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Residents of Old Wilmington Residents of Old Wilmington
Community Involvement
We Care about our Community 
  • ROW Contributes monetary grants for improvements and beautification
    • Market Street Trees
    • Southern Hospitality Sculpture
    • Post Office Palm Trees
    • 1898 Memorial Hope Circle
    • USS North Carolina Battleship
    • Children's Museum
  • ROW Members Volunteer their time and effort for worthy projects
    • Host Events for Police and Firemen
    • Participate in Azalea Sweep
    • Participate in Work on Wilmington
Residents of Old Wilmington is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that advocates the preservation, improvement and beautification of Wilmington's historic downtown neighborhoods, informs members of issues that affect the quality of life and promotes social connections.
The ROW Neighborhood covers the area from Queen St. to Red Cross St. and from 8th St. to the Cape Fear River. ROW supports the City’s vision to restore and retain the historical integrity of all buildings throughout the entire Wilmington historical area and the downtown business district.
Learn more about ROW by reading the news articles below. We welcome all residents who live in the ROW Neighborhood and share ROW's vision to become a member. To join ROW, click on Become a Member or Friend under the Welcome heading on the left above.
~ ROW News ~
Halloween Crossing Guard
Posted on Nov 11th, 2018 Comments (0)
ROW Board Member Ginger Garrard was at Ann and Third Streets Halloween night to help children trick-or-treating cross the street. Al Garrard and Randy Shackelford also helped.
Membership Party at the Bellamy
Posted on Oct 10th, 2018 Comments (0)
The annual ROW Membership Party was held October 10 at the Bellamy Mansion. Over a hundred members attended the ROW party, despite the threat of a tropical storm. The party was chaired by ROW Board Member Darla Hamby, who enlisted the help of Chris Robinson, standing beside Darla in the photo above. On the right are member helpers  Pam Gonzales and Pat Tarr.
Battleship Lights - ROW Grant
Posted on Jul 23rd, 2018 Comments (0)
New lights illuminate the Battleship USS North Carolina and its flag. They are now visible from downtown Wilmington at night. The funds for the lights were provided through a grant from Residents of Old Wilmington.
Children's Museum Grant
Posted on Jun 20th, 2018 Comments (0)
ROW awarded a grant to the Children's Museum for $2500. (Above)The check was presented to Jim Karl, the Museum's Director, by ROW President, Phoebe Bragg (on the left), Grant Chairperson, Margi Ericson, and Board members Ginger Garrard, Beverly Grasley and Darla Hamby. The grant from ROW was in support of renovation and expansion of “The Science of You”, a STEM exhibit.  The exhibit includes life size models, hands-on displays and virtual reality technology to allow children to explore how their bodies function and master concepts in life biology, basic chemistry and the physics of movement.
Downtown Wilmington Issues
Posted on Jul 13th, 2017 Comments (0)
Residents in the Historic District will be impacted by decisions made by the City, County and State in the coming weeks, months and years that affect the quality of life downtown. These issues are monitored closely by ROW as explained below.
I.  The City Council has approved regulations for Home Stay Short Term rentals. Home Stays are rented rooms in homes where the owner lives on the premises. These new Home Stay regulations will become effective March 1, 2019:
  • Home Stay owners must register each year and provide proof of property ownership.
  • The owner must buy $500,000 of commercial liability insurance.
  • The owner must keep records of all rentals and pay the city occupancy tax based on those records.
  • Information about the property and the police non-emergency phone number must be posted in the house.
The Council has not yet addressed Whole House Short Term Rentals where the owner is not on the premises. ROW opposes Whole House STRs in residential neighborhoods. The City estimates that approximately 540 STRs (both Whole House and Home Stays) are operating within Wilmington. Investors who own Whole House STRs in residential neighborhoods want the code to be changed to allow their businesses in Residential Districts. If you want to voice your concerns about protecting the Residential Districts, email the City Council at:  Council@wilmington.gov
II. The Grace Street Project concerns the development of the downtown block containing the public library, owned by New Hanover County. County Commissioners are considering proposals for a public-private redevelopment of the block that could affect the library, the recently-built Story Book Park, a parking garage, the Register of Deeds building and an empty parcel bordering Grace Street. Moving the Cape Fear Museum to the site is also a possibility. Two public hearings revealed a strong opposition to the re-development, which could include adding apartments, condos and a hotel. The County Commissioners will vote on proposals submitted by developers.
III. The Cape Fear Crossing Project concerns a new bridge between Brunswick and New Hanover Counties. Twelve proposal were initially introduced, but the two routes that would impact the Downtown Historic District have been eliminatedROW favors the southernmost routes nearer the port area. The final decision rests with the State Transportation Department, and public hearings will be held before the proposed 2019 decision and proposed 2020 building date.
IV. The City has reviewed its brick street policy, held pubic meetings, and determined steps for improving the existing brick streets since many have been covered with asphalt. The City Council has allocated funds for "Brick Street Rehabilitation" in the 2017-18 Budget Capital Improvement Program. We hope to see improvements in the coming year.

