Samantha Smith has been elected president of the College Hill Neighborhood Association, succeeding James Keith. James stepped down in December as he was selling his house on South Mendenhall Street. The association board voted unanimously to name Samantha president.
Samantha is director of community engagement and digital learning at Old Salem. She and her husband, Joshua Stewart, live on Tate Street. Her parents, Daniel Smith and Rosemarie DiGiorgio, live on Walker Avenue in College Hill.
In addition to working at Old Salem, Samantha is the owner of Gate City Preservation LLC, a historic preservation consulting firm. She previously served as executive director of Historic Bethabara in Winston-Salem and as a park ranger at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Samantha graduated from N.C. State University with a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology and a master’s in public/applied history. She also holds a post baccalaureate certificate in historic preservation from UNCG.
Samantha and her father perform folk music as Music Across the Water. The covers of the their albums feature art by Patti Pogodzinski, an illustrator and textile designer. Patti and her husband, Thomas Kilian, recently bought a house on Carr Street.
James Keith: Double Oaks and new opportunities
James and Amanda Keith sold their home at 303 S. Mendenhall Street in December. James told the neighborhood association last month that he and Amanda haven’t had much time to maintain a residence in College Hill while they expand their business. In addition to owning and operating Double Oaks Bed & Breakfast on North Mendenhall Street in Westerwood, they’re planning to restore a historic hotel in western North Carolina.
James has served as neighborhood association president since 2013. He has led several projects that have improved the quality of life in the neighborhood, including the Mendenhall Street redesign project, a continuing, multi-year effort to reduce the speed of traffic on the street; the addition of many badly needed streetlights throughout College Hill; and the development of the neighborhood’s long-range plan. He also led the neighborhood’s successful fight to preserve fire-damaged 919 Spring Garden Street, which involved partnering with the Preservation Greensboro Redevelopment Fund and the City of Greensboro. His efforts resulted in a change in the city’s Municipal Service District ordinance to allow use of the historic district’s MSD funds for preserving significant properties.
James and Amanda bought the Effie M. Anderson House at 303 S. Mendenhall Street in 2008. Their restoration of the house was honored with a preservation award from Preservation Greensboro. The Keiths also secured Historic Landmark Designation from Guilford County. The 1914 Colonial Revival home was designed by prominent Greensboro architect Harry Barton. James and Amanda accepted a full-price offer three days after listing the house for sale in October.
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