For the Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse of the former Wakelon School, 1003 North Arendell Avenue, Zebulon
The Wakelon School was built in 1908-1909 between the eastern Wake County communities of Wakefield and Zebulon. The eclectically detailed brick neoclassical building, with its dominant entry pavilion with demi-octagonal tower, was designed by noted Raleigh architect Charles E. Hartage. The Wakelon School became the county’s’ largest rural school with an enrollment of 971 students. It was renowned for its college preparatory classes and agricultural training and even had a three-acre model farm. The school, with its prominent location on North Arendell Avenue, is an important and enduring part of the Town’s identity and was listed in National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The school, by then Zebulon Elementary, was closed by the county in the 1980s. It remained empty for a few years before being purchased by Glaxo Pharmaceutical Company (later GlaxoSmithKline) which renovated it for use as a training facility. Glaxo vacated the building around 2006 and the Town began negotiations to purchase the building.
On March 6, 2007, the citizens of Zebulon voted to approve a bond which enabled the Town to purchase and renovate the historic Wakelon School. The rehabilitated building now serves as Zebulon Town Hall housing town departments and Council Chambers. Ramps and an elevator were added to make the complex compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For over eighty years the Wakelon School played a vital role in educating children in the Zebulon community. The Town’s decision to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse this attractive, functional, and iconic building rather than construct a new government complex is a testament to the economic value of historic preservation and the important role preservation plays in maintaining community character and identity.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2009 Anthemion Award to the Town of Zebulon; Clearscapes, PA; EEC, Inc.:
HDM Associates, Inc.; Lappas + Havener, PA; Lysaght and Associates; Mulkey, Inc;
McKenna Construction Company, Inc.; and Tom H. Perdue for the Preservation and Restoration of the Wakelon School, 1003 North Arendell Avenue, Zebulon, North Carolina.