For the Residential Rehabilitation of the Hunnicutt-Lazarus House, 525 East Lane Street, Raleigh
It all began when Rick and Juanita Bronstein’s daughter, who lives in Oakwood, sent a photo of the dilapidated two-story Neoclassical Revival home at 525 East Lane asking if they needed a new project. Despite the fact that the house needed major work and was being sold “as is,” Rick fell in love with the wraparound porch and with the idea of bringing it back to life.
The c. 1913 Hunnicutt-Lazarus House was built for paving contractor Fabius H. Hunnicutt, who paved many of the sidewalks in Oakwood. It has a hipped roof with projecting pedimented gables on all four sides and the roof is sheathed in slate shingles, many of them original. There is a two-story bay window under the gable at the front of the house. The front porch wraps around the right side of the house and has a projection with a shallow pedimented gable over the front steps. The porch is supported by eight fluted Ionic columns with a square-section balustrade; and, the top rail of the balustrade curves up near the columns. The front door has a transom and sidelights. The transom features beveled leaded glass. On the right side of the house on the first story is a small leaded-glass window; and, on the second story is an oval window with four keystones. Lunette windows with keystones are found in each of the gables. The upper sashes of most windows are divided into lozenge-shaped windowpanes. Much of the original siding exists with each clapboard being shaped to have the appearance of two clapboards with curved profiles.
Originally, the Hunnicutt-Lazarus House was a one-story, single family home. An original portion of the one-story section exists in the rear, wrapped around the rear two-story projection. A sunroom was added to a part of the top of this section. The single family home was divided into four apartments in the 1960s – an extra door was cut into the front left side of the porch for access and another door cut into the right side of the porch to access the second floor apartments. Rooms were also added to the second floor on each side of the house above parts of the original one-story section. When the house was sold with all of its contents, it was difficult to see the extent of work needed, particularly with the foundation in the dirt-floor basement, which was bowing inward. Countless hours of research and investigation paved the way for the house’s restoration.
The Bronstein’s intent for the project was to restore the house to a single family home while staying true to the architectural period on the exterior, preserving as much original interior fabric as possible. Extensive foundation repairs were addressed before anything else. Next followed the repair of the slate roof due to years of patching over patching to simply control leaks. Wood rot and mildew abounded and also required repair and abatement. A new mahogany front door and sidelights with beveled leaded glass matching the transom was replicated to replace the missing originals. Inside, original fireplaces were maintained throughout, with original fireplace tile preserved upstairs. A reclaimed mantle in the parlor replaced a missing original. In the end, the house was restored to its c. 1913 appearance with meticulous attention to detail and will, once again, be used as a single-family home in Oakwood.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2016 Anthemion Award to Richard & Juanita Bronