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The History of the Triangle


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I know we've discussed this on here before but not on this thread... this is one of my favorite old relics in town. That is, the old steel truss bridge over Crabtree Creek off of Glenwood just west of Crabtree Valley Mall. If you've ever walked down the Crabtree Creek greenway by there, you've probably seen it.

From the greenway side (peeking through a gate that clearly says "do not enter" and cites some city ordinance)

oldbridge1.jpg

oldbridge2.jpg

From the Glenwood side. There are no do not enter signs here but several boards have clearly rotted away so it's almost certainly not safe.

oldbridge3.jpg

Interestingly, there's actually an address marker on the bridge (would have taken a picture of it but my camera's batteries died.) That, and the fact that there is a curb cut on glenwood for the bridge, makes me think that at some point within the last 20 years or so, this old bridge actually served as somebody's driveway.

So. Who knows anything about it? When was it built? (I would guess prior to or around 1920.) What road did it carry, originally? When did it become obsolete? What was it a driveway for and when was it closed completely?

Also - Why hasn't the city removed it? There are obvious safety and liability concerns. Would be cool if they could reuse this bridge for something rather than just let it rust away into oblivion and eventual collapse. Just a link to the existing greenway from Glenwood would be nice, but better yet, it could be a part of a greenway link up to Lake Lynn. Further exploration reveals that nearby, there is a large arch culvert (10' clearance?) that carries Hare Snipe Creek under Glenwood. Even with recent rains there would have been enough space to walk through it and keep my feet dry so maybe a greenway could go through that. It's visible from an office building parking lot:

culvert1.jpg

culvert2.jpg

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I've been meaning to do this for years, but here are finally some pictures of the dam, that I am 99% sure the community of Millbrook is named for. The dam is located behind the Raleigh Racquet Club. A

I've long thought news places come on here for ideas for articles. RE the mill site, I haven't been out there in a couple of years but addendums to their article from my memory...it looks like the dam

more on the Millbrook milldam (does someone on this site work for ABC11?) https://abc11.com/5189028/?fbclid=IwAR3Z6FmslRvIYXKpFgqyl1wMZWM9FX3vdBGcp15P4iGxFB7ftqbpmLeX2H0  

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Sorry Orulz, I did do some map research and it appears to have been the driveway for a home that sat up the hill where those new apartments on the Creedmoor extension now are. You should be able to follow the old driveway at least to where the site was graded for the apartments. My thinking is that it was one of the many country estates up Glenwood (also Wake Forest and Captial Blvd had some) that local Raleigh bigshots had back in the 50's-70's such as Kidd Brewer. I have not seen any pictures but was not thinking it was terribly old, since its placement seems to correspond to when US 70 was realigned to this spot from its original Leesville Road route in the 50's but I could certainly be wrong.

Edited by Jones133
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Sorry Orulz, I did do some map research and it appears to have been the driveway for a home that sat up the hill where those new apartments on the Creedmoor extension now are. You should be able to follow the old driveway at least to where the site was graded for the apartments. My thinking is that it was one of the many country estates up Glenwood (also Wake Forest and Captial Blvd had some) that local Raleigh bigshots had back in the 50's-70's such as Kidd Brewer. I have not seen any pictures but was not thinking it was terribly old, since its placement seems to correspond to when US 70 was realigned to this spot from its original Leesville Road route in the 50's but I could certainly be wrong.

the house was there until about 10 years ago. The birdge in fact was a driveway to the house, but I do not know if it was also access to any other properties

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Reading in the paper this morning about the Lafeyette joining the Reynolds Tower on the scrap heap, I started wondering...although the building torn down to make way for the Reynolds Tower certainly wasn't historic or notable, it has, nonetheless been replaced by a parking lot that is likely to be there for years if not decades. What OTHER great Raleigh buildings in the 60s and 70s were demolished to make way for projects that were never built? I suspect the demolition of some of the grand homes along Blount Street where those acres of asphalt now are was justified as needed for some building scheme that never materialized...

What else have we lost to building proposals that disappeared not long after the beautiful, notable, or historic structures they were supposed to replace?

My list includes: -old Meredith College (didn't the state have some plan to put something on that lot?

-that nicely restored commercial building (it was painted yellow) in the block across the street from 42nd street that was demolished last week, and which is also likely to devolve into an asphalt parking lot, unfortunately.

If I ran the city, developers of projects like this would be required to post a bond to cover the cost of at least providing some nice landscaping for the cleared sites of these projects (maybe that requirement already exists?) when they evolve into semi-permanent parking lots...

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Not exactly in keeping with your thesis, but the Park Hotel was where the N&O parking lot is....7 stories with a tower, all brick. Peace college, the churches and government have done equal amounts of destruction across downtown. One of the buildings next to Pooles was altered but 100 years old and the Ell building has yet to start.

