Noteworthy

Historic preservation group lauds Chapel Hill

Posted February 15, 2011

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— The National Trust for Historic Preservation on Tuesday named Chapel Hill among a dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2011.

The group said it selected Chapel Hill from among 50 applicants for its stately charm, dynamic cultural offerings and its citizens’ dedication to protecting and sharing its unique heritage.

“From its well-preserved historic districts to its quiet winding streets and bustling downtown, Chapel Hill lives up to its nickname as the ‘Southern Part of Heaven,’” Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said in a statement. “While the diversity of retail and nightlife options in Chapel Hill is well known, travelers will also appreciate the two centuries of architectural grandeur on display throughout the town. Chapel Hill is the perfect place for travelers looking for a truly distinctive destination.”

John Hildreth, director of the National Trust's southern regional office, called Chapel Hill "a distinctive place ... a very special place."

The town has three local historic districts and four National Register Historic Districts, and the trust lists Crook's Corner restaurant, the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, Ackland Art Museum, Old Chapel Hill Cemetery and Franklin Street among the town's highlights.

Historic preservation group lauds Chapel Hill Historic preservation group lauds Chapel Hill

"Chapel Hill has done a lot to protect its past, and now, as it moves into building its strong future, it's wonderful that the National Trust is saying, 'You haven't lost all that makes you unique. You haven't lost the historic attributes that make people want to visit,'" said Laurie Paolicelli, executive director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.

The other locations cited by the National Trust include Alexandria, Va., Colorado Springs, St. Paul, Minn., and Sonoma, Calif.

People can vote online until March 15 to select the "fan favorite" from the 12 locations.

The National Trust has named its Distinctive Destinations for 12 years, and Hillsborough was honored with a selection several years ago.

Chapel Hill officials said recognition by the National Trust has led to a 10 percent jump in local tourism for many previous honorees.

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  • photoroy8 Feb 21, 2011

    There are other parts of Chapel Hill to visit than the two blocks downtown.
    Now downtown is a problem because of the high rent so only businesses with high profits margins can exist in the two block down town area. However four out of every five new businesses in the US are gone before the first five years are up so there should be turn over downtown.

    to quote the article
    "The town has three local historic districts and four National Register Historic Districts, and the trust lists Crook's Corner restaurant, the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, Ackland Art Museum, Old Chapel Hill Cemetery and Franklin Street among the town's highlights."
    There is also the Dean Dome and many places in Carrboro, although not part of Chapel Hill officially, like The Art Center and Carr Mill Mall and Train Station motif to visit.

  • ncguy Feb 16, 2011

    Ya I suppose so since they won't let any building going on unless it's an ugly go green building that takes 5 years to get through all the red tape and hurdles set by a town council that is so liberal they can't see straight.

    then they complain that they have to raise taxes every year because no one can build anything new. water prices continue to sky rocket to make up for no new connection fees and they tell you to conserve water and revenue is down so they increase the price.

  • Bon Viveur Feb 15, 2011

    I agree with Dmccall. The downtown strip of Franklin St. while attractive, never supports quality retail. Several businesses have recently closed in the 100 block. It's a shame that the only shops that stay afloat are t-shirt vendors and pizza joints. Chapel Hill is a lovely town, I've lived here since the early 80's, but it needs to do something to encourage the folks who try to bring life back into the retail market.

  • dmccall Feb 15, 2011

    They forgot to mention how retail outlets on Franklin St. rarely last as long as the average undergraduate student and how the town has 3 streets, making it slow to navigate. (ie I DON'T miss my 9 years of living there)

  • I Change This Name Daily Feb 15, 2011

    thank you golo for allowing me to see through rose censored glasses

    the world looks much cleaner

  • I Change This Name Daily Feb 15, 2011

    how about the golo condensed version, cleaned up

    chapel hill does a good job of hiding its beggars and substance abusers

  • u stand corrected Feb 15, 2011

    Treehugger territory!

  • luv2surffish2 Feb 15, 2011

    what makes you think folks care about this ??