you're reading...

Cornelius News

Abigail Jennings lands top award from leading preservation group

Oct. 20. By Dave Yochum. Cornelius businesswoman Abigail Jennings received the Best All Around Preserver Award at the Golden Night of Preservation at the Duke Mansion in Charlotte this week.

The CEO of Lake Norman Realty has been an advocate of historic preservation and served on the Historic Preservation Commission in Cornelius before it was transitioned to a committee.

Michael Jeffcoat, of PMI, with Abigail Jennings

She was active behind the scenes in efforts to preserve the Tenant House on the site of the former Alexander Farm where are large mixed-use project called Alexander Farms is under construction.

She and her husband Randolph Lewis restored the former Mt. Zion United Methodist Church parsonage just south of downtown Cornelius as their residence. The couple is also restoring a 170-year-old farmhouse on Bud Henderson Road in Huntersville.

Jennings and Lewis joined with Torrance Banks, the seventh-generation owner of the Cedar Grove mansion on Gilead Road, to form Torrance Preserve LLC, with the mission to preserve and share the site with everyone.

Regular programs, which are free to attend focus on local history, nature and our shared sense of place.

“Abigail is a ‘rain maker.’ She gets things done,” said Dan Morrill, the former chair of the Charlotte Landmarks Commission, professor in the UNC-Charlotte Department of History and co-founder of Preserve Mecklenburg.

On Nov. 18, Cedar Grove’s HEARTS Harvest will feature local historic farm lore and breathtaking nature paintings of acclaimed local artist Elizabeth Bradford.


Preserve Mecklenburg is a real-estate active preservation group that works to save historical sites around Mecklenburg, in part by working with owners to place preservation easements on historic properties.

Michael Jeffcoat, PMI’s director of development, presented the award to Jennings.