We’ve written a lot about how excited we are about The 203 Project – the future home of Carrboro’s library branch, the Parks and Rec Department, WCOM Radio, the teen center, the performance space, and the Orange County Skills Development Center.

Now it’s time to give the building a better name.

Name that Building...after Bob Drakeford
Name that Building…after Bob Drakeford

The Orange County – Town of Carrboro Naming Committee is asking for public input as it considers a name for the new civic building at 203 S. Greensboro St. They will provide a recommendation to the Orange County Board of Commissioners and Carrboro Town Council.

They’ve given us some guidelines: the Orange County Property Naming Policy states that the public facility’s name be “based on geographical, historical, ecological, functional, or other factors as deemed appropriate. If a geographical reference of locational value is derived from a person’s name, such as a street name, it may be used in naming the facility.”

My choice for the name? Bob Drakeford.

Originally from New York, Drakeford moved to North Carolina to attend UNC, where he received a master’s degree in planning and public health. In a 1983 interview with the Daily Tar Heel, he said “We took a town that was in the ’40s really and brought it into the ’80s in less than six years.”

Robert “Bob” Drakeford was the first Black mayor of Carrboro who planned the Chapel Hill-Carrboro bus system, increased the town’s commercial base, and created many of Carrboro’s bikeways, He died in 2022. You can read more about him here.

In a town press release, Mayor Damon Seils remembered the progressive planner who created the Carrboro Community Park, now known as Hank Anderson Park.

“Mayor Drakeford brought a planner’s sensibility and a forward-looking vision to a Carrboro that was ripe for both,” he said. “Many of his priorities, from expanding public transportation and improving pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to fostering a welcoming, inclusive community, are at the heart of what we in Carrboro continue to reach for today.”

You can take the survey at:



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Melody Kramer is a Peabody-award winning journalist whose work has appeared on NPR and member stations around the country, as well as in publications ranging from National Geographic to Esquire Magazine....