Cary, North Carolina
|Town of Cary|
Town Hall in Cary
|Incorporated||April 3, 1871|
|Named for||Samuel Fenton Cary|
|• Mayor||Harold Weinbrecht|
|• Total||59.94 sq mi (155.25 km2)|
|• Land||58.86 sq mi (152.44 km2)|
|• Water||1.08 sq mi (2.80 km2) 1.83%|
|Elevation||495 ft (151 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,893.05/sq mi (1,117.01/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
27511-27513, 27518, 27519
|Area codes||919, 984|
|GNIS feature ID||1019552|
Cary // is the largest town and seventh-largest municipality in North Carolina. Cary is predominantly in Wake County (with a small area in Chatham County) and is the county's second-largest municipality, as well as the third-largest municipality in The Triangle after Raleigh and Durham.
The town's population was 135,234 as of the 2010 census (an increase of 43.1% since 2000), making it the largest town and seventh-largest municipality statewide. As of July 2019[update], the town's estimated population was 170,282, though Cary is still classified a town because that is how it was incorporated with the state. Cary is the second most populous incorporated town (behind only Gilbert, Arizona) in the United States.
According to the US Census Bureau, Cary was the fifth fastest-growing municipality in the United States between September 1, 2006, and September 1, 2007. In 2015 Cary had a crime rate of 84 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Charlotte, the largest city in North Carolina, had a violent crime rate of 648 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, almost eight times higher than Cary.
Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill make up the three primary metropolitan areas of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. The regional nickname of "The Triangle" originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, primarily located in Durham County, four miles from downtown Durham. RTP is bordered on three sides by the city of Durham and is roughly midway between the cities of Raleigh and Chapel Hill, and the three major research universities of NC State University, Duke University, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Effective June 6, 2003, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) redefined the Federal statistical areas. This resulted in the formation of the Raleigh-Cary, NC Metro Area and the Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Metro Area.
The Research Triangle region encompasses OMB's Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill in the central Piedmont region of North Carolina. As of 2012[update], the population of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill CSA was 1,998,808. The Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as of Census 2010 was 1,130,490.
In 1750, Cary began as a settlement called Bradford's Ordinary. About a century later, the North Carolina Railroad between New Bern and Hillsborough was constructed through the town, linking Bradford's Ordinary to a major transportation route.
Allison Francis "Frank" Page is credited with founding the town. Page was a Wake County farmer and lumberman. He and his wife, Catherine "Kate" Raboteau Page bought 300 acres (1.2 km2) surrounding the railroad junction in 1854 and named his development Cary, after Samuel Fenton Cary (a former Ohio congressman and prohibitionist he admired). Page became a railroad agent and a town developer. He laid out the first streets in Cary and built a sawmill, a general store and a post office (Page became the first Postmaster). In 1868, Page built a hotel to serve railroad passengers coming through Cary. Cary was incorporated on April 3, 1871, with Page becoming the first mayor. In 1879, the Raleigh and Augusta Air-Line Railroad (later the Seaboard, now CSX Transportation) arrived in Cary from the southwest, creating Fetner Junction just north of downtown and spurring further growth.
In the early years, Cary adopted zoning and other ordinances on an ad-hoc basis to control growth and give the town structure. Beginning in 1971, the town created Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning to accommodate population growth related to the growth of Research Triangle Park nearby. A PUD allows a developer to plan an entire community before beginning development, thus allowing future residents to be aware of where churches, schools, commercial and industrial areas will be located well before such use begins. Kildaire Farms, a 967-acre (3.9 km2) Planned Unit Development in Cary, was North Carolina's first PUD. It was developed on the Pine State Dairy Farm by Thomas F. Adams, Jr. Adams named a section of Kildaire Farms "Farmington Woods" in their honor.
In addition to the Page-Walker Hotel, the Carpenter Historic District, Cary Historic District, Green Level Historic District, Ivey-Ellington House, and Nancy Jones House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located in the Piedmont region of the eastern United States, Cary is near North Carolina's Research Triangle. It is bordered on the north and east by Raleigh, on the north and west by Research Triangle Park and Morrisville, on the south by Apex and Holly Springs, and on the west by the Jordan Lake area. The town is hilly, with much of the undeveloped land covered in dense woods. Several creeks and small lakes dot the area, most notably Lake Crabtree in the north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 43.5 square miles (112.6 km2), of which 42.1 square miles (109.0 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) (3.17%) is water. As of 2010[update], Cary claims a total area of 55.34 mi2.
