For Commercial Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse of Seagroves Farm, 1617 Center Street, Apex
The Seagroves Farm is the first historic resource saved in Apex as a direct result of the Town’s ground-breaking 2003 demolition disincentive ordinance. John Henry Seagroves bought this ninety-two acre farm in 1904. In 1910, he and his wife, Nevada Pearl Mann, built the one-story, triple-A form house with a wrap around porch. They raised four children there and operated a successful mid-sized farm, raising corn, tobacco and cotton. A number of functional agricultural and domestic outbuildings were built during the family’s occupancy, which lasted until the 1990s.
The Seagroves Farm was threatened in early 2005 when a developer submitted plans to demolish the house and subdivide the land. Thanks to the Apex demolition disincentive ordinance, which would have required a forty-eight month delay of development approvals, and a very vocal campaign by neighbors, historic preservation advocates and other community leaders, the Seagroves Farm was eventually set aside as a Resource Conservation Area for the Seagroves Farm subdivision project and the property was donated to Capital Area Preservation, Inc. for sale with a rehabilitation agreement and an historic preservation easement.
JEMMS Properties, LLC (an acronym composed of the first initials of each of owner Bill Cotton’s five children) purchased the property in 2007. Due to the widening of Center Street, the house was moved back on the lot to restore its historic relationship to the road. Following the move, the house and outbuildings were carefully rehabilitated. The outbuildings include a smokehouse, barns, sheds and a well house. Their continued presence around the house preserves the farm’s setting and allows the property to continue to visually convey a piece of Wake County’s agricultural past. The farm house currently serves as offices for Cotton Custom Homes and Peak Engineering. Behind the farm property, a community park called Seagroves Farm Park is being developed by the Town of Apex to preserve the pastoral views and farm pond.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2011 Anthemion Award to JEMMS Properties, LLC, Tise-Kiester Architects, PA; Cotton Custom Homes; McCrary House Movers for the Commercial Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse of the Seagroves Farm at 1617 Center Street, Apex.