know of any workshops, trainings, or classes in your area?  Would you like us to help you get the word out?

Email us at least a month in advance of the day and we will try to add you to our newsletter and Facebook page.

Text Box: Recent National Register Nominations

Click on the links below to see photographs and the full nominations for the following properties:


William H. Lee House (Bertie County), prepared by L. Blokker, listed on 4/16/12

The ca. 1820 frame I-house, built with a hall-parlor plan, is a rare surviving example of the Federal style in Bertie County.


Penland Post Office and General Store (Mitchell County), prepared by H. Cole, listed on 4/16/12

The front-gabled, frame Penland Post Office and General Store served an important role in the Penland community’s communications and commerce from circa 1900 to 1962. 


Gaston School (Northampton County), prepared by E. Turco, listed on 4/11/12

Gaston School is one of the earliest buildings erected as part of a campaign begun around 1950 to build new schools in Northampton County.  Built in stages between ca. 1950 and ca. 1968, the school is also a fairly intact example of a Modernist institutional building in a primarily rural and architecturally conservative county.


Robeson County Agricultural Building, prepared by B. Keane, listed on 4/16/12

The WPA constructed this two-story-on-basement, brick Colonial Revival-style institutional building in 1937.


Samuel J. Atkinson House (Surry County), prepared by L. Phillips, listed on 4/16/12

See the feature story below for more details.


Williamson Page House (Wake County), prepared by E. Turco, listed on 4/16/12

This house was previously featured in our March newsletter (click here).

Wordpress logo and link to blogFacebook logo and link

Also visit us at:

The Newsletter of the North Carolina

    State Historic Preservation Office

Text Box: In This Issue
Text Box: Events and Awards

Decorative Interior Paint at the Samuel Josiah Atkinson House, Surry County

Photo of diapering on transom

The Samuel Josiah Atkinson House, in the Siloam community in the southeastern section of Surry County, was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  Completed in 1893, it is a vernacular I-house with simple late Victorian decoration.  Accompanying the main house is a notable collection of nine domestic and agricultural outbuildings and structures, seven of which date from the period of significance, 1893 to ca. 1900.  Also notable are the interior finishes found in the main house. Laura Phillips, the author of the nomination, conducted a survey of interior finishes in North Carolina during the 1980s and 1990s and found that this is one of ten houses identified in Surry County with decorative interior painting.  Seven of the ten – like the Samuel Josiah Atkinson House – possess more than one type of painting.  Represented are examples of wood grained, marbled, stone-blocked, smoked, stenciled, trompe l’oeil, and polychromed painting.


The transom over the main entry of the house is painted with a diaper pattern with tiny green leaves painted at the junctions of the lines.  Other rooms on the first floor may also have contained decorative painting but no examples remain. In contrast, decorative painting survives throughout the second floor.  Here,

mantels and doors are wood grained, the most common form of decorative painting found in North Carolina, to resemble various cuts of a wood similar to mahogany.  The one exception is the mantel shelf in the west room, which has brightly colored vertical painted stripes on its edge. The west room also has a stenciled cornice with a lyre motif.  In addition, the second-floor fireplaces have fire boxes with a mix of painted marble finishes.  Bright colors used throughout the house are also thought to be part of the original color scheme.


Click here read the full nomination.


Photographs by Laura Phillips

Photo of wood grained and marbled mantelPhoto of stenciled cornice with lyre detail.

Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Ramona Bartos was recently able to attend the annual Wake County Historic Preservation Celebration held in Apex, during which the current owners of Seagroves Farm received a landmark plaque.  Three other properties, the Hales-Punnell-Bunn House in Wendell, owned by Keith and Kara Acree, the Williamson Page House in Morrisville, owned by Mary Jo Ferrell and D. H. Lumley, and the Zeb and Lorena Atkinson House in Fuquay-Varina, owned by Richard and Jeanne Robinson,  were also recognized at the event, which was co-sponsored by the Wake County Historic Preservation Commission and Capital Area Preservation.  The 1910 home of John Henry and Nevada Seagroves was slated for demolition in 2005 to make way for a new subdivision on the 92-acre farm.  However, the house and surrounding outbuildings were rescued and rehabilitated for office use by the current owners, Bill and Cindy Cotton.  Click here for more about this story.

