For the Commercial Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse of the Nehi Bottling Plant, 3210 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh
Built in 1937, the Nehi Bottling Company building is one of Raleigh’s earliest examples of modernist architecture. Designed by local architect William Henley Dietrick, this building is a rare local example of the International Style applied to a commercial building, and although modified in the 1950s, the building still retains much of its integrity. Other Raleigh Landmarks designed by Dietrick include Broughton High School and Dorton Arena at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. The original industrial use of the building is reflected in the rather severe expanses of blank wall with little detailing or ornamentation. In stark contrast, an irregular elliptical porch roof extends over the dramatic front entrance faced in black Carrarra glass.
The scope of work included the design and fabrication of a new interior stair and railing and the restoration of a historic mural on the exterior of the building. The replacement black Carrara glass on the façade was salvaged from a derelict building in St. Louis and repurposed for Nehi, as this material is no longer being fabricated. Original openings in the east and north sides of the building that were bricked in were reopened, with the intact steel windows restored. Non-original brickwork was removed from the openings in the arcade, which was outfitted with iron grates based on Dietrick’s original design. The original signage consisting of aluminum channel letters, seen on the south façade of the building in historic photographs, was replicated and installed with custom hangers to avoid damaging the glazed brick face of the building. The historic stone wall around the parking lot, built from a local quarry, was also fully restored.
Today, the completed Nehi Bottling Plant is one more example of the revival of Raleigh’s historic commercial building stock. While a tenant hasn’t been found yet, this open office space will likely be best suited for a technology or creative company. With similar projects occurring in this area, the west end of Hillsborough Street is completing its transition from industrial economy to tech corridor. Until a permanent tenant occupies the building, the space will be used for exhibits and special events.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2014 Anthemion Award to James A. Goodnight; Maurer Architecture; Ellington Contractors; Atlantec Engineers, PA; IronHouse Forge; Luke Miller Buchanan for the Commercial Rehabilitation and Adaptive Reuse of the Nehi Bottling Plant, 3210 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh.