Wake Forest Historic Preservation Plan - September 2012


Historic PreservationPlan

September 2012


Wake Forest Historic Preservation Plan





Louise Howard, Chair Alexis Cooke, Vice-Chair Parker Schlink, Treasurer Amy Dowdle Ruth Ann Dyer Debra Ludas Thomas Neal William (Sandy) Smart Ann Welton

Chip Russell, AICP, Planning Director Agnes Wanman, AICP, Senior Planner

Vivian A. Jones, Mayor Zachary Donahue Frank Drake Greg Harrington Anne Hines Margaret Stinnett

September 2012

Town of Wake Forest | 301 S. Brooks Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587 | 919-435-9400 | www.wakeforestnc.gov

Table of Contents

Preserving the Past for the Future


Introduction—7 Town of Wake Forest History—7 The Beginning Early Years The Railroad Incorporation and Commercial Growth The Move The Mill Late 20th Century Until Today Historic Preservation in Wake Forest—13 Surveys Survey Findings: Ailey Young House Certified Local Government Program—17 Basic Responsibilities Benefits Becoming a CLG Grants Historic Preservation Commission—19 Establishment Vistion Statement and Slogan

Powers and Duties Regular Activities Special Activities and Projects

Historic Districts and Landmarks


Historic Districts and Landmarks—27 Local Wake Forest Historic District Wake Forest Historic District—National Register

Glen Royall Mill Village Historic District—National Register Downtown Wake Forest Historic District—National Register

Local Historic Landmarks—41 I.O. Jones House Battle-Purnell House Oakforest Purefoy-Chapell House

Heartsfield House Ailey Young House Individual Properties Listed on the National Register of Historic Places—50 W.E.B. DuBois School Forestville Baptist Church Lea Laboratory Oakforest Powell House

Purefoy-Chappell House Purefoy-Dunn Plantation Royall Cotton Mill Commissary William Thompson House Wakefields

Vision Statement, Policies and Activities 54

Appendix Summary of Community Workshop—Jan. 12, 2012



Preserving the Past for the Future


The following Historic Preservation Plan is designed to describe the current status of historic preservation in Wake Forest, North Carolina and to provide guidance for the program and the Historic Preservation Commission through the next ten to fifteen years. It uses a format of poli- cies rather than the traditional goals and objectives found in many plans in order to be more compatible with the town’s Community Plan , adopted in September 2009, which addressed, in limited fashion, historic preservation in the section on “Quality of Life.” Like those of the Community Plan , the policies and activities outlined in this Historic Preservation Plan were based upon the results of a well promoted and attended public workshop, held during January 2012. The results of that workshop are included as the Appendix to this document.

Town of Wake Forest History

The Beginning Wake Forest was born as a college town and for more than a century the town and the college grew up together with intertwined histories. The original 1830s campus has changed owners and names, but remains a geographical focus of the community that has grown around it. Development began in 1820 when Dr. Calvin Jones from New England bought 615 acres in “Wake Forest Township” from Davis Battle. Dr. Jones probably built the sturdy, two-story frame house in the center of what became Wake Forest College and is now (2012) the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The town began in 1832 when the North Carolina Baptist Convention, intent on establishing an educational institute to train new ministers, purchased Dr. Calvin Jones’ 615 acre planta- tion. Dr. Jones had placed an advertisement in the Raleigh papers offering his farm for sale. The advertisement described the community as “One of the best neighborhoods in the state, the Forest District containing three schools (one classical) and two well constructed and well filled meeting houses for Baptists and Methodists, and has a lawyer and a doctor. The inhabitants, without I believe a single exception, are sober, moral and thriving in their circumstances, and not a few are educated and intelligent.”

John Purefoy, a Baptist minister, learned of the property and convinced the North Carolina


How did Wake Forest get its name? D r. Calvin Jones from New England bought 615 acres in “Wake Forest Township” from Davis Battle in 1820. After he was named the postmaster for the area in 1823 he began

counties and was named in honor of Margaret Wake Tryon, the wife of the then Royal Governor, William Tryon. (w/link to Tryon Palace) In 1805 this area was designated as the Forest District, primarily for the widespread forest in the area north of the Neuse River, largely hardwoods but with some softwoods including longleaf pine. The area was also sometimes referred to as the Forest of Wake. Dr. Jones combined the two in his designation.

heading his letters as coming from Wake Forest. When the North Carolina Baptist Convention bought his plantation in 1832, it continued with his designation. Wake County was created in 1771 from parts of Johnston, Cumberland, and Orange

Baptist Convention to purchase the farm north of the community of Forestville for $2,000 on which to establish the school it had been planning named the “Wake Forest Institute.” It opened to young men and boys in February, 1834.

