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Harpe Consulting Writes National Register of Historic Places Nomination for the Lincolnton Recreation Department Youth Center

05 Oct
The Lincolnton Recreation Department Youth Center is located at 119 East Pine Street in downtown Lincolnton near the intersection of East Pine Street and North Academy Street, and the property adjoins a lot to the east that the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners leases to the Southern Stars Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), on which lot is situated the historic Pleasant Retreat Academy/Memorial Hall. The property, rectangular in shape, is bordered on the north and west by properties with houses dating to the 1920s, on the east by the historic Pleasant Retreat Academy/Memorial Hall and a tennis court built by the Lincolnton Recreation Department in the 1960s, and on the south by Pine Street. Just east, beyond the Pleasant Retreat Academy, 302 North Academy Street, is the former Academy Street School, built in 1914, that is currently the home of the Lincoln County Building and Land Development office.

The Lincolnton Recreation Department Youth Center is historically significant as the county’s first public recreation facility established in 1947. The Youth Center building was constructed as a temporary school building ca. 1921 and the facility closed in 1927. Little is known about the building’s usage in the intervening years. In 1947 the four-classroom building was acquired by the City of Lincolnton and extensively renovated on the interior for the new recreational use. A professionally-trained woman director, Betty Gabriel, was hired to lead the newly-established recreation program. The building retains historic integrity from the 1947 to 1959 period of significance when the building was used to conduct important recreational, cultural, and social activities that enriched the lives of Lincolnton’s youth and adults. Although the Center continued to function until 1989, the period after 1959 is not of exceptional importance.
The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 30, 2009.

Lincolnton Recreation Department Youth Center, Facade. Photograph by Jason L. Harpe, 2009.


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