Thursday, April 14, 2011

Preservation Durham Hires Former Herald-Sun Editor

Bob Ashley has joined Preservation Durham as its executive director.  Ashley joins Assistant Director Sean Stucker and Preservation Services Coordinator April Johnson, as well as a host of dedicated volunteers.

Ashley, a Durham resident, retired in January after six years as editor of The Herald-Sun. Prior to joining The Herald-Sun, he edited newspapers in Owensboro, Ky., and in State College, Pa. He previously held management positions at The Charlotte Observer and at The Raleigh Times.  He is a 1970 graduate of Duke University, where he was a history major and worked on The Chronicle

Board of Directors President Paul N. Yale, Jr. announced the appointment and expressed his excitement with the role that Ashley will play in the organization. “Bob is deeply committed to preservation and to Durham and will bring great energy and innovation to Preservation Durham.”

 “I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to help lead an organization that has worked with great success since 1974 to ensure the preservation of many of Durham’s rich inventory of historically significant properties,” Ashley said. “This is a community that has recognized the social, as well as economic, advantages of adapting a unique historic built environment to be a vital part of a modern city.”

“But it’s important that we not be lulled into thinking that such high-impact successes as West Village, Golden Belt and the American Tobacco Historic District mean that the work of preservation here is done,”  he added. As a reminder, Preservation Durham recently released its second annual “Places in Peril” list, which identifies historic properties deemed at risk of being lost to neglect.

Ashley noted that he had worked closely with preservation groups in each city where he was editor, and he and his wife, Patricia Ashley, received an “Excellence in Historic Preservation, Private Residence” award from the Centre County Historical Society in 1988 for their work restoring an early-20th-century home in State College.

Preservation Durham was founded in 1974 as The Historic Preservation Society of Durham, Inc. and has since achieved a regional reputation as one of North Carolina's outstanding historic preservation non-profits. The mission of Preservation Durham is to protect Durham’s historic assets through action, advocacy and education.

Durham is home to many historic structures that help maintain the community's unique sense of place and character, many of which are chronicled on the local blog, Endgangered Durham.

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