Many of Raleigh’s venerable oak trees were just adolescents when this photograph was taken. Much has changed since the early 1900′s — our oaks have matured, our population has ballooned and examples of grand residential Neo-classical architecture such as the house pictured here simply don’t exist anymore. They’ve all been razed — all but two, that is. Any of our savvy readers know where this house is in Raleigh?
I was in Miss Perkins’ 7th period music class at Hugh Morson Junior High School on November 22, 1963, longing for the school day to end and the weekend to begin, when our principal, Mr. Proctor, announced over the PA system that President Kennedy had been shot. A few girls began to cry; a couple boys made derisive comments about the president; but I, as did most of my classmates that day, just sat there in stunned silence.
“The Raleigh Building, the Raleigh Building, that’s all he talks about.” My mother rolled her eyes as she lamented my father’s closing moments. She was right: until he bid his final good night to Raleigh, Bob Wollman was synonymous with the Raleigh Building. It was his dominion, just as it had been his father’s. From leaseholder to secretary, everyone in that building could count on him to cater to their needs and provide for their comfort in every season.