For the Commercial Rehabilitation of 225 S. Wilmington Street, Raleigh
The historic structure at 225 S. Wilmington Street was built in the 1880s and is located in downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square Historic District. When Carpenter Real Estate acquired the building to open a café and bar, they assembled a project team composed of Maurer Architecture, Legacy Construction Group, Atlantec Engineers and Lysaght and Associates to undertake the renovation of the building. Maurer Architecture had prior experience with the building. In 2005, a portion of the façade fell apart and was determined to be beyond repair. The previous owner commissioned Maurer to implement the rebuilding and stabilization of the building, but after completion of the work, the building sat vacant until its acquisition by Carpenter in 2008.
The project team worked closely on the building’s rehabilitation which included a new storefront compatible to the downtown historic district, new interior egress stairs to meet code requirements, new interior layout including the bars, restaurant seating, kitchen, offices and toilet rooms, a new rooftop terrace, all new plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems, and new fire alarm and sprinkler systems.
Being committed to the history of the building, Carpenter Real Estate resurrected the name Busy Bee Cafe for its new establishment from the building’s former café which occupied the first floor from 1913 to 1925. The first floor pays homage to this piece of history, as part-coffee bar and part-restaurant, while meeting the demands of today’s patrons, by offering wireless internet and a place to enjoy the company of friends and neighbors from early morning to late-night. The second floor of the building has been transformed into a thriving scene for live music and spirits, with a club called The Hive. The rooftop terrace overlooking the city is a favorite oasis for both café and bar patrons. With doors open from the morning brew until the final cocktail, the street buzzes with busy bees enjoying the character and quality of downtown Raleigh’s historic renaissance.
The commercial rehabilitation of 225 S. Wilmington has significantly contributed to reigniting commercial activity in the neighborhood and the renovated building is a visible symbol of the importance of historic preservation to downtown redevelopment.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2009 Anthemion Award to Carpenter Real Estate; Maurer Architecture; Legacy Construction Group, Inc.; Atlantec Engineers; and Lysaght and Associates for the Commercial Rehabilitation of 225 S. Wilmington Street, Raleigh.