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

The Andrews-Duncan House—Back From The Brink

Andrews-Duncan House, 9 September 2018. 8x10 tintype by author.

Andrews-Duncan House, 9 September 2018. 8×10 tintype by author.

The long-languishing Andrews-Duncan House at 407 North Blount Street may have shed its last window screen, tossed its last corbel, and dropped its last roof slate. After years on the market, the State of North Carolina has a pending buyer for this property. The new owner plans to restore the house and what is even better… No wedding venue, office, or event space here—incredibly, the new owner intends to live in the seven bedroom, six bathroom, 10,000-plus square-foot mansion.

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The Easter Blizzard of 1915

N.53.15.4971 From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives; Raleigh, NC.

N.53.15.4971 From the Albert Barden Collection, State Archives; Raleigh, NC.

Pictured is Morgan Street looking west at its intersection with Boylan Avenue. The large house seen on the left is roughly the same location as present-day Planned Parenthood. The house seen on the right (704 West Morgan Street) is extant, although modified. Likely sometime in the 1950s it gained asbestos siding and lost its porch. Thankfully, its Italianate eave brackets remain to this day.

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Incredibly, this photograph wasn’t taken in the icy grips of winter—it was taken in spring, Easter Sunday of 1915 to be exact, after a destructive and record breaking weather event that crippled North Carolina and several other states. The front page of the News and Observer read, “Raleigh Flounesed [sic] In Grasp of Its Greatest Blizzard.” It was the deepest snow seen so late in spring and it decimated North Carolina’s electrical and communications infrastructure—toppling telegraph, telephone and power poles. The streetcars halted and the Edison bulbs dimmed as a result of high winds and wet snow falling continuously for over 17 hours. The newly formed Carolina Power and Light was the supplier of the juice and tasked with restoring service. To begin surveying the damage in Raleigh, CP&L sent employees and a photographer (possibly Cyrus P. Wharton or Manly Tyree) out to document the damage and cut live wires. They set out from the central substation at Method Road and headed east on Hillsborough Street, making photographs and surveying the destruction.

The entire series of photographs taken that day can be seen here. This photograph was the last of the series to be identified, being confirmed just last week using the 1914 Sanborn Insurance map and a healthy amount of study. In fact, there is an early historical marker in this photo. Can anyone spot it?

You Are Invited to Explore ‘Lost Raleigh’ This Sunday, April 23, at Mordecai Historic Park.

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The Wake County Historical Society will host Goodnight Raleigh’s publisher and history editor, Raleigh Boy, this weekend for a photo presentation on Raleigh’s lost architectural treasures. The event will take place at the Mordecai Historic Park Visitors Center, corner Cedar St. and Wake Forest Rd., Sunday, April 23, at 2.00 pm. A nominal $5.00 admission fee will go to support Wake County Historical Society and its programs. Read more »


Discuss Raleigh

  • Recent Comments:

    • LJG: I’m currently involved with a project at 221 S. Wilmington. Will have to walk by tomorrow after I drop off...
    • Linda Brisbois Brown: I was a waitress there in 1968 while at State, working with Bob Bell, and Pat Crowley and Jim...
    • Avery: Thanks for your article. Seeking accurate information is among the biggest concerns for the younger...
    • Marrin: It’s apparent that the writer is a statistics geek. I enjoy the way he writes and organizes facts....
    • Luis: Excellent pieces.
    • Sandra brown: I use to attend this beautiful church when i was small and an orphan in the methodist home for children...
    • sandra L brown( sandra ray): Yes hi.my maiden name sandra ray .i use to live in the all girl cottage in the orphanage...
    • donald gore: The first “Embers Club” was at 320 W Davie St. in the late 60’s .. There was a fire...


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