For the Commercial Rehabilitation of the W.A. Hinton and Son Hardware Building, 221-223 N. Salem Street, Apex
In her Apex National Register nomination, Dr. Ruth Little writes “this two-story brick building is one of the most stylish and intact commercial buildings in Apex.” Building on that theme, owners Dr. Doug Meckes, Stuart Jones, Peter Cnossen, and Sean Dolle, along with architect Jim Smith, AIA and consultant David Rowland have successfully rehabilitated this building into four contemporary uses. The street-level shops now house a real estate business and an interior design firm, while the second floor contains a civil engineering company. A land surveying firm occupies the basement level.
The owners closely followed the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation by using old photographs and the experience of Mr. Smith. For example, the storefronts and exterior windows had to be completely rebuilt and now match the design and visual quality of the original ones. Moreover, visitors and clients arriving at the top of the second floor landing are awed by a panoramic view of the original brick walls and exposed ceiling of this large and open space. The owners sensitively used moveable cubicles to create office space instead of drop ceilings and sheetrock walls.
The painted brick exterior was delicately cleaned and re-pointed using the gentlest means. No sandblasting was used and the red mortar on the front façade was exposed.
The rehabilitation of the W.A. Hinton and Son Hardware, now commonly known as the Meckes Building, has had a significant effect on the Town of Apex’s revitalization efforts in general, and on the 200 block of North Salem Street in particular. It has encouraged other preservation projects on this block, including the rehabilitation of the Old Town Hall at 227 N. Salem Street as a Cultural Arts Center, as well as the adaptive use of the historic Apex Mule and Supply Store at 219 N Salem Street. Taken together, these projects represent over $6 million in economic investment in downtown Apex.
The W.A. Hinton and Son Hardware project represents an excellent example of an adaptive use of a contributing structure to the Apex National Register Historic District. This undertaking makes possible an efficient contemporary use of an older building while preserving those portions and features which are significant to its historic, architectural, and cultural values for present and future generations to use and enjoy.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation is pleased to present a 2007 Anthemion Award to DTA II, LLC, Jones, Cnossen & Dolle Engineers, HagerSmith Design, PA, and David Rowland for the Commercial Rehabilitation of the W.A. Hinton and Son Hardware Building, 221-223 N. Salem Street, Apex.