The many faces of Downtown High Point

New museum exhibit traces changes
Jul. 23, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

Elementary school-aged children gather around Edith Brady, watching her finger as it traces lines on a map.
“This shows how the city limits grew,” says Brady, director of the High Point Museum.
She lets them wander around the room, examining relics of High Point past, some of which are as big as they are.
July 17 was the opening day of the “We Made a Few Changes” exhibit, which will run at the museum until January.
“It’s always fun to say, ‘Oh, that’s what it used to be like,’” said Brady of the monuments in the exhibit.
Pieces paint a picture of the area from as long ago as before the city’s founding and as recently as the late 1990s. The purpose of the exhibit, museum staff said, is to highlight ways High Point’s look has transformed.
“Some things stay the same, but you forget how much things change over the years,” said Teresa Loflin, community relations director at the museum.
They said the exhibit is particularly relevant because of architect Andres Duany’s visit giving suggestions about how to improve the downtown area. The staff didn’t think any past changes have been as controversial as his idea to put up sea-cans for temporary use.
“There were people who weren’t happy when the Biltmore Hotel was redesigned,” Brady said, “but I don’t know that there’s anything in the exhibit that’s been quite as debated.”
They also pointed out that Duany’s vision to narrow Main Street to one lane to make way for diagonal parking mirrors the way Main Street once looked.
“We’ve had it. It’s not a new idea, just a refurbished idea,” said Marian Inabinett, curator of collections.
Some changes to the city’s look, though, will always be inevitable and necessary, the staff said.
“Your landscape says a lot about your community’s ideas,” said Brady. “It’s important to reflect the personality of who lives here.”
Highlights of the exhibit include the old town clock, parts of lampposts that were put up in the 1920s and a section of Main Street from when it was made of cobblestone, including the trolley tracks that once ran along it.

See the exhibit
What: “We Made a Few Changes”
Where: High Point Museum, 1859 E. Lexington Avenue
When: July-January
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Price: Museum admission is always free.
For more information, call the museum at 885-1859 or visit its website.

History on your phone
The High Point Museum now supports History Pin. With this smart phone app, visitors can tour High Point past and present at the same time. Choose a historical photo, travel to its location, and watch as old fades to new.
Click here to learn more.