Early Years Seventy-two students were enrolled by the end of the first year. The institute grew rapidly and the college trustees hired architect John Berry of Hillsborough to enlarge the facility. Berry de- signed three brick buildings—one classroom structure, soon called Wait Hall in honor of the first president, Rev. Samuel Wait, to replace the Calvin Jones House (which was relocated) and two professors’ houses. All three buildings were constructed between 1835 and 1838. The professors’ houses, known as the North Brick House and the South Brick House because of their locations, were first occupied by Professors C. W. Skinner and Amos J. Battle. Wait Hall was destroyed by fire in 1933, the victim of an arsonist, and the North Brick House was torn down in 1936, leav- ing the South Brick House, on the corner of South Avenue and South Main Street, as the only survivor of the early Berry-designed campus buildings. In 1838 the manual institute form was abandoned and the school rechartered as “Wake Forest College” to reflect its new emphasis.

With an increasing need for space and money, the college decided to divide the Calvin Jones farm into lots and sell them for $100 each, with those on the west side of “Main Street” selling for $150. Eighty one-acre lots north of the cam- pus and west of the railroad were put on the market in 1839. The central street became known as Faculty Avenue and today, as North Main Street, constitutes the greater portion of the locally desig- nated “Wake Forest Historic District”.

Calvin Jones House (c.1820)


When the Civil War began in 1862 the students and at least one faculty mem- ber left to enlist, causing the college to close. Wait Hall later became a hospital for wounded soldiers, as did some of the Faculty Avenue homes. When the college reopened in 1865, much deplet- ed, there were still very few buildings on and around the campus.

The Railroad The Raleigh and Gaston Railroad, constructed on the east side of the growing school, was completed in 1840, making travel to the college easier. The closest depot was in Forestville, as was the post office, so students and professors often got off the train there and walked the dusty mile. The Raleigh and Gaston Railroad was a controversial subject for Wake Forest College because of the station’s location in Forestville. The railroad refused to finance two stations so close together, so the college paid $2,000.03 to move the depot from Forestville to Wake Forest. Even though Forestville predated both Raleigh and Wake Forest, with the community settling around 1760, the railroad station was relocated in 1874, though there were still no buildings in Wake Forest east of the railroad tracks. In a futile attempt to protect itself Forestville became incorporated as a town in 1879, maintaining its incorporation until 1915. In 1984 the Wake Forest town board voted to annex a substantial area, including Forestville. After controversy and court battles the area finally became part of the Town of Wake Forest in 1988. South Brick House (1837)

Incorporation and Commercial Growth The moving of the station stimulated commercial development and the College sold lots on the east side of the tracks for new stores and busi- nesses on White Street. This growth allowed the community to draft its first charter and became incorporat- ed on March 26, 1880 as the Town of Wake Forest College. In 1909 the charter was amended and the town renamed, Wake Forest. This new charter gave the town the authority to sell bonds to build a generator and electric system.

South White Street


Between 1880 and 1905, several of the businesses operating in Wake Forest were established: Powers and Holding Drugstore, W. W. Holding Cotton Merchants, Dickson Brothers Dry Goods and the Wake Forest Supply Company which became Jones Hardware. There was a hotel next to the drug store that Dr. Benjamin Powers built across from the depot. Thomas E. Holding, a pharmacist, left his partnership with Dr. Powers and built and operated another drug store a little north. By 1920 other businesses downtown included the Bolus Department Store, the Wilkinson General Store, Dickson Brothers Dry Goods, Brewer & Sons feed and grocery store, and Keith’s Grocery Store. T. E. Holding and the Brewer family both established banks, both of which, unfortunately, failed during the 1930s. The arrival of electricity in Wake Forest on November 12, 1909 historically changed its resi- dents’ way of life forever. Residents had voted 88-1 in April of that year to build a power plant. (No one knows who the single opponent was!) “There was great cheering by the students of Wake Forest College when the lights were turned on and they had an informal celebration tonight,” said a November 12, 1909 article in the News and Observer . “Cheers and ‘Hurrah for electric lights’ could be heard repeatedly.” The Move Wake Forest College moved to Winston-Salem in 1956, becoming Wake Forest University, and sold the campus to the present occupant, the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This move provided a major shock to the community. The town had always been closely as- sociated with the college. However, the seminary shared the campus for a few years before the final move, managing to make a smooth transition, and the town eventually adjusted to the change. The seminary serves a wide geographic area and has an enrollment of around 3,000 students, including a relatively small number of undergraduate students.

The Mill

Another aspect of Wake Forest’s growth at the turn of the last century was the Royall Cotton Mill, Wake Forest’s first industry. Located just north of Faculty Avenue, it was established in 1899-1900 by three brothers-in-law, W. C. Powell, R. E. Royall and T. E. Holding the Mill to produce muslin sheeting from local cotton. After an addition between 1906 and 1908 the mill was one of the state’s largest cotton mills. Mill worker housing and a commissary store were built between the mill and Wake Forest. It was actually incorpo- rated as the Town of Royall Mills in 1907, two years prior to the official incorporation of the Town of Wake Glen Royall Mill Apartments


Forest, although its predecessor, the Town of Wake Forest College, al- ready existed! Residents had no say in the governing of their town. Only property owners could vote and the entire village was owned by the mill! The mill board of directors served as the town board. In the early 1940s the company subdivided the village and began selling lots and houses. Then, in 1945, the company peti- tioned the NC General Assembly and the town’s charter was repealed. The village was annexed into the Town of Wake Forest in September 1977, as

Mill Commissary Apartments

part of a large annexation that nearly doubled the size of the town. The mill continued in op- eration until its closing in 1976, providing a second major blow to Wake Forest area residents. The loss of this major employer eliminated the only livelihood of many families. The mill building was eventually renovated into apartments. This renovation was completed in 1996. The commissary building was also turned into apartments. In 1995 the commissary building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Jim Adams and Steve Gould received an Anthemion Award for the renovation project. (The Anthemion Award is an award in Wake County for achievement in historic preservation.) The surrounding housing village was designated as the Glen Royall Mill Village Historic District and listed on the National Register on August 27, 1999. The mill buildings and adjoining workers’ housing had one of the earliest major impacts on Wake Forest not brought about by the college.

Late 20th Century Until Today

Although the college’s move in 1956, along with the relocation of US-1 west of town in 1952, brought some hard times the town persevered, attracting new industry such as Schrader Brothers and Athey in the mid-1960s and Weavexx in the early 1970s. Those companies are gone now, swept away by chang- es in the national economy and the growth of global markets but the town continues to pursue and attract new employment opportunities. Beginning in the 1990s and continu- ing today, Wake Forest has seen an explosive growth in its population and commercial activities. With its population close to 30,000 and tree go here Original Town Hall (c. 1909, 1940)

image to


Wake Forest Town Hall (2010)

expectations of growing to 40,000, new subdivisions have been built and the town boundaries have extended into Franklin County on the north and to the Neuse River on the south, from west of U.S. 1 (Capital Blvd.) on the west to just shy of U.S. 401 on the east. There have been many adjustments to the growth and the needs of the new residents, including merging the town’s water and sewer systems with Raleigh’s. Wake Forest celebrated its 100th birthday throughout 2009 with a series of special events that began with First Light Wake Forest (in honor of the first electricity in Wake Forest) on December 31, 2008 and ended with the Centennial Community Christmas Gala on December 5, 2009. In recent years, since 2000, the town has given high priority to its programs in planning, historic preservation, downtown revitalization, and urban forestry. Two additional historic districts have been designated and listed on the National Register, the Downtown Historic District, listed on February 2, 2002 and a large Wake Forest Historic District, including the locally designated historic district, the historic college campus, and the surrounding residential areas, on December 18, 2003. Though the Town of Wake Forest continues to enjoy the beauty and dignity of the centrally located campus, it now has its own identity as it successfully responds to new roles and oppor- tunities as a rapidly growing residential and commercial community. With a progressive town government and active organizations, such as the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Revitalization Corporation, Wake Forest is redefining itself with an eye on the new century while maintaining respect for the last two.


Historic Preservation in Wake Forest

The citizens of the Town of Wake Forest have long appreciated their historic heritage, includ- ing the older homes and other buildings in town. A corresponding increase in appreciation throughout the nation and state resulted in legislation authorizing local governments to take action. After the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 focused attention on historic preservation nationwide, North Carolina rewrote its 1965 legislation that had authorized specified local governments to establish historic district commissions and historic properties commissions to protect individual properties. This 1971 rewrite made it applicable statewide. In 1975 amend- ments to the 1971 law provided for a 50% deferral of local property taxes on locally designated historic properties. Subsequent amendments made numerous changes regarding the opera- tions of local commissions, increasing the period for which demolitions could be delayed, and authorizing local governments to use eminent domain to acquire locally designated historic properties threatened with demolition. The amended 1971 statute was replaced with another one in 1989 which changed the name of “historic properties” to “historic landmarks” and consolidated formerly separate legislation for historic district and historic properties commissions into a single enabling statute. Commissions that deal with both landmarks and districts were given the name “historic preservation com- missions”. This new legislation gave commissions new powers, including increased power to regulate alterations, demolition, and new construction; to negotiate with owners for acquisition or preservation of properties; and to prepare and recommend official preservation elements in local comprehensive plans. The new legislation also added “prehistorical” to the kinds of significance qualifying properties or districts for designation. Then, in 1991, it was amended to increase the delay of demolition of landmarks and properties in historic districts from six months to one year and also authorized commissions to delay the relocation of such properties. The Town of Wake Forest began discussing the possibility of establishing a historic preserva- tion program with a commission and a historic district in 1973. A draft ordinance was first presented to the town board at their July 1975 meeting; however, a more complete survey was needed prior adoption. This was done and the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners adopted its first historic preservation ordinance as part of the zoning ordinance on May 10, 1979, estab- lishing the Historic District Commission and a local historic district. Surveys An early survey was conducted in November 1973 by Ruth Little-Stokes of the area the town considered the most significant. This area was bounded on the east by the railroad, on the south by South Avenue, on the west by Wingate Street, and on the north by Cedar Avenue. Most of this area later became the locally designated historic district.

A second, more complete, survey was completed in 1979 by Melanie Murphy. This survey included the area which became the local district as well as the mill village and downtown.


By the end of 2003 all the areas included in the 1979 survey had become historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one area was also a locally designated historic district, allowing for development oversight. The Historic Preservation Commission decided a new survey was in order. This new survey was to review properties within the town limits and the extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction of the town that were not already in a historic district or already individually listed on the National Register or state study list. The purpose was to find more historic properties that may be out there and to identify any areas that might become eligible as a historic district in the following 20 years or so. This survey, “Town of Wake Forest and Suburban Areas Historic Buildings Update,” was completed in August 2008 by Ruth Little and her company, Longleaf Historic Resources. The most interesting find was the Ailey Young House (called the Allen Young House in the survey), which happened to be located on town-owned property! Neither the town administration nor the county tax office knew of its existence, although it was generally known in the local neighborhood. Only a few areas, though, were identified as possible candidates for future historic districts and that is only if their architectural integrity is maintained through the coming years. These possible areas include the 700 and 800 block of Durham Road and the Cardinal Hills and Spring Valley subdivisions. Numerous individual buildings were identified as worthy of protection.


Ailey Young House The most significant find on the survey of 2008, “Town of Wake Forest and Suburban Areas Historic Buildings Update,” was the Ailey Young House (called the Allen Young House in the survey), which happened to be located on town-owned property! Neither the town administration nor the county tax office knew of its existence, although it was generally known in the local neighborhood. Site and Structural Conditions: Sited in the middle of a wooded lot with dense undergrowth, the lot was purchased by the Town of Wake Forest for future cemetery expansion. The

house was not listed on the tax records and town officials were not aware of the house until it was “discovered” by those conducting the historic buildings survey. The local community, however, was aware of the house and its history. The town utilities department staff was also aware of the presence of the house because it is located adjacent to a utility easement access driveway.

Although the house has suffered some fire damage, and has lost its

Ailey Young House (c. 1875) pictured in November 2009


windows and doors and front porch, the quality of its construction has allowed it to survive to this day. It sits high off the ground on sturdy stone piers. The structure has been used by people for drinking and was damaged by vandals. Perhaps, that was what actually caused the fire. The house burned sometime between the 1970s, when the house was last occupied, and the mid-1990s. Or, speculation offers the theory that the house was burned when a fire was set, in an inappropriate spot, for warmth.

The second story ends of the house have burned out, along with a significant portion of the north wall on the back of the house, indicating a probable point of origin. Structural members

at those locations and the roof have been severely damaged. The floor boards on the first and second floors of the west end of the house were destroyed by the fire. The roof was severely damaged by a tree, which was pushing into the roofing surface as it grew, and several holes from chimneys and/or flues were open to the elements. The window sashes and doors were missing. However, the foundation, sills, joists, walls, exterior board and batten siding, and central chimney were in good condition. Architectural Description and Significance: The long- abandoned, partially-burned 1½-story saddlebag house sits on high, finely crafted fieldstone piers on a lot located on North White Street, north of Spring Street and south of the town

cemetery. The saddlebag house consists of two frame pens flanking a very large stone chimney with a brick stack. Large fireplaces served the main room of both pens. In the right front corner of the east pen, a stair ascends to the second floor. A similar stair accessed the second floor on the west pen but these were destroyed in the fire. The right pen has horizontal sheathed walls and a mantel. Each pen has a front door that opened onto a shed-roofed porch that has collapsed. Window openings have lost their sashes with the exception of one 4-pane upper sash surviving on the rear. Apparently some of the larger openings held 6-over-6 sashes. Its sills and the boards of the walls are circular sawn. Visible nails include square, machine-cut nails, finish nails, and wire nails. Its apparently original board-and-batten siding, with beveled battens, is in sound condition. The saddlebag style house was commonly in use as slave housing. This house, however, is a much grander version. It was probably built around 1875, or maybe a little earlier. It is most certainly a rare example of Reconstruction Era post-Civil War housing for the African American working class. According to local restoration carpenter, Patrick Schell, “There’s just nothing like this left. The fancier houses tend to survive, but something like this, the housing for regular folks, especially African Americans, is extremely rare!” Historical Significance: The Ailey Young House may be the oldest African American historic building inWake Forest, and has historical significance as the dwelling of one of the town’s most important African American citizens. The house was constructed as rental housing by Wake


Forest College Professor William G. Simmons and was one of a number of houses known as “Simmons Row.” These houses appear on the 1915 to 1936 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. All the other houses are long gone. After Professor Simmons’ death his widow sold the houses to families and subdivided land in the area. This area formed the beginning of what is now known as the East End area.

