Long time readers may remember when I wrote up a walking tour on downtown Raleigh. I took that down last year because lack of maintenance and neglect basically made it fall apart. Well, I’ve freshened up the tour and am now ready to relaunch it.
The tour is simple and has ten stops up and down Fayetteville Street and between Moore and Nash Square. Visitors and new residents to Raleigh may enjoy the tour to “get their feet wet” with downtown as well as see some other spots for later visits.
The tour’s website is mobile ready so if you have a smartphone, there’s no need to print it out and no need to download an app. Just load the page and start walking.
Related walking tours in Raleigh:
Sorry for the lack of updates but being sick this past weekend and also being swamped with work has not really helped much for the blog. There are more topics coming up soon but I wanted to throw an idea out there for people to think about. I was thinking of re-shooting the walking tour and capturing much better pictures of each site. I was also thinking of creating my own walking tour cause I think the one listed is a bit out-dated and a little too long for a regular walk. Any ideas?
The Walking Tour:
We are finally here, the conclusion to the Downtown Raleigh Walking Tour. [UPDATE: broken link] This last leg takes people out of the Blount Street Commons area and down Hillsborough and surrounding streets. The tour also lists some ‘honorable mention’ sites that could deserve a stop on any walking route.
I honestly think that the walking tour needs some work, with multiple versions listed out. Historic homes should have their own route. A brief tour with the most notable 15-20 stops should also be listed alongside the full out route of 60+ stops. I also think that more literature should be easily available about the history of each stop. Some would find it very enjoyable.
51. Bailey-Bunn House (1922)
52. Raleigh and Gaston/Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Building (c. 1862)
53. North Carolina School for the Blind and Deaf Dormitory (1898)
54. Edenton Street United Methodist Church (1958)
55. Dr. Andrew Watson Goodwin House (1903)
56. Sacred Heart Cathedral (1924)
57. All Saints Chapel of the Church of the Good Shepherd (1875)
58. Raleigh Water Tower (1887)
59. Raleigh Police Headquarters and Municipal Building (1960/1983)
60. Nash Square (1792)
61. Dodd-Hinsdale House (1879)
62. St. Paul A.M.E. Church (1910)
63. Elmwood (c. 1813)
64. Tucker Carriage House (Late 19th Century)
The walking tour continues in the Blount St. area around the future Blount Street Commons. BSC may cause some of these houses to move so the walking tour will have to be updated later. Actually, I think the walking tour needs major work with more interactive features online, history, and lots of pictures/media. (RalCon idea?????) This is the second to last set of pictures so we’re nearing the end. Enjoy!
41. Merrimon House/Wynne Hall (1876)
42. Peace College Main Building (c. 1860)
43. Dr. Hubert Benbury Haywood House (1916)
44. Leonidas L. Polk House (1881)
45. Gray-Fish-Richardson House (1881)
46. Capehart House (1898)
47. Lee House (1899)
48. Murphey School (1916)
49. Tucker House (1915)
50. Hawkins-Hartness House (c. 1882)
The walking tour starts to take us out of the core downtown district and past some of the more historic homes of Raleigh. The Blount Street Commons project will greatly affect this area of the tour with parking lots being ripped up and developed and houses renovated or even moved.
31. First Baptist Church (1859)
32. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (2000)
33. State Legislative Building (1963)
34. Executive Mansion (1891)
35. Andrews-London House (1918)
36. Heck-Andrews House (1870)
37. Henry Clay Oak (marker)
38. Andrews-Duncan House (1874)
39. Higgs-Coble-Helms House (1878)
40. Lewis-Smith House (1855)
Here is the third set of 10 pictures from the Downtown Raleigh Walking Tour. You can really tell how different the pictures look in the winter then if taken in the summer. When the trees have their leaves, they block most of the sites and it is hard to get the whole building into the frame. Most of these pictures were also taken by my much smaller camera, with no zoom by the way, so the picture quality is modest. The newer ones that I am taking now are with a much better camera. The State Bank was a tough one because it had trees in the way, plus its in a difficult location.
I may wait a month or so for the leaves to fall before I continue taking pictures of the walking tour. I think I prefer the pictures to be without any leaves obstructing the view. What do you prefer?
21. Horton-Beckham-Bretsch House (c. 1890)
22. White-Holman House, “White Hall” (c. 1799)
23. Montgomery House (1906)
24. Haywood Hall (c. 1799)
25. State Bank of North Carolina (1833)
26. Christ Episcopal Church (1854)
27. Richard B. Haywood House (1854)
28. North Carolina Museum of History (1994)
29. Agriculture Building (1923)
30. Labor Building (1888)
Here are the next 10 stops on the downtown walking tour. The Moore Square and Helig-Levine pics are more recent. I had put HL off due to construction this past winter. Also, the park looks better in the summer then in January.
Should the convention center really be included in the downtown walking tour? The RCC is a great example of Raleigh’s revitalization and it could be argued that it is leading the way for a new downtown in the near future. But the convention center is just too new, with no real history yet. I think it should be taken off. Anyone have any thoughts?
11. Raleigh Convention and Conference Center (under construction)
12. Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts & Memorial Auditorium
13. Shaw University (founded 1865)
14. Rogers-Bagley-Daniels-Pegues House (c. 1855)
15. City Market (1914)
16. Moore Square (est. 1792)
17. Tabernacle Baptist Church (1881-1909)
18. Exploris (1999, Now Marbles Museum)
19. Montague Building (1912)
20. Heilig-Levine Building (c. 1870, Under Renovation)
Visit Raleigh is probably the official website for Raleigh tourist information. On their webpage, they have a downtown walking tour. This self guided tour takes you to 65 stops spread out all over downtown. To do the entire tour yourself takes some time and I’ve been working on getting a picture of each stop. I have not finished the tour yet, and honestly have been putting it off for awhile, but the weather is slowly getting nicer so I’ll be wrapping up my report soon enough. Here are the first 10 stops on the tour. I’ll post the rest over the next few weeks.
1. State Capitol Building (1840)
2. First Presbyterian Church (1900)
3. Odd Fellows Building (1924)
4. Raleigh Banking and Trust Building (1913-1936)
5. Masonic Temple (1907)
6. Briggs Hardware Building (1874) and Raleigh City Museum
7. Capital Club Building (1930)
8. Century Post Office (1874)
9. Wake County Courthouse (1970) and Office Building (1942)
10. Sir Walter Hotel (1924)