About the USA building

340 N. Main Street

In October, 2012, the Utility Service Agency moved into the Gulley-Mackie house at 340 North Main Street, across the street from our office of 30 years. The new location provides more interior room and more parking space and is better-suited to our current needs.

 History: The Gulley-Mackie house is historically significant for three reasons.  First, it is one of three Italianate style houses in the Wake Forest Historic District.  Second, the house was home to faculty of Wake Forest College, which was the foundation of the Town of Wake Forest and the surrounding community.  Third, two notable Wake Forest professors used the home.  N. Y. Gulley, the founder and Inaugural Dean of the Wake Forest University Law School, resided in the house for the 44 years that he taught.  Notably, he allowed women to attend his classes in 1915, and two of his female students passed the state bar exam in 1927.  By 1931, approximately half of the state’s attorneys had been taught by Dr. Gulley.  George C. Mackie was professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at Wake Forest College until the school moved to Winston Salem. He remained in the town and was the doctor for the Southeastern Baptist Seminary from its inauguration until he died in 1969.  Dr. Mackie was recognized as the town doctor and a significant leader in the Wake Forest community.  He converted the home in 1946-47 with the help of Raleigh's famous architect W. Henley Deitrick to its state before 2011 renovations. 

 Renovations: The house is an Italianate 2-story frame house with Queen Anne lines.  Although the original exterior style and structure remain, the house underwent modifications and expansions over at least four different periods. A rear expansion prior to 1946 added both upstairs and downstairs rooms while staying true to the house style.  The house was turned into doctor's offices below with four second-floor apartments in a major 1946-47 renovation.  Presumably around 1990, a separate kitchen/outbuilding was attached to the Northeast corner.

On the outside, wood siding had been covered up with aluminum. Decorative cornices had been covered up and decorative pediments removed to accommodate a lower maintenance exterior.  Large steel staircases were mounted to the front and back when the building was functionally divided in 1946, and chimneys and fireplaces were removed.  The original slate roof remained intact, although by 2011, it was badly in  need of repair.  The Asbestos shingles that had been used in the additions were failing, and original shutters had been replaced with aluminum ones. Original glass window panes remained.

 On the inside, the house was functionally divided into two separate spaces with the interior stairs removed.  Downstairs, the eight rooms had been partitioned into twenty-three different rooms to serve the function of a doctor's office.  Original decorative wood trim and doors had been removed for a simpler style.  Heart pine floors were covered with wall to wall carpeting and laminate flooring.  Drop ceilings covered up plumbing, electric, and central air-conditioning components.  Upstairs, four separate efficiency apartments were connected with a common hallway.  Each unit had its own closets, bathroom, gas heater, window unit air-conditioner, and modular kitchenette.  Original heart pine floors had been covered up with oak flooring, and most of the original wood trim and doors had been replaced.

 In 2011 the Gulley-Mackie house was donated to the Wake Forest College Birthplace Society. The organization chose to sell the property. It was purchased by Cooke’s Restoration, LLC, who, teamed with Sult Architecture and Gould Development & Historic Restorations, worked to restore the beauty while transforming it into a headquarters for a family business. On the exterior, the team reproduced and restored the fine sawn work balusters on the front and side porches and removed the aluminum siding. All original elements, based on physical evidence and documentation, were restored to their original condition. On the interior, the team restored the original room configurations on both floors, leaving some walls open to adapt the space for its planned use, restored and reused original flooring where possible and reopened the second floor to the first with the installation of period-appropriate stair case elements in the main hall.  The work was labor-intensive but very rewarding.

 The Gulley-Mackie house has significant  historical value for the town and Wake Forest College. In addition, it provides a superior working environment for our company.