~ Upcoming Events ~
Holly Jolly Days
Sunday, December 2nd to Friday, December 28th, 6:00 PM at Downtown Residential Streets
Support the annual Holly Jolly Days by decorating your home and yard to coincide with the Holiday Parade, December 2. On December 8, walking tours will be conducted throughout the Historic District, and downtown businesses will stay open longer.
Join the festivities by adding lights and decorations to your home. 
ROW Holiday Party
Wednesday, December 5th, 7:00 PM at Hannah Block Community Center
The annual ROW Holiday Party will be held on Wednesday, December 5 at the Hannah Block Community Center. Members are asked to bring a dish to pass. The new ROW Directory will be distributed.

~ Back Door Kitchen Tour Canceled ~
The 13th Annual ROW Back Door Kitchen Tour was canceled due to Hurricane Florence.  In the best interest of our downtown neighborhoods, the Tour was canceled, but it will be scheduled again next fall. We thank Kimberlee Thompson and the members of the BDKT Committee who worked diligently in preparing for the Tour.
The Back Door Kitchen Tour is the only fund raiser sponsored by Residents of Old Wilmington. Proceeds go back into our community for beautification, preservation, restoration, and other improvements through ROW projects and community-based grants. 
ROW thanks the Cape Fear Spice Merchants, the Ivy Cottage, Harris Teeter Stores and the Bellamy Mansion for agreeing to facilitate the sale of BDKT tickets. Despite the cancellation of the Tour, ROW thanks the generous Sponsors and Friends who supported the 2018 Tour: 
I. Gold Sponsors
Carolina Retirement Planners 910-815-3100         
Keith and Sylvia Kochler - Friends
II. Silver Sponsors
The Ivy Cottage                    910-815-0907       
Stone Garden                        910-452-1619     
Element Outdoor Living        910-302-6888          
SDI Construction                  910-763-8333         
Dynamic Kitchen                   910-763-9870         
Southeastern Tile Connection 910-799-5565
III. Bronze Sponsors
Southeastern Marble & Granite 910-763-7700
Plantation Building Corp.           910-599-2630
Heinberg Insurance Agency       910-767-9304
Classic Cabinet Designs              910-395-6439
Grass With Class                         910-623-4372
Bug N A Rug Exterminators        910-254-9443
Ferguson Appliances
To the Table                                         
To sign up for automatic reminders about next year's tour when available, click here  BDKT Page 

~ ROW Awards ~
Good Neighbor Award
Congratulations to Sylvia Kochler (on the left above), the 2018 recipient of the ROW Good Neighbor Award. ROW Mayor Phoebe Bragg presented the award at the Historic Wilmington Foundation 2018 Preservation Awards Ceremony on May 24. Sylvia helped create a ROW Vision Statement, served as Chair of the Back Door Kitchen Tour and two terms as Mayor. Sylvia was the creator and continues to be the driving force behind the annual Holly Jolly Days. Her legal knowledge has been an asset to ROW. She is the epitome of what the Good Neighbor Award means.
Garden Award
Congratulations to Gregg Thomas and Tom Faust, the recipients of the 2017-18 Dolly Pearson Garden Award. They set a high standard of neighborhood beauty in their yard and plant-filled porch at the corner of Front and Church Streets. Pedestrians often stop to admire their seasonal changes.