For the Commercial Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse of the Raleigh Furniture Building, 119 East Hargett Street, Raleigh
The historic structure at 119 East Hargett Street was built in the 1914 to house the Raleigh Furniture Company. Due to its location near the predominantly African-American comunities in southeast Raleigh, this section of Hargett Street between Wilmington and Blount Streets became the center of commerce for the community and was known as Raleigh’s “black main street.” The Raleigh Furniture Company occupied the building until 1963. The space was then leased to Kimbrell’s furniture company. Kimbrell’s relocated in 1978 and the building remained unoccupied for approximately ten years. The late 1980s saw a series of nightclubs and galleries in the building. Empire properties purchased the building in 2005 with plans to restore the property to its historic appearance.
The project team for the renovation included Maurer Architecture, now a building tenant, and Empire Hardhat Construction. A modern aluminum storefront and replacement windows were removed and replaced by a wood and glass storefront and appropriate divided light wood sashes, both recreated in detail from period photographs. In the interior, spaces were upgraded for modern uses while retaining their historic volumes, character and finishes such as tin ceiling tiles, exposed beams and brick and hardwood floors. The original painted advertisement for Raleigh Furniture on the west façade was retained
By restoring this significant building, Empire properties has continued their commitment to bring economic and community revitalization to downtown Raleigh while preserving historic structures and keeping the city’s historical character intact. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Empire Properties numerous historic buildings in downtown Raleigh have been improved, and many new businesses and restaurants have moved into the area. The Raleigh Furniture is once again an integral part of Raleigh’s downtown and a bright future secured for this historic structure.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2009 Anthemion Award to Empire Properties; Maurer Architecture; and Empire Hardhat Construction for the Commercial Rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of The Raleigh Furniture Building, 119 East Hargett Street, Raleigh.