My latest for the Carrboro Citizen focuses on the town's allure for architects, and more. Here's an excerpt:

Serving Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and Pittsboro

Architects have designs on Carrboro

by Margot C. Lester

Carrboro’s where it’s at for all kinds of artists, but did you know it’s home to almost a dozen architecture and design firms? That’s a lot for a community of around 16,000.

Some architects have been here a while, like Jack Haggerty (205 W. Main St.,, who’s called Carrboro home for more than 20 years. His most recent local project was the “green” renovation of Chapel Hill Tire at West Main Street and Jones Ferry Road. He also does residential work.

Haggerty says our little burg attracts folks like him because of its “nice scale, educated clients, engaged town board and helpful town staff.” Considering the time it takes to get approvals, permits and other green lights before design concepts can become architectural realities, those last two points are especially alluring.

Not surprisingly, at least two firms have relocated from Chapel Hill in the last couple of years.

Two years ago, Dail Dixon, FAIA (103 W. Weaver St., returned to Carrboro, where he began his practice in 1974. Dixon does mostly residential work in Orange and Chatham counties and at the Penland School of Crafts in Mitchell County.

“The architectural community, like the town, is diverse and interesting,” he says. “[Carrboro] is a great place to come to work every day.”

Weinstein Friedlein Architects (601-A W. Main St., also came across the tracks in 2008.

“We conducted a broad and open-ended search for almost a year before our lease ended in Chapel Hill,” says co-owner Ken Friedlein, AIA. He and co-owner Ellen Weinstein both live in Durham. “Again and again, we found ourselves returning to Carrboro possibilities. We sensed a down-to-earth commitment to community and to building a sustainable place here. We wanted to be in the middle of that, and to be part of making it happen.”

Click here to read the whole article.