Cary has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification system. It receives hot summers and mildly cold winters, with several months of pleasant weather each year. Temperature extremes here range from the negatives to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Hurricanes and tropical storms can affect Cary, usually after weakening substantially from being over land. Some, such as Hurricane Fran in 1996, have caused great damage in the area. Snow falls every year, averaging approximately six inches annually.
|Climate data for Cary, North Carolina (1991–2020 normals, extremes 2000–present)|
|Record high °F (°C)||80
|Average high °F (°C)||50.2
|Daily mean °F (°C)||40.7
|Average low °F (°C)||31.2
|Record low °F (°C)||6
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.54
Cary is divided into distinct east and west sections. The eastern side contains the downtown area as well as the town's neighborhoods. Several of the town's iconic buildings, such as the Ashworth Drug Store, Fidelity Building, and Page-Walker Hotel are in the eastern part of town. The western side holds mostly residences and shopping. Almost completely suburbanized, the area features sprawling neighborhoods, parks, and lakes.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
According to the 2010 Census, there were 135,234 people and 55,303 households in the town. As of 2013[update], the population has increased to 151,088. The population was 73.1% White, 13.1% Asian, 8.0% African American, 7.7% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 2.6% identified as having ancestry of two or more races, 0.4% Native American, and 0.0% Pacific Islander.
The median household income for Cary as of 2011[update] was $110,609.
Data from the 2000 Census shows 29.2% of Cary residents are native to North Carolina; 55.2% were born in other states. Additionally, 15.6% of the town's population were born outside the United States. The high proportion of non-native-born North Carolinians in the town has led native-born North Carolinians to refer to it derisively as "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees" or "Congested Area of Relocated Yankees".
More than two-thirds (68.0%) of Cary residents (aged 25 and older) hold an associate degree or higher, and 60.7% of adults possess a bachelor's degree or higher. Cary has one of the lowest crime rates (79% less than North Carolina) in the state for municipalities of its size. The home ownership rate (owner-occupied housing units to total units) is 72.8%.
In 2013, Cary moved up in the latest rankings of safe U.S. cities and is now considered the third-safest among municipalities with populations of 100,000 to 499,999, behind Amherst, New York, and Irvine, California, according to CQ Press, publisher of the annual "City Crime Rankings 2008-2009: Crime in Metropolitan America."
- 3Dsolve – Simulation software used in training by the military, recently purchased by Lockheed Martin
- A10 Networks – U.S. public company specializing in the manufacturing of application delivery controllers
- Arista Networks – Computer networking manufacturer
- Cotton Incorporated – Industry trade-group
- IntelliScanner Corporation – Home and small business organization products
- Lord Corporation – Diversified technology company
- SAS Institute – Large software company and Cary's largest employer
- Western Wake Medical Center – Private hospital
- ABB Group - Electrification, Robotics and Industrial Automation conglomerate
- Epic Games - Video game company
According to the Cary's 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the town are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|4||Siemens Medical Solutions USA||1,600|
|6||Town of Cary||1,152|
|9||American Airlines Reservation Center||964|
Arts and culture
- Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival
- Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival
- Greater Triangle Area Dragon Boat Festival
- Cary Diwali Celebration - Festival of Light
- Ritmo Latino Music, Art and Dance Festival
- NC Eid Festival
- Cary Band Day
Cary is home to two professional sports teams: North Carolina FC of USL League One and North Carolina Courage of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). USL League One is the third tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. Both teams play their home games at WakeMed Soccer Park, known as Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
|North Carolina FC||Soccer||2006||USL League One||WakeMed Soccer Park|
|North Carolina Courage||Soccer||2009||NWSL||WakeMed Soccer Park|
Parks and recreation
- Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park
- WakeMed Soccer Park, home of North Carolina FC of USL Championship, and North Carolina Courage of the NWSL.
