EFFORT TO PRESERVE
THE PAGE‑WALKER HOTEL
1980-85: The vacant building deteriorated rapidly due to water damage caused by a leaky roof, and vandalism. A concerned group of citizens, mainly an outgrowth of the Cary Historical Society, tried to find solutions to saving the building. Some bailed water from the second floor after each rainfall. In the spring of 1985, supporters and the executive director of the Historic Preservation Foundation of N.C. asked the Cary Town Council to purchase the Hotel (valued at $4,000), and the relating three and a half acres, and lease the building and one acre to the Foundation which, in turn, would sublet the building and property to the newly formed Friends of the Page‑Walker Hotel. (The word "Page" was added to commemorate the Town's founder and builder of the Hotel.) The Friends would raise the funds necessary to preserve the building for use as an arts and history center for the community.
June, 1985. The Cary Town Council purchased the Hotel per agreement. The Friends began an intense volunteer project of cutting the 500 foot long hedge planted in the 1940's which had engulfed the building, cleaning the rooms of debris and raising funds for a tarp to cover the building. .1986. The Friends hired architect Norma DeCamp Burns (Burnstudio, PA, Raleigh). The restoration/rehabilitation was completed in phases beginning with the roof repair. Structural engineer David Fischetti reinforced the flooring with steel beams inserted through the windows. Due to the proposed public use of the building, an addition was designed to house the code required elevator and handicap accessible facilities.
1987. The Friends hired Michael Marsicano and Mark Rountree of the Durham Arts Council to conduct a feasibility study. Projected cost for the project was $750,000 due to the need for the addition. (Total square feet: 4200 historic structure, 3234, addition) The Cary Town Council agreed to match up to $350,000 that was raised by the Friends, and to hire a director to operate the facility as a center for the arts and history. Regina McLaurin and Daphne Ashworth became co‑chairs of a Capital Campaign which would eventually raise $400,000 from state government, corporations, foundations, businesses, and individuals in addition to the $150,000 already raised.
1989. The Town of Cary appointed the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department to oversee the project while adding funds to include a basement under the addition.
1991. December, the annex and first floor were dedicated and open to the public.
1994. September, the renovation of the entire facility was completed and opened with a full‑time arts programmer. The building was dedicated in December, 1994.
Learn more at "Our History"