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

Raleigh, Then and Now: Nehi Bottling Company

Top: 1944, Bottom: 2012
Top image courtesy State Archives of North Carolina

Nestled beside the Wilmont Apartments on Hillsborough Street sits one of Raleigh’s earliest examples of modernist architecture.  Built in 1937, the building first functioned as the Nehi Bottling Company. Designed by acclaimed Raleigh architect William Henley Deitrick, it is a great example of the International style.

This early style of modernist architecture suggests volume rather than mass, and function rather than form.  The only ornamentation original to the building are the black glass tiles flanking the main entrance, some of which have fallen off in recent years.

Another example of this style, this time residential, can be found nearby on Turner St.

The Nehi Bottling Company continued to operate in this building until 1965, at which point it was occupied by the Royal Crown Bottling Company, which continued to operate there until 1970.

This Raleigh architectural treasure was designated a Raleigh historic landmark in 2010. Today it sits vacant, in dire need of restoration.

N_53_15_4370 Raleigh Nehi Bottling Company Trucks and Drivers 1940_web
Here we see the Nehi delivery truck crew proudly posing by their vehicles in front of the plant in 1940. (State Archives of North Carolina photo)

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