The H.J. Brown Coffin House Building was the early twentieth-century headquarters for a local business established in 1836. Originally a cabinet shop and later a maker of coffins, it evolved into an undertaking and mortuary company that eventually became Brown-Wynne Funeral Home. It is Raleigh’s oldest continuously operating business. The Classical Revival style exhibited by the 1907 headquarters building was typical of the early twentieth century—the columns, corner quoins, and bracketed cornice all promoted the idea of a solid, stable business operating within. By the 1970s, the company had moved out. To refresh the old building, a new Brutalist skin was applied, covering all Classical Revival detailing. A 2013 remodel uncovered the original edifice and restored the architectural detail, painstakingly replicating the cornice and the iron-flecked bricks.
Date: 1907, ca. 1920