Ailey Young purchased the house and raised her family there. The house was the childhood home of her son, Allen Young, the town’s most significant African American educator. He taught public school in Wake County until 1905 when he and others organized the Presbyterian Mission School for Colored Boys and Girls, a name that was soon changed to the Wake Forest Normal and Industrial School, the first school for black children in Wake Forest. Allen Young served as its principal. At least one of his children taught there. The school was a thriving private institution in the 1910s and attracted boarding students from northern states in the 1920s and 1930s when over 300 students were enrolled. The reduction in attendance after the opening of the DuBois school, a Rosenthal public school, finally resulted in its closing in the 1950s. Allen Young also founded the Presbyterian Church for African Americans and operated a dry cleaning business that catered to Wake Forest College. The last family member to live in the house was Hubert Young. No one has lived there since the 1970s.

Allen Young’s daughter, Ailey Mae Young, a schoolteacher, was the first African American town

Wake Forest Normal and Industrial School (1910s)— Courtesy of N.C. Division of Archives & History, Raleigh, NC


commissioner, serving in the 1970s, and the second woman. She was first elected to office in 1971 and re-elected in 1975. The Ailey Young Park is named for her.

All buildings associated with the Young family or with the school have been destroyed.

Certified Local Government Program

The Certified Local Government (CLG) Program is a federal program, administered by the State Historic Preservation Office, under which local governments may be certified to participate in national historic preservation programs. This certification system is established by the state. The Town of Wake Forest became the 38th local government in North Carolina to achieve Certified Local Government status on October 29, 1997. The webpage of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office contains the following information on the CLG program: “In 1980, Congress amended the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to require each state to establish a procedure by which local governments may be certified to participate in the national framework of historic preservation programs. This requirement has become the Certified Local Government (CLG) Program in which many North Carolina counties and cities participate.” Since Congress created a preservation program for the United States in 1966, the national historic preservation program has operated as a decentralized partnership between the federal government and the states. The federal government established a program of identification, evaluation, and protection of historic properties and gave the states primary responsibility for carrying out this program. The success of that working relationship prompted Congress to expand the partnership to provide for participation by local governments. Basic Responsibilities In North Carolina, governments which qualify for certification must have an active and legally adequate historic preservation commission, and must meet the federal requirements for certification. The Historic Preservation Act amendments of 1980 state that a local government must: 1. Enforce appropriate state or local legislation for the designation and protection of historic properties. 2. Establish an adequate and qualified historic preservation review commission. 3. Maintain a system for the survey and inventory of historic properties compatible with the statewide survey. 4. Provide for adequate public participation in the local historic preservation program, including the process of recommending properties to the National Register of Historic Places. 5. Satisfactorily perform responsibilities delegated to it under the 1980 Act.


Benefits Local governments and local commissions benefit from being CLGs in the following ways: 1. The North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office must set aside at least 10 percent of the money it receives from the federal Historic Preservation Fund for CLGs. Each CLG in the state is eligible to compete for a portion of that money to be used as a matching grant for eligible survey, planning, pre-development, or development activities. This has become a significant advantage for CLGs in recent years as general grant funding from both federal and state sources has declined. In addition, only CLGs are generally able to direct federal Historic Preservation Fund grant money toward projects relating to physical restoration and stabilization. 2. CLGs review all new nominations to the National Register of Historic Places for properties and districts within their boundaries. Consequently, CLGs share their local expertise with state and federal preservationists and gain a say in state and federal recognition of historic resources in their areas. 3. CLGs are encouraged to expand the expertise of their commission members and must provide for their continuing education. The community benefits from the increased expertise and knowledge of preservationists at the local level, and CLG commission members benefit from increased opportunities and from the recognition of their communities. Becoming a CLG In North Carolina, many municipalities and counties have preservation programs. Most communities with historic preservation, historic district, or historic landmarks ordinances containing the provisions of the state enabling legislation (General Statutes 160A-400.1 through 160A-400.14) are eligible for certification. A local government that wishes to seek CLG status should plan to submit the following to the CLG Coordinator of the State Historic Preservation Office: 1. Evidence that a comprehensive inventory of the area’s cultural resources has been or will be conducted. 2. Information regarding the area’s locally designated historic districts and/or historic landmarks. 3. The ordinance creating the local commission. 4. The commission’s rules of procedure.

5. The design guidelines used by the commission. 6. Résumés of the members of the commission. 7. A description of the commission’s past and current activities.


Grants A government may be certified at any time; however, it must satisfactorily function as a CLG for a year before it is eligible for the grant funds earmarked for CLGs. If a commission is interested in participating in the grant program, it should be aware of the timing of the grant application and award cycle. Grant applications are due around the first of the year and awards are made in the late spring or early summer. Grants are for projects that can be completed within one year. Grants have a 50/50 matching requirement and are awarded on a competitive basis. Funds may be used for activities such as (1) architectural or archaeological survey, (2) National Register nominations, (3) preservation planning, (4) design guidelines, (5) architectural plans or feasibility studies, and (6) in a limited number of cases, physical restoration and stabilization.

Historic Preservation Commission

Establishment The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was originally established in Wake Forest with the adoption of the first historic preservation ordinance as part of the zoning ordinance. The original draft was presented to the Board of Commissioners in July 1975 but the ordinance was not actually adopted until May 10, 1979. The 1975 draft called the commission the “Historic Development Commission.” The adopted 1979 version named the commission the Historic District Commission. The Rules of Procedure were adopted in 1980 and amended in 1991 and 1996. A new set of Procedures for Certificates of Appropriateness Public Hearings was adopted by the HPC on June 9, 2004.