Intern Kudos!  Special thanks to Mary Frances Daniel for her time interning with us this spring, especially for her hard work helping to update the historic property survey files and database of our Environmental Review branch. Mary Frances graduated in May from UNC-Greensboro with a Master of Arts in History, with a Concentration in Historic Preservation. She is now employed by Preservation North Carolina in their Raleigh office. Congratulations!

Would you like to help?  If you are interested in assisting the Historic Preservation Office please email us and share your interests and availability.

Heartfelt Thanks!  Our resident HPO social media “guru” Lucy Pittman Spaziano is leaving us for the greener pastures of California.  Thank you, Lucy, for bringing our office into the twenty-first-century world of social media and for your great work preparing for National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers-sponsored visits to Capitol Hill over the years.  Best wishes!

Our new newsletter coordinator is Jessica Dockery.  She can be reached here if you have questions or comments about the newsletter or if you have something that you would like us to add to it.

On May 10, the recently launched NPS Heritage & Historic Preservation Facebook page featured a picture of the Blount-Harvey Building (an income-producing tax credit project) in Greenville under the heading “historic tax credit projects” (left-hand column about halfway down the page).  Since then the Win-Mock Dairy Barn project in Davie County was featured prominently on the NPS page.  Visit their page at!/HHPreservItNPS to view other successful tax credit projects.

The photographs above give a sense of the effort put into this tax credit project.




Have you seen us on Facebook yet?  We are posting important preservation news items, event notices, links to interesting sites, photos, and other information that might help you in your preservation activities or just make you think. “Like” us and visit often at

Facebook logoBlount-Harvey Building before rehabilitation

Blount-Harvey Building Rehabilitation Tax Credit Project Featured on NPS Facebook Page

Edenton Hosts a Window and Masonry Workshop                                           Michele McCabe

On April 13, 2012, the Town of Edenton held a workshop to educate historic residential and commercial property owners on the repair of wooden windows and masonry. Funded by a Historic Preservation Fund grant, the workshop drew over forty participants within the twenty-seven county region of the Eastern Office of Archives and History. Four staff members (Reid Thomas, John Wood, Paul Fomberg, and Michele McCabe) were also on hand to assist with the event.

David Hoggard, an expert in window restoration, presented a program that countered popular claims that wooden windows are inherently energy inefficient and provided examples of simple weatherization techniques to increase their energy efficiency.  He also presented methods and tools used to restore these key architectural elements of historic buildings to their original condition giving all participants an opportunity to practice repairs on wooden windows.

Jack Peet, a specialist in masonry restoration, presented methods and tools used to repair historic masonry and gave a discussion on the use of appropriate mortars.  Using the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, Mr. Peet carefully removed a section of deteriorated mortar and showed participants the proper techniques to repoint the bricks. 

A group of people watching a masonry repointing demonstrationEdenton masonry workshop with close-up or repointing

Photographs by Reid Thomas

California State Flagintern clip-art

New and fascinating observations have been made regarding the Lost Colony and a new theory proposed about their relocation from Roanoke Island thanks to the further analysis of a historic map.  On May 27, 2012, Dr. James Horn discussed his book A Kingdom Strange:  The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke with the Virginia Historical Society.  To view the video click here.

Dr. James Horn Presents New Theories About the Lost Colony Site

Decorative Interior Paint at the Samuel Josiah Atkinson House

Seagroves Farm: A Preservation Success Story in Wake County

Blount-Harvey Building Rehabilitation Tax Credit Project Featured
on NPS Facebook Page

Edenton Hosts a Window and Masonry Workshop

Dr. James Horn Presents New Theories About the Lost Colony Site
1956 photo of Blount-Harvey Building, GreenvilleBlount-Harvey Building post-rehabilitation

During rehabilitation

Over the past four decades, the HPO has sponsored or co-sponsored comprehensive architectural surveys of 75 of the state’s 100 counties and more than 60 municipalities not included in a county-wide project. Many of these surveys should be updated as they were conducted more than 20 years ago. In an additional 21 counties, regional overview surveys have recorded only selected properties, while four counties -- Hoke, Montgomery, Robeson, and Wilkes -- have had virtually no survey outside of a few municipalities. The HPO is eager to assist local sponsors interested in having an architectural survey of their town or county. For more information, contact our architectural survey coordinator at or 919-807-6573.

Text Box: Partnership Possibilities