FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John Larson, Winston-Salem Professional and Civic Leader, to Run
for South Ward City Council Seat
Winston-Salem, NC (November 15, 2015) – John Larson, Winston-Salem professional and civic leader, has announced that he will run for the South Ward City Council seat now held by Molly Leight. Leight is retiring at the end of this term. Larson will be a candidate in the Democratic primary to be held next March.
Larson, who is Vice President, Division of Restoration, at Old Salem Museum and Gardens, is a long-time resident of the South Ward. He is an architectural historian and his responsibilities at Old Salem are focused primarily on architectural restoration, archaeology, horticulture and building maintenance.
“Molly Leight has done an outstanding job of representing residents of the South Ward,” said Larson,” and it would be an honor to succeed her. I intend to do a lot listening. I want to hear from residents of the ward about what they think we are doing right in our city and also ways we can improve things. In my way of thinking, it’s about neighborhoods. We know we have to get essential services right – police, fire, streets, trash collection and the like – and we also have to be concerned about quality of life. Being a great place to live, work, play and learn is key to a healthy economy and job creation,” said Larson. “We have a strong brand – city of arts and innovation – and as South Ward Council member I would work to strengthen that brand.”
The South Ward is largely south of Business 40 and is boot shaped, running from Third Street down Peters Creek Parkway and Main Street to the Davidson County line. It takes a westward jog paralleling Silas Creek Parkway to Hanes Mall Boulevard, and includes the neighborhoods of Old Salem, West Salem, Washington-Park, Konnoak Hills, Kingstree, and British Woods.
Larson earlier announced that he would be retiring from Old Salem in December 2016 after a lengthy career there. “Serving in an elected position such as city council takes time and, fortunately, I will be at a place where I will have that time,” Larson said.
Larson’s interests are far-ranging, and he is active in both professional and civic activities. He is on the board of Creative Corridors Coalition, composed of Winston-Salem civic and professional leaders, which is spearheading enhancements for the planned changes in Business 40. Over the years he lent his expertise to regional planning efforts, including the South Central Area Plan.
He gives generously of his time and professional expertise. and has served as Chairman of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Historic Properties Commission; Chairman of the Preservation North Carolina Board of Advisors; and President of the national Vernacular Architecture Forum. In 2001 he was named professional preservationist of the year with the Robert Stipe Award given by Preservation North Carolina. He received the Archie Davis Award from the Wachovia Historical Society and the Leadership award from the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission.
Larson has carried the Winston-Salem and Old Salem banners far from home in his service at some of the nation’s most prestigious historic sites and restorations. He has served on the Montpelier (Home of President Madison) Architectural Advisory Board, and is currently on the Restoration Committee of the Old Maryland Statehouse Senate Chamber and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest residence. He has also served on the architectural advisory committee at Mt. Vernon and Ferry Farm, George Washington’s childhood home. In the summer he teaches a Historic Building Technology Field School sponsored by UNCG, Old Salem, and NC Div of Archives and History.
Larson served in the US Army where he achieved the rank of Captain. He attends Home Moravian Church and is a member of the Old Salem Residents Association and The Torch Club, a national civic organization.