The Shelter Series Presented by Preservation North Carolina

Virtual Programming Series about Places That Matter

We fondly refer to PNC as “the animal shelter for old houses.” It’s a fun nickname, but a responsibility we take to heart. Right now, “shelter” has taken on so many important meanings. At its core, we believe “shelter” remains what it’s always been – a place that provides cover and protection.

Our work is focused on the houses, buildings, churches, schools, and mills that have provided cover and protection for generations of North Carolinians. During this time when “sheltering” has become central to our lives, we want to explore with you the culture, architecture, diversity and stories of the many shelters across our state.

We hope you’ll join us as we provide some fun, distraction, cover and comfort. Come virtually “Shelter” with us! Scroll below for upcoming Shelter Series events!

Support for the Shelter Series has been generously funded in part by:

If you are interested in sponsoring a Shelter Series event, contact Shannon Phillips.

Jean Laffite Revealed: Unraveling One of America’s Longest Running Mysteries

Tuesday, October 26th at 4pm

Join us for a presentation by Beth Yarbrough and Dr. Ashley Oliphant as they share the primary documents and artifacts that allowed them to prove that New Orleans pirate Jean Laffite faked his 1820's death in their recently released book, "Jean Laffite Revealed: Unraveling One of America's Longest Running Mysteries."

Lifelong North Carolinians Beth Yarbrough and her daughter, Dr. Ashley Oliphant, never intended to be pirate hunters, but once they realized the old stories about the strange Frenchman named Lorenzo Ferrer who arrived in Lincolnton in 1839 might be true, they had to investigate. It turns out that Ferrer was actually the New Orleans pirate Jean Laffite living under an assumed name. Yarbrough and Oliphant's two-year-long research journey led them through dark graveyards, mysterious Freemason lodges, dusty courthouse basements, amazing Ivy League libraries and alligator-infested swamps in seven states. Audiences who have participated in their national book tour this year have been delighted by their lively storytelling and their incredible discoveries. The book can be purchased at jeanlaffiterevealed.com.

Click here to register!

Image: Front cover of the book "Jean Laffite Revealed: Unraveling One of America's Longest Running Mysteries."

Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge and Wilmington’s Other Battleship

Tuesday, October 5th at 4pm

Join us for a presentation by Dr. Mark Wilde-Ramsing, an archaeologist with the NC Division of Archives and History/Underwater Archaeology Branch from 1978 to 2012, about two of North Carolina’s most important shipwreck sites.

Dr. Wilde-Ramsing's first investigation took place in the mid-1970’s on the banks of the Cape Fear River at Wilmington. The discovery was the Nuestra Senora se Regla, a ship that later became the USS Commodore Hull. The second: Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of modern times. Dr. Wilde-Ramsing will present a fascinating look at the people and histories of their times and the efforts archaeologists have undertaken to reveal how and what their physical remains add to each vessel’s narrative.

Image: The Queen Anne’s Revenge

“A superiour manner to what has been customary”: Architecture and Ambition at Ayr Mount

Tuesday, September 28th at 4pm

Join us for a presentation on the historic Ayr Mount by Jeffrey E. Klee, Vice-President and Senior Director of Architecture for the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust.

Ayr Mount cuts a grand figure in Hillsborough, just as William Kirkland intended when he built it in 1815. With its three-part massing, handsome Flemish-bond brick walls, and spacious interior, it still impresses visitors two centuries later. A closer look, however, reveals that the story of its creation is complex, marked by disagreements over pricing and changes made in the middle of construction, as its builders worked out how to build a stylish new house on an unusual plan. William Kirkland joined many other wealthy Americans who wanted novel, impressive dwellings in the opening decades of the nineteenth century but found the path to architectural distinction to be difficult and expensive.

Image: Classical American Homes Preservation Trust

Montfort Hall - Heights House

Tuesday, August 31st at 4pm

Grab your lunch and join Sarah and Jeff Shepherd, owners of Montfort Hall, to learn what drew them to restore the Raleigh landmark and how it evolved into the stunning Heights House Hotel.

Image: The Shepherds in front of Heights House Hotel

Josephus Daniels and Historic Wakestone

Tuesday, April 27th at 4pm

Recently, the city of Raleigh removed the historic landmark designation of Wakestone, home of Josephus Daniels, a white supremacist and former publisher of The News & Observer. Join us for a discussion with Daniels biographer, Professor Lee Craig, about Daniels’ complex legacy and the role of historic properties in exploring challenging and sometimes problematic history.

Image: Wakestone, Raleigh

A Day of Blood: Preserving the History of the 1898 Wilmington Insurrection

Tuesday, March 23rd at 4pm

Join us for a discussion with historian and author, LeRae Umfleet, to examine the details of the Wilmington Insurrection and the long-term impact of that day in both North Carolina and the nation—including connections to historic buildings and locations in Wilmington.

We’ll also be joined by filmmaker Chris Everett—Everett is the director of the award-winning documentary film about the insurrection, Wilmington On Fire.

Image courtesy New Hanover Public Library

The Green Book in Wilmington

Tuesday, February 23rd at 4pm

The Negro Motorist Green Book was a guidebook for Black travelers from 1936 to 1966. During a time of Jim Crow laws and segregation, the Green Book provided Black travelers with a list of restaurants, motels, and more, that were safe.

Join us for a discussion with historian Lettie Shumate as we explore some of Wilmington’s over 50 Green Book locations-- including oral history from Wilmingtonians to bridge the Green Book's past to the present.

