Friday, January 23, 2015

RHDC Works in Progress Part 3 of 3: The Lewis-Smith House 515 N. Blount St.

My three part series of historical downtown Raleigh locations comes to a conclusion with the Lewis-Smith House at 515 N. Blount Street. After featuring the Nehi Bottling Co. building, and the commercial building H.J. Brown Coffin House/Raleigh Industrial Bank at 200  S. Salisbury we end with the residential Lewis-Smith House.

This residence, originally built in 1855 (!) existed for many years on North Wilmington Street. The home was moved in the 1970's to prevent it from being demolished. The interesting thing about this part of Blount street is that there are several historic homes here (including the Merrimon-Wynne),  none of which ever originally existed on this street! The home is currently undergoing restoration for future office space.

The house features a Greek Revival style with it's grand columns and portico in front. The house previously belonged to well known families Lewis and Smith back in the day. Once the house was relocated it was used for state offices. The house sits on a lot with a large new apartment complex currently being built directly behind it.

As we toured the home, the original fireplaces in each room and beautiful staircase railings remind you of older days. Bathrooms are being added to each level and there is no closet space in any of the rooms. There is a large basement being updated as well.

The herringbone pattern wood floor is stunning. The grand Ionic columns on the outside upstairs patio are beautiful (also features Doric style columns on the ground level entrance).

This home is one of the very few homes in Raleigh left from the Antebellum/Civil War Period (1831-1865).

Thank you for taking a few minutes and letting my inner Architect geek highlight some Historic Raleigh locations. There was a great crowd of people walking through the self-guided and free RHDC historic tour and I hope there are more of these tours in the future. I also hope the city of Raleigh continues to prioritize and protect these  buildings and homes and that we do not lose site of Raleigh's significant past as it continues to  grow and evolve into a fantastic place to live.

Front facade of the home featuring Greek Revival style

Lots of interested people touring the home

Original fireplaces

Merrimon-Wynne house across the street

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