For Preservation Advocacy
In 1985, the Page-Walker Hotel, a rare example of Second Empire architecture constructed in 1868 by Cary founder Frank Page, was in serious danger of being lost to neglect. Alarmed, members of the Cary Historical Society mobilized to save the building. That year, the Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel was incorporated as a 501c (3) non-profit organization and quickly moved to purchase, stabilize, and restore the structure.
With the building saved, the Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel evolved into Cary’s de facto preservation organization, outliving the original Cary Historical Society. Today the organization has a broad mission to enrich the community by serving as guardian for the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, by advocating preservation of Cary historic sites, by archiving history and facilitating history education, and by promoting the cultural arts.
In the early years of its organization, preservation efforts involved promoting the establishment of Cary’s three National Register Historic Districts as well as working to save the historic Waldo house. In more recent years, the Friends have been actively involved in all aspects of historic preservation in Cary, primarily through advocacy and educational activities.
The Friends served as the steering committee for the recent historic resources survey conducted by the Town. Several preservation committee members also served on the citizen’s advisory committee for the Historic Resources Master Plan, adopted by the Cary Town Council in 2010. This is the first standalone municipal preservation plan in the state of North Carolina. The Friends have also facilitated the purchase and installation of bronze plaques for fifteen of the contributing structures in the district. They have worked diligently to influence the course of Town-sponsored projects affecting historic structures in the district and adjoining areas. The Friends’ Preservation Committee has worked to inform the citizens of Cary on a myriad of preservation topics, hosting over thirty speaker programs over the past seven years. The increasingly popular series culminates each May with an update on the state of preservation in Cary called “What Have We Got to Lose?”
The Friends of Page-Walker have become preservation’s voice in the Town of Cary. Despite limited resources, they have been able to have a positive influence on the preservation of Cary’s remaining historic resources and in the minds of Cary’s citizens, staff, and public officials.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2013 Anthemion Award to the Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel for Preservation Advocacy.