Dirt is being moved at the corner of Blount and Edenton Streets for the new headquarters of the North Carolina State Bar. The four story, 60,000 square foot building will have a classical exterior with a rotunda entrance to its lobby on the corner of the intersection. The new workplace for the Bar’s seventy-five employees will also seek a LEED silver certification.
According to an old post in September of 2009, the original plans were to begin construction in 2010 with everything up and running within the first half of 2012. Clearly that did not happen but assuming a similar timeline, we can estimate construction to be complete around the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.
Corner of Blount and Edenton Streets.
State owned surface parking lots will now become offices so from an urban perspective, we’re moving in the right direction. But as typical of NC State Government, their building habits seem to disrespect more of Raleigh’s history.
The Times of Baptist University in Raleigh
Now let’s look a bit deeper as the site to this new State Bar Headquarters has a bit of history to it that I have been interested in over the last few years.
In the 2009 post linked to earlier, commenter Karl points out that this site contains the brick pillar entranceways of the former Baptist University for Women (BUW). Eventually, the university became Meredith College before moving to a new site to the west in 1925. After that, the building became the Mansion Hotel up to 1951. For a great writeup as well as some phenomenal pictures of the building, jump over to Goodnight, Raleigh at the link below:
Raleigh’s Own Castle via GoodnightRaleigh.com
In the 1960s and 70s, the state government went on a building spree with their complex along the former Halifax street north of the Capitol building. In these times, the great mansions of Blount Street were bought up with many being destroyed. The BUW building came down in 1967 but the brick pillars will stand along the sidewalk of Blount Street for another forty-four years.
In April of 2008, I visited the site of the former BUW building and found the brick pillars. This 2008 post shows an old Google Map image that still has the driveway of the former building as well. The current Google Map imagery for Raleigh has been updated with bus parking wiping out the driveway but the pillars still can be seen. (until the next update)
Sticking to its reputation of little or no historic preservation, the state government has finished off the last trace of the BUW building and now the brick pillars are no more.
The former Baptist University for Women
New NC State Bar headquarters