The former home office of the Pilot Life Insurance Company at 5300 High Point Road has been nominated to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.
This list is the nation’s official recognition of properties considered worthy of preservation.
The way the process works is that the City of Greensboro reviews requests for National Register of Historic Places nominations by requesting public input and holding a public hearing about the nomination.
The public hearing is scheduled to be held virtually at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 at the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission.
The City Council will then consider the nomination and public comments prior to the nomination going before the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee in June. Finally, the National Park Service has to approve the request.
The Pilot Life building was constructed in 1928 and designed by architects Zantzinger, Borie and Medary to look like a Georgian English manor house.
The building has been vacant since 1990 when, after Pilot Life Insurance merged with Jefferson Standard Life Insurance to become Jefferson-Pilot Life Insurance, the office was moved to the new Jefferson-Pilot building in downtown Greensboro. Jefferson-Pilot then became Lincoln Financial.
For those of a certain age, the words Pilot Life bring the advertising jingle to mind, “Sail with the Pilot all the way, So get on board the Pilot ship today.” Pilot was a sponsor of Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) games and that commercial featuring a sailing ship in a storm is linked in many minds with the ACC.
The jingle probably won’t be part of the presentation on the need to give the building the protection of being on the National Register of Historic Places, but those at the public hearing my hear some old timers humming it.
Properties listed on the national register are eligible for historic rehabilitation income tax credits, but the listing does not restrict the owner’s use of private funds to maintain or alter the property.