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The sites of Reynolds Tower and the Lafeyette will eventually have something on them, IMO. I doubt the "ell" ever gets built, and twenty years from now will be a trivia question..."Why is that parking deck look finished on two sides, and ugly on the other two?" And all of us will know and remember...

I believe the entire concept of the "ell" building was marginal from the start at this stage of downtown density (and is exhibit A as to the mania of the recent and now deflated real estate lending bubble). Look at the deck at the corner of Cabarrus and wilmington...they reserved space on street level there for commercial development, and nothing has happened there in over 10 years...Given the glut of street level commercial space that is unused or underused, it will be decades before the demand reaches a level that street level retail in and around parking decks becomes financially viable to develop.

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Interesting collection. Of particular interest to me was the 1977 shot of the Legislative Building that appears to show a house across Lane Street, where the pedestrian bridge is now...I thought they had cleared all the State Government mall area by then (indeed, you can see the Archdale Building and the Dobbs Building in the picture--the Legislative Office Building had apparently not yet been built.

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Interesting collection. Of particular interest to me was the 1977 shot of the Legislative Building that appears to show a house across Lane Street, where the pedestrian bridge is now...I thought they had cleared all the State Government mall area by then (indeed, you can see the Archdale Building and the Dobbs Building in the picture--the Legislative Office Building had apparently not yet been built.

That's the Seaboard building before it was moved across Salisbury Street.

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  • 5 months later...

^

It was demolished. I drive by the New Hope/Buffaloe Rd. intersection about everyday and the house that was on that lot is gone, other than the chimney standing there alone.

No surprise...that area is just about filled with cheap, cookie cutter subdivisions, and judging by the recent crime stories, is well on its way to being Raleigh's next ghetto.

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^

It was demolished. I drive by the New Hope/Buffaloe Rd. intersection about everyday and the house that was on that lot is gone, other than the chimney standing there alone.

Burned down actually (controlled). It was a big spectator event about ~2 weekends ago. Some more (info / links to pictures) can be found in this thread:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/raleigh-durham-chapel-hill-cary/933281-corner-new-hope-buffaloe.html

- Neal

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I find it sickly amusing that the good ol' boy fire fighters are grinning so big as they burn down their heritage. I understand 100% that firefighters need live burns to train, but I see dozens of half built cookie cutter homes at the end of cul-de-sacs that would fit the bill just fine. The Yankees didn't need Sherman to burn the South....Southerners would have gotten to it themselves in time....

great post for my #2500

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In a separate post for anyone that cares about little minutiae such as this...

Raleigh as recent as the 1920's, had three distinct roads that led to the Town of Hillsborough but all go back to at least the civil war. They have had different names over the years but generally can be called lower, middle and upper Hillsborough Roads. The lower one is what we know as highway 54 for the most part. Some modern realignments have sidestepped the original path through places like Cary and RTP and Durham. The middle Hillsborough Road split off from the lower at the current Meredith College and appears as modern Reedy Creek Road in Umstead. The one that has eluded me has been the portion of the upper road inside the beltline. I have long suspected it was Lead Mine/Town and Country/Millbrook/Leesville road outside the beltline....this is pretty well confirmed by what I found yesterday....

UNC libraries map section has overlay maps online. I found a precinct map from 1935 and they laid it over a modern google map. Its pretty big, so at first I did not notice a dotted line that said old Hillsborough Road. I have an even older 1870's map without much detail that shows it starting somewhere near Peace and Glenwood of today. The 1935 map shows this road clearly splitting from St Mary's Street at Nichols, crossing through old Rex's left wing and is clearly modern McDonald Road. After that it resumes as modern Oberlin Road. From there it most likely was Modern Glenwood until you get to Lead Mine. The best part of this though, is that, I have long heard that off Jarvis somewhere was some old road bed. Old Hillsborough Road clearly crosses modern Jarvis and forms a T with the eastern deadend of Arlington Street on the overlay. Looking at the size of these folks yards, and the fact that Arlington does not end into a driveway, you should be able to see (I have not been to check yet but will soon) part of the old upper Hillsborough Road. To me its cool to think about things like confederate troops retreating up this road to Bennett Place (I have read the column took all three roads to Durham to confuse Kilpatrick, Shermans head of cavalry). Anyway, I spend years with a day here and there trying to crack puzzles like this and was obviously excited to finally piece this one together.

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Leesville Road from the Crabtree area into Durham was once signed as North Carolina state highway 9. In those days, US 70 was routed through Cary and Morrisville. I suspect the NC 9 designator was dropped circa 1950 when the "new" US 70 opened, a straight shot from the Crabtree vicinity to Durham. I also suspect that Leesville Road has its origins in the 19th century, if not the 18th.

Edited by ctl
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In a separate post for anyone that cares about little minutiae such as this...

