For Preservation Leadership
When Kathryn Drake and husband, Frank, moved to Wake County in 1994, they immediately invested themselves fully in Wake Forest. Frank accepted a seat on the Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission and later served as chair of that organization. When Frank moved to the Wake Forest Planning Commission, Kathryn joined the Wake Forest Historic Preservation Commission, serving that organization from 1998 to 2002 and as its chair from 1998 – 2000.
Kathy loves to say that Wake Forest is a gem in Wake County. One of a handful of certified local governments in Wake County, Wake Forest is bullish on preserving and protecting its historic properties. Feeling strongly that Wake Forest needed representation in the county wide historic preservation community, Kathryn accepted the call to join the CAP Board of Directors and served in this capacity from 2002 – 2008 and again from 2009 – 2015; serving as chair from 2004 – 2008 and 2010 – 2015. She currently serves as General Counsel for the organization.
Through her tenure on the Board and as Chair, Kathryn led the organization with courage and integrity through an unprecedented period of growth and change to the vibrant, active organization it is today providing staff support and consulting services to Wake County, Apex, Cary, Morrisville, and Wendell in addition to engaging in historic preservation projects of its own including the I. Beverly Lake House in Wake Forest, Seagroves Farm in Apex, the George Upchurch House in Cary and many others.
As an attorney, Kathryn is quite knowledgeable on matters involving historic preservation easements, tax credits, contract negotiation and real estate acquisition and development and has spent many hours representing CAP and other clients in such matters. Her expertise has served the Board well on many occasions.
An ardent preservationist in her own right, Kathryn met her husband, Frank, in the late 1970s in law school in Chapel Hill where they would spend Sunday afternoons driving around rural Chatham County looking at old farmhouses and tobacco barns and dreaming of restoring an old home. Following graduation and marriage, Kathy and Frank moved to Louisville, Kentucky where they undertook their first historic preservation project, Shagbark, a c. 1942 farmhouse. Several years and two children later the long dreamed of return to North Carolina became a reality and Kathy and Frank bought the c. 1910 Powell House, on North Main Street; the only house in Wake Forest that is in three historic districts. Undertaking a top to bottom rehabilitation while living in the house with two children had its moments. The children grew up knowing the difference between Phillips and flat screws, how to hang drywall and paint and how to lay bricks. Eventually, the hard work paid off and in 1998, the Drakes received an Anthemion Award for their efforts.
Stepping up to save the pre-Civil War Greek Revival Thompson House near Wake Forest when it was threatened with demolition in 2003, the Drakes, urged on by Kathryn, embarked on their next, and perhaps, most difficult preservation project thus far. From the beginning the Thompson House was Kathryn’s baby and after organizing its move to a new location on its historic property, Kathryn oversaw a complete restoration of the house, now a private residence listed on the National Register of Historic Places and protected as a Wake County Landmark and CAP easement property. CAP recognized the Thompson House project with an Anthemion Award in 2005, marking the second time a Drake project had been so recognized.
Then as if the Thompson House, a gorgeous pre-Civil War Greek Revival was only practice for the real thing, Kathryn and Frank bought Frank’s family’s home in Cabarrus County from his cousins in 2009. Another gorgeous Greek Revival built in 1853; they have completely restored that home along with a barn and several other outbuildings, one of which is thought to be older than the house.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2015 Anthemion Award to Kathryn S. Drake for Preservation Leadership.