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Preservation Awards Recognize Bellevue Mill Renovations, Billy Strayhorn Mural

Thursday, June 11, 2020
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The adaptive reuse of the Bellevue Mill complex (top) and the painting of the Billy Strayhorn mural at 226 S. Churton St. were recognized in the Hillsborough Historic District Commission's 2020 Preservation Awards.

The Hillsborough Historic District Commission is presenting its 2020 Preservation Awards to the people behind the renovation of Bellevue Mill and the Billy Strayhorn mural on South Churton Street.

No awards ceremony will be held this year, but posters about the projects will be on display at the Orange County Public Library, 137 W. Margaret Lane, once it reopens following the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions.

Award for Best Adaptive Reuse of a Commercial Structure

The 2020 Preservation Award for Best Adaptive Reuse of a Commercial Structure recognizes the significant amount of time, effort and money put into renovating the Bellevue Mill complex on South Nash Street for residential use. Recognized are Bellevue Mill LLC, Belk Architecture and CT Wilson Construction.

The mill complex dates to 1909, with significant additions in 1920 and 1923. A 2016 fire heavily damaged the weaving building, but the complex’s “slow-burn” construction helped keep it from spreading to other parts of the complex. As part of the renovation, the weaving building was reconstructed following its original design and materials.

Bellevue Mill, which now offers over 100 apartments, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 and awarded Local Landmark status by the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners on the recommendation of the Hillsborough Historic District Commission in 2014.

Award for Best Artistic Representation of Local History

The 2020 Preservation Award for Best Artistic Representation of Local History recognizes the mural of jazz composer Billy Strayhorn on the north wall of the Volume vintage record store at 226 S. Churton St. Recognized are artist Max Dowdle, business owners Tony Lopez and Nathan Andrews, Annie Charton and building owners Mary and David Knox.

The mural depicts Strayhorn, who became interested in music and piano while living with his grandmother in Hillsborough, along with a New York City Subway A train, which was the namesake for his most well-known composition “Take the A Train.” Lopez and his girlfriend Charton worked with Dowdle on the concept for the mural, which the Knoxes were happy to have adorn their building.

More Information

For more information and photos of the Bellevue Mill and Billy Strayhorn mural projects, see the attached 2020 Preservation Awards handout.

Related documents


Document 2020 Preservation Awards handout