One of her early projects rescued the Colonel William Jones House in Gentryville, a Federal-style structure built in 1834. Jones was a prosperous merchant who employed a young Abraham Lincoln in the 1820s and was very influential in his life. Although he was in his 60s, Jones joined the Union Army during the Civil War and was killed at the battle of Atlanta in 1864. After the restoration, Gayle and her husband donated the Colonel William Jones House to the state of Indiana and it became the Indiana’s 16th State Historical Site.
Cook and her family restored the Graham Hotel, the James Cochran House, the Fountain Square historic district on the south side of Courthouse Square, and many other landmarks in Bloomington.