Goodnight Raleigh - a look at the art, architecture, history, and people of the city at night

Moving a Monument

The Relocation of Raleigh’s Merrimon-Wynne House

On Saturday movers will relocate the historic Merrimon-Wynne House to a site about two blocks from where it has rested for more than 130 years. This will be the largest structure in Raleigh to be moved since the 3-story, solid brick Raleigh and Gaston  (later, Seaboard) Railroad office building made a similar trip in 1976. (The Seaboard building was relocated to accommodate construction of the Halifax Mall — but that is another story.)

Although it had been awkwardly sitting up on blocks for the past few weeks, the boldly-ornamented Italianate villa still maintained a grand presence over the surrounding area. When it was originally built in the early 1870s the Merrimon House commanded the entire block and presented itself as a symbol of gracious Southern living. Even as Blount Street developed into a neighborhood of large, stylish Victorian homes during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Merrimon House continued to exert its elegant prominence.

 

The Merrimon-Wynne House as it appeared in1968, in its original setting under a canopy of magnificent oaks.

The Merrimon House will join two other historic Raleigh landmarks that were moved to Blount Street when the entire neighborhood between Wilmington and Salisbury was cleared for the state government Mall (Again, — another story!)

These are the antebellum Lewis-Smith House (ca 1855) and the fanciful Queen Anne-styled Capehart House (1898). At their original sites, the Lewis-Smith House and Merrimon House faced each other across Wilmington Street, and the Capehart House was just up the block. There is a certain irony here, for after more than 30 years of separation, these three architectural jewels will once again be neighbors. I just hope the magnificent oaks that remain in the Merrimon House yard can be preserved, as they certainly can’t be moved, too!

The Lewis-Smith House, being moved to Blount Street in 1974.

A view of the Merrimon House, across the street from the just-moved Lewis-Smith House. You can see the remains of its stone foundation in the foreground.

 

The Capehart House at its original location on Wilmington Street. This view is from about 1972.

 


Discuss Raleigh

  • Recent Comments:

    • Paul Rhudy: I love reading posts about pre-gentrification Raleigh. While an 18 year old, driving a Raleigh Yellow Cab...
    • Steve: Mat, The door in the free expression tunnel was pretty much painted shut in my day too (late 80s) but could be...
    • Mat: Pretty neat to read these comments as a current junior at NCSU. NCSU history has been a passion of mine and its...
    • Michael Smithwick: It was actually the basement of the Sir Walter Raleigh hotel that had the gay bar. I went there in...
    • Matthew Brown: Great photos, Ian! Thank you for finding and sharing!
    • Chris M: “The Hicks House is still there and in line for demolition. RHDC is working on trying to save it but...
    • Chris M: So who is the current tenant? Or is it still waiting for one at this point? Looks fantastic in either case....
    • Chris M: Something like this I would have *loved* to have seen. Was the lecture/presentation recorded? Any chance of...


  •