Beneath The Parking Lot [UPDATE 11:10 AM]

Nothing big to report here but there is something I noticed recently. It looks like the parking lot ocean at the Edenton and Blount St. intersection is growing. I would never normally blog about more parking, especially surface parking, but in keeping with this downtown Raleigh history kick I’m going through this week, there is something to notice here.

In Google maps you can clearly see what appears to be the driveway to the old Meredith College building that was located on the corner of Blount and Edenton St. It has been there for some time but now it has been scraped away for more parking spaces. We discussed this building in a past post and a regular commenter shared a link to a postcard with a photo of the building.

There is also a great sketch of the building in the state library’s archives (page 14).

What a shame. The brick pillars are still up so enjoy them while they are still here.

[UPDATE 11:10 AM]

Commenter Raleigh boy has sent in some more pictures related to this post. I would like to share these pictures with everyone. Please read his comment for some great background information.

1907 Colored Deaf, Dumb & Blind Institute

Hotel Raleigh

Historic Blount St.

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  1. Ahhh, Leo; How well I remember that awesome building! The architect of that masterpiece was Adolphus Gustavus Bauer, who had come to Raleigh as the young assistant to Samuel Sloan, architect of the Governor’s Mansion. After it’s completion in1891, Bauer stayed on in Raleigh and designed many public and private Raleigh buildings. Most are long gone, including the turreted “Colored Deaf and Dumb Asylum,” which was located on S. Bloodworth St on the block now occupied by the gigantuan Temple of Prayer for All People.

    Getting back to the Meredith College Building: When that institution moved out Hillsboro St in 1925, the Blount St building was sold and re-opened as the Mansion Park Hotel. During the time of the hotel’s occupancy the brick piers at the driveway entrances were erected. Many years later the state bought the property and used the building as offices until about 1967 when it was demolished >> what a loss! Indeed, before the state began razing the mansions along Blount, Wilmington, and Halifax streets in the 1960s, that area was virtually intact, albeit a little seedy, but neverthess, what a sight to behold it was!

  2. The lot is being reconfigured to accommodate bus parking. Currently, buses drop off visitors for the museums and historic sites in the capital district, then drive all the way to Blue Ridge Rd. to park by the NCMA. OF course, this does not fix the parking problem for state employees in the area, many of whom are put on a waiting list for over a year after being hired.

    Truthfully, I don’t see how you can lament the passing of the drive and soon-to-vanish pillars considering they in no way reflect the grandeur of the former building.

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