Blount Street Historic Corridor

Blount Street has always been a part of Raleigh—it runs straight through the original one-square-mile city plan that William Christmas drew in 1792. Today’s Blount Street extends from just south of Shaw University up to Peace Street and encompasses a great collection of nineteenth and twentieth century buildings. The southern reach has been part of an historically African-American neighborhood since at least Reconstruction. The north end, in contrast, was a white, semi-rural neighborhood even before the Civil War.


Only two antebellum buildings remain. The Greek Revival-style Lewis-Smith House was actually built on North Wilmington Street in 1854. In the 1970s, it and several other high-style, nineteenth-century houses were moved to North Blount Street to make way for the state government complex. Nearby, the Main Building of William Peace University stands on the north side of Peace Street at the terminus of North Blount Street. It is also antebellum and Greek Revival. Construction began in 1859 to house Peace College, a Methodist-run girls’ school. The Civil War interrupted the work and the building remained unfinished until the 1870s.


After the Civil War came momentous changes to life and society in North Carolina. The influx of country residents into cities in post-war decades included the wealthy. In Raleigh, they built fashionable dwellings along North Blount and surrounding streets. Nationally popular architectural plan books presented endless variations of decorative flourish, including Eastlake-style work seen on the porches of the Hawkins-Hartness House and at the Executive Mansion.


Aside from decoration, the period saw a significant shift in overall architectural style. The mansard roof at the ca. 1870 Heck-Andrews House indicates its Second Empire style; look for other dwellings on surrounding streets built in this style. The 1874 Andrews-Duncan House has characteristic Italianate elements: eaves adorned with brackets, windows with elaborate molding, and overall verticality. Architect G.S.H. Appleget designed both houses.


Appleget also designed Estey Hall at Shaw University. This Italianate-style building was the first erected for the higher education of African American women. Shaw founder Rev. Henry Martin Tupper, a Baptist missionary, came to Raleigh during Reconstruction to build schools for African Americans. The imposing, brick-veneered Tupper Memorial Church, built in 1903, was named for him in gratitude. Nearby stands the 1907 Masonic Temple Building, which housed Raleigh’s African American masonic lodge.


As the nineteenth century ended, new building types went up in the area, reflecting growth and industrial development. The Pilot-Crompton Mill, begun in 1893 to produce textiles, is adjacent to the corridor. The 1912 Montague Building at Moore Square is a large commercial building rendered in the Neoclassical Revival style. The Beaux Arts-style Capital Apartments was built in 1917.


Change and variety have been constants along Blount Street throughout Raleigh’s history. The historic buildings you’ll see along and near the corridor offer testament to the city’s evolution.

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 sheet goods. The mill building has been…
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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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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 Neo-Greco styles of decoration that were popular in the…
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The Lewis-Smith house is an excellent example of the Greek Revival style, featuring a two-story pedimented portico supported by Doric columns on the first level and Ionic columns on the second. Moved from its original location on North Wilmington Street, the house was used by the state for offices…
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The ca. 1875 Merrimon-Wynne House is a lovely example of both the Italianate architectural style and the Eastlake mode of decoration. Elongated windows, upright proportions, and modillions under the broad eave are all hallmarks of the style, popular in Raleigh in the 1870s and 1880s. Eastlake…
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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 examples of Queen Anne architecture remaining in…
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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
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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 echoed throughout the house. It also features the…
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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 brackets, and decorative porch posts. The original…
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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 surrounds, and porch posts make this one of…
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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. Annie Sloan Hartness, wife of James A. Hartness,…
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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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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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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 Adolphus Bauer. The mansion, home of North Carolina…
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Richard B. Haywood, a founder of the North Carolina Medical Society, designed this Greek Revival brick townhouse, also known as Crabapple. Its outstanding feature is the superb Doric-order porch. The house is the last surviving dwelling in the Capitol Square Historic District and is still owned by…
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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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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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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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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 two-story Greek Revival frame building has distinctive Italianate accents. The house was associated with a series of leading figures in local, state, and national history including congressman Sion H. Rogers, legislator William Henry Bagley, journalist and Secretary of the Navy Josephus…
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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 with a framed cupola and windows heavily accented…
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