Greensboro Native, Natalie Miller, has recently moved back to Greensboro to take on the family business The Historic Magnolia House located at 442 Gorrell Street. The Magnolia House is a Green Book site in Greensboro, NC that housed African American writers, actors, athletes and musicians as they traveled south to perform during the Jim Crow era.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this former motel was recognized in 6 editions of The Green Book as a highly recommended place to stay for Negro travelers in North Carolina.
Identified as a Distinctive Destination with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Click here to read more.
Of the 300+ documented Green Book sites, we are 1 of maybe 6 open and operating currently within its historic context in the entire state of NC.
Within these walls embeds the history of our space are memories of James Brown playing in the street with neighborhood children, Joe Tex signing autographs on the front porch and moments captured with Ike & Tina Turner, Ray Charles, James Brown, James Baldwin, Sam Cooke, Jackie Robinson to name a few. As we strive to preserve and restore the Magnolia House both structurally and operationally it is a community effort.
The Magnolia House and the Downtown Greenway partnership is a perfect example of bringing together the Greensboro community. Both projects share a common theme of creating a space that will unite and bring communities together to create memories, experiences, and history. Natalie truly believes the Downtown Greenway is a key part of the very important Greensboro Transformation Movement that is taking place. The Magnolia House will be accessible to the Downtown Greenway from stairs at the Gorrell Street bridge and Murrow Boulevard. The Freedom Cornerstone on the Downtown Greenway will be fabricated and installed in October 2020 which will be located one block south at the corner of Gate City and Murrow Blvds. Click here for map of what is open now on the Downtown Greenway.
Construction started last week on the two remaining blocks on Smith Street from Prescott to Spring which will complete the northern section. Anticipated completion of construction will be in April. Then construction will begin on the largest section of the Downtown Greenway-- the eastern section along Murrow Blvd from Gate City Blvd to Fisher and Greene.
Click here to watch the segment on Spectrum News about the current construction. Beth Boulton, owner of Boulton Creative, talks about how construction on Smith Street and the Downtown Greenway are affecting her business-- in a good way!
The Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT) has been the driving force in keeping the Downtown Greenway's public/private partnership moving forward in design and funding. The divisions within GDOT include Engineering, Planning, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), Public Transportation-GTA/SCAT, and Business and Parking. Services provided to residents, businesses and visitors include traffic signals and signs, transportation planning, parking, street lighting, sidewalks and bikeways.
In November 2017, a NCDOT Funding Resolution was adopted - accepting $3,331,815 in additional funding for the Phase 2 of the Downtown Greenway (Murrow Boulevard/Fisher Avenue) which will allow it to go under construction in 2018. This was accomplished through the dedicated efforts of City Council member Justin Outling, Assistant City Manager David Parrish, Greensboro Department of Transportation staff Adam Fischer and Tyler Meyer, and the Greensboro Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) led by Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter. This additional funding is certainly a reflection of the power of private funding that has leveraged local public funding as well as state and federal funds and the commitment of so many in the community, especially the work of GDOT.
We are very grateful for the partnership with GDOT and the Downtown Greenway. Adam Fischer serves on our Oversight Committee as well as our Finance Committee. Chris Spencer leads our Technical Team. Daniel Amstutz and Kym Smith serve on that team as well. Tyler Meyer and Stephen Carter serve on our Finance Committee and there are many others within the department who are working hard behind the scenes to make this project a reality. Thank you to all the GDOT staff for their dedication and service.
When there is so much bad news around our country and world, it is nice to hear a story about people doing good. This article was in the October 2017 issue of the Parish Post -- Holy Trinity's monthly newsletter to its congregation. It tells a story about people coming together in the midst of the craziness of construction on the Downtown Greenway and along Fisher Avenue and making the most out of the closed lanes, dust, and detours. Thank you to Holy Trinity and their members for their continued support of the Downtown Greenway!
Click here to read the article.
Founded in 1991 and located in downtown Greensboro since 1995, Boulton Creative takes great pride in being a woman-owned, Greensboro-based agency. At Boulton Creative, we specialize in helping our clients achieve their communication goals through creative, impactful design and messaging. From complete branding and strategic marketing plans to brochures, ad campaigns and web development, Boulton Creative delivers exceptional service and design to clients in the Triad and across the United States.
In 2007, we moved into our building on the corner of Smith and Spring Streets, and we are excited that the Greenway will run directly beside our building. Over the past ten years we have enjoyed watching the Greenway become a reality and how it has helped increase foot traffic by our building - our dogs seem to enjoy this too. The Greenway has become a foundation for growth. The energy it has brought to downtown Greensboro has been contagious, and that's apparent in all the new projects that are taking shape downtown currently. We are proud to be a part of this project, and we look forward to the continued excitement the Greenway will bring to businesses and residents downtown and throughout our community.
Over the years the City of Greensboro Department of Water Resources has been extremely responsive to stormwater issues adjacent and on the Downtown Greenway. Stormwater Department Manager David Phelgar has been a member of the Downtown Greenway Oversight Committee since 2010 and has been a bike lead for the Run 4 the Greenway several times. We worked with David and his team to install the first stormwater tree wells on the section of the Downtown Greenway along Smith Street in 2013. Read more about the tree wells here. Special thanks to Virginia Spillman and Jeremy McCall with Water Resources for serving on the Technical Team over the years. We are very appreciative of the great partnership we have with Water Resources and Stormwater Management- thank you for helping keep the 'green' in Downtown Greenway!
