Local News

Preservationists Save Historic Wake Forest House

Posted August 24, 2007 9:22 p.m. EDT
Updated August 24, 2007 9:33 p.m. EDT

— I. Beverly Lake Jr., a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, has many memories of his childhood home.

“I hit my first home run in that side yard,” he said. “I well remember that. I went all the way around and never touched a single base. So, I learned a lot about baseball.”

Preservationists recently saved the 90-year-old house, which has been on the campus of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The seminary wants to build a new student center, so the house has to move.

“It’s a monumental task, much more than anyone would anticipate,” said Gary Roth, with Capital Area Preservation.

Crews recently tore down some interior walls to get the house ready for a not-so-easy move. The plan was to cut the house in half to fit through trees and power lines to get to nearby North College Street.

Despite some of the interior destruction, preservationists said someone new will call the house home.

“Many historic structures are worthy of continued use and are able to be used continuously. This is a perfect example,” Roth said.

Lake lived in the house until he was 6 years old. His father was a professor at the school when it was still Wake Forest College.

Lake said he remembered being a troublemaker as a boy.

“I ran away from home on adventures with my two big collie dogs on a number of occasions,” he said. “I scared my folks half to death in other ways, fell down the steps there and broke my collarbone.”

Capital Area Preservation was still taking donations to help pay for the moving costs as of Friday. The group hopes to have the house in its new location by late September.