It is very surreal to me that this was all built and lived in by my Great-Grandparents. Indicative of a different time in America and certainly indicative of the trend set by the Reynolds’ who had a habit of giving whatever they had to their community, be they to the city or institutions like Wake Forest. Wake Forest in turn has given so much back to the community as well and gone above and beyond in preserving and enhancing the gifts made to the University to help make it one of the top 25 private schools in the country and certainly unique in its offerings and facilities that place it above most of its competitors. First the updating of the Manor House (or as John Wise and his fine staff still refer to it as “Mr. Gray’s” house), then the renovation of The Gardener’s Cottage and most recently and notably, the renovation and updating of The Mews.
I was first made aware of the plans for The Mews some time ago as Graylyn and Wake Forest have been very sensitive to the reaction of the family, no matter how far removed, to any major changes. I was very impressed with the proposed designs and really looking forward to seeing their completion. I was not disappointed. Along with others who have a love for Wake Forest and a connection to Graylyn, we were invited to the unveiling. One word, – spectacular. The attention to detail is something. It was no small feat to create a truly comfortable space while working within the confines of historical preservation. Each guest room unique with a definite old world feel coupled with everything one would expect from a world class conference center guest room. The meeting spaces are designed to fit groups from ten to several hundred – the experience tailored to the specific needs of each group of guests. Hardly the sterile and cold environment of large institutional centers which tend to bore people with their blandness and cause people to become lost in their monolithic structures containing an unending supply repetitive hallways. Graylyn offers the warmth of what was a home and the functionality of a top tier business center and the newly renovated Mews exemplifies this ideal combination.
My greatest personal worry and concern with all of the changes was what was to become of the ice-cream room. It was relocated from its original location, but I found it and it remains stocked with my personal favorite – the strawberry shortcake creamsicle. I’ll leave it to all of you find it’s new location…..