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The History of the Triangle


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Thanks for the lesson. I never knew about that building, and would certainly be great to still have it (although it would just be full of old people who don't spend money at street level retail)

Roanoke, VA was the first thing that came to mind when I read the thread title. They have a tudor-styled grand hotel downtown and a thriving commercial district. The city is about the size of Durham and was once a very wealthy railroad center, so like Durham, there was a lot of money back in the era when people built great houses.

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I think I read somewhere that the building was slowly falling into disrepair by the time it was demolished in the mid '70's. I believe it had become a bit seedy under the Jack Tar moniker and was closed for a few years before the city bought or recieved it and decided to tear it down in hopes of getting a better building in it's place. Was anything ever built on the former lot or is it an empty lot today?

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I think I read somewhere that the building was slowly falling into disrepair by the time it was demolished in the mid '70's. I believe it had become a bit seedy under the Jack Tar moniker and was closed for a few years before the city bought or recieved it and decided to tear it down in hopes of getting a better building in it's place. Was anything ever built on the former lot or is it an empty lot today?

Yeah, at that time there was little will to spend money on that kind of restoration. Out with the old- in with the new.

It remained an open lot since its demolition. Up until the current plaza reconstruction, it was a parking lot. I'm kind of glad they didn't put something new in it's place, given the architectural fads of the time.

Before the Washington Duke/Jack Tar I think the city hall occupied that space. The post office originally sat where the CCB/Suntrust Tower is today.

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Found these two maps a while back. The 1920 bluebook map has Boylan Heights as the most recent development shown. You can see how it is the first divergence from Raleigh's grid pattern. The 1951 Topo shows the huge explosion northward, post WWII facilitated by automobiles. Inner city flight was in full bloom soon to be facilitated by big time road improvements in the mid 50's. You can almost smell the beltline cooking....

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Edited by Jones133
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Found these two maps a while back. The 1920 bluebook map has Boylan Heights as the most recent development shown. You can see how it is the first divergence from Raleigh's grid pattern. The 1951 Topo shows the huge explosion northward, post WWII facilitated by automobiles. Inner city flight was in full bloom soon to be facilitated by big time road improvements in the mid 50's. You can almost smell the beltline cooking....

So...in 1920 you could get to Oxford by traveling north OR south?!! :rofl:

the 1951 map is most interesting in that it has Anderson Drive, but there's no Wade Ave. I suppose Wade is the result of a little connector here and there to make a full-fledged artery, kind of like Shelley Rd's morph into Millbrook.

Edited by dmccall
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These are interesting maps. Although we can blame the automobile, the train tracks really appear to be a major facilitator to the lack of the grid.

As heavy industry moves away from DT, I hope the city state and RR work to realign these. Yes, I understand there are rail yards inside the beltline, but its still a pipe dream of mine.

Edited by Transplant
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These are interesting maps. Although we can blame the automobile, the train tracks really appear to be a major facilitator to the lack of the grid.

As heavy industry moves away from DT, I hope the city state and RR work to realign these. Yes, I understand there are rail yards inside the beltline, but its still a pipe dream of mine.

I've put a great deal of thought about this too given my obsession with railroads. The lines south & west of downtown aren't really a problem and would be very difficult indeed to relocate, but to the north there is a great opportunity for consolidation. The two railroads heading north from downtown don't just hinder the city's connectivity, they are also an operational burden for the railroads.

The Norfolk Southern line next to Glenwood Avenue and west of Capital Boulevard should be deactivated, and become a rail-trail (or maybe transit - a way for light rail on Glenwood to bypass Glenwood South) while freight trains could be on a shared CSX alignment east of Capital and parallel to TTA, as far north as Edgeton where the lines cross beneath Wake Forest Road. The biggest reason this can't or hasn't happened yet is that Norfolk-Southern's busy Glenwood Yard is on the segment that would be deactivated. The yard, however, is tiny (as freight yards go), not very modern, physically constrained, and in the Roanoke Park historic neighborhood so it has significant potential for redevelopment, and could help to reconnect Captial with the rest of town. If NCRR bought a large lot directly on the tracks between Raleigh and Garner, we could certainly bring Norfolk-Southern to the table.

Bringing CSX to the table would be more difficult. They would benefit from removal of the diamond at Edgeton and simplified freight transfers to/from Norfolk-Southern, but besides that only money would talk, since it would probably require re-negotiation of the entire TTA deal. The yard would need to lose some capacity for an added through-track. We might also lose one or both of the canopies at the historic Seaboard station (Logan Trading Co.)if we are to fit the two-track TTA line as well as a consolodated freight main line between the station building and the Cotton Mill. Something else that would be nice (but expensive) would be grade separations at Harrington/West, and a few streets across (under?) the yard - probably Wade or Fairview connecting to Halifax.

Edited by orulz
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RE the 1920 map- Am I correct in my assumption that the bolded streets are streetcar lines?

I am pretty sure these are the signed US routes through Raleigh at the time...US 1 came down Wake Forest Rd, went around the capital and out Hillsborough St to Cary, and US 70 had just been completed (circa 1917?) along the brand new Glenwood Ave and proceeded south out of Raleigh to Garner along what is now Garner Rd. (Holleman Rd on the map.) An aside...Leesville Rd and its remnants were once US 70 between Raleigh and Durham too. If it is the streetcar routes it is an incomplete depiction. I am not really sure what is up with bold streets east of Union Square but it does resemble the street car routes in that area.

