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

Hillsboro Street, Raleigh, N.C.

Hillsboro St_ca1910_web

This week Flashback Friday takes a nostalgic look at a Hillsboro Street that is now long gone. The view depicted in our featured postcard is looking up the broad avenue from the middle of the 200 block toward the State Capitol. From there we’ll saunter down the street while taking in the scenery of more than a century ago.

Hillsboro St_ca1910_back_web

I sent you [2] before, hope you will like them, but they are not as pretty as the ones you sent me.
Sincerely, [illegible] Collier [?]
221 So West St

Curious message. As the card itself was not mailed, I think that probably is was sent to the recipient in a letter, or something, as an exchange between two postcard collectors.

We have featured Hillsboro Street in previous posts on Flashback Friday, so this week let’s take a postcard stroll down the street with stops along the way to admire the landmarks we have lost.

Hillsboro St_1_web

Here is a view looking west, from the Confederate Monument at the head of the street. The Neoclassical R.B. Raney mansion is on the right.

Hillsboro St_2_web

Here we are looking east toward the Capitol from the 500 block.

Hillsboro St_ca 1915_web

The view here is from the middle of the 700 block looking east. Note the Neoclassical mansions and the red brick Trinity Lutheran Church on the left. 

Hillsboro Street was once Raleigh’s premier residential avenue. Gothic Revival churches, antebellum Greek Revival residences, and Queen Anne and Neoclassical mansions prevailed in the streetscape. The streetcar route ran the length of the street from the capitol to the fairgrounds.

The images below will give you a glimpse of the glory that was once Hillsboro.

Ghosts of Hillsboro Street

RB Raney Residence_web

The Richard B. Raney mansion once reigned supreme at the head of Hillsboro Street. This palace was demolished in the 1950s, and the site is now a parking lot. 

Goodwin House_web

The Dr. James Goodwin residence in the 200 block has miraculously survived, and is today home to the state Democratic Party headquarters. 

Henry Hicks House_web

This is the Henry T. Hicks mansion. It was built in 1910; stripped of its monumental Neoclassical portico in the 1960s, the house itself still stands in the 300 block.  

Percy Allbright Residence_web

Percy Albright built this Neoclassical mansion in the 700 block in 1902. It can be seen in the third postcard seen above. It was demolished in 1960 and replaced by an office building.

Will Robbins Residence_web

This Queen Anne fantasy was built at the corner of Hillsboro and West Streets in 1900. It was demolished in the 1930s.

State Archives of North Carolina photo

State Archives of North Carolina photo

Duncan Cameron built his Greek Revival mansion across from St. Mary’s School in 1835. In the early 1900s it was remodeled in the Neoclassical fashion, as evidenced by the distinctive portico. Cameron Court Apartments occupy the site today.

20_N_76_6_1543 Dr Jas Rogers Residence_web

State Archives of North Carolina photo

Dr. James Rogers built this brick Neoclassical masterpiece just down the street from R.B. Raney’s mansion ca 1912. It was demolished in 1971, and a parking lot occupies the site today.

Thus ends our brief tour of the Hillsboro Street that once was. There have been many more such losses which we have not detailed here. Sadly, this architectural showcase, Hillsboro Street, is now gone forever.


Our Flashback Friday postcard this week was printed under the trade name ‘Litho-Chrome’ by the American News Co. of New York, NY.

American News Co. 1864-1957
119 Nassau Street, New York, NY

Founded in 1864, this firm became a major distributor of books, magazines, newspapers, and postcards. Nearly all of their output was in view-cards. Most of their cards were printed in Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin, Germany. Their closure in 1957 led to great difficulties in distribution, putting many small publishers out of business as well.

Their first series has a letter A prefix followed by When these numbers ran out they began their B series with sequential numbers running 1- 12200. The C series ran up to 15000. Eventually cards were just numbered sequentially without regard to style. Many cards with undivided backs were reprinted with divided backs after 1907.

Litho-Chrome is a trade name for a type of German made postcard distributed by the American News Company. Their individual colors are sharp and tend to stand out. Ink coverage is sometimes so heavy that it renders scenes highly unnatural.


“Flashback Friday” is a weekly feature of Goodnight, Raleigh! in which we showcase vintage postcards depicting our historic capital city. We hope you enjoy this week end treat!



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