Long ago, outside the Town of Wake Forest, Wakefield Farm was a thriving versatile operation covering 2200 acres. Farm production included corn, barley, wheat, hay and cotton. Cotton was supplied to Royall Cotton Mill operating on the opposite side of Wake Forest. A Guernsey herd anchored the dairy operation and supplied milk to Pine State Creamery in Raleigh. Today Pine State Creamery building houses several businesses and stands as a centerpiece of Raleigh’s Glenwood South district.
In the 1980’s a developer bought Wakefield Farm. Wakefield subdivisions were born.
Today just four original Wakefield Farm buildings remain. Three of the buildings – a Dairy Barn, Bull Barn and Calf Barn are listed together as Wakefield Dairy Complex on the National Register of Historic places and as a Wake County Historic Landmark. The impressive Dairy Barn, constructed in 1932, is better known as Wakefield Barn and has served as an equestrian center for many years.
The fourth remaining, lesser known Wakefield Farm building is Wakefield Farm Granary, owned by Terry and Nancy Crawford. This building was important to the dairy operation and was used to grind all feed for the cattle.
“The first time we saw the granary was in 1986, just as the streets for Wakefield were being constructed. Our dream of owning it was dashed however when a SOLD sign went up on the lot in 1995. About six months later we received a call asking if we were still interested in the lot. We were, and bought it with the stipulation that within one year the granary would either be restored or torn down. We were glad to save such a beautiful old structure and never looked back.”
Terry and Nancy fell in love with the amazing 1920’s Granary while scouting locations to build their dream home. They worked with the developer to save the Granary from demolition and elegantly incorporated it into the design and placement of their custom luxury Wakefield Estates home.
“This was before popular TV shows like Barnwood Builders”, Terry says. “Preservation was not high on the developers list.”
Their efforts resulted in a beautiful unique complementary pairing of old and new. Perfectly situated on 3.27 prime acres in prestigious Wakefield Estates – very convenient to the shores of beautiful Falls Lake, McConnell Tournament Players Club at Wakefield Plantation Clubhouse, Wakefield Barn riding stable, great schools and shopping.
The Home and Granary
The Home boasts thoughtful design aspects and wonderful upgrades. With over 5,100 square feet, 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, it’s laid out to exhibit a variety of ceiling treatments, open stairway, private sitting areas, large deck and screened porch.
Main floor hosts the master suite with double closets and an oversized Kohler soaking tub. Gourmet kitchen is outfitted with Canac cabinetry, Sub-Zero Pro 48 Refrigeration, Miele Dishwasher and Aga Cooker. “We wanted to incorporate farm elements into the overall house design to complement the granary. The use of the AGA Cooker was a perfect fit,” says Nancy.
Both formal and informal living rooms contain fireplaces. A separate breakfast room, formal dining room and laundry complete the main floor. A 3-car garage is accessed from the kitchen.
Top floor has a large second master suite with adjoining office and two guest rooms sharing a Jack & Jill bath. The landing/sitting area overlooks the rooms below.
Bottom level of the home is designed for family living or in-law suite. It’s accessed via an oak staircase from the main level or via it’s own private exterior entrance. This level contains a living room with fireplace, a family room with kitchenette, bedroom, full bath and second laundry room. All door openings are 3 feet wide. It also enjoys separately controlled heating and air conditioning.
Adjacent to the in-law suite is a huge unfinished basement with concrete floor and poured in-place concrete walls.
The Granary is a robust multi-floor structure. Larger than the younger elegant home, it demonstrates heavy-timber construction courtesy of trees from the farm. It also still houses some interesting original grain milling equipment.
To achieve maximum utilization from the space, Terry and Nancy spent considerable time investigating New England Connected Barn architecture. “This design has allowed us to access all of the granary space in any kind of weather without venturing outside. I have absolutely loved it” says Terry.
“It was also a great play area for our son who would spend hours on projects in the granary. I never had to worry about finding a mess in my house” adds Nancy. You can stroll between the decades via a windowed, slate floor vestibule.
This impressive building is unconditioned and currently sports a 3-season “man cave” in the section closest to the home. Use of the Granary is limited by imagination. Suggestions have included – storage for automobile collections, artist studio, home business office and woodworking. What would you imagine?
Here is a truly a rare opportunity to own a unique super-cool property – marriage of 21st century convenience and early 20th century craftsmanship.
Terry says “It has been neat to retreat to the large beams and rough hewn lumber of the Granary’s 1920’s construction. On rainy days, there is something therapeutic about listening to the rain on a tin roof.”
This post appeared as an article in the News & Observer – Home and Garden section on 28 January 2017.
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