The Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel is a an all-volunteer Cary-based historic preservation non-profit organization. Our parent organization, the Cary Historical Society, dissolved in 2006 and transferred their remaining assets to us. We serve to raise awareness of preservation issues in the Cary area and to prevent the loss of our remaining historic resources.
We cannot accomplish this alone. Our financial resources are limited and we are a small yet highly dedicated organization. We work with a number of public and private organizations to achieve our goals. Please consider joining the Friends or providing a donation or purchasing a commemorative brick to help us to pursue this important mission.
Great accomplishments have been made over the years to protect what we still have. We need to thank Phyllis Tuttle in particular. A former president and founding member of the Friends of the Page-Walker, Phyllis was the driving force behind Cary historic preservation for many years.
Thanks to the efforts of the Friends and their public and private partners, Cary today has three National Register of Historic Places historic districts:
as well as three properties individually listed on the National Register:
The Ivey-Ellington House was previously individually listed on the National Register but did not retain that designation when it was relocated in 2023. The Town of Cary and the Friends are pursuing other forms of protection for this important local historic structure.
Listing in the National Register is a great honor and can provide some tax incentive to the owners; however, it affords little real protection for the property.
The Town of Cary designates Cary Historic Landmarks as a way to preserve buildings that are historically, architecturally or culturally significant to our community. The Town Council considers designation of historic landmarks upon the recommendation of the Historic Preservation Commission. When a property owner is granted a landmark designation, the owner agrees that exterior changes to the property are subject to design review and approval by the Historic Preservation Commission, in return for the ability to apply for an annual 50% property tax deferral for as long as the property remains a landmark and retains its historical and architectural integrity. The highest level of protection comes with preservation easements that can protect structures from demolition or modification permanently.
Cary currently has 11 landmark properties. For more information about Cary historic landmarks, see the information from the Town of Cary.
Of larger concern are the older and/or historic buildings that do not yet benefit from any protective designation. The Friends are working to add the most significant of these to the list of registered and designated properties. We are also working with state and local government to enact plans and ordinances that provide additional protection.
The Friends also drive a number of activities to raise public awareness of preservation issues. We sponsor a series of preservation speaker programs throughout the year culminating with What Have We Got to Lose?, our annual update on the status of Cary's historic structures. We also facilitate the procurement of plaques for our National Register listed buildings.
To learn more about what you can do to help preserve Cary’s architectural heritage, please contact us or any of our partner organizations. We also suggest a number of books that can provide both general and local-area preservation insight.