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Justin6882

Raleigh's street of, um, what?

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Change the name of Fayetteville Street?

What do you think? Will it be hard to market "Fayetteville Street" as the main street of Raleigh? Didn't seem to hinder it before, but if you do think it would be better named something else, what do you think it should be?

Update: So I thought about it some more, and I came up with a couple names for the street:

Meeker Boulevard - Since he did help get all this done, right? (just kidding with this one guys)

Memorial Drive or Memorial Boulevard - obviously named after the beautiful building at the termination of the street.

Christmas Street - named after William Christmas, who originally designed the city. Obviously his name could have been a little less..."festive" and it might work better, but I still think he should be honored somewhere downtown.

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what do you mean didn't hinder it before? It hasn't been a successful street in many years. I think a name change could really help

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No need for a name change. Fayetteville Street is just as marketable as Tryon, Broad, 5th or whatever your choice is. The name of the street isn't nearly as important as the environment of the street.

I agree with Justin, before Fayetteville Street was malled, it was a "strong" street.

I am however curious as far as what the actual suggestions for a new name would be. I'd be slightly annoyed if there were any attempts to make it more "main" stream or copying the "in" street of another city.

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there is a negative conotation to the name "Fayetteville" in Raleigh from what I have observed since moving here. Back in the day, people flocked to the street no matter the name, it was main street. Today, we have to reinvent it and ATTRACT people to it...they have a choice. Marketing is key today, and was not 60 years ago because people had no where else to go

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Wow, I can't believe this is even being considered (not a reference to the thread starter but the issue in general).

It's an historic street, named in the original layout of the city. I seriously hope that they're not really considering renaming it. Raleigh has done enough ill-advised erasure of its history (via historic building demolition, screwing around with the grid pattern [capital blvd.], axing two of the original four city squares for the governer's mansion/offices, etc.).

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My email to the N&O follows:

Changing the name of Fayetteville Street is well...stupid. Fayetteville Street has enjoyed a long and proud history. It is only the last twenty or thirty years that any sort of negative connotation has come about. Historically, Fayetteville Street went to Fayetteville (Halifax, New Bern, and Hillsborough Streets also were named for at least pointing towards those cities if not actually going to them), and Fayetteville was named after the French general Lafayette. I personally think changing the name of Fayetteville Street 1) reeks of the ignorance of those who would propose such a change 2) says that maybe 'we' are not so confident in all the changes already underway 3) indicates that those charged with cheerleading downtown have run out of substantive ideas.

When I hear the name Fayetteville Street, I immediately think of the core of the city. It is a street name that as far as 'main' streets go is unique to Raleigh. I do not want something like Independance Blvd, Liberty Way, Water Street, Front Street and so on.

Things are marketed to people when the product cannot otherwise sell itself. Downtwon Raleigh and all its changes, including those on Fayetteville Street can and should be able to sell themsleves. I am terribly unimpressed with those who came up with such an idea and those who support it.

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We could try Main Street, but that's a bit too small-townish. Or perhaps Center Street, that's another common one. Or maybe Middle Street, considering that it's halfway between East Street and West Street. Ha ha.

It's easy for newcomers to confuse Fayetteville Street with Fayetteville Road. Say you're talking to your average family in Fuquay-Varina who just moved in from Trenton a year ago. You want to let them know about your favorite restaurant so you say "It's on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh." They're sure to get confused. First, you'd have to be explicit about Raleigh, since there's a Fayetteville Street in downtown Fuquay-Varina, but that aside they'd still think you're talking about US 401 south of the split. To top it off, there's two sections of Fayetteville Street- the part south of MLK Boulevard, and the part between the Capitol and the BTI Center....

Oh yeah, there's a Fayetteville Road in Durham, too...

But no, in spite of all this, we shouldn't rename Fayetteville Street. That's how it's been for centuries, and that's how it should stay.

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I agree with Jones123. There is a history behind Fayetteville Street, New Bern, Hillsborough, etc., thant relate to their terminus when Raleigh was first drawn out by its founding fathers. I think it is a pretty cool factoid regarding our state capital. If anything, leaving the street name as is pays respect to William Christmas.

The history of street names is interesting to me. I learned this week that Avent Ferry Road has a long history too. Most of you may not know that there is an Avent Ferry that runs through Holly Springs too. It used to be one continous road that joined at Tryon Road prior to some splits and re-routing as development in this area prospered. It ran from its current location in Raleigh thru Holly Springs and from there down to a ferry access on a river in Lee county from what I was told. The creation of Harris Lake obviously created some changes in this road too.