Vision Statement and Slogan

In March 2003 the Historic Preservation Commission adopted a vision statement and slogan. The Vision Statement is:

“To safeguard the heritage of the town, by preserving districts and landmarks that embody important elements of its culture, history, architectural history, or prehistory and to promote the use and conservation of such districts and landmarks for the education, pleasure, and enrichment of the residents of the town, the county, and the state as a whole.”

The new slogan adopted is: “Preserving the Past for the Future.”

Powers and Duties

Among the many powers and duties listed in the local ordinance, perhaps the most utilized are:

• Undertake an inventory of properties of historical, pre-historical, architectural,


archeological, and/or cultural significance. • Recommend to the Board of Commissioners, individual buildings, structures, sites, areas, or objects within its zoning jurisdiction to be designated by ordinance as “historic landmarks”, and areas within its zoning jurisdiction to be designated by ordinance as “historic districts.” • Review and act upon proposals for alteration or demolition of designated landmarks and for alteration, demolition, or new construction within historic districts, i.e. Certificates of Appropriateness. • Report violations of this ordinance or other ordinances affecting historic landmarks and properties within historic districts to the local official responsible for enforcing the ordinance. • Act as, establish, or designate a group, body, or committee to give advice to owners of historic landmarks or property within a historic district concerning the treatment of the historical and visual characteristics of their property, such as gardens and landscape features, minor decorative elements, and for the informal review of major additions and new construction. • Conduct an educational program on historic landmarks and districts within the town. • Public information or otherwise inform the public about any matters pertinent to its purview, duties, organization, procedures, responsibilities, functions, or requirements. • Communicate with other boards or commissions in Wake County or with agencies of the county or other governmental units to offer or request assistance, aid, guidance, or advice concerning matters under its purview or of mutual interest. • Prepare and recommend the official adoption of a historic preservation element as part of the town’s comprehensive plan at the request of the board of commissioners. Other powers and duties involve acquiring, restoring, preserving, and operating properties and the authority needed to take whatever actions are necessary in order to fulfill its duties. The new Unified Development Ordinance, under development in 2012, is likely to make some minor changes, but no major changes are anticipated. Demolition Delay: In June 2007 the General Assembly adopted special legislation, House Bill 827, granting Wake Forest and Cary the authority to delay demolition of historic properties in their zoning jurisdictions. In spring 2008 Wake Forest adopted a zoning amendment ex- tending the requirement for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the demolition of any historic property in the town’s jurisdiction. The HPC now has the ability to delay any demolition up to 365 days, just the same as previously authorized within the locally designated historic district and landmark properties. Regular Activities The regular activity of the Historic Preservation Commission is to review proposed alterations, renovations, and new construction in the locally designated historic district and landmark properties. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the proposed work is in conformity


with the design guidelines and Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, that is, they are compatible with the historic design of the building and the district as a whole. Design, dimensions, materials, and color are all considered. These approvals are called, “Certificates of Appropriateness” (COAs). Special Activities and Projects In addition to its regular activities involving Certificates of Appropriateness and educational ef- forts, the Historic Preservation Commission is involved in a number of current and/or ongoing major activities or projects, including: • Christmas Historic Home Tour: The most prominent activity is the biennial Christmas Historic Home Tour, held on even numbered years. • Streetlights along North Main Street: The HPC has long considered placing utility lines underground and providing decorative street/pedestrian lighting a high priority. The town will cover this expense but the HPC will approve the design. • Restrict Large Trucks along North Main Street: NCDOT has turned us down two times but this still remains a goal of the HPC. Such trucks are much too large to use this narrow residential street. However, as long as it is a US numbered highway it may not be possible to restrict large through trucks. • Ailey Young House: Discovered in the 2008 historic building survey it was mothballed in early 2010, with financial help from the Town of Wake Forest and the Wake County Historical Society. Plans are to renovate it for some use, perhaps a cemetery office and/ or museum focusing on the Young family, history of the East End neighborhood, and architecture of post-Civil War working class housing for African Americans. • Workshops or Lectures on Historic Preservation Topics: Occasional workshops and lectures are held on historic preservation topics.