- William B. Umstead State Park
- USA Baseball National Training Complex
- Thomas Brooks Park
- Sk8 Cary Skate Park
- Fred G. Bond Metropolitan Park
- Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve
- MacDonald Woods Park
- Walnut Street Park
- Jack Smith Park
- North Cary Park
- Downtown Cary Park
- Heater Park
- Urban Park
- Kay Struffalino Park
- Veterans Freedom Park
- Lexie Lane Park
- Lions Park
- Carpenter Park
- Annie Jones Park
- Davis Drive Park
- Dorothy Park
- Green Hope Elementary Park
- Harold D. Ritter Park
- Mills School Park
- Marla Dorrel Park
- R.S. Dunham Park
- Robert V. Godbold Park
- Middle Creek School Park
- New Hope Church Road Trailhead Park
- White Oak Park
- Rose Street Park
- Sears Farm Road Park
- Cary Tennis Park
- Recreation Club of Lochmere
Cary has a council-manager government; the mayor and council members serve a four-year term, with half of the council seats being up for election each odd-numbered year. Four of the six council seats are elected by single-member districts; the remaining two seats are elected as at-large representatives, meaning they must attract a majority of votes across the whole town.
The current (as of June 2021[update]) town council consists of Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and Representatives Jennifer Robinson (District A), Don Frantz (District B), Jack W. Smith (District C), Ya Liu (District D), Lori Bush (at-large), and Ed Yerha (at-large).
On October 9, 2007, Harold Weinbrecht defeated incumbent Mayor Ernie McAlister in the 2007 mayoral election. Citizen concerns that rapid growth was adversely affecting infrastructure and environment over the effect rapid growth was having on the town, especially on roads, schools, and the environment, led to McAlister's ouster.
On December 26, 2009, The Nation reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had secret prisons in the United States, where it held suspected illegal immigrants indefinitely before deportation. It reported that at least one of these secret federal prisons is allegedly located in an office building in Cary. Part of the federal government's Department of Homeland Security, ICE has leased an office in Cary for more than 10 years. The town says that no detainees are kept at this location overnight. Other than protesters of punitive ICE policies picketing the facility, the town does not acknowledge any issues associated with the Cary ICE office.
- From 1871 to present
Read in columns.
|A. F. Page||1871||G. S. Leacock||1914||Dr. J. P. Hunter||1933–1935||Joseph R. Veasey||1969–1971|
|J. H. Adams||1884||T. H. Taylor||1916||M. T. Jones||1935||Fred G. Bond||1971–1983|
|R. J. Harrison||1887||W. G. Crowder||1916||T. W. Addicks||1935||Harold D. Ritter||1983–1987|
|John Nugeer||1897||E. P. Bradshaw||1921||L. L. Raines||1937–1947||Koka E. Booth||1987–1999|
|E. C. Hayes||1900||W. H. Atkins||1921–1925||R. W. Mayton||1935–1937||Glen Lang||1999–2003|
|A.R. McGarrity||1902||G. H. Jordan||1925||Robert G. Setzer||1947–1949||Ernie McAlister||2003–2007|
|R. J. Harrison||1903||E. P. Bradshaw||1925||H. Waldo Rood||1949–1961||Harold Weinbrecht||2007–present|
|H. B. Jordan||1903||Dr. F. R. Yarborough||1927–1928||Dr. W. H. Justice||1961–1962|
|N. C. Hines||1910||A. N. Jackson||1928–1929||James Hogarth||1962–1963|
|J. M. Templeton, Jr.||1912||H. H. Waddell||1929–1933||Dr. E. B. Davis||1963–1969|
- Cary High School
- Crossroads FLEX High School
- Green Hope High School
- Green Level High School
- Middle Creek High School
- Panther Creek High School
- Davis Drive Middle School
- East Cary Middle School
- Mills Park Middle School
- Reedy Creek Middle School
- West Cary Middle School
- Alston Ridge Middle School
- Adams Elementary School
- Alston Ridge Elementary School
- Briarcliff Elementary School
- Carpenter Elementary School
- Cary Elementary School
- Davis Drive Elementary School
- Farmington Woods Elementary School
- Green Hope Elementary School
- Highcroft Drive Elementary School
- Hortons Creek Elementary
- Kingswood Elementary School
- Mills Park Elementary School
- Northwoods Elementary School
- Oak Grove Elementary School
- Penny Road Elementary School
- Reedy Creek Elementary School
- Turner Creek Elementary School
- Weatherstone Elementary School
- Cardinal Charter Academy, K—8th grade
- Cary Academy, 6—12 grade
- Cary Christian School, K—12 grade
- Chesterbrook Academy, K—5 grade
- Grace Christian School, K—12 grade
- Hopewell Academy, 6—12 grade
- Landmark Christian Academy, K—12 grade
- Resurrection Lutheran School, K—8th grade
- Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic School, PK—8 grade
Public transit within the town is provided by GoCary, with six fixed-routes. There is a door-to-door service for the senior citizens (60+) and riders with disabilities. GoTriangle operates fixed-route buses that serve the metropolitan region and connect to the local municipal transit systems in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.
