The Addor Community Center, Inc. in Pinebluff has been named the 2023 winner of the Stedman Incentive Grant presented annually by Preservation North Carolina (PNC), according to a press release from PNC.
Each year, the honor awards recognize outstanding people, projects, businesses, and organizations in the field of historic preservation across the state.
The Addor Community Center was honored in Durham on Oct. 4 as part of PNC’s annual historic preservation conference. The award ceremony featured a presentation, which can be viewed at PreservationNC.org/experience/awards/, followed by a reception at the Hayti Heritage Center.
The Stedman Incentive Grant is awarded to recognize and assist nonprofit organizations in their efforts to preserve the state’s architectural heritage. Originating in 1976, the award is funded each year by the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation of Greensboro in memory of Marion’s father. The $15,000 grant encourages and facilitates the rescue of endangered historic and architecturally significant properties in North Carolina.
The Lincoln Park School, more commonly known as the Addor Community Center, was constructed in 1922 by the Rosenwald Southern Office in Nashville, Tennessee, said PNC. For 27 years, the building served as an African-American elementary school, high school, and community center for the rural population of Addor in southeastern Moore County.
Lincoln Park School students. Courtesy photo.
The building is a largely intact example of the Rosenwald schools built for African American children throughout the South in the early twentieth century. Construction was funded through public funds, the Julius Rosenwald Fund and significant donations from the Black community.
The Lincoln Park School is an excellent example of the Rosenwald Four Teacher Community School — Floor Plan No. 400, designed to face east or west. It is a one-story gabled-roof frame building with four large classrooms. Of the fifteen Rosenwald schools built in Moore County, the Lincoln Park School is one of only two surviving, said PNC.
In 1949, the school closed its doors and was acquired by the Pinebluff Maternity and Welfare Committee a year later. The school has operated as the Addor Community Center since 1952, and a series of renovations turned the building into a fully functional center with computers, a library and a kitchen.
For decades, it was a rental space for family reunions or worship services. But by 2010, the building had begun to decline, and there was no longer a community board to oversee its maintenance.
In 2015, a new board was formed and set out to restore its beloved center but was met with challenges. In 2018, the building was damaged by hurricanes Florence and Michael.
Addor Community Center sustains roof damage during hurricanes Florence and Michael/Courtesy photo.
The building sustained significant damage to the roof. Traps were placed at the northern corner of the building to hold back the inflow of water; however, due to continued water leakage, the damage has spread to the foundation, floors, and walls of the structure. Thankfully, the building received a grant in early 2021 from the state historic preservation office and National Park Service to address some of the damage, said PNC.
The Stedman Incentive Grant will fund a new roof and begin to secure the foundation of the building. The Addor Community is continuously putting in the time and effort to restore this building and make it an integral asset that adults and children alike can utilize. Preservation North Carolina is pleased to support the Addor Community Center in bringing this piece of history back to serve the community.
Feature photo: Addor Community Center members celebrate/Photo by Kevin Lord, Capital City Camera Club.