Watson Warehouse/Centre Brick #2 Warehouse

Building Documentation & Scanning
Building Documentation and Scanning
Historic Building Renovation
Historic Research
Historic Resource Documentation
Historic Tax Credit Consulting

Watson Warehouse/Centre Brick #2 Warehouse


230 S. Goldsboro Street, Wilson, NC


Cornerstone Architects

City of Wilson

North Carolina Historic Preservation Office

National Park Service

Project Goals

The Watson Warehouse/Centre Brick Warehouse #2 is one of two remaining tobacco auction warehouses in Wilson, a city known in the early 1900s as the World’s Greatest Tobacco Market.

The evolved tobacco warehouse was vacant for a number of years until the property was purchased by a private developer to be rehabilitated into apartments, commercial space, and a gift shop and visitor’s center.

Project Design

The complex sat vacant for nearly twenty years following the decline of the tobacco auction industry. It was eventually purchased by the Wilson Downtown Development Corporation who then sought a private development partner to pursue rehabilitation.

Reimagining the building included utilizing the double-height interior space by inserting lofted apartment units along the perimeter of the building, expanding the existing 64,000 square foot complex to nearly 90,000 square feet.

Challenges & Accomplishments

The design team had to strike a balance between meeting modern code requirements triggered by the new uses while maintaining the historic character defining features of the space, including the open volume of space and exposed heavy timber structure.

In addition to the historic rehabilitation tax credit application, the applicant also gained the North Carolina Mill Rehabilitation Tax Credit and received local Historic Landmark Designation.