Historic Homes Abound in Oxford
Posted July 24, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT
OXFORD — Folks in Oxford love to recycle things, but while people in other cities recycle newspapers and aluminum cans, Oxford is earning a reputation for recycling buildings and preserving its history.
According to City Manager Tommy Morrow, these days in Oxford what's old is new again.
City leaders offer incentives for downtown business owners to tear down false facades and reveal the old brick and limestone that's hidden underneath. A law firm moved into the old Orpheum Theater, but the building still boasts the classic marquee. The real treasure of Oxford's blast from the past is the old high school which is now City Hall.
Before the renovation some said the school should be torn down but others, such as building supervisor Mark Fulcher, saw a diamond in the rough.
And there are plenty of other examples of Oxford's spirit of preservation. When the Post Office erected a new building across the street 30 years ago, Oxford Baptist Church bought the old structure converting it to children's classrooms and nurseries.
Pastor Steve Bolton says the building is just what the church needed.
Some thought the city's 147 year old jail had outlived it's usefulness, but now it's a county museum. Museum employee Pam Thornton says the building might have been torn down.
The love of history spills outside the old prison walls these days. Morrow says downtown Oxford is now becoming an exhibit unto itself.
Oxford is located about an hour north of Raleigh.