Image: Cover of 1956 Green Book

Cascade Saloon

Tuesday, January 19th at 4pm

Cherished, but long neglected, the historic Cascade Saloon in Greensboro’s Elm Street Historic District was vacant until The Christman Company formed a public/private partnership with Preservation Greensboro and the City of Greensboro to save the structure and transform it into Christman’s new regional offices.

Join us for special viewing of the short film Cascade: Caring for a Place and panel discussion about the restoration of this incredible historic landmark! Panelists: Benjamin Briggs (Preservation Greensboro), Sarah DosSantos (The Christman Company), Michael Frierson (Director, Cascade: Caring for a Place), April Larkins (The Christman Company), Marsh Prause (Allman Spry Law Firm)

Image: Cascade Saloon, Greensboro

The Cohen-Fumero House

Tuesday, December 15 at 4pm

Join Ted Alexander, Preservation NC Regional Director, Herb Cohen, famed artist and original home owner, and Charlie Miller, current owner and renovator, to discuss the preservation and restoration of this amazing Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece! Ted, Herb and Charlie will share incredible before and after images and discuss the history and restoration journey of this important artistic and historic landmark.

Image: Before and After of the Cohen-Fumero Kitchen.

Bald Head Island: Preserving Four Centuries of Shelter

Tuesday, September 29 at 4pm

Bald Head Island is a drama about man harnessing the power of the Cape Fear River while simultaneously contending with Cape Fear’s dangerous Frying Pan Shoals. From pirates, to soldiers, to life-savers and light keepers, a diverse lot of characters once called Bald Head Island home. On Bald Head, North Carolina’s first lighthouse stood sentinel, enslaved people first experienced freedom, and the state’s environmental movement coalesced. The Old Baldy Foundation celebrates Bald Head Island’s heritage by preserving Old Baldy Lighthouse as a museum interpreting the Lower Cape Fear’s rich maritime history.

Join the Old Baldy Foundation’s Travis Gilbert in exploring over four centuries of Bald Head Island’s history!

Image: Old Baldy Lighthouse, Bald Head Island

Stories and Discoveries at the Hall and Graves-Fields Houses

Tuesday, September 8 at 4pm

Join us as we explore the incredible stories and unexpected discoveries during Preservation NC's years long headquarters project at the Hall and Graves-Fields Houses in Historic Oberlin Village. Presented by Preservation NC President, Myrick Howard.

The public hardly knows the story of the Oberlin community in Raleigh since its buildings, the tangible links to that past, have largely disappeared. Established as a freedmen’s village around 1870, Oberlin ran from Hillsborough Street all the way to Glenwood Avenue. By 1880, it had about 750 residents, among them carpenters, brick masons and seamstresses. For decades Oberlin was a thriving community with churches, schools, businesses and homes.

Image: Hall House (left) and Graves-Fields House (right), Raleigh

Wilmington, Lost but not Forgotten at the Beach

Join us as we take a look at lost coastal buildings on the beaches of southeast North Carolina. Presented by Bellamy Mansion Museum Director, Gareth Evans.

Tuesday, August 25 at 4pm

Black Landscapes Matter

Sponsored by:

Black Lives Matter (BLM) co-founder, Alicia Garza described the underlying motivations for the BLM movement as fighting “to be seen, to live with dignity, and to be connected.” Building on this quote, Professor Kofi Boone uses these three themes as lenses to examine landscapes in North Carolina, and to show how Black Landscapes (could) Matter. Presented by Kofi Boone, ASLA - Professor of Landscape Architecture at NC State University.

Tuesday, August 11 at 4pm

The Godette Hotel

Sponsored by: Laura Benson and Walt Sliva, Beaufort

"The Godette Hotel was once Beaufort's version of a Green Book hotel and restaurant. Back in those days, the town’s waterfront restaurants all refused to serve black customers. The Godette Hotel welcomed them." - David Cecelski

Learn more about this incredible historic landmark and Preservation NC's efforts to help save it from demolition. Interview and Q&A with author David Cecelski and Stephanie Dauway (granddaughter of hotel owners Henderson and Lucy Gray Godette).

Tuesday, July 28 at 4pm

Image: Godette Hotel, Beaufort

Edenton Cotton Mill and Mill Village: A 25 Year Retrospective

Myrick Howard, President of PNC, who helped bring the project to fruition, talks about the project and shows images of the mill and mill village’s revitalization.

Thursday, July 23 at 4pm

Image: Edenton Mill Village House, Edenton

Preservation NC Before and After

Sponsored by:

Mike and Mary Cockrill

Through Preservation NC's nationally recognized and award-winning Endangered Properties Program we’ve rescued nearly 900 old, interesting, historic, sometimes abandoned, but always important properties. And there’s a story behind each one. Join us as we take a look back at some of our favorite "Before and After" stories! Presented by Preservation NC President, Myrick Howard.

Tuesday, July 14 at 4pm

Image: Staircase at Coolmore, Tarboro, NC

Lost Wilmington

Sponsored by:

Mike and Mary Cockrill

Explore Wilmington's changing historic landscape, including a live Q&A with historian Beverly Tetterton and Bellamy Mansion Museum Director, Gareth Evans.

Tuesday, June 16 at 4pm

Image: Bailey Theatre, Wilmington, NC

We are adding Shelter Series events throughout the year. Please continue to check this site for upcoming events.

Enjoying the Shelter Series? Join us to help us do more!