If the house at 7328 Roberts Road could talk, it would tell a century’s worth of stories.
And while little is known about its origins, the home’s architecture speaks for itself, saying it deserves saving.
The Apex Town Council voted unanimously last week to give a no-interest loan of $75,000 to Capital Area Preservation to move the home in northwest Apex across Roberts Road. Otherwise, it could be torn down by a landowner anxious to develop the land the home sits on.
“It’s got some really unique features,” said Stuart Jones, an Apex engineer who also serves as chairman of the Capital Area Preservation board of directors. “The upstairs has never been painted. It’s all wood, and it’s never been painted. That’s really rare. And there’s also hand-carved fireplace mantles.”
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The Apex home is known as the Williams House, although Jones said not much else is known about it. He doesn’t even know which Williams family it’s named for, although he said it could possibly the same family as the Williams in Williams Street in the center of town.
When the home was built, sometime between 1900 and 1910, a popular trend at the time was mail-order houses from the Sears-Roebuck catalogue. Many homes in downtown Raleigh are Sears houses. But Jones said this one was built by hand, making it that much more unique.
Diane Long of the Apex Historical Society agrees.
“It really adds a lot of beauty to the community,” she said.
Jones said the preservation group often asks local towns for loans for these kind of projects..
When the owner of a historic home no longer wants it but doesn’t want to or isn’t allowed to tear it down, it’s given to Capital Area Preservation in exchange for moving it to another piece of land.
The preservation group hires a moving company and then gets to work restoring the home once it’s settled on its new piece of property. The group ensures it has a covenant certifying it as an official historic home.
They sell the home, using proceeds to repay the loan they got from the town as well as to pay their staff. The new homeowner also becomes eligible for federal tax credits given to owners of historic homes.
“We’re looking to pull the trigger,” Jones said of getting the home moved. “Hopefully sometime in August.”
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran