Early Twentieth Century, 1900-1945

Raleigh expands by leaps and bounds with suburban development and the growth of the transportation infrastructure


Waves of suburban development forced the physical expansion of Raleigh throughout the first half of the twentieth century. The city limits billowed to the north and west to encompass the white, middle-class suburbs developing on land once considered remote. First the streetcar system and later automobile ownership made such locations attractive in the twentieth century. Deed restrictions kept these new subdivisions segregated. Established African American neighborhoods southeast of the center of the city continued to grow as well, and early twentieth-century suburbs for African Americans were established nearby.


The growth of retail and educational facilities, particularly public grammar and high schools, accompanied the population increase and the expansion of residential areas in Raleigh.


The proliferation of rail lines made Raleigh a distribution center in the early twentieth century. Industrial and retail buildings near the rail lines, particularly east of the heart of downtown, reflect that period and function.


The Depression and World War II did slow growth in Raleigh in the early 1930s and again in the late 1940s. Several properties from the late 1930s and early 1940s, however, reflect the New Deal programs that the federal government initiated in order to keep people working during that time.

This Craftsman bungalow is typical of dwellings built in the early twentieth century in Method, a neighborhood that evolved from an 1872 freedman’s village. The area was rural and miles beyond Raleigh’s nineteenth-century limits. By the 1920s, Method was evolving into a suburb. The population…
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The buildings and athletic facilities remaining at the Berry O’Kelly School campus reflect the history of an important Raleigh institution. Residents of the freedman’s village that evolved into Method had always prioritized education. Three schools existed in the late nineteenth century before…
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Raleigh established City Cemetery in 1798, one of the earliest public burying grounds in the state. Narrow lanes divide the original four acres into segregated quadrants. Graves for African Americans are in the southeast quadrant, for white citizens of Raleigh in the two north quadrants, and for…
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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…
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The Carolina Pines Resort and Hotel opened in 1933, promising an idyllic and diversified recreational facility accessible to all members of society. The two-story Colonial Revival hotel stood on four hundred and fifty acres and included a variety of recreational accommodations: two eighteen-hole…
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The Lawrence House is a rare and early example of a hollow-core concrete-block Craftsman bungalow. Bungalows, a popular house type in Raleigh and across the country in the 1920s, generally are of frame or brick construction and very commonly are dressed in the Craftsman style. Gustav Stickley…
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Funded by a local bond and federal public works money, the City built the Bain Water Treatment Plant on the site of the still-operating 1887 Raleigh Water Works without interrupting the water supply. The 1940 Art Moderne plant features dramatic stepped massing at the exterior and vaulted interior…
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This was the first public high school for African Americans in Raleigh and continued as the only such school until 1953. Many influential members of the Raleigh African American community were Washington High School graduates. The building is an example of the Jacobean style popular for school…
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Thirty-six hand-carved, hand-painted horses--all jumpers--carry revelers around and around on the Chavis Park Carousel, a gem in the WPA-era park built for African Americans in segregated Raleigh. Before Chavis Park, African Americans had only limited access to Raleigh's Pullen Park; the story…
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The Catholic Diocese of Raleigh built St. Monica's for African American students in 1930, when all city schools were still segregated. This small building with spare Gothic detailing housed eight elementary grades in four classrooms. The school thrived: Many saw St. Monica's as a better…
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Built by physician and business leader Lemuel Thackara Delany of the distinguished Delany family of Raleigh and his wife, Saint Augustine's College instructor Julia Amaza (Brown) Delany, this historically significant one-story frame dwelling is also a good example of the late Neoclassical…
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Fire severely damaged the original 1895 building, which housed a nurse training center. Under the direction of Rev. Henry Beard Delany, the first African American Episcopal bishop in North Carolina, students quarried the stone and started the current building in 1905.
