For the Commercial Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse 223 S. Wilmington Street, Raleigh (Wilmoore Café)
The recently completed revitalization of 223 South Wilmington Street in Raleigh breathes new life into a formerly derelict building. This highly visible building is prominently located within downtown Raleigh’s Moore Square Historic District. Today the handsome two-story brick commercial building is home to the Wilmoore Café on the first floor and a center for small business enterprises on the second floor.
Built in 1917, the building’s long-term tenant was the Raleigh Loan Company which occupied it from 1940 to the mid-1990s. In fact, the Wilmoore logo — with its “3 bags of gold” — is a reference to the universal pawn symbol (and Medici coat of arms) which graced the building facade for over 50 years.
Nothing came easily in the redevelopment of this building as it took a carefully crafted and mutually beneficial agreement between the property owner and City of Raleigh to move the project forward. This agreement allowed for the creation of an elevated dining patio to both serve the cafe and create a courtyard providing a required second exit for the building. Great effort was taken to construct the patio to incorporate and preserve an existing tree. The rehabilitation work was undertaken in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. The large plate glass display windows were retained and now customers inside the café can relax and observe the bustle on the sidewalks. The barrel vaulted entry ceiling and tiled floor were restored as were existing wood floors, exposed interior brick, and the original stamped tin ceiling which had to be removed, repaired and reinstalled.
The historic Wilmoore Cafe will become a favorite dining and relaxing spot for local business professionals, downtown regulars and visitors alike.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2011 Anthemion Award to Deepjava Property Company, LLC; New City Design Group; West Key Consulting Corporation; Callahan Construction & Development for the Commercial Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse of 223 South Wilmington Street, Raleigh.