Edited by Jones133
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the 1951 map is most interesting in that it has Anderson Drive, but there's no Wade Ave. I suppose Wade is the result of a little connector here and there to make a full-fledged artery, kind of like Shelley Rd's morph into Millbrook

There was a really interesting story on the history of Wade Avenue in the News and Observer a year or two ago. It talked about how the street came to be, and how at the time it was too expensive to grade, so that's why it's so incredibly hilly.

If you're interested, you may be able to find it on the N&O's website.

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There was a really interesting story on the history of Wade Avenue in the News and Observer a year or two ago. It talked about how the street came to be, and how at the time it was too expensive to grade, so that's why it's so incredibly hilly.

If you're interested, you may be able to find it on the N&O's website.

Thanks! One of these days.... I'm going to have a ball poking around old N&O's in the library. I really want to read about the N/S expressway that was supposed to go where Atlantic Avenue is. From what my mother says there were two Oakwood houses that were supposed to be razed and neighborhood protests killed off the project.

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Thanks! One of these days.... I'm going to have a ball poking around old N&O's in the library. I really want to read about the N/S expressway that was supposed to go where Atlantic Avenue is. From what my mother says there were two Oakwood houses that were supposed to be razed and neighborhood protests killed off the project.

One of the plans on the City of Raleigh website is teh Odell Plan and it showed it plowing south between East and Bloodworth....unless it was a viaduct Its pretty safe to assume every house between East and Bloodworth was black balled.

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An excerpt of a webpage on streetcar development in Raleigh:

According to one writer, "Raleigh was stung by the report that Charlotte had beat it to electric car service."[26]Dr. S. J. Jacobs of Iowa purchased the existing streetcar charter and announced ambitious plans. Arrangements were made for Edison General Electric Company to furnish electrification and four elegant trolley cars to be purchased from Philadelphia. Disputes developed between the owners and construction company, and some electric wires were removed. To resolve matters, Baltimore bondholders became involved, and Raleigh residents bought $50,000 in bonds to finance construction of the streetcar system. When he became unable to pay a bill for machinery, Dr. Jacobs quietly left Raleigh and never returned.

The Raleigh Street Railway Company, however, began scheduled runs on September 1, 1891. The system covered the same general route as the mule-drawn system. From downtown, the tracks ran west along Hillsboro Street (now Hillsborough) as far as St. Mary's College, north on Blount Street to Brookside Park near Oakwood Cemetery, and down Fayetteville and Cabarrus streets to the depot southwest of downtown. When the company failed in 1894, James H. Cutler of Boston, who already had streetcar interests in Asheville and other southern cities, acquired more investors and reorganized the company as the Raleigh Electric Company.

Carolina and Power & Light Company, organized in 1908 in Raleigh, incorporated Raleigh Electric and its streetcars, other area utilities, and the newly built Buckhorn dam and plant on the Cape Fear River. Only Fayetteville Street, of all the streetcar routes, was paved at the time. Frank Shearin, a conductor, recalled,

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/522700.html

I know Boylan Apartments. The other two I'm not so familiar with.

The BB&T building is the current Capital Bank building. Mary Elizabeth is the YWCA near the Mordecai neighborhood on Wake Forest Road. Funny that Boylan Apartments replaced a much older mansion...I imagine the current owners of these buildings are seeking tax credits.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update: http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/530082.html Looks like there will be a hearing for Boylan Apts' entry on list.

I drove by recently and saw what looked like construction...renovating perhaps?

Renovation indeed.....owner is probably looking to 1) make the places nicer to accomodate a need for apartments downtown that are nicer than the Cameron Court/Raleigh Apartments/current Boylan Apartments stock we have but not as expensive as renting a new condo in the Paramount or Dawson....say around 700-1000 a month units are sorely lacking downtown and 2) owner wants to get the 30% Federal Tax credit for these renovations for structures on the Federal Register. I know the owner has recently become familiar with historic tax credits....one problem though....costs incurred must be after the property is listed on the register to be eligible for the tax credit, note to all you historic property owning folks....

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  • 4 weeks later...

This Triangle History topic is one that I sort of created out of several other topics that seemed to focus on a similar theme regarding individual historic buildings and even old maps, and anecdotes from the past. Indeed there are plenty of things we can learn from the successes and mistake of our past.

I know there are a few folks who feel passionate about both preserving the history we still have AND constructing new buildings in our downtowns. I think most would say that historic preservation actually enhances the urban-ness of a city and I agree.

On that note, here's an article on the 100th anniversary of Boylan Heights. (More info at this site.)

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While driving around last weekend, my fiancee was curious about the history of the house behind what used to be Raleigh Community Hospital on Wake Forest Road in Mordecai. It has a gazebo near the north end of the property. Was it part of the hospital? Does anyone live there? It seemed like it could use some upkeep from the parking lot and side street, but was quite interesting.

The Wake county website has the property listed as being owern occupied and built in 1889, with rennovations in 1970. But there's nothing about the history of the 4,200+ square foot house.

Edited by ncwebguy
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While driving around last weekend, my fiancee was curious about the history of the house behind what used to be Raleigh Community Hospital on Wake Forest Road in Mordecai. It has a gazebo near the north end of the property. Was it part of the hospital? Does anyone live there? It seemed like it could use some upkeep from the parking lot and side street, but was quite interesting.

I will dig and edit this post some....It was not part of the hospital and is occupied last I heard. I believe the construction date was 1881.

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