Pic of the Week

Corner of Morgan and Blount Streets

Corner of Morgan and Blount Streets, November 2016

Marbles has tentative plans for an “urban courtyard” for the corner of Morgan and Blount Streets. The service station that currently sits there would be demolished for the expansion of the kids museum. The Raleigh Public Record has an in-depth look at the plans for this section of downtown.

Designed by Clearscapes Architecture, which has worked with Marbles in the past on projects such as the 2014 Kid Grid Expansion, the Urban Courtyard would see the entire property razed and turned into an outdoor green space.

*Development Beat: Major Work Wednesday

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  1. I was wondering where all the homeless people would congregate when Moore Square closed for renovations…

  2. You can forget the NC state legislature doing anything progressive that might actually help Raleigh, or any city for that matter. The hillbillies have some sort of issue with the success of the cities, to the point that they write legislation that actually hurts them and I’m not even talking about that idiotic bill HB2. Limits on annexation for example is just one of a litany of bills. If Raleigh is going to succeed at an MLS push, its going to do it via municipal support and private investment. Frankly, the last thing I want is the the current legislature having influence over a new stadium. We’ll end up with another PNC in a parking lot…even if they did provide funding.

  3. Jesse, not sure how all that fits in with Marbles, but as far as “municipal support”, I hope you don’t mean taxpayer money going to a multimillionaire to help build a new stadium. The only support the Railhawks should get from the city is “we support your decision, and look forward to reviewing any site plan or zoning applications you submit to us”.

  4. Brad,

    Unfortunately, that’s not how the real world works. Nobody likes incentives. the NCGOP campaigned against them but yet they still offer them to companies relocating or expanding simply because that’s the name of the game.

    With professional sports teams, it is the same way. Nobody likes it but if you want your City to have pro teams, that’s what will happen. You can however structure such a deal so that there is an actual return on investment, beyond just ‘paying for a millionaire’s stadium/arena’. Placing the stadium/arena downtown, for instance will ‘throw off’ millions (maybe billions) in economic expansion in and around the downtown core……translating into new tax revenue, thereby generating a ROI on your and my tax dollars.

    PNC arena is a textbook example of how that was done the wrong way.

  5. But wouldn’t putting something else downtown, that generates a lot more use year round, be better for taxpayers? Wouldn’t putting taxpayer money towards something that creates more jobs than a sports arena be better? The Railhawks already have a home, but there are lots of people in the area that don’t have one.
    There are so many better things the city can spend our money on than a stadium that gets used about 15 days out of the year.

  6. Y’all can we PLEASE take this soccer stadium conversation back over to the other thread? I can’t be the only one absolutely sick of reading about it. Anyway, super excited to read about a new mural coming here, just hoping that this “courtyard” of sorts is open to the public and not fenced off!

  7. @mike – I was initially going to include that plea in my comment as well, but didn’t want to even inspire any further baseball comments… now look what you’ve done^^^

  8. Brad, there’s one simple answer to your question: Chicago Cubs

    Remove them from the picture and the nonsense “curse’ and watch what happens to viewership.

  9. SO, I am curious to see what becomes of this space over the next decade, as right now Marbles is turning it into an “urban courtyard” but will no doubt be developing the lot in the years to come – do we think there’s a possibility Marbles could build something taller here? If they are in such need of more room, like the article mentions, I wonder if that means it would make sense for them to build something substantial here- perhaps a 5+ story building for staff offices so they could free up more room in the main building for more museum space – maybe have the ground floor be the gift shop, freeing up even more space in the main building? I think that’d be sweet. I’d love to see them eventually develop the tiny little lot out behind the IMAX, as well.

  10. So the Cubs have been responsible for increased viewership over the past few years as well? Even when they were bad? And the fact that the league generated $10 billion in revenue, behind only the NFL, means the sport is dying? Man, that’s some tough logic to follow.

  11. Jake you described something along the lines of what I had in mind for the corner down the line. I am guessing there are underground storage tanks that need removed before a building can go there. For what it’s worth, Thomas Wolfe’s father operated his stone cutting business near this corner from about 1870-1880 before moving on to Asheville (from my memory….will have to look up the exact address again). A historic sign here would be cool. For that matter, Raleigh could use about 1000 more historic plaques (with photos) and signs than it has now….

  12. @Mark…FWIW, I love history, too. But I really hate those lame-looking historic posts and plaques. I’d get rid of every last one of them. They are visual clutter and an eyesore. You want Raleigh history? Go to the Olivia Raney Library, read a book and then walk around to find spots that you feel historically connected with. Or sign up for one of those very nice walking tours – or Segway tours. But please, no more of those silver faux-historic signs!

  13. @Brad and Dwight…I love baseball, always have. BUT, this is Raleigh’s chance to be in on the ground floor of what (I think) will be a Major 4 sport in this country.

    Beyond sports, I hope we don’t squander the opportunity for major investment and exposure.

  14. Look guys, just because some of you don’t like baseball, or think it’s boring, doesn’t mean you get to just dole out blanket statements with no real facts backing them up and then expect us to take them as gospel.

