For the Commercial Rehabilitation of 115 Dry Avenue, Cary
This 1923 Craftsman bungalow is located at 115 Dry Avenue within Cary’s National Register Historic District. The Hobby-Bliss House is one of several pivotal rehabilitations changing the character of downtown Cary.
The lot was originally part of the W.M. Dry property. Dry was the first principal of Cary Academy, presently known as Cary High School. J. Glenn and Elizabeth Hobby acquired the house and lot in 1923. Hobby was a downtown Cary grocer from the 1920s through 1950s and was known for his concern for the less fortunate during the Great Depression Over the years the installation of aluminum siding, the partial demolition of the chimney stacks, and other alterations hid the house’s true Craftsman character.
The house was purchased in 2006 by Bliss Real Estate for use as their headquarters. New owners Keith and Gaia Bliss immediately realized the building’s potential and began an extensive rehabilitation effort. The project included structural repairs, systems overhaul and cosmetic and restorative work. Roof joists were rebuilt and the foundation was strengthened with additional piers. Antique brick was used to rebuild the truncated chimney stacks. Insulation was installed for the first time. With the removal of the aluminum siding, yellow-pine bevel lap siding was discovered. Cedar shingles in the gables were discovered and restored. The original window sashes were restored and are now fully operable. The windows lit the bright interior, showing off the refinished oak floors, French doors and Craftsman trim. The attic was finished and now serves as a conference and presentation room.
The transformation from neglected dwelling to restored “cottage office” was completed in 2008. The Bliss Real Estate Group is enjoying its new “old home.” Neighbors appreciate the firm for its contribution to the effort to revitalize Downtown Cary.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation is pleased to present a 2008 Anthemion Award to Bliss Real Estate, LLC; 2SL Design Build; Site Structural, PE; Under One Roof Remodeling; Provost & Martin Holdings, LLC; Dennis G. Nield, PE, and Angus Clark, PE for the Commercial Rehabilitation of the Hobby-Bliss House,115 Dry Avenue, Cary.