Late Nineteenth Century, 1866-1899

Education, manufacturing, and retail expand in Raleigh's healthy economy at the end of the nineteenth century

The exuberance and variety of late-nineteenth-century architecture contrasts with the simpler and more restrained styles seen in earlier periods. The nearly palatial Briggs Hardware Building, which towered over Fayetteville Street upon its construction in 1874, also illustrates the robust health of the building trade in Raleigh a decade after the Civil War. Similarly, the expansion of prestigious residential districts along Hillsborough Street and N. Blount Street testifies to the growth and prosperity of the city during this period. Residential architecture from the time includes popular Victorian styles like the Queen Anne, Second Empire, and Italianate and reflects a move toward nationally popular architectural styles.

Manufacturing and higher education expanded the identity of what had long been a government town. The schools that became Saint Augustine's College, Shaw University, and the North Carolina State University were established in this period. The textile mills founded on the edge of town in this period also became engines for the thriving economy. The prosperity experienced in Raleigh in the late nineteenth century set the stage for the sustained growth that characterized Raleigh in the twentieth century.

Caraleigh Mills

Caraleigh Mills is the largest of the six textile mills built in Raleigh. Caraleigh manufactured raw cotton and wool yardage as well as finished sheet goods in the first half of the twentieth century and synthetic fabrics in the second half,…

Estey Hall, Shaw University

Estey Hall was the first structure built for the higher education of African American women in the United States and is the oldest surviving building on the Shaw University campus. Designed by G. S. H. Appleget, the building has a cross-gabled roof…

Grand United Order of Odd Fellows Building

An early commercial building, this utilitarian, three-story painted brick structure was originally a clothing warehouse and manufacturing facility. The Grand United Order of Odd Fellows (GUOOF), an African American fraternal organization, purchased…

Early Store Building (Heilig-Levine)

The three-story Heilig-Levine Furniture store remains one of the few intact nineteenth century commercial buildings surviving downtown. Built as a hotel, it displays the heavily bracketed cornice and tall arched windows of the Italianate style. Two…

Prairie Building

This three-story brick commercial building is the surviving north half of a larger Italianate commercial building. By 1884, the building housed commercial establishments on the first floor with apartments on the second and third levels. Built by…

Briggs Hardware Building

The red brick Briggs Hardware Building is Raleigh's only late-nineteenth-century commercial building to survive essentially unaltered since its construction. Decorative lion heads distinguish the facade of Raleigh's first skyscraper, as do…

Carolina Trust/Mahler Buildings

The 1876 Romanesque Revival Mahler Building originally housed a jewelry store and offices. The Carolina Trust Building is a 1902 Colonial Revival bank. McLellan's Five & Dime Store purchased first the Carolina Trust, then the Mahler…

Federal Building (Century Post Office)

The office of Alfred B. Mullet, supervising architect of the United States Treasury Department, designed what was to be the first federal project in North Carolina following the Civil War. The building, which contains federal offices in addition to…

Water Tower

The City of Raleigh erected this octagonal brick tower to house its water supply in 1887; the structure included an attached two-story office building. Prominent Raleigh architect William Henley Dietrick removed the defunct tank in 1938 and converted…

North Carolina School for the Blind and Deaf Dormitory

Architect Frank P. Milburn designed this Chateauesque building that stands on Caswell Square, one of the five public squares in the original 1792 plan for Raleigh. The dormitory comprises a hip-roofed main block with parapeted gable projections and…

Dodd-Hinsdale House

The Victorian-era home of Raleigh mayor William H. Dodd and later of attorney and legislator John Wetmore Hinsdale features a variety of architectural details. The house combines an Italianate-bracketed cornice, a Second Empire mansard-roofed tower,…

Tucker Carriage House

This rare surviving carriage house, which escaped the 1968 demolition of the Tucker Mansion, has unusually detailed features for an outbuilding. The patterned shingle walls and multi-colored slate roof are typical of the Queen Anne style. The…

Holladay Hall, NC State University

Holladay Hall has an irregular H-shape plan with a three-story main pavilion flanked by two-and-one-half-story gable-roofed wings. It employs both Classical and Romanesque details. Originally called Main Building but renamed for the college's…

North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Cottage

In 1886, this two-story frame farmhouse stood on ten acres well beyond the city limits. The Agricultural Experiment Station conducted research on tobacco, cotton, rice, and pea crops as well as on fertilizer, soil properties, insect control, and…

Willis Graves House

Willis Graves, an African American brick mason, built this two-and-a-half-story frame Queen Anne house soon after buying the land in 1884. The square corner turret and front bay window with roof pediment are placed on a basic I-house form. The house,…

