For Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation
Not everyone can look at old buildings with collapsed roofs, broken windows, or crumbling walls and see the potential that exists. It takes vision, creativity, and vast amounts of determination — qualities Frank Gailor has in abundance.
Frank grew up in Volga, South Dakota, the son of a big band musician father and a mother who ran the local diner. He excelled in school and sports, playing both football and basketball. Between school, work at the diner, and team practice, he even found time for the debate team, demonstrating early his ability to juggle many different tasks, disciplines, and projects. After earning his undergraduate degree, Frank served in the United States Army, earned his Masters of Public Administration from Syracuse University, and later earned his Juris Doctor with honors from George Washington University.
For as long as he can remember, Frank had a deep appreciation for historic architecture and old buildings, and a love of finding ways to repurpose old things. He particularly enjoyed rehabilitating houses and working with contractors and architects to sort through the knotty problems that occur in preservation. Combine this passion with the skills and knowledge about finance, real estate, collaboration, and negotiation that Frank acquired through a varied career as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, analyst for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, right hand to a United States Congressman, lawyer, and banker and starting up his own real estate development company became the almost inevitable next step.
In 1991, Frank started Hedgehog Holdings, LLC, tackling Pilot Mill – a 10 year rehabilitation project that has been a spur to positive development throughout the neighborhood north of Peace Street. In addition to Pilot Mill, he has preserved Raleigh landmark properties such as Mary Elizabeth Hospital and the Medical Arts Building; he is currently in the middle of two National Register projects at the Glencoe Mill and Eno River Mill. A great believer in serving his community and supporting preservation, he has mentored and advised other developers and preservationists, presented to students about the benefits of preservation, and sat on or chaired boards for Preservation North Carolina, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, and Capital Area Preservation, which he currently serves as Director Emeritus.
Thanks to his vision, creativity and determination, Frank has not only saved properties of historic significance to Raleigh and the State of North Carolina, but has, through his tireless work, created jobs, brought new life to rundown and neglected neighborhoods, and educated the public about the importance of historic preservation.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2014 Anthemion Award to Frank Robert Gailor for Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation.