Goldsboro – An Accredited Main Street Program – I Have Things To Show You

Sitting on the corner of Elm and LaSalle Streets in Chicago you will find The Church of the Ascension. It is an Anglo-Catholic Episcopal parish (high church) that is one of the threads in my life tapestry. It is candle-lit and filled with holy music. Facing LaSalle Street, mounted on the front of the church, is a bronze sculpture of Christ on the cross. Written below are the words, “Is It Nothing To You -All Who Pass By?” From the first moment, I saw this piece of art, its beauty, and starkness remains powerful and moving. Today, I am still captured by this image.  I mention this when starting to write about Goldsboro because I want the revitalization of Rocky Mount to mean something to you.   

“You can ignore a piece of sculpture or a painting hung on the walls of the Art Institute, but architecture is the inescapable art.”                                                                                 

Blair Kamain, Why Architecture Matters, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Blair Kamin is the architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune, a post he has held since 1992. I’m expecting a used ‘like new’ copy of his book from Amazon any day. I’m hoping to find a new teacher/friend while reading this book. I’ll let you know. 

Welcome to Goldsboro: Note the widened sidewalks, the street lighting, the green space and trees, the pattern brick sidewalks, awnings, the beautiful restoration of each facade. Historically correct upper windows, a unified streetscape.

How this corner building once looked and then…below… the restoration…my photo a few days ago

Once Upon a Time and Today

Don’t miss the sidewalk brick pattern throughout the historic area…everywhere!

Our Main Street Streetscape is beautifully designed as well. Benches, the medium planted with trees all nestled in now. It was a great decision to start implementing our street design. We lag far behind with our commercial buildings, their restoration, and repurposing. When you visit Elizabeth City, Tarboro, New Burn, Goldsboro, all accredited with the NC Main Street Program, you will see that we have paid dearly for having our Main Street affiliation sabotaged. It calls for accountability, record keeping, and citizen participation. The “My Way” agenda is not interested in any of that. Drive over to Goldsboro and see for yourself how economic development within the context of Historic Preservation looks. Wouldn’t you like to see our Historic Downtown back on track with the Main Street Program?

The photos other than mine were featured in a great article. Here is the link.

Let’s Ride Over To Tarboro And View How Commitment And Hard Work Wins Accreditation

Simmons Furniture Store, ca. 1910: Downtown Tarboro, N

“In those days in my small town, parents didn’t seem to worry so much about what their kids were doing as long as they made it home in time for dinner.”
― K. Martin Beckner, Chips of Red Pa

Forty years ago, Tarboro was one of the original five towns that became members of The Main Street Program.  This is not the first time their program has received accreditation status. They have lost it from time to time too.  Two and a half years ago they made a renewed commitment and reorganized to achieve the goal of the 4-point approach necessary for accreditation. Tarboro invested in a new Program Director, Tina Parker. One of the 4-points is engaging a critical volunteer base and her job includes growing these numbers. Important to Tarboro’s success is the Tarboro Development Corporation. This is a Public/Private endeavor. The TDC works alongside the Tarboro Main Street Program. Director, Tina Parker says, “Accreditation is an obtainable goal, with hard work, and a strategic plan that the Main Street Program worked with us on, we worked towards accreditation. It can be done. The rewards make it worthwhile.”

Tarboro is one of the loveliest small towns in North Carolina. With vision, they embraced their wealth of architectural assets, both commercial and residential, to save the essence of their legacy, their story, thinking of their future. The following photographs exemplify the wisdom of their leadership to preserve, restore, and repurpose this beautiful community for one and all. Congratulations on the Main Street Accreditation. Regaining our accreditation helps not only Rocky Mount but the eastern region.

Downtown Tarboro NC

Tarboro Town Common, 1760:

Tarboro Town Common, 1760: Tarboro, NC

Tarboro Post Office


.On the Square Tarboro,




2235 Sherwood Ave, Tarboro, NC

111 W Church St, Tarboro, NC




1003 N Main St
Tarboro, NC 27886
5 beds 4 baths 4,786 sqft

c. 1879 Victorian: Eastlake in Tarboro, North Carolina …

1209 N Main St, Tarboro, NC

1400 N Main St, Tarboro, NC

c. 1901 Victorian in Tarboro, North Carolina

Robert Norfleet House, ca. 1850: Tarboro, NC

904 N Main St, Tarboro, NC

The Grove, ca. 1808: Tarboro, NC | Built by Gen. Thomas

Fountain Law Office, ca. 1895: Tarboro, NC
This is the only original, early Law Office remaining in Tarboro. It had to be moved many years ago to save it from demolition. Tarboro, N.C.


The look of a Tarboro Shotgun House when the potential and necessity of these little jewels is valued. Our inventory of shotgun houses must be saved to answer some of the community’s needs. We too can wear Joseph’s Coat of many colors. 












Our Future With The Main Street Program Is In The Hands Of The ‘My Will Be Done’ Councilmen

When I read the erroneous remarks from the City Council meeting that keep declaring there is no difference between Main Street Accreditation and Affiliate, I repeat, there is a difference, dagnabbit!  An Affiliate status has resources that help new communities get started with this successful program, BUT, Accreditation comes along later when you submit the yearly paperwork proving that you are following and achieving the Programs guidelines. If that is accomplished and you are given accreditation status, you become eligible for grants that affiliation cannot participate in.  No accreditation, no money. If you missed my recent blog about this subject, CLICK HERE

In March I attended the NC Main Street Program in New Bern, NC. Kevin Harris was the only one from our City Government. I met the whole planning and development staff of other counties.  City Managers attended.  CLICK HERE for the post I wrote -We’re On The Road to New Bern.

This isn’t the TV show, Kids Say The Darndest Things. It is the reality show on City Council where those who are committed to the MY WILL BE DONE agenda make no room for this valuable and proven program to assist cities in reinvigorating historic downtown. To insist that there is no difference between an affiliate designation and an accredited status hopes you aren’t that interested in the first place or likely to give much thought to what losing our accreditation may have cost us. It isn’t that the MY WILL BE DONE agenda doesn’t know better, they don’t want you to know better. Here is what you hear.

“But it seems to me there’s really not a big difference between being accredited and affiliate”, Knight said. “And plus all the work that we are currently doing downtown and what we are proposing to do downtown, I think would be more than an A-plus once these projects come into fruition.” The City Manager said, “I agree with you., the paper seemed to have been hung up on accreditation versus affiliation when, in fact, there’s really no difference at all.”  This is wrong.

Here is the point of accreditation and what it means to have lost ours.

“Accredited communities are eligible for occasional funding opportunities through the National Main Street Center, that are only available to accredited communities, such as the National Park Service Main Street Façade Improvement Grant program that Lenoir, Elkin, and Elizabeth City received – $46,000 each for façade improvements in downtown; the Grills Fund for COVID recovery initiatives, that New Bern received; and from time to time, other opportunities that may arise. Accredited communities are eligible for awards, like the Great American Main Street award. Goldsboro was a runner up for this award a few years ago and it is a national recognition. Goldsboro received another grant for around $35,000. Again – only accredited communities are eligible.”                                                                       —Elizabeth (Liz) H. Parham, Director, NC Main Street

To think that the City of Rocky Mount continues to be in the hands of but a few. What a power trip it must be to know that MY WILL BE DONE continues without a judgment day, allowing the MY WILL agenda to continue on. For this, we are facing immeasurable damage to our reputation, credit ratings; bullying, and deflection go on. If only our lost accreditation were a single problem before us. Alas, there is much more.