Waynesville renovation project earns top state honor

By Vicki Hyatt | Oct 08, 2012

A renovation project that stabilized Waynesville’s historic town hall has received one of the top preservation prizes in the state.

The “Carraway” award  is presented by Preservation North Carolina to year to people and organizations demonstrating  commitment to historic preservation.

The building that now serves as the Waynesville Town Hall was designed by James Wetmore , the supervising architect of the U.S. Treasury, the building featured on the $10 bill. The Waynesville landmark was built in 1917 and used as the U.S. Post Office before it was acquired by the town in 1966.

Limited renovations were  made in 1989, but the exterior was  virtually unaltered.

The building housing town administrative offices was leaking and had extensive damage to the interior plaster, said Lee  Galloway, the former town manager.

“We had done several other buildings renovations and had funds left from those. The municipal building is the signature building of the town.  It was nearly 100 years old and too important of a building to not take care of.”

Consulting engineer Bill Wescott developed specifications for exterior building repairs, which was no small task to match building materials made so long ago.

“We actually painted the brick — glazed it to get the perfect match on the colors that were there.” Westcott said.

Since the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, it was important that the renovation be historically accurate.  Wescott said the original drawings for the building were used for the project.

A drive-through window had been installed on the side of the building where town residents could pay their utility bills. The window was closed when the the finance department was moved into the newly renovated Hazelwood office.

That section was also restored to its original condition.

Once the leaks were found and sealed off, the town was able to make interior repairs. The cost was roughly $100,000, Galloway said.

A lot of people would just let it go to the point it had to be demolished,” Galloway said. “We thought the citizens see that building and want us to take care of it.”

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