Christmas Historic Home Tour

Ailey Young House


In the past few years the Historic Preservation Commission has completed or participated in a number of major activities or projects which are not ongoing, including: • Design Guidelines: Developed and adopted in 1999. • Spring Garden Tour: Original sponsor and co- sponsored with the Wake Forest Garden Club first few spring garden tours beginning in Spring, 2000. • Historic District Signs: Signs were installed at the major entrances to the three National Register historic districts. The mill village was first, then downtown, followed by the larger Wake Forest Historic District. The design of the signs was

Spring Garden Tour

kept simple and inspired by the windows in the mill building. The more decorative wrought iron poles express a Victorian flare appropriate to late 19th and early 20th century Wake Forest. • Refurbished Old Historic District Signs and “Welcome to Historic Wake Forest” Signs: The wood historic district signs located at each end of the median on North Main Street and the W elcome to H istoric W ake F orest signs located on Durham Road, S. Main

Street, and Wait Avenue at the water plant had all deteriorated over the years due to the lack of maintenance. They were repainted and reinstalled in 2002. The S. Main Street sign was removed during the construction of the Calvin Jones Highway. It was broken in the process and never replaced. • Historic Forestville Signs: Installed identification signs for “Historic Forestville” in 2006. • Policy on cement based siding, e.g. Hardiplank: In the early part of the first decade of the 21st century, the HPC set the policy that Hardiplank was an acceptable material for new construction and renovations, as long as the exposure matches the original clapboard siding. Such siding must have a smooth finish. Wood grain finish is not acceptable. • Policy on Paint Color: The HPC conducted a rather extensive investigation of other communities and, in 2009, decided not to regulate the color of paint. Paint is easily changed and paint color review was considered to be a “can of worms.” • Jurisdiction-wide Historic Building Survey: Completed in 2008 by Ruth Little and her company, Longleaf Historic Resources. • Nominations for Three Historic Districts for Listing on the National Register of Historic Places: Wake Forest’s three

Historic Area Signage


National Register Historic Districts are the Glen Royall Mill Village Historic District, listed August 27, 1999; the Downtown Wake Forest Historic District, listed February 20, 2002; and the larger Wake Forest Historic District, listed December 18, 2003. • Demolition Delay Ordinance: In conjunction with Cary, Wake Forest received special legislation from the General Assembly on June 7, 2007 (Session law 2007-66, House Bill 827) granting both towns the ability to delay demolitions of historic properties throughout their jurisdiction. The Historic Preservation Commission recommended a local ordinance effectively extending the COA requirement and 365 day maximum delay authority to the HPC throughout the zoning jurisdiction of Wake Forest. The board of commissioners adopted this zoning amendment on May 20, 2008. • Designation of Five Additional Landmarks: For several years Wake Forest only had one designated local landmark property. In recent years the Historic Preservation

Commission recommended five more to the board of commissioners. These are the Battle-Purnell House, designated on August 20, 2002; Oakforest, designated on October 21, 2008; the Purefoy-Chappell House, designated on December 16, 2008; the Heartsfield House, designated on December 20, 2011; and the Ailey Young House, designated on June 19, 2012. The original landmark property,

Battle-Purnell House (1802-1803)

Oakforest (1803)

Purefoy-Chappell House (1838, c. 1895)

Heartsfield House (1803)

Ailey Young House (c. 1875)


the I. O. Jones House, was designated by the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners on March 14, 1991. • Historic District Walking Tour Brochure: Rewritten, redesigned, with new photos the brochure was printed in 2008. • List of East End Neighborhood Design Guidelines for Possible Conservation District: Completed in 2011 this is a brief list of guidelines to protect the neighborhood atmosphere of the East End neighborhood.

East End Neighborhood

Historic District Walking Tour Brochure


North Main Street


Historic Districts


Historic Districts & Landmarks

Historic Districts

Local Wake Forest Historic District Wake Forest officially designated its first historic district on May 10, 1979. The district runs along North Main Street, once called “Faculty Avenue” because of all the professors who lived there, extending from North Avenue to Oak Avenue, and along North Avenue and East South Avenue. Because this was the only historic district in Wake Forest for twenty years most local


Simmons-Allen-Bridges House (1883)

South Brick House (1837)

Parker-Bestwick House (1951)

Medlin-Cooke Building (1905)

Davis-Bush House (c. 1905)

Brewer-Stryer House (1892)


Local Wake Forest Historic District May 10, 1979


Powers-Arrington House (1910)

Calvin Jones House (c. 1820)

Patterson-Eppes House (1928)

Powell-Autry House (c. 1895)

residents still think of this as the historic area. Most of the larger homes, mostly associated with the college, are located here. This historic district is included, in its entirety, within the Wake Forest Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wake Forest Historic District—National Register The Wake Forest Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 18, 2003 and has a period of significance from c. 1820 to 1953. It contains the his- toric core of the Town of Wake Forest, consisting of the original Wake Forest College campus, surrounding residences of college faculty, staff, and other community citizens, and other build- ings. The entirety of the locally designated historic district is included within the boundaries of this one. The district is focused on the historic campus of the college, established in 1834 on the plantation of Dr. Calvin Jones. The central campus contains eleven, two and three story, large brick Colonial Revival and Classical Revival style buildings built between 1888 and 1952, except for three post-1956 buildings. A twelfth building, the 1913 Beaux Arts style Wake Forest Baptist Church, is located on a lot carved from the campus, but is not a college building. The historic district retains an overall piedmont North Carolina historic character, created by a network of stone rubble walls and large hardwood trees. Along North Main Street, house lots tend to be large, with lushly landscaped front and side gardens. That street has an elegant fifteen-foot wide median landscaped with trees, shrubs, and flowers, creating a gracious atmo- sphere. Granite curbing lines the street.