    In 2015 MLB had it’s 7th best season in terms of attendance and while they were down 1% this year, it was still good enough to be the 11th best season in the history of the sport (attendance wise). The sport’s popularity is growing as they begin to market stadiums to the urban millennial crowd. Good local food, good local beer, all while you take in 3 hours of your local team.

    MLB will be expanding in about 3 to 5 years and that means Raleigh should be getting to the point of really being able to support a team downtown. The Triangle is already creeping up on the greater Charlotte area in terms of population and in Charlotte is able to support both NFL and NBA.

    MLS would be fine and I’m rooting for Raleigh to get a team, but if it falls through then people really need to start getting serious about mounting a 3-5 year organized, and enthusiastic campaign to try to sneak in and grab a team when MLB expands.

    I’ll say it again. You have NO team within 4 hours of here. THE largest gap on the east coast. You are pretty much at an intersection of 2 of America’s biggst intersates 40/95 and you are one of the fastest growing areas in America. You can pull from Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill as well as Cary, Apex and Morrisville (all of which are family friendly places with money) You have the perfect weather, you have the corporate presence (which is good for sponsorship and box seat sales) you have the tech scene which means you have millennials with money, and you have a very strong beer/food scene. These are all things that make the demographic in Raleigh nearly perfect for a MLB franchise.

    So tell me again why everyone writes it off as pipe dream? And don’t quote the never before seen, wives tale of a rule that you can’t have a minor league team within 30 miles of a pro team…bc I’ve already been on here and listed off the 10 or so examples of places where that already exists.

  15. I would like to point out that the soccer stadium is being funded privately through the owner, Steve Malik.

    Also, I think both MLS or MLB would be great. However, the Triangle Business Journal shared a Duke University study not to long ago that said when you add up collegiate athletics and the NHL, the only other sports league the area could support is MLS. We simply don’t have enough people and money at the moment for a MLB team. I’d love to see the MLB, but, right now, this shot at the MLS is our only chance. We need to unit as a community and support it. Go to NorthCarolinaFC.com and buy a $49 membership,


  16. @RenParkJohn, I should have been more clear. I mean things more like this https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/%27Street_of_Lightning%27_historical_plaque%3B_Lowell%2C_MA%3B_2011-09-03.JPG
    I want lots of pictures and the plaque board being exactly where the photographer stood. Also there are many more interesting things to know other than “who invented artificial limbs”…things like U.S. Grant stood on this porch with Sherman, or a column of Confederate troops fled up this road in 1865 or The “Raleigh Call” was made on this site (look up Kennedy’s assassination…). Our historical tours and markers are among the worst I’ve ever seen.

  17. @Lou: You make a very compelling case for MLB in Raleigh. And to confirm one of your points: according to federal census data, the metro Raleigh population is very close to passing Charlotte, and in all likelihood that moment has already come. Just waiting on newer census data to confirm it.

    @Paul: I am sorry if my attitude on MLS disappoints you, but for me personally the horses come before the cart. That is to say, 1) I hear where the new soccer stadium will be built, and 2) based on that information, I consider buying a membership in the Carolina FC. And FWIW, I think my flowchart represents the view of the vast majority of potential customers.

    @Mark: I am with you! I like those “Street of Lightning” plaques you linked to – much better than the silver-painted historical posted signs currently planted all over downtown Raleigh.

    And @Mark, I also agree with your second point: who on earth chose the numbingly irrelevant historic footnotes for those signs? As I’ve learned more about Raleigh history, I am continually surprised by the many interesting events that have happened here in the past. But you’d never know it from the current signs, featuring utterly obscure fragments of information that even a history nut would find useless. And even more amazing, the signs are located far from the actual location of reference. The signs all begin with words like “3 blocks south of here is the location where…”

  18. I wanted to echo @Uncle Jesse’s post from yesterday, December 20th. Our Republican-led NCGA seems to have “some sort of issue with the success of the cities, to the point that they write legislation that actually hurts them and I’m not even talking about that idiotic bill HB2.”

    I keep trying understand them, too. In their view of federal fiscal policy, they subscribe to “trickle-down economics” – legislating to help out corporations and the upper 1% should eventually filter down to benefit the poor and middle-class.

    If that’s true, wouldn’t the same logic apply at the state level? Legislate to benefit the growth and success of our wealthy big cities, and the benefits will eventually (if not immediately) filter outward to rural areas.

    But no, instead the Republican NCGA members seem consumed by short-term jealousy toward cities, working in an adversarial spirit to fight the success of our big cities, which are the job engines and revenue-generating engines of our state. Could it be the simple fact that we city folk have elected Democrats to our city councils?

    I don’t wish to drag politics into our blog, but there’s no ignoring that this adversarial behavior in the NCGA toward our cities can negatively affect our prospects for inward corporate migrations and big-ticket development activity in the cities – which is what we all want for Raleigh.

  19. imagine an app where you can point your phone at a historical location downtown and view images from the state archives of what used to be there.

  20. Nice Bam! The whatwasthere.com website could be a tool for getting there if you could link a QR code to each submission

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