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!
  • 1 staff person
  • 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.

April Johnson

Executive Director


April is a Historic Preservationist who worked with the City of Charlottesville, City of Winston-Salem, Preservation Durham, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to maintain, promote, and advocate saving historic buildings.  After spending the last three and a half years in preservation planning with the City of Winston-Salem, April believes historic preservation’s most important role in the 21st century, is to create community through the reawakening of historic buildings that contribute to civic beauty, economic development, social dialogue and uplift, and a collective identity.

April intentionally seeks to make a positive impact in the cities she resides in. She serves on the board of Triad Cultural Arts, was as a board member and President of the Winston-Salem Urban League Young Professionals, Chairperson of the Citizens Advisory Committee, and served on multiple in-school/after-school programs tutoring and mentoring disenfranchised youth.

April holds a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning and a master’s certificate in Historic Preservation.

Office Manager


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 the us.

Officers 2021-2022

President: Tom Miller
Vice President: Nick Levy
Secretary: Melva Rigel
Treasurer: Nicole McCoy

Members at Large

Julia Aromatorio

Amy Bastian

Sasha Berghausen

Brenda Brodie

Faye Calhoun

Ashley Coates

Jonathan “Jon” Crisp

Matthew Filter

Patricia “Pat” Harris

Jennifer Martin

Kimberly “Kim” Miller,

Austin Moore

Julianne Patterson

Alice Sharpe

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