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I agree with Jones123.  There is a history behind Fayetteville Street, New Bern, Hillsborough, etc., thant relate to their terminus when Raleigh was first drawn out by its founding fathers.  I think it is a pretty cool factoid regarding our state capital.  If anything, leaving the street name as is pays respect to William Christmas.

The history of street names is interesting to me.  I learned this week that Avent Ferry Road has a long history too.  Most of you may not know that there is an Avent Ferry that runs through Holly Springs too.  It used to be one continous road that joined at Tryon Road prior to some splits and re-routing as development in this area prospered.  It ran from its current location in Raleigh thru Holly Springs and from there down to a ferry access on a river in Lee county from what I was told.  The creation of Harris Lake obviously created some changes in this road too.

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Avery,

Avent Ferry Road gets even better. Get out a map of inside the beltline Raleigh. Avent Ferry started first with a split off of Hillsborough St where Morgan St swings out near Charlie Goodnights. If you look carefully you'll notice that two tan colored circa 1900 homes (currently with offices) that face Hillsborough sitting on the south side right at the corner of Morgan, kind of start pulling back from Hillsborough. They used to face Avent Ferry as it peeled off towards Holly Springs. Most of Ashe Ave, and Bilyeu St. are what was Avent Ferry Road. Bilyeu does a switchback just north of Western Blvd. as way back when that was a wagon road, wagons could not go straight up hillsides. Many of the trails in Umstead are also old wagon roads with similar switchbacks up and down the hillsides. The western most part of Centennial Parkway also follows what was Avent Ferry Road. In the woods between Bilyeu and Centennial is about a 100 yard long section that has been unused for some unknown length of time. It was never paved but was widened by a grader at some point. All of your famous historical Raleigh figures, columns of civil war troops, native americans, etc. etc. would have walked on that dirt road in a state not too different from what it is in now (minus the abandoned appliances). I am full of this kind of useless stuff if anyone ever wants to know more.

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To add onto that Jones123...my family are original Holly Springs/New Hill people and I am down there quite a bit. If you go down Avent Ferry, heading out of Holly Springs, towards Harris Lake there is a Confederate soldier grave alongside the road. Someone sticks a flag on the shoulder next to the marker. Now, I could be wrong, it may be Revolutionary, but I'm pretty confident it's Confederate. Nonetheless, it is pretty cool to see.

My father in law said that there are old bunkers down in the woods near the creek in a field adjacent to the road. He said they used to play out there and look for things. I've never been down there myself, but I would like to check it out one day. I guess it goes back to the old wagon days of Avent Ferry.

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Since we are on the topic of history and you seem to know a good bit, let me ask you abut downtown. The original 4 squares created by William Christmas were named Caswell, Nash, Burke, for the state's first governors and Moore square.

Why did Raleigh decide to develop some of these? It would have been awesome if they kept them all intact as parks/squares...

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The western most part of Centennial Parkway also follows what was Avent Ferry Road. In the woods between Bilyeu and Centennial is about a 100 yard long section that has been unused for some unknown length of time. It was never paved but was widened by a grader at some point. All of your famous historical Raleigh figures, columns of civil war troops, native americans, etc. etc. would have walked on that dirt road in a state not too different from what it is in now (minus the abandoned appliances).
Interesting! That's exactly where I cut through from Centennial to the NCSU Spring Hill Precinct on my bike when riding to work in the morning.

Parallel to the old Bilyeu Street is an old access road to Cardinal Gibbons called Cardinal Gibbons Drive that is now connected to the Rocky Branch Greenway and closed to vehicular traffic. It is paved but it looks like it has not been maintained for a long time - perhaps since Cardinal Gibbons moved in 1999 but more likely since Centennial Parkway was built in 1989.

This is only tangentially related, but I forsee Pullen Road at Western Boulevard turning into a fully grade separated interchange, and I speculate that the Cardinal Gibbons Drive right-of-way will eventually be used for the connector between Pullen Road on main campus and Oval Drive on Centennial Campus.

I am full of this kind of useless stuff if anyone ever wants to know more.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Please do tell. This is interesting stuff.

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Okay, cool little piece of history in my opinon...

One of my wife's relatives ran a small store in New Hill several years ago at an old crossroads when the old US 1 was the road to travel in Wake County. Did you know that Bonnie and Clyde spent the night there and that Babe Ruth stopped for dinner there before? It is a shame how depressed this little crossroads is now. I drove by it a month ago and it looks totally unimpressive and run-down. It would be neat to turn back the hands of time and see how things were 50 years ago.

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One of my wife's relatives ran a small store in New Hill several years ago at an old crossroads when the old US 1 was the road to travel in Wake County....It would be neat to turn back the hands of time and see how things were 50 years ago.