Raleigh as recent as the 1920's, had three distinct roads that led to the Town of Hillsborough but all go back to at least the civil war. They have had different names over the years but generally can be called lower, middle and upper Hillsborough Roads. The lower one is what we know as highway 54 for the most part. Some modern realignments have sidestepped the original path through places like Cary and RTP and Durham. The middle Hillsborough Road split off from the lower at the current Meredith College and appears as modern Reedy Creek Road in Umstead. The one that has eluded me has been the portion of the upper road inside the beltline. I have long suspected it was Lead Mine/Town and Country/Millbrook/Leesville road outside the beltline....this is pretty well confirmed by what I found yesterday....

UNC libraries map section has overlay maps online. I found a precinct map from 1935 and they laid it over a modern google map. Its pretty big, so at first I did not notice a dotted line that said old Hillsborough Road. I have an even older 1870's map without much detail that shows it starting somewhere near Peace and Glenwood of today. The 1935 map shows this road clearly splitting from St Mary's Street at Nichols, crossing through old Rex's left wing and is clearly modern McDonald Road. After that it resumes as modern Oberlin Road. From there it most likely was Modern Glenwood until you get to Lead Mine. The best part of this though, is that, I have long heard that off Jarvis somewhere was some old road bed. Old Hillsborough Road clearly crosses modern Jarvis and forms a T with the eastern deadend of Arlington Street on the overlay. Looking at the size of these folks yards, and the fact that Arlington does not end into a driveway, you should be able to see (I have not been to check yet but will soon) part of the old upper Hillsborough Road. To me its cool to think about things like confederate troops retreating up this road to Bennett Place (I have read the column took all three roads to Durham to confuse Kilpatrick, Shermans head of cavalry). Anyway, I spend years with a day here and there trying to crack puzzles like this and was obviously excited to finally piece this one together.

would that road have been paved with anything, or would you just be looking for a road bed? Also, did this road predate the extension of St. Mary's through there? If it diverged from St. Mary's at Nichols, it would have been running parallel to that road less than a block distant for nearly a mile...perhaps they closed this road when they built St. Mary's through there?

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would that road have been paved with anything, or would you just be looking for a road bed? Also, did this road predate the extension of St. Mary's through there? If it diverged from St. Mary's at Nichols, it would have been running parallel to that road less than a block distant for nearly a mile...perhaps they closed this road when they built St. Mary's through there?

Yeah, I think St Mary's was more or less the replacement for this road in the 1920's when Hayes Barton was going in. Oberlin Village already existed though and to me it looks like an attempt to keep the very expensive Hayes Barton somewhat separate from Oberlin Village. Glenwood replaced the upper Hillsborough Road as the corridor into Raleigh around this time though I don't know exactly when. I know Glenwood got its name from the Glenwood neighborhood and was called Saunders before that and it took over as the long distance route into Raleigh while St Marys was a residential neighborhood.

Here is the link to the overlay maps. Look under Wake County for the 1935 map.

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My own story, while they were burying the power lines on Hillsborough Street between St. Mary's and Glenwood I watched the workers cutting wood and what looked to be an old railroad track. I did a little searching and realized that it was the old street car line that use to run along Hillsborough St. I guess they just repave over and over. I say we dig it out and use it!!! How cool would that be, a street tram from the Capital to NCSU. The tracks are already there, could be cheap. TTA, any thoughts, could be a great first mass transit scheme :thumbsup:

Deja vu, the current Glenwood Avenue street reconstruction project at Five Point stalled out in April when they "found" buried streetcar rail and crumbled concrete. The rails were visiblle beginning in May after surface scraping, and the excavation of the old rail began a few days ago. A photo album I just put together and posted shows literally tons of trolley rail dug up, along with dug up timbers (ties) on which the rails rested. The Glenwood Avenue line was built in 1912 to run out to Bloomsbury Park, and was probably abandoned about 1937. I am not sure when it was paved over. The second picture in the album shows an orange sign on a utility pole urges neighbors to find out about the impact of Southeast High Speed Rail on the neighborhood (the NS line is a few hundred yards or so east of Five Points)

Mike Legeors posted a lot of photos of the Five Points area rail taken June 2010 (post scraping pre excavation)

A nice history of Bloomsbury Park and the streetcar line to it with some pictures is around page 24-26 of the January 2010 isse of Wake County Physician magazine

Hustle out to Five Points in the next day or two if you get a chance.

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  • 5 months later...

Mr Brown.

This house on South Street in Boylans Heights looks to be older than the the neighborhood itself (the 1900 date listed I know is just a sort of autofill I see all over the site, but is still older than 1907 the neighborhood date). This is of course in addition to the antebellum house (carriage house?) behind Montford Hall. The South Street house appears 1890's to me. Do you know any details? Thanks.

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