Greensboro Seeks Historic Designation For Benbow Park Area

Greensboro Seeks Historic Designation For Benbow Park Area

3:17pm Aug 09, 2021
An example of a mid-century modern building. This is a file photo of Providence Baptist Church in Greensboro, which was designed by Clinton Gravely, a Black architect. Photo courtesy of Eric Woodward via the City of Greensboro Planning Department's Modernism and the Civil Rights Movement report.

A project is underway to preserve Black history in Greensboro. It includes nominating a portion of the Benbow Park neighborhood for a national designation.

A couple of years ago the city of Greensboro hired an architectural historian to do a survey of post-World War II neighborhoods in East Greensboro. The historian recommended that three districts in the Benbow Park area be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

The area is known for many examples of mid-century modern houses and churches designed and built by Black professionals — and it was home to leaders and participants of the Civil Rights Movement.

Greensboro’s Planning Department was recently awarded a $40,000 federal grant from the National Parks Service to move forward with the nomination process.

“Part of the project will be doing oral history interviews with long-time residents of the neighborhood," says Mike Cowhig, a senior planner with the city. 

Greensboro officials expect to hold community meetings in the fall to explain the project and help identify more people willing to share their stories.

The City's Planning Department has also received $14,000 in federal Historic Preservation funding to update its Downtown Greensboro Historic District National Register nomination. According to a press release, the original nomination was prepared in 1982 and amended in 2004.

Downtown was then re-surveyed in 2017 and its district boundary was expanded. The area was then added to the National Register Study List.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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