Yanceyville: Gatewood and Town Council Get Remodeled

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GatewoodThe following update is related to the Town of Yanceyville’s move into the Municipal Building, a former textile mill.

As one of the three interns in Caswell County this past summer, I was fortunately in a position to help facilitate the Town of Yanceyville’s move into the former Royal Hosiery Mill. This building has been owned by the town for several years, housing the Public Works Department. It has also been used by Piedmont Community College (PCC) for Department of Corrections trainings for three years. At the end of their lease agreement in July of ’09, PCC left the building, opening an additional 12,000 square feet of unused space.

The town council has considered relocating to the Municipal Building for some time. With the opportunity at hand (and interns offering creative options for using the space to its fullest potential), town manager David Parrish and members of the council began the process of designing the new floor plan of the old mill and soliciting bids from contractors for remodeling.

The work is moving rapidly, with most of the framing finished and electricians about to reroute what will become the Council Chambers and the various administrative offices. But before they can do their work, and before the insulation, HVAC and drywall can be installed, the town’s Maud Gatewood Collection must be securely stowed away.

With the Yanceyville painter’s death in 2004, Maud Gatewood left the town a collection of more than forty pieces – many were Gatewood’s original work, while many others were collected from her extensive world travels.  It is an impressive and diverse range of pieces in numerous media – oil, ink, watercolor, lithograph, and photography. They have been on display in the municipal building since its first renovation and will return to these walls in a dedicated gallery space adjacent to Council Chambers.

With consultation from Caryn Lazzuri, of the Folger Library in Washington, D.C., Parrish and CCP RAs will safely layer the oil paintings in acid free paper and cover them with polyethylene to be stored in a climate controlled space until the renovation is complete. When the new Gatewood Gallery is ready, most of the pieces will be hung professionally in their renewed home. Other pieces that require it will be cleaned or treated by Andrew Nagy of the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill.

By Spring 2010, Yanceyville residents and guests alike will be free to walk the Gallery and see Gatewood’s collection. They can even pay a water bill or catch a council meeting while they’re at it.

For more about the life and work of Maud Gatewood, please visit http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ncccha/biographies/maudegatewood.html

3 Responses to “Yanceyville: Gatewood and Town Council Get Remodeled”

  1. haven’t read all the posts, so this idea may already be in play, but once the gallery opens in Spring 2010, the Gatewood collection could provide the critical mass for an attempt to do a sort of Handmade in America-style tour of the county that could bring day tourists. Maybe they come to see the Gatewoods, then connect to some of the other artisan work that is there. If you connected it to artisans in a couple of adjacent counties, there might be enough for a useful day trip for folks from the Triangle or the Triad, who would head up on the morning, stopping at a county just south, go to Caswell to see the Gatewoods, eat lunch there, go to a studio or a store in the afternoon, then head back home via a different route, stopping at another county…reverse directions for folks from Danville and Martinsville.

    • Thanks, Leslie. This is a great point. I just got my hands on a copy of the projects that emerged from Golden LEAF CAI process in Caswell. Lots to do with tourism. The Caswell County Historical Association proposed a heritage/agri-tourism marketing project for the county. Seems there is local interest in this sort of endeavor. We will follow this lead.

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