Wake Forest Historic District—National Register December 18, 2003


Many historic houses in the district were constructed by faculty and staff of Wake Forest College between the late 1830s and 1946, when the college decided to relocate to Winston- Salem, North Carolina. The largest houses line North and South Main Streets and have large, well-landscaped lots. Some of these are simple I-houses, while others are stylish Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival and Classical Revival style houses. The side streets have more architecturally modest Queen Anne, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, and vernacular houses. The oldest building in the district, the Calvin Jones House, 414 North Main Street, is the c. 1820 two story Federal style farmhouse of Calvin Jones, who sold his farm for the creation of Wake Forest College in 1832. The house was moved to this site in 1956 and is now, along with a new building behind the house, a museum of the history of the town and college.

Several of Wake Forest’s institutional buildings are located in the district south of the campus. The former Wake Forest School and gymnasium, 136 West Sycamore Avenue, are Colonial

Broyhill Hall (formerly Lea Laboratory, 1888)

Wake Forest Baptist Church (1913-1915)

Stealey Hall (formerly Wait Hall, 1935)

Old Town Water Works (now dental office)

F.M. Purefoy House (c. 1910)

Community House (1942)


Revival style brick buildings built in 1939. The Community House, 123 West Owen Avenue, a WPA funded Colonial Revival style frame community building with a swimming pool, was completed about 1942. Nearby, two recent buildings include the contemporary style addition to the Wake Forest Elementary School, 136 West Sycamore Avenue, and the large brick Boys and Girls Club of Wake Forest, 325 South Wingate Street. The district also includes churches, a repurposed train station, a limited number of commercial buildings and former municipal buildings that are currently used in other capacities. The Wake Forest Historic District possesses a unique architectural character in Wake County. The buildings include examples of each historical period and style from the early nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, many of them designed by notable local, state, and out- of-state architects. The campus of Wake Forest College and the surrounding town constitute North Main Street one of the most significant groupings of historic buildings in Wake County, outside of the city of Raleigh. The district’s central significance is as a physical testament to the spirit of enlightened religious education that flourished at Wake Forest College, as well as to the elevated level of architectural taste manifested in residential design throughout the district.

Jesse Hollowell House (c. 1935)

Bond House (c. 1900)

Dr. R.W. Wilkinson Jr. House (1924)

South Main Street (c. 1940)

South Main Street (c. 1949)

South Main Street (c. 1925)


K.T. Raynor House (c. 1940)

George Bolus House (1928)

Judge Percy Wilson House (c. 1930)

Magnolia Hill (1928)

I.O. Jones House (c. 1903, c. 1925)

Stone Chapel (formerly St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 1940)


Glen Royall Mill Village Historic District—National Register August 27, 1999

Glen Royall Mill Village Historic District—National Register The Glen Royall Mill Village Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 27, 1999 and has a period of significance from 1900 to 1949. This residen- tial area is characterized by an irregular grid of streets laid out c. 1899. House lots were not surveyed until 1941 when the village owner, the Royall Cotton Mill decided to sell the houses. The Royall Cotton Mill was incorporated in 1899, during a period of major expansion in North Carolina’s textile industry, to spin and weave cotton, producing cotton sheeting skein yarn, becoming one of North Carolina’s premiere textile concerns. Construction on the mill and vil-

lage began in 1900. The mill hired contractor Benjamin Thomas Hooks to construct the vil- lage housing according to plans and specifi- cations prepared by mill superintendent John D. Briggs. Residents shopped at the mill commissary located at the corner of Brewer Avenue and Brick Street, now converted into apartments, worshipped at a church in the village, and

Mill Commissary (now apartments)


Corner of Brewer Street and Brick Avenue

their children were educated in village schools. The early mill workforce is said to have come principally from a nearby area known as “The Hurricanes,” an area known for its hard-scrabble farms and moon shining, but some operatives came from other mill communities. The mill

continued in operation until a shift from cot- ton to synthetics in the 1970s resulted in the closure of the mill in April 1976. Beginning in 1900 the Royall Cotton Mill management built housing for its mill op- eratives and their families. These one-story Pyramidal House frame houses originally featured weatherboard siding, wood shingle roofing, and brick foundation piers and flues. The dominant house in the village is a pyra- midal roofed four room form, excluding ells or wings, with a central brick flue. The sec- ond most numerous type is the “triple-A” cot- tage, so named for its distinctive roof with two end gables and a third, decorative gable on the front elevation. The larger, multi-gabled mill superintendent’s house at 105 East Chestnut Avenue is related to this form. There are also several shotgun-form houses, distinguished by their narrow gabled fronts. The Powell-Drake House (a.k.a. Powell- White House), located at 614 North Main Street but actually faces East Cedar Avenue, is the exception as to house and lot size and style. This house is the largest and most ar- chitecturally refined in the district. This large two story house has a large lot and features Queen Anne, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival

Pyramidal House

Triple-A House

Shotgun House

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