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Mary Elizabeth Hospital, established in 1914 as Raleigh's first private hospital, erected this building in 1920 to house forty-nine beds in a modern facility. Designed by hospital founder Dr. Harold Glascock, the building met the established standards for small general hospitals. Its Colonial…
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Located one mile north of downtown, the Raleigh Bonded Warehouse complex developed between 1923 and 1956. It consists of the original warehouse (1923); an office (ca. 1923, expanded ca. 1949); a packing builidng (ca. 1949); a weigh station (ca. 1949); and two additional warehouses (ca. 1949 and…
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Charles E. Hartage designed this building in a symmetrical Classical Revival style. The two-story, E-plan, brick structure with a central entrance pavilion features a colossal wooden portico with Tuscan-columns. Hartage was also the architect for Smedes Hall renovations and Pittman Hall at Saint…
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Prosperous white Raleigh businessmen often lived in stately Georgian Revival houses in the early twentieth century. The Beaman House reflects this trend beautifully. Identifying features of the style include side-gabled roofs, symmetrical facades, columned porches, and an elliptical fanlight over…
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This two-story, cross-gabled, frame California-style Craftsman bungalow features an aeroplane dormer, Japanese and Swiss-chalet elements, heavy open beams, battered brickwork motifs, and natural materials, color, and textures. The Foglemans purchased the plans and exterior mill work, windows, and…
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Designed by Jerome Robert Cerny, a noted architect of residential estate homes in the Chicago area, and constructed by local builder John F. Danielson, this house is a rare example of the Norman French style in Raleigh. The residence is clad in Wake County granite and features a distinctive…
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Raleigh's municipal fire department, organized in 1912, erected this small neighborhood fire station, one of the city's first. Resembling the surrounding modest bungalows of the Glenwood neighborhood, the station features dark brick walls, a prominent porch, and a characteristic…
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This two-story red-brick building was the first of several erected in the Methodist Orphanage complex. Designed by architect Charles Pearson, it is a hybrid of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles and imparts a feeling of domesticity not usually found in institutional buildings. Owned by the City…
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William Henley Deitrick received the 1930 American Institute of Architects outstanding school prize for the design of the Northern Italian Romanesque school. The ninety-five-foot-high tower marks the central entrance to the school, faced with ashlar stone and accented by cast-stone ornament, orange…
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Newlyweds Marguerite and Hubert Haywood hired Raleigh contractor Howard K. Satterfield to build this Prairie-style house in 1916. Bucking local trends, Marguerite drew inspiration from a dwelling in Harrisonburg, Virginia, from where she lived before her marriage. Strong horizontals, sheltering…
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The Garland Scott and Toler Moore Tucker House is an excellent, intact example of the Southern Colonial Revival style. With classical detailing and full-height porticos, the style conjures the idea of grand antebellum houses. Garland Tucker and his brothers ran a very successful furniture business…
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Built for tin and hardware dealer J. C. S. Lumsden, this three-story commercial building is the only surviving metal-front building on Fayetteville Street. It has a long history of serving as a commercial enterprise, including Kirby's Five & Dime, C. R. Boone DeLuxe Clothier, and, most…
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The Raleigh Electric Company built this building and its coal-fired steam-driven turbines to power Raleigh's electric street car system and to augment power supplies for the city. The structure's tripartite arrangement, featuring a gable-front roof and structural-steel framing system…
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The Montague Building, a combination of the Neoclassical Revival and the emerging Commercial styles, was the first large retail building in the Moore Square area. This building, along with the Mission-style City Market, helps define a lively center of urban activity around the square. Date: 1912
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Designed by architect James M. Kennedy, this three-story classically inspired brick building is the oldest standing public school building in Raleigh and one of the few remaining examples of this academic style. Murphey School played a significant role in the history of the civil rights movement…
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The best surviving example of a market house erected in North Carolina since the Civil War, this Spanish Mission-style complex designed by James Matthew Kennedy housed a complement of butchers, fish dealers, and vegetable vendors. Development of the supermarket concept and the new state…
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One of downtown Raleigh's few remaining early twentieth-century skyscrapers, this ten-story building designed by the Atlanta architectural firm of G. Lloyd Preacher and Company is Raleigh's first 1920s tall office building. It is brick-veneered with classical detailing, some of which is…
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Once known as the "third house of state government" because so many legislators gathered there, the ten-story Neoclassical Revival building was long a center of Raleigh's social scene. The hotel was renovated as apartments for the elderly in the late 1970s. Date: 1924
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This eight-story brick-veneered commercial building with classical detailing is an example of early twentieth century high-rise design. The building's shaft rises from a rusticated base and is crowned by a cornice comprising the entire top floor. The division of the building's facades…
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The Carolina Power and Light Company erected this simple but elegant one-story common-bond brick building to house electric streetcars and buses. The building later became an automobile garage. It is a rare example of an Art Deco transportation-related facility erected in then architecturally…
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The Delany Building is one of only two remaining commercial structures built on Raleigh's "Black Main Street" before World War II. Builder Dr. Lemuel T. Delany, the first black surgeon practicing at Saint Agnes Hospital and son of the first African American bishop of the Episcopal…
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The State College Agricultural Extension Service encouraged the establishment of the Pine State Creamery as a dairy farmers' cooperative at the end of World War I. The dairy products plant is a two-story Art Moderne design in cream-colored brick. The building fronts Tucker Street and Glenwood…
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Architect Frank B. Simpson designed this skyscraper for the Capital Club, one of the oldest prominent men's organizations in the South. The building juxtaposes Art Deco motifs with a classically derived building form, and the twelfth-floor ballroom contains the finest example of Art Deco…
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The Raleigh Little Theatre, organized in 1936 as an outgrowth of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Theatre Project, stands at the edge of the best-planned, best-integrated, and best-preserved of Raleigh's park spaces. William Henley Deitrick donated the initial design for the…
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Designed by noted Raleigh architect William Henley Deitrick, this is a rare local example of the International Style applied to a commercial building. This trend of modern architecture, which originated in Germany prior to World War I, stressed function over ornament. The Nehi Bottling building is…
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Conceived by W.E. Long Company of Chicago, specialists in bakery design, and built by the Raleigh construction firm of James A. Davidson, the Royal Baking Company is a utilitarian one-story brick building with simple International style detail. Built in 1941 and expanded 1946-1947, this bakery…
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A three-story brick building in the late Romanesque Revival style with Italianate elements, the Raleigh Furniture Building operated as a furniture retailer for much of the 20th century. Its façade showcases a high degree of architectural detail, including large lintel-type openings, vertical…
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These Mediterranean Revival buildings, designed by the firm of Atwood and Weeks, are emblematic of the role of agriculture in the economy of North Carolina and the tradition of state fairs begun in 1853. A pair of towers flank the Baroque-arched entrances to the large stucco-covered buildings that…
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Berry O'Kelly School is in the Method community, a freedman’s village established by former slave Jesse Mason and his family. The Agriculture Building is the oldest of only two surviving buildings from the multi-building school complex founded by O'Kelly, a revered merchant, wholesaler,…
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This Gothic Revival brick church was built by a congregation founded in 1873. It is located in the Method community, a post-Civil War freedman’s village since enveloped by Raleigh's growth. The stylish exuberance of its brick detailing is unusual for rural African American church buildings,…
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Designed by the Raleigh architects G. Murray Nelson and Thomas W. Cooper, this Neoclassical Revival building imparts a feeling of governmental strength with its Ionic colonnade on raised, striated basement. Both the south and east sides serve as formal facades in recognition of the building's…
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Dr. Henry Martin Tupper founded the church in 1866 as Second Baptist Church, providing religious services and classes for African Americans, including theological training for preachers, adult education, and eventually high school and grade school lessons. Eventually, classes outgrew the church and…
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This fine carousel, produced by Gustav A. Dentzel's Pennsylvania Carousel Company, originally operated at Bloomsbury Park; it was moved to Pullen Park in 1915. The carousel animals are thought to be the work of Salvatore Cernigliaro, master carver of Dentzel's company. Operated by the…
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This Gothic Revival church, erected in 1910 to replace an 1873 wood-frame chapel, is the earliest and most prominent surviving institutional building in the once-rural freedman's community of Oberlin. The church sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Hazel in 1954 but retains its Gothic Revival…
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The church building is an example of high Victorian Gothic Revival architecture with its abundance of ornamental and visual complexity. Founding members withdrew from Edenton Street Methodist Church in 1849 to establish the first separate African American congregation in Raleigh. The current brick…
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Charles McMillan designed the Masonic Temple building, Raleigh's oldest surviving steel-reinforced concrete structure, in the Sullivanesque-style. In addition to its design and construction, the building is significant as a major landmark in the downtown area. Date: 1907
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This three-story brick building with Italianate details housed commercial space on the first floor, a meeting hall on the second floor, and the Masonic Hall on the third floor. It was built in 1907 by Raleigh's earliest African American fraternal orders: the Widow's Sons' Lodge #4,…
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Resembling a Lorraine cross to maximize the interior space, the Neoclassical Revival auditorium is ornamented with classical motifs, rusticated piers, cast-iron Corinthian columns, and heavy window cornices that add interest and animation to the design. The building bears the name of a student who…
