Jim Kirkpatrick, founding president of the reconstituted Guilford Battleground Company in the 1980s, who now serves as the GBC’s Honorary Chairman had the following remarks regarding the transfer of ownership of Greensboro’s Tannenbaum Park to the US National Park Service.
map of site
“The “new” Guilford Battleground Company was formed in December 1983 to save the Hoskins House from potential destruction as the property was threatened with commercial development. The house was believed to predate the Battle of Guilford Court House which was fought in 1781 and supposedly had served as a hospital after the combat. The GBC teamed up with the Tannenbaum Foundation, the City of Greensboro and Guilford County along with numerous others to raise the necessary funds to orchestrate the purchase of this property from private owners.
“Over time, the city which assumed ownership of what has become known as Tannenbaum Park was an excellent partner. However, in recent years, due to the same budget restraints that most municipalities faced from a trying economy, it became very difficult for taxpayers to support future improvements at the park. Everyone involved was frustrated as the park fought for non-existent dollars. Something had to change.
“Two years ago the GBC approached the National Park Service to see if it would be interested in taking ownership of Tannenbaum Park and incorporating it into the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Due to the leadership and vision of Chuck Cranfield, superintendent of the park, the NPS agreed. We then ran the idea by the City Parks & Recreation Department and Board, and they too could see the benefits of the “deep pockets” of the federal government. A positive consensus on the transfer developed quite suddenly.
“Today, something we could only dream about 26 years ago is taking place. Tannenbaum Park now belongs to the United States, which means, to all of us. In partnership with the GBC, the National Park Service is committed to improving the “telling of the story” of what happened on that fateful March 15, 1781. The road to Yorktown and eventual victory in the American Revolution began right here in Greensboro, and thanks to our new arrangement it will be preserved forever.
“Regarding the Colonial Heritage Center at Tannenbaum, Supt. Cranfield stated, “We are currently working with our engineering people at the Denver Service Center to develop specifications required for either modification of the current building or removal and reconstruction of a bigger “greener” brand new building. I am anticipating we will be able to retain the cement and steel frame and just expand and modify rooms of the current structure to meet the needs of being our Administrative Center and the location of both the Colonial Heritage Center and Battlefield Interpretive Center.”
Colonial Heritage Center
“The addition of the 7 acre Tannenbaum Park to 18 acres which the GBC has assisted in acquiring during the past few years equals 25 acres of land critical to preserving the story of the battlefield. The GBC anticipates assisting the NPS in obtaining an additional 10 acres in this area as it becomes available.
“Partners who have provided expertise and financial support to the GBC in previous acquisitions of land include; Piedmont Land Conservancy, Carolina Bank, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, Tannenbaum Sternberger Foundation, and the Weaver Foundation.
“With your help through memberships, donations, license plate purchases and other contributions to the Guilford Battleground Company, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park including Tannenbaum Park still has its brightest days ahead.”
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