In 2010 the League of American Bicyclists designated Cary as one of the fourteen recipients of the first Bicycle-Friendly Community awards for "providing safe accommodation and facilities for bicyclists and encouraging residents to bike for transportation and recreation".
Cary Greenways and Trails maintains a network of sidewalks and paved trails connecting neighborhoods and parks throughout the town. These greenways place strict requirements on environmental conditions to preserve a park-like atmosphere. In addition, standard sidewalks and paths exist throughout the town. The American Tobacco trail also runs through parts of Cary.
The Raleigh-Durham International Airport, north of Cary via Interstate 40 between Cary, Raleigh and Durham, serves Cary and the greater Research Triangle metropolitan region. Raleigh-Durham offers more than 35 destinations, serving approximately 9 million passengers per year.
Freeways and primary routes
- Interstate 40
- U.S. 1
- U.S. 64
- State Highway 54
- State Highway 55
- State Highway 147
- State Highway 540
- State Highway 751
- Cary Parkway
- Kildaire Farm Road
- Walnut Street (which appears on some maps as Cary-Macedonia Road)
- High House Road
- Harrison Avenue
- Maynard Road Loop
- Davis Drive (links to Research Triangle Park)
- Holly Springs Road
- Vernetta Alston, politician and attorney
- Jesse Boulerice, former NHL player
- Marshall Brain, founder of the HowStuffWorks website
- Carter Cruise, pornographic actress
- Casey Cole, American Franciscan friar, Catholic priest, writer, and blogger
- Héctor Cotto, Olympic track and field athlete representing Puerto Rico
- Claire Curzan, Olympic swimmer representing United States
- Ryan Danford, Halo player known by the handle Saiyan
- Anoop Desai, singer-songwriter best known for his time as a contestant on the eighth season of American Idol
- Spright Dowell, former President of Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now known as Auburn University
- Tim Downs, American author
- Chris Flemmings, professional basketball player
- Kendall Fletcher, professional women's soccer player
- James Goodnight, co-founder and CEO of SAS Institute
- Ron Hendren, former co-host of Entertainment Tonight
- Justin Jedlica, model and businessman
- Alfred Daniel Jones, US Consul General in Shanghai (1893), lived in Cary
- Isaiah Johnson, NFL defensive back
- U. Alexis Johnson, United States diplomat
- Scott Kooistra, NFL offensive tackle
- Nathan Macias, former member of the Texas House of Representatives; lived in Cary while in the United States Air Force
- Luke Maye, professional basketball player
- Walter Hines Page, former United States ambassador to the United Kingdom
- Hilda Pinnix-Ragland, business executive and philanthropist
- Max Povse, professional baseball pitcher
- Bevin Prince, actress from One Tree Hill
- Morgan Reid, professional women's soccer player
- John Sall, co-founder of SAS Institute
- Ryan Spaulding, professional soccer player
- Azurá Stevens, WNBA player
- Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games
- Rysa Walker, award-winning author of the Chronos Files series
- Aaron Ward, former NHL player
- Jennifer Weiss, former Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly
- Glen Wesley, former NHL player
- Evan Rachel Wood, actress in Thirteen, True Blood, The Conspirator
- Kay Yow, former head coach of the women's basketball team at North Carolina State University
- Curtis Waters, recording artist best known for his debut single "Stunnin"
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Cary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cary, North Carolina.|