The History of the Downtown
New Bern Renaissance
Presented by Susan Moffat-Thomas
Sunday, February 23, 2020
2 pm at the North Carolina History Center
Sold out! Please call the office at 252.638.8558 to be placed on the waiting list.
Following WWII, New Bern’s waterfront area was rather an eyesore. Now we have the beautiful award-winning downtown we all love. How did that happen? The New Bern Historical Society will host Susan Moffat-Thomas, retired Executive Director, Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corp, as she describes that 40-year process. Moffat-Thomas will provide an overview of the post WWII decline of downtown, the demolition of its waterfront and how the establishment in 1979 of Swiss Bear, Inc., a private nonprofit, in partnership with local government, was the catalyst for downtown New Bern’s rebirth as a vibrant center of civic and social activity. Her presentation includes numerous before and after photos that reinforce the dramatic changes that took place over the past 40 years.
Susan Moffat-Thomas was Executive Director of Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation from 1985 to December 2014. Under her leadership, Swiss Bear received numerous national and state awards. Susan provided the management and leadership of an award winning downtown New Bern revitalization effort that was recognized nationally as a Main Street success story. She received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine presented by the Governor, the Gertrude S. Carraway Award of Merit from the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina, Special Recognition Award from the NC Board of Transportation NC Main Street Champion, New Bern Rotarian of the Year Award, and Civitan Citizen of the Year Award.
Cost is $10 for New Bern Historical Society Members, $13 for non-members.