Cary, NC – Visitors to Chatham Street may notice a change to one of Downtown Cary’s most historic buildings as the Ivey-Ellington House’s roof has been stripped and re-painted as part of a stabilization effort by the Town of Cary.
The Ivey-Ellington House, built around 1874, is known to most people in Cary as the site of the Downtown Cary Farmers Market. It has served as an important piece of Cary history not just because of its longevity but also because its example of older architectural features such as board-and-batten siding and pointed arch windows.
Over the past week, crews have been stripping the green paint from the house’s roof and replacing it with a metallic white paint.
“The roof has been deteriorating markedly,” said Kris Carmichael, director of the Page-Walker Arts and History Center. “We wanted to stabilize it and part of that is having the roof stripped and repainted.”
The roof had already been painted green when the Town of Cary bought the property from the Jefferson Sugg Revocable Trust in 2011 but Carmichael said archive photos show it was originally a plain colored roof.
“We pulled outside photos from artistic archives to see how the Ivey-Ellington house looked and talked with folks who were around back then for their memories,” Carmichael said. “We decided the best course is to make the roof how it looked originally and since we couldn’t strip it all the way down to the exposed metal, repainting it the same color was the next best thing. We’re happy it’s back to its original appearance.”
Carmichael said there are no records of when the Ivey-Ellington’s roof was first painted green but said there are archive photos of it unpainted as recently as the 1980s.
While the roof is now repainted, Carmichael said this is not the end of the work to preserve the historic downtown house.
“The process of stabilization is still ongoing and it will be a multi-year process,” Carmichael said.
The Ivey-Ellington House is located at 135 W Chatham St. The Downtown Cary Farmers Market occurs at the house Saturdays at 8 AM.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Michael Papich and courtesy of the Friends of the Page-Walker.