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I rode my bike right by there a while ago when I rode out to the Tobacco Trail, and I thought exactly the same thing. The old buildings are just completely dilapidated and have probably been shut for years, although it seems like the locals still use it as a bit of a hangout, though.

Another intersection in that neck of the woods that was probably historicaly significant (but doesn't look run down today) is Green Level Road at Green Level Church Road in (you guessed it) Green Level.

Both New Hill and Green Level are still decidedly rural areas, But given their relative proximity to RTP, I give it five years tops before we get things like "The Preserves at Green Level" or "New Hill Meadows, a Gated Golf Community." My money's on fifteen years until Green Level Rd and New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd are five-lane facilities with turn lanes or four lane parkways with a median. At that point, all of these intersections will have strip malls with names like "The Shoppes at Green Level" complete with Harris Teeters, Wachovias, Auto Zones, Citgos, and (most importantly) huge parking lots. Hoo-ray for progress.

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In the map link posted above, if you click near the bottom right corner of the map near the "Lunatic Asylum" you will see Ramcat Road. Before all of the development in Southern Wake County, Holly Springs Road was calld Ramcat Road.

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To add onto that Jones123...my family are original Holly Springs/New Hill people and I am down there quite a bit.  If you go down Avent Ferry, heading out of Holly Springs, towards Harris Lake there is a Confederate soldier grave alongside the road.    Someone sticks a flag on the shoulder next to the marker.  Now, I could be wrong, it may be Revolutionary, but I'm pretty confident it's Confederate.  Nonetheless, it is pretty cool to see. 

My father in law said that there are old bunkers down in the woods near the creek in a field adjacent to the road.  He said they used to play out there and look for things.  I've never been down there myself, but I would like to check it out one day.  I guess it goes back to the old wagon days of Avent Ferry.

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Probably a Civil War era grave, I may make a drive this weekend to check it out. The bunkers you heard about were for a Union firing range while Raleigh was occupied in April 1865. I have read that they are very well preserved although artifact hunters have combed it over pretty well. FYI I read this in a history book about Wake County sold at the City Museum.

I find the New Hill area fascinating. I can practically see Babe Ruth and Bonnie and Clyde cruising through.

Caswell Square was developed by the State for the original school of the deaf and blind (now on Ashe Ave). Burke was first developed as an acadamy for boys kind of like a high school. The State of course later put the governor's mansion there. The arrangement with the two remaining squares is that Raleigh provides the upkeep but the State owns them. Actually both Nash and Moore had schools on them at one time, Moore square having the nickname Baptist Grove for its Babtist School.

Green Level is falling fast. Everything west of Davis drive on High House could be considered the Greenlevel area...man is it beautiful. It was a very active area in colonial Wake County as most of High House is what was once know as Pittsboro Road....as heavily traveled as Avent Ferry (also was know as Avent Ford Road) or Hillsborough Road would have been.

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I agree with Jones123.  There is a history behind Fayetteville Street, New Bern, Hillsborough, etc., thant relate to their terminus when Raleigh was first drawn out by its founding fathers. 

Those names relate not just to the terminus of the streets, but to the fact that these places were former NC capitol cities. New Bern St. was named for our colonial capitol, and we had a "roaming" capitol for many years, with the legislature meeting in New Bern, Fayetteville and Hillsborough in turn. That's why the streets radiating from the center of the city planned to be NC's new permanent capitol were named that way, and why they should stay that way.

Factoid: Raleigh is the only state capitol designed and planned for that purpose.

To change the name of Fayetteville St. is to disregard a significant history.

History of Fayetteville Street:

here

History of Raleigh:

here

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>>Factoid: Raleigh is the only state capitol designed and planned for that purpose.

What about Indianapolis? The legislature decided to put the capital in the precise center of the state. People at the time thought it was crazy to build a city where there were no rivers.

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What about Indianapolis? The legislature decided to put the capital in the precise center of the state. People at the time thought it was crazy to build a city where there were no rivers.

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Don't know much about Indy-- wasn't it already in existance when they located the capitol there? Trying to locate my source for the Raleigh factiod-- could swear I've read that in a couple of different places, but maybe I got it wrong? <_<

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Don't know much about Indy-- wasn't it already in existance when they located the capitol there?  Trying to locate my source for the Raleigh factiod-- could swear I've read that in a couple of different places, but maybe I got it wrong? <_<

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Columbia, South Carolina. Planned and built as the State Capital.

SC legislature voted on March 22, 1786 to create a new state capital and the second planned city in the United States.

The commissioners designed a town of 400 Blocks in a two-mile square along the river. The blocks were divided into half-acre lots and sold to speculators and prospective residents. The perimeter streets and two through streets were 150 feet wide. The remaining squares were divided by thoroughfares 100 feet wide.

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