Town Center Civic & Cultural Arts Study

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The Planning and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources departments are evaluating whether the Town should create a civic and cultural arts district in downtown Cary. See a map of the study area.

Purposes of a civic and cultural arts district include:

• Providing needed community facilities
• Strategically programming use of Town of Cary properties
• Sparking additional redevelopment downtown
• Creating a vibrant town center

Plan Documents

Town Center Civic & Cultural Arts Study - Final Report (2006)
Town Center Civic & Cultural Art Plan Map
Cary Cultural District Business Plan - PDF (1 MB)
Needs Assessment - PDF (2.3 MB)


Final Council Work Session (Joint meeting w/ Town Center Streetscape Project)
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
4:30 pm at Town Hall Council Conference Room

Second Council Work Session
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
4:30 pm at Town Hall Council Chambers

Second Public Meeting
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005
7:30 p.m. at Herbert C. Young Community Center
Meeting Comments - PDF or HTML

Council Work Session
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005
4:30 p.m. at Town Hall Campus, Building C, Conference Room

Initial Public Meeting
Monday, Sept. 19, 2005 
7:30 p.m. at Old Cary Elementary
Meeting Comments - PDF or HTML


The Town Center Area Plan provides a blueprint for the greater downtown and envisions downtown as the cultural center of Cary. A new town center park was among the major recommendations. In 2002, the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department completed a conceptual plan for the park and obtained Town Council approval to begin acquiring land.

Among the historic properties downtown are the Cary Elementary building, which housed the state’s first public high school, and the Waldo Rood House, which is across Waldo Street from First United Methodist Church. In 2003, the Town purchased the old Cary Elementary building from the Wake County Public School System. The Town wants to preserve the Waldo Rood House, which needs to be moved.

In late 2003, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources completed its system-wide analysis of cultural arts needs in the community. This master plan presented two options for a major cultural arts center. One option called for renovating the Cary Elementary building in conjunction with a new facility. The other option was to build one larger facility to accommodate all potential needs outlined in the master plan. Since that time other potential uses for Cary Elementary have surfaced.

Additional Links

Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Facilities Master Plan
Public Art Master Plan


Doug McRainey, Director
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources
316 N. Academy Street
Cary, NC 27513
(919) 469-4066
(919) 469-4344 (fax)