Historic Wilmington Foundation hosts event highlighting history, shops on Castle Street

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Historic Wilmington Foundation hosted the Castle Street Crawl on Thursday night to highlight local businesses on Castle Street.

The event celebrated Preservation Month with a historic walking tour of the street at 6 p.m. and a second tour at 7 p.m. leaving from the firehouse on the corner of Fifth and Castle streets.

Beth Rutledge, the executive director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, said the neighborhood is seeing a resurgence of independent businesses.

"The cool thing right now about Castle Street is that it is going through a little bit of a renaissance," Rutledge said. "The good times of this neighborhood right now I think are plentiful. There's a lot to be optimistic about."

Dawn Glover owns Decades of Décor on Castle Street. She moved her shop from a spot on Water Street because she said she felt like Castle Street was up and coming. She hopes Thursday's event will draw more people to an area she said is growing.

"I just feel like people are now starting to want to come to Castle Street," Glover said. "A lot of people don't even know about Castle Street and they're actually locals. They're just not aware of the fact that we have such a spectacular area and businesses, small local businesses, here."

Shops stayed open later for the event, and had sales.

A lot of the shops have opened in the past few years.

April Pittman has been a hairdresser at Glamour Beauty Shop on Castle Street for more than a decade. She said the new shops are a good thing for the neighborhood.

"Through the years, there have been a lot of changes cleaning up the neighborhood and now, since the different shops are coming in, it's bringing a positive reaction back to the neighborhood like it once was," Pittman said.

Karyn Oetting, the owner of Second Skin Vintage, said the 100-year history of the building her store is in is why she chose to put her shop on Castle Street.

"When you actively work to keep these buildings alive by breathing air into them and creatively reusing them instead of tearing them down or destroying what makes them so architecturally interesting, you are doing architecture preservation," Oetting said.

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