FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Historians are seeking feedback from the public on the future North Carolina Historic Center on the Civil War, Emancipation and Reconstruction. Two public forums were held at Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church on Murchison Road in Fayetteville on Monday.
“I had heard a lot of rumors about what it was and what it wasn’t. So, I wanted to come here for myself,” Fayetteville resident Vikki Andrews said.
Andrews was seeking the truth about the more than $80 million project that will be built near Downtown Fayetteville.
“The marketing about what this was, in the beginning, was horrendous. It was horrible,” she said. “I’m not sure if there has been enough done to overcome that.”
Before attending the forum in Fayetteville this morning, Andrews was against the idea of the center.
Some people feel it could possibly glorify the Confederate side of the war and slavery while whitewashing history.
“Some of the responses I heard today feel a little bit like that. But may not be,” Andrews said.
Additionally, the President and CEO of Eisterhold Associates said relooking at history with a fresh set of eyes could be for the better.
“We don’t have an ax to grind other than realizing people need to take a fresh look at this history. It’s not what they’ve been told,” said Gerard Eisterhold, President and CEO of Eisterhold Associates.
His firm is designing the center. He said it will be about the experiences of North Carolinians of different races and backgrounds, from the Civil War era up to reconstruction.
“You can’t put the whole history out there. You have to focus on those parts of history that people can learn something from,” he said.
While the Civil War center is set to open by 2027, Andrews said she’s still on the fence about it.
“For me, the jury is out. I’m open, like I said, to hear more and to see more,” she said.
There are panels that depict the center’s exhibits on display at Mount Sinai Baptist Church across from Fayetteville State University. The public can review them and offer written comments on Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.