Raleigh City Councilors dissolved the Mordecai Historic Park Advisory Committee and created a new advisory board to oversee the city’s growing repertoire of historic sites and museums Tuesday.
The 12-member Historical Resources and Museum Advisory Board will work at the behest of the Parks and Recreation Department to promote programs and operations at sites including the Raleigh City Museum, the Tucker House and the M.T. Manassas Pope House. Three members from the former Mordecai committee were appointed by City Councilors to sit on the new board.
Given the current economic climate, the City of Raleigh decided to help floundering historical sites that were previously privately operated, according to board member Nick Fountain.
“Over the past twelve months, [the City of Raleigh] has decided to step up and help out with respect to the Pope House on South Wilmington Street, and also with the Raleigh City Museum,” said Fountain, who also sat on the Mordecai committee.
The city took over the Raleigh City Museum July 1.
“The idea was to aggregate [resources] in one department under one leadership. From a city administration standpoint, it would make sense to have a good cross-section of representatives on a single board that could be an advocacy board for the whole group of those resources,” City Manager Russell Allen said.
Four of the 12 board members are affiliated with the Raleigh City Museum.
All of the sites the new board will advise on — Mordecai Historic Park, the Raleigh City Museum, the Raleigh Trolley, the Pope House, the Latta House and University Site, the Tucker House, the Borden Building and Stone Circle at Fletcher Park and the Fred Fletcher Amphitheater — are controlled by the Parks and Recreation Department.
The purpose of creating the board was not to dilute the responsibilities of the Mordecai committee, according to board member C. Edward Morris.
“We have a larger group of properties,” said Morris. “They’re all going to be managed together. It should help in lots of ways: management, budget and popular support from the citizens.”