A 22-acre site in the community of New Bern, the Tryon Palace property includes colonial-era homes and structures, as well as a reconstruction of the mansion that once served as the colonial-era capitol of North Carolina.

Following a detailed master planning process, a comprehensive vision was created to unify the existing living history museum and improve the visitor experience. Through the planning process, the concept for the North Carolina History Education Center was developed to orient visitors, provide hands-on learning, and support a variety of educational experiences. The project transformed a former brownfield site into a lively cultural hub that extends the urban grid of the city to the waterfront.


  • Designed new state history and visitor center
  • Remediated a brownfield site
  • Creation of a downtown cultural anchor with waterfront riverwalk
  • 22-acre living history museum
  • LEED Silver Certified


  • 2012 Honor Award, Maryland and Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects
© J West Photography© J West Photography© J West Photography© J West Photography© J West Photography© J West Photography
“Quinn Evans’ continued dedication to our project helped make the review process…of the master plan and schematic designs an effortless experience.”

Philippe LaFargue, Director, North Carolina History Center


The master plan identified museum goals, best use of existing facilities, and capital projects to support educational and interpretive initiatives. In a key phase of the planning process, the North Carolina History Center was developed to orient visitors and support instructional programs for students. The building’s contemporary design vocabulary respects the local architectural heritage and features exhibits designed by Edwin Schlossberg, a 200-seat auditorium, offices, a café, and retail and instructional spaces. From the Center, visitors move throughout the site, touring historic facilities and participating in hands-on activities and demonstrations.

Restoring the Urban Fabric

Transformation of the Tryon Palace property, located along New Bern’s historically mercantile and industrial waterfront, has created a unique interpretive landscape that provides hands-on, interactive experiences for students and visitors. In addition to the 32 historic houses, dependencies, and structures, the site now offers the North Carolina History Center - a 50,000-square-foot visitor center that serves as an arrival point to the museum and the city of New Bern. Renewal of the property reconnected the urban grid with the waterfront, and reinforced the historic settlement patterns. The project also completed the missing link of the city’s riverwalk and created an interpretive natural habitat along the Trent River.