Plummer T. Hall House

The picturesque one-story frame Queen Anne cottage was built for Plummer T. Hall, the first pastor of the Oberlin Baptist Church, as a wedding present for his bride. The house, which remains in the Hall family, has a turreted porch and bay window as…

Latta House & University Site

In 1892, freed slave and teacher Rev. M. L. Latta founded Latta University, a coeducational institution established to educate underprivileged and orphaned children in Raleigh's African American community. Located in historic Oberlin, the Latta…

Oberlin Cemetery

Oberlin Cemetery is a 3-acre site within the Oberlin community, once a thriving African American village located on Raleigh's outskirts. According to oral tradition, the cemetery originally acted as a slave burial ground. As Oberlin grew through…

Pilot-Crompton Mill

An urban-based industrial complex two blocks north of the 1881 city limits, the mill buildings and accompanying worker housing mirrored those of rural mill sites. James and William H. Williamson established the mill for the manufacture of unfinished…

Norburn Terrace

Designed by architect A. G. Bauer, Norburn Terrace is an excellent example of Victorian-era residential design. Originally sited on a fifteen-acre tract carved from the Mordecai Plantation, Norburn Terrace boasted picturesque grounds with meandering…

Raleigh Cotton Mills

This structure stands as a relatively rare example of late-nineteenth-century industrial architecture in Raleigh, a city that has always been a government, education, and market center rather than an industrial town. The solid brick construction,…

Gray-Fish-Richardson House

This two-and-a-half-story frame dwelling is an excellent example of a middle-class home of the late nineteenth century, and it is one of the few houses on Blount Street that remains on its original site. Although it features the Eastlake and…

Capehart House

Lucy Catherine Moore Capehart, daughter of a prominent state legislator, had this imposing brick house with elaborate wood and stone ornamentation built on then-fashionable N. Wilmington Street. Designed by A. G. Bauer, it is one of the finest…

Lee House

This two-story frame house features details and characteristics of the Neoclassical Revival style. Slender Ionic columns support the wrap-around porch; the pedimented front entry is particularly noteworthy. Private residence. Date: 1899

Higgs-Coble-Helms House

The overall style of the two-story, wood frame Higgs-Coble-Helms house is Italianate but it has the asymmetrical composition typical of Queen Anne dwellings. Its second-story windows are capped by pedimented surrounds supported by brackets that are…

Andrews-Duncan House

G. S. H. Appleget designed this symmetrical Italianate home for Confederate Captain Alexander B. Andrews. Although much different than the Heck-Andrews House in its overall effect, there are similarities in the window surrounds, finely ornamented…

Heck-Andrews House

Architect G. S. H. Appleget designed this house for Confederate Colonel Jonathan McGee Heck. A characteristic mansard roof caps the Second Empire house and a dramatic central tower adorns the facade. Patterned slate and ornate brackets, window…

Hawkins-Hartness House

According to tradition, this house was built as a surprise by Dr. William J. Hawkins for his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Alexander B. Hawkins. Mrs. Hawkins had the ninety-two-foot Eastlake verandah added to soften the brick facade. Mrs.…

Executive Mansion, Burke Square

Located on one of the five public squares provided in Raleigh's initial city plan of 1792, the governor's home is an unusually symmetrical Queen Anne dwelling designed by architect Samuel Sloan of Philadelphia and his assistant Gustavus…

Leonidas R. Wyatt House

Master builder Thomas H. Briggs built this simple but stylish Italianate dwelling for local harness maker Leonidas Wyatt and his wife Cora. The house features molded eaves, projecting bay windows, molded window and door surrounds, and porch brackets.…

Free Church of the Good Shepherd

This board and batten Carpenter Gothic-style church, designed by Reverend Johannes A. S. Oertel, was constructed in 1874 and augmented in 1899 and 1914. Its modest design reflects the congregation's beliefs (which broke away from Christ…

Carey J. Hunter House

A smaller late-nineteenth-century dwelling became the rear wing of this commodious Queen Anne/Colonial Revival transitional house, erected around 1900 by businessman Carey J. Hunter for himself and his family. The complicated massing suggests its…

Chapel, St. Augustine College

The chapel is one of the oldest surviving buildings on Saint Augustine's campus. Students built the irregular T-shaped chapel of native granite under the direction of Rev. Henry Beard Delany. The broad overhangs of the gable roof are reminiscent…

Horton-Beckham-Bretsch House

The ca. 1895 Horton-Beckham-Bretsch House is a bold and now rare example of the Eastlake cottage style in Raleigh. The crowning feature of the house is its front porch with Eastlake-style details that extends the width of the facade, punctuated by…

Lewis-Joyner House

James Yadkin Joyner lived here throughout his influential tenure as the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, which lasted from 1902 to 1919. J.Y. Joyner oversaw a maturation of the state’s educational system, focusing on teacher…