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Historic Structures Assessment

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Project Background

Cary owns several historic properties, three of which are currently being considered for parks-related uses. The purpose of this project is to evaluate those three, their physical conditions, historic contexts, and architectural and archaeological features, and propose appropriate uses for each site.

Project Scope

The first step was to create a written assessment of the current physical condition, historical context, and any special architectural and site features of each of three Town-owned historic facilities. The assessment explains the historic significance of the three sites and buildings within the context of Cary’s and Wake County’s history, and to help inform decisions about their future use.  

The written assessment was completed on April 30, 2018.

Based on the findings of the assessment, staff and public input, as well as expert advice from Cary's Historic Preservation Commission, a written report with one or more recommended future use options for each facility will be presented to the Council for review. Each option presented will include further recommendations for: 1) How each facility and associated site may be best interpreted; 2) How the facilities/site(s) may complement one another and/or other Town-owned historic properties in a larger unified interpretive system approach that enhances the presentation of the town’s heritage to its citizens and visitors; and 3) The specific interpretive/heritage tourism objectives for each facility/site based on the historic themes each is best suited to illustrate. 

Cost estimates for the associated restoration or rehabilitation of facilities, including all necessary site development and infrastructure up-fits required to realize the vision will also be provided. These will allow Cary to prioritize the options with confidence and understanding of the financial impact.

Upon completion, this project will inform citizens, staff, and Council of the best potential future use of each of these historic facilities/associated sites. If public or public/private use is selected a unified interpretive systems plan will have been developed with associated costs for rehabilitation as well as a sense of the related operational costs included. 

Public Meetings

The Town of Cary invites citizens to attend a public meeting on Tuesday, February 19 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center to learn more about immediate plans for three Town-owned historic properties, including preservation and stabilization, as well as potential future uses.

Two public meetings were previously held on May 17 and May 31, 2018 in order for citizens to share their ideas for the future development of the properties.

Property Descriptions

Each of the three properties contains three or more historic buildings: 

A.M. Howard Farmhouse

The A.M. Howard Farmhouse and associated outbuildings (currently operated as Good Hope Farm). This property is located at 1580 Morrisville-Carpenter Road in the Carpenter National Register District.

This property includes an early 20th century farmhouse, several outbuildings, a large barn, and smaller structure said to have been a one-room schoolhouse.

C.F. Ferrell House

The C.F. Ferrell Store and two warehouses located at 1928 Morrisville-Carpenter Road are also in the Carpenter National Register District.

This property is composed of a country store building and two adjacent warehouses.

 Barnabus Jones House

The Barnabus Jones Farmstead (formerly known as the Bartley farm) is located at 9701 Penny Road and is adjacent to the Jack Smith Park.

The site has an 1840 main house with a detached kitchen, slave quarters, and several historic agricultural outbuildings.

Map of Property Locations

Project Schedule

In 2017, Cary issued a Request for Qualifications for firms to submit proposals. CUBE design + research was selected as the best qualified firm for the Historic Structures Interpretation and Rehabilitation Plan.

Tentative schedule for the project is the following:

  • Spring 2018: Execute agreement with CUBE design + research
  • Summer 2018: Written assessment of physical condition
  • Fall 2018: Preliminary recommendations


Kris Carmichael
Operations & Program Supervisor
Historical Resources
Town of Cary
(919) 460-4971