WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Old Salem attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

"We have 440,000 people walking up and down the streets,” said Old Salem president Frank Vagnone.

They are streets that Vagnone said that need some work.

"The sidewalks are really in difficult shape. We have people fall all the time," said Vagnone.  

That's one of the reasons city officials want to dedicate bond dollars to fix long standing issues. In addition to tackling wobbly bricks, the city also wants to replace trees in poor condition and update lighting.

"The lighting is actually based on historic precedent of what used to be here in Salem. So what you see here is essentially what you will see, just more of them," said Vagnone.  

Other areas to improve include the storm water system and sewer lines.

"The sewer lines in many cases are original lines and so they've collapsed," said Vagnone.  

Johanna Brown, Old Salem's Curator of Moravian Decorative Arts, said the Moravian's first water system was built in 1777. She’s looking forward to the restoration work.

“It would be very interesting if they were to uncover some of the original piping whether it be some of the log pipes or the ceramic pipes which were used with the second water system in the 19th century. We'd love to see them in place and get a sense of how they were installed,” said Brown.

Vagnone said the digging will be an asset, not a nuisance.

"Our goal is to make it part of the experience rather than have them close their eyes to it,” said Vagnone. “We are starting to look at and designing special platforms that visitors can look into where the dig is occurring so we're really trying to move toward making this a positive experience."

During the project, Main Street will not be ripped up from end to end. Instead, the goal is to have work proceed a block at a time.

The city would foot the bill because the sidewalks and water are public even though Old Salem is a private entity. 

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