About Us

Our mission is to protect Durham’s historic assets (and stories) through education, advocacy, and action.

Durham is a preservation town. Our favorite places have age, patina, and authenticity. They tell our story – one of scrappy entrepreneurs, creative reinvention, and stubborn optimism.

Fast Facts

  • Established in 1974
  • 600 members and counting  –  Become one of them!
  • 2 staff members
  • Annual Budget of $116,000
  • More than 50 properties saved
  • By Laws

What We Do

Preservation Durham works to protect Durham’s unique sense of place by sharing our passion and knowledge. We offer education and advocacy to the public, stakeholders and public officials. We encourage everyone to preserve the places they love and show them how. We collaborate to protect Durham for future generations.

Who We Are

Preservation Durham is made up of folks who believe that place is important and that our past helps to shape our future. We want Durham to embrace growth and change but also to protect its sense of place – its unique identity in the Triangle –  and to remain open and available to all in our community. Everyone’s story has a place.

Preservation Durham Staff

Dr. Chris Laws, Executive Director – chrislaws@preservationdurham.org

Loni Price, Office Manager – office@preservationdurham.org

Board of Directors

The group that leads the effort to preserve Durham’s heritage, our Board of Directors, brings a wide range of knowledge and experiences to Preservation Durham! New members are elected at the Annual Meeting each year, with three-year terms beginning in July. If you are interested in learning more about joining our Board, please contact us.

Officers 2022-2023

President: Melva Rigel
Vice President: Amy Bastian
Secretary: Tom Miller
Treasurer: Bob Ashley

Members at Large

Alice Sharpe

Alicia Hylton-Daniel

Amanda Boyd

Austin Moore

Beverly Barnes Evans

Brenda Brodie

Charles Johnson

Debra Taylor Gonzalez Garcia

Faye Calhoun

Jennifer Martin

Jon Crisp

Julia Aromatorio

Matthew Filter

Nicholas Levy

Patricia E Harris

Our Committees

Our committees do a great deal of the work of the organization – from crafting advocacy statements to planning educational workshops. Committees are composed of Board Members and organizational members at large. If you are interested in joining, please contact the committee chair or our office staff.


Advocates issues of major importance to Durham.
Its goals are to:

  • Identify key issues and recommend position statements for board approval
  • Educate the public on preservation issues, best practices, and Preservation Durham’s work
  • Work with other organizations in supporting or opposing issues of mutual interest
  • Represent interests of Preservation Durham
  • Review local ordinances concerning historic preservation

Chair: Rob Emerson

Home Tour

Organizes the annual Durham Preservation Tour.
Its work includes:

  • Identifying tour sites and working with property owners
  • Providing research on the tour theme and locations and educational events
  • Recruiting advertisers and sponsors and marketing the tour
  • Managing tour volunteers and day-of logistics

Chairs: Tom Miller & Kathy Carter