A Survey of Raleigh Architecture

Originally prepared in 1992

Between 1987 and 1992 the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission employed consultants to survey buildings in Raleigh. The commission originally gave permission for portions of this material to be used on the Raleigh City Museum website. In 1992 as a museum volunteer I converted the original text documents to web pages, and took new digital photos for the web of the buildings mentioned in the material that follows.

Later revisions of the Raleigh City Museum dropped these web pages, but they are preserved here on my personal website.

The work of surveying Raleigh's architecture was broken into four components:

Preliminary research for Phase 1 was conducted by Richard Mattson. The survey itself was undertaken by a team lead by Elliott K. Wright that included Bruce Kalk, Joyce Marie Mitchell, and Terri Myers. Phases 2 & 3 were conducted by Helen P. Ross. Ruth M. Little, Ph.D. was the researcher for Phase 4.

Phase 1

The survey of Raleigh's African American communities included fifty-six oral histories and resulted in the documentation of eight distinct areas: College Park, East Raleigh-South Park, Fourth Ward, Idlewild, Method, Nazareth, Oberlin, and Smoky Hollow. More than thirteen hundred buildings were recorded, and the East Raleigh-South Park neighborhoods were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. As with all the other Raleigh survey work, the bulk of the documentation is in the form of survey records on file with the State Historic Preservation Office. Culture Town: Life in Raleigh's African American Communities (ISBN: 0-9635677-0-5), by Linda Simmons-Henry and Linda H. Edmisten, was published by the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission in 1993 to describe the project and share its findings. The large format (8-1/2" x 11") 180 page book contains more than 160 black and white contemporary and historic photos, some never before published, and includes a 22-minute cassette tape. It is available from the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission office (919/832-7238) (also the Planning Dept.).

Phases 2 and 3

During a two year period Helen Ross evaluated more than 3100 properties. Much of this work was done via bicycle and was cause for an article in the News & Observer. The material included here consists only of the summary material; the complete survey records are on file at the State Historic Preservation Office. The two primary portions of the summary material are an essay on the history of Raleigh architecture and a study of buildings by property type (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.).

Essay on the Architecture of Raleigh (1880-1970)

Multiple Property Types Documentation

You can click on any photo to see a larger image. The original National Register listings are included for completeness, NR List (1992), NR Study List (1992), as well as some aids to locating the individual properties studied: Index by Survey area, Alphabetical Index.

Phase 4

The Phase 4 area is the suburban area of the city, comprising a broad band between the outer limits of the 1920s suburbs out to the 1988 city limits. Ruth Little's report is presented here:

Phase 4 Final Report

Individual Listings

Wake County Survey

Between 1988 and 1991, the Wake County Planning Department surveyed the areas of the county outside the city's 1988 boundaries. Information about the survey is available on the county's Historic Preservation web page. Kelly Lally's survey was published by Wake County Government in 1994. The large format (8-1/2" x 11") 437 page book, titled The Historic Architecture of Wake County, North Carolina (ISBN: 0-9639198-0-6), has black & white photos and maps covering sixteen townships. It is available from Capital Area Preservation (919/833-6404).

Questions or suggestions? Contact Charles Hall