David Phlegar, Water Resources
THE PREYER FAMILY
Greensboro natives, Calder and Nicole Preyer, Britt Preyer, Jr., and Will Preyer opened Preyer Brewing Company in downtown Greensboro in May 2015. The Preyer Family comes from a line of many successful business owners in Greensboro over the past century and Preyer Brewing Company adds to that success. Calder has years of experience in the craft beer industry and a degree from Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. Nicole is behind the scenes handling the communications and business administration for the brewery. Will has the art expertise in the family and manages the businesses graphics and web design. Britt, Jr. is sales manager for Eastern NC accounts. Together they have helped make this section of downtown a regular destination for many Greensboro residents.
"Truthfully, we aren't entirely sure how to explain why we chose to open Preyer Brewing on the Greenway. I think our cynical side would say that from a business perspective, it made good sense, since pedestrian paths bring customers, increased profit, and more to their areas. But it means so much more to us - it feels like being a part of keeping Greensboro, well, green. Our parks, paths, and trails are a huge part of Greensboro's character. Our city gets a bad rap for being boring, but we disagree - sure, Greensboro isn't for everyone, but it is for the people who want to get outdoors, even in an urban environment. It is for people who value the solitude you can find on an early morning hike on the watershed trails. It is for people who are seeking an urban city, and all the amenities that brings, but with a strong nod to the rural and the wild. The Greenway is about building community, in line with Greensboro's outdoorsy character, and we just had to be a part of that. As business owners born and raised in Greensboro, it's in us, and we couldn't not bring that to the bar at Preyer Brewing." Nicole Preyer, Preyer Brewing Company
Through his 15-year-old company, AZ Development, Andy Zimmerman works as a real estate developer, new product developer, and consultant for the outdoor industry. Previously, he was founder/owner of Legacy Paddlesports for seven years and Wilderness Systems for 15 years. Andy built and sold kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. He currently holds four patents for outdoor products. Andy has a passion for downtown rehabilitation, and he has renovated buildings for both the Forge (Greensboro's Makerspace) and Gibbs Hundred Brewing. Preyer Brewing and Crafted-Art of Street Food occupy his building on Battleground Avenue, which will be adjacent to the Downtown Greenway. In addition, AZ Development has renovated the HQ Greensboro space at 111 West Lewis Street. Andy has just opened BoxCar Bar & Arcade at 120 West Lewis Street - it is an arcade and bar, located in downtown Greensboro, for the ultimate drinking and gaming experience!
Andy shares with us his love of greenways and Greensboro:
From a developer's standpoint, the Downtown Greenway is Greensboro's 'icing on the cake.' The Downtown Greenway has helped influence numerous development decisions in the downtown area; it's truly a small ingredient within the larger finished product. Andy believes that successful downtowns and cities have greenways-gathering places that tie people together-and he wants Greensboro to be a leader in greenway development.
Andy is also a strong proponent of biking. He bikes every day in downtown Greensboro; he bikes for exercise or for riding 4-6 blocks to a meeting instead of getting in his car and hassling with traffic and finding a place to park. He has three bikes at HQ for members to utilize at either HQ or the Forge. At any given time, there are 5-10 bikes available for use at the Forge. Andy feels that Greensboro's downtown and the city, itself, are not complete without a finished greenway.
Greensboro native Jim Jones has spent most of his professional life in the few blocks surrounding Joymongers Brewing Co. For 25 years, he and his brother ran North State Chevrolet. Then after its sale, they developed the remaining six acres of downtown space into two Greenway apartment communities. And the beer lover that he is, Jim next partnered with Mike Rollinson and Jim's son Brian to open Joymongers. Now his new favorite activities are music and beer research!
"I have spent my professional life invested in downtown Greensboro. My partners and I recognized the intrinsic value of urban greenways long before Greensboro began theirs. This public/private venture has inspired us to create more than $30 million of new tax value in both our apartment communities and a new brewery in just the last five years. The Downtown Greenway is a home run-and it isn't even finished!"
Lookout for more 'spotlights' in the coming weeks!
Lee Comer, owner of Iron Hen Café and the new Fresh.Local.Good. Food Group, has opened a 30,000-square-foot retail multiplex in November called Morehead Foundry. The building, located along Greensboro's Downtown Greenway,
operated as a coal and ice factory when it was originally built in the 1920s. The former factory now houses 6 business spaces, all owned by Comer. Four Flocks & Larder, Revolution Burger, The Baker & The Bean, Hush (a members-only speakeasy), Carolina Event Rentals, and an event space called The Public are located at Morehead Foundry. The space offers outdoor seating and overlooks Morehead Park on the Downtown Greenway at the corner of Spring Garden and South Edgeworth Streets.
Lee talks about the importance of urban development near the Downtown Greenway: "We want Morehead Foundry to be a place that connects all types of people within Greensboro. Developing these businesses near the Downtown Greenway was very important to me because of the shared goal with the Downtown Greenway: bringing people together. The Downtown Greenway promotes a connectedness and a strong community spirit that is key as we continue to grow and advance as a city."
We look forward to making connections with Lee at Morehead Foundry and the Downtown Greenway.
Lookout for more 'spotlights' in the coming weeks!