A rare small-town example of Second Empire architecture, the Page-Walker is one of only three Cary properties individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Wake County Landmark property.
The Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel, founded by Anne Kratzer, was started to save this historic jewel of Cary, which was nearly lost to age and neglect.
The hotel was constructed by Allison Francis “Frank” Page, Cary's founder, to serve passengers on the NC and Chatham railroad. Frank Page sold the hotel to the Walker family in 1884. Meals were available to travelers until 1916. Starting in 1922, Nancy Walker’s grandchildren rented rooms to Cary High School teachers and students. The house passed through several hands in the 20th century, becoming a private home. In 1985 it was purchased by the Town of Cary, leased to the Friends of the Page-Walker, renovated and converted into an arts and history center. This renovation, which included the construction of a sensitive modern addition on the rear, was the winner of Capital Area Preservation’s Anthemion Award in 1994.
A smokehouse on the property is the only surviving structure from the Frank and Kate Page homestead, the main building of which burned in 1970 on what is now Town Hall campus. The smokehouse served the house that was the birthplace of Walter Hines Page, the most famous of Frank and Kate Page's children, who was a noted journalist, publisher and ambassador to England before and during World War I. An herb garden was planted and maintained around the smokehouse by the Friends of the Page Walker with the Town of Cary.
The Cary Heritage Museum occupies the third floor of the Page-Walker Arts & History Center. The building also serves as an art gallery, with various displays rotating through rooms on the second and third floors.
|119 Ambassador Loop, Cary, NC|