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African American members of the N. Salisbury Street First Baptist Church requested separation in 1868 to form their own church. At diagonal corners of Union Square, the two Baptist churches represent two different phases of the Gothic Revival style. This church, begun in 1904, is an example of the…
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Located at the southwest corner of the Capitol facing Union Square, the church addresses its corner site with an angled entry and tower. The irregularly shaped red-brick building exhibits characteristics of the Romanesque Revival style with its heavy, asymmetrical massing and rounded arches. The…
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The picturesque appearance of this late Gothic Revival church stems from the combination of three square towers and two gable-roof blocks -- the result of six remodelings between 1881 and 1909. Raleigh architect James Matthew Kennedy, who designed the City Market and Murphey School, is primarily…
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Owner-developer Sidney J. Wollman built this three-story brick Georgian Revival gable-roofed apartment complex. The building features three- and five-bay symmetric blocks with two-story openings filled with glass block that naturally illuminate the stairwells. All of the original entrances have…
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The Boylan Apartments are Raleigh's earliest example of the garden-style apartment complex, which incorporates open space into the overall layout to improve living conditions for the occupants. Three simple brick-clad buildings with Colonial Revival detailing were arranged to form an interior…
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The house and gardens compose a carefully planned Williamsburg Revival estate developed by Mrs. Henderson, prominent artist, horticulturist, and patron of the arts. The estate consists of a main house and carriage, herb, tool and guest houses built around a brick terrace. The gardens, subject of…
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The first apartment building built west of the North Carolina State University campus, the Wilmont takes its name from the subdivision located directly to the north. Daniel Allen, a real estate entrepreneur who developed the Wilmont, Hayes-Barton, and Mordecai neighborhoods, and builder C.C. Pierce…
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This two-story brick house was built in the Georgian Revival style in the side yard of the Hawkins-Hartness House for Mrs. Hawkins's niece, Martha Hawkins Bailey. It is state headquarters for the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Date: 1922
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The Andrews-London House is a fine example of the Georgian Revival style. Designed by James A. Salter, this two-and-one-half story brick house features extensive wainscot paneling as well as round-arched and pedimented molding at interior doorways. The dwelling now houses offices. Date: 1918
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Designed in the Beaux Arts style, this structure is the first urban high-rise apartment building erected in Raleigh. It consists of five floors arranged in a U-shape around a well in the main facade. All floor plans have the same features, fireplaces, fourteen-foot ceilings, and exterior porches.…
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Designed by architect Harry P. S. Keller, the Dr. Z. M. Caveness House is a well-preserved brick foursquare distinguished by the low forms, strong horizontal lines, earthy materials, and overall sense of simplicity of the Prairie style of architecture. Dr. Caveness, a local physician and civic…
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The Thompson house is one of several remaining dwellings from the once-grand residential corridor that extended along Hillsborough Street from the Capitol west to Oberlin Road. The house, a combination of Queen Anne detailing and Colonial Revival form and decoration, is a hybrid style often called…
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Judge Walter A. Montgomery, a state supreme court justice, built this two-story frame house with classical detailing in the 100 block of E. Edenton Street. After its 1982 move to this New Bern Place location, renovations readied the house for use as offices. Date: ca. 1906
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Dr. Andrew Watson Goodwin ran medical clinics, taught at Shaw University's Leonard Medical School, and served as chief physician at Saint Agnes Hospital. His grand, Neoclassical dwelling is significant as a vestige of what Hillsborough Street once was: a fashionable, tree-lined residential…
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At the start of the twentieth-century, the once-rural freedman's village of Oberlin had grown into a tight-knit community of middle-class African American families. Oberlin had well-established churches, small retail shops, and the highest rate of home-ownership of all Raleigh neighborhoods.…
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Built by local businessman Joel K. Marshall, this house is among the most intact examples of the elaborately ornamental Queen Anne dwellings that reflect the Victorian era in Raleigh. The interior features excellent examples of early Colonial Revival details. The house was moved from N. Blount…
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The Turner House is an intact Neoclassical I-house in the African American community of Oberlin. The house was expanded by John T. Turner, Oberlin's major landowner, around 1900 from a three-room one-story house. While the I-house type is more often seen on agricultural landscapes, Oberlin was…
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The Dr. M.T. Pope House is the last structure in its original location illustrating the presence of a middle and professional class of African-American families along South Wilmington Street. Dr. Pope was a politically active and well-known African American physician and Trustee of Shaw University…
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Gethsemane Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 501 South Person Street was the first SDA church, black or white, established in Raleigh. Many of Gethsemane’s elders and pastors went on to become influential leaders in the black SDA movement, most notably Benjamin W. Abney, its founding pastor. In the…
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