Wake County residents can show off their photography skills in May by taking and sharing pictures of their favorite historic places.
The initiative, called This Place Matters, is part of a nationwide campaign by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Residents are encouraged to download a sign from the National Trust website and then take photos while holding up the sign in front of historic structures, buildings or other notable places. Then they can upload the photo to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #thisplacematters.
Wake County wants residents to also use the hashtag #wakeisgreat, and Wake Forest town leaders want people to use the hashtag #townofwakeforest. The additional hashtags will help local officials track submissions to the national initiative.
“They may identify historic properties that we might not even know about, and we can take a look,” Gary Roth, president of the Capital Area Preservation, said of residents who post pictures.
This is the first time Capital Area Preservation is taking part in the campaign. This is the second year for Wake Forest.
In 2012, Wake Forest received nearly 40 This Place Matters submissions, and it hopes for more this time.
“It’s always fun to see what your community thinks is important,” said Michelle Michael, a senior planner for the town.
Michael said she already shared a photo of her favorite local site – the Ailey Young House, which was built in the 1800s. Located just south of the town’s cemetery on North White Street, the rare example of African-American Reconstruction-era housing belonged to one of the most prominent black families in the town’s history.
The home was hidden by trees until it was rediscovered in 2008. Wake Forest is currently working to rehabilitate the house, and Michael has been active in the process.
She said she’s interested to see other important places residents identify.
“I’m excited to see what we get,” Michael said.
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802; @ReporterCioffi