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Non Profit Client of the Week: The Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County

Our non-profit client for this week has a mission that, as a local 38 year business ourselves, is near and dear to our hearts: to sustain the heritage and sense of place that is Asheville and Buncombe County through preservation and promotion of the unique historic resources of the region. The Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County (PSABC) works hard to keep Asheville a unique and desirable city, through retaining the character of our community.

It all began in 1976, with interest in preservation sparked by observance of the U. S. Bicentennial. As any locals will probably remember, in that period there were threats to local buildings and sites due to neglect, insensitive alteration, and large-scale transportation projects. The formation of a volunteer group quickly incorporated and initiated work as a community non-profit. In over 40 years of service to the community, PSABC has become known for creative solutions to difficult preservation problems, and for local leadership in public and private stewardship of significant buildings and places. 

They do this in four key ways: 

1) Preservation easements and advocacy to protect endangered properties

A preservation easement protects property with significant historic, architectural or archaeological resource, which can include private residences, commercial buildings, landscapes and gardens, excavated foundations, and many other property types. Easements are flexible tools and can be custom designed to meet the personal and financial needs of the property owner. A preservation easement may also protect a building’s interior and important landscape elements, such as outbuildings, walls, terraces, or associated archaeological remains. It’s important to note that the restrictions placed on the property are thoroughly discussed and agreed to by all parties.

2) Technical support for owners of historic properties

  • Determination of any current historic designation and the values of such a listing
  • Consultation for rehab projects and the proper techniques for modifying a historic place to meet contemporary needs
  • House histories and research
  • Guidance for utilizing current primary research tools
  • Options for property owners to ensure future preservation

3) Preservation Education programs to inform the community about our shared history

  • The staff & volunteers of PSABC provide citizens and visitors with useful information across a broad spectrum. From site visits with property owners to investigate challenges and solutions for historic properties, to house histories and research in to historic significance, PSABC is the leading resource for educating our community’s history.

4) Hosting the Griffin Awards 
Each year PSABC presents awards to outstanding projects and individuals that further the goals of historic preservation in Asheville and Buncombe County, recognizing projects that have utilized a preservation ethic. Check out the 2019 winners here