Stone columns crowned with flickering gas lanterns mark the entrance to The Legacy at Cary Creek, a planned active adult, maintenance-free community in Auburn. The area’s first gated development occupies 57 acres and will feature 143 homes with high-end amenities.
Developer Charles Cary Pick has deep roots in Auburn. “I named the community The Legacy,” he says, “because this land has been in my family for about a 100 years.” His great-grandfather, Dr. Charles Allen Cary, established the School of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University and is in the Alabama Hall of Fame.
Dr. Cary’s daughter, Alice, was one of the founders of Sigma Lambda Chapter of Kappa Delta. Her husband, General Lewis A. Pick became internationally famous for building the Ledo Road, also known as “Pick’s Pike” in the China-Burma India Theater during World War II. He was also chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and author of the Pick/Sloan Plan for development of the Missouri River Basin.
Gen. Pick and Alice had one child, Col. Lewis A. Pick Jr., Charles’s father, who attended West Point and joined the Corps of Engineers like his father. Charles realizes Cary Creek would not have been possible without his family’s care of the land.
The Legacy is the first residential area within Cary Creek, a 331-acre site combining commercial and office spaces with residences. Charles conducted research for two years and assembled a team before starting construction on The Legacy three years ago.
“We started thinking about what residents would want,” says Charles. “Every time we had a new idea we incorporated it. We designed the community with a theme of Southern porches for gracious living with gardens and recreation areas. All of the common areas will be turned over to the owners.”
The clubhouse and amenities are just for the Legacy community. The clubhouse has concierge-style management and features a wooden-barrel style ceiling, a fireplace opening to two rooms and LED lighting. There is also a fitness center and gourmet teaching kitchen. Every entry has electronic locks, which record all who come in and when.
The porte-cochère at the clubhouse also has a wooden barrel ceiling. Gas lanterns flank the front door of the clubhouse, while copper light fixtures are used throughout the property along with other fine details.
On the clubhouse grounds, a formal garden is accented with a tiered fountain and walking paths along with two pickle ball courts and green space for games.
A wrap-around porch leads to the salt-water pool area, offering resort amenities with an outdoor living room seating area, a covered space housing a kitchen with a gas grill and an outdoor fireplace with a large television.
Charles attended Tulane University in New Orleans where he admired the gas lanterns that are a signature adornment of the city. Two lanterns on the roof of the clubhouse match the ones at the entrance, which were especially designed for The Legacy. The stone entry walls were made by hand.
He used the French fleur-de-lis, the symbol for New Orleans, as the logo for the community and repeated it in various locations.
As Auburn’s only gated community, Charles states “Once you are in The Legacy, it creates a sense of place.”
Charles also wanted to have the houses “future proof.” The FIBER to the homes allows unlimited upgrades. “We are installing cat six, the highest interior wiring to allow the technology of the future to be put in these houses.”
While the houses are designed for gracious living, various components are built in for the residents as they age. “For example,” says Charles, “a resident may be fit at 55, but 10 years later have something happen. All the areas needed for assistance are in the walls. All they have to do is install them.”
The doorways are wider and have zero entrance to every home to allow for rolling in the door in a wheelchair.
While there are 12 different styles of home, the builder, Michael Allen Homes, can make custom adjustments. All the homes have a main floor living area, and some have upstairs. Houses built in sloping areas can have a basement.
“These homes are not designed to have huge yards,” adds Charles. “We are taking care of those yards. A resident can lock their house and go to Florida for two months, and the yard will be maintained.
“We are trying to create what I call a string of pearls,” says Charles. “When you see an architectural element, you are going to see that element again. We are trying to create something that is really unique. If we could think of it, we did it.”
Streets are named after authors and literary figures and are lined with lanterns. For a more attractive appearance, rocks line the small ponds and water features. As water flows over rocks at Eliot’s Pond, Charles says, “Generations later, people will think this has always been here.
“I am wanting this to be like Cary Woods where people still think it is a wonderful place to live after 60 years,” he says. “My first judge is the residents moving in today, but my ultimate judge will be what this place looks like in 50 years. I want people to say ‘Wow, this person really cared and thought about it.’
“I won’t be around for that,” Charles adds, “but just as my ancestors built Cary Woods, which has stood the test of time, my lineage will see The Legacy and possibly have the same feelings that I have today.”
For additional information on The Legacy, contact 334.826.1010 or visit the website at www.carycreek.com
An award winning journalist, Ann Cipperly has been writing features, as well as food, travel and restaurant articles for East Alabama Living since 2004. She is a former newspaper lifestyle and food editor and currently writes features and a food column for the Opelika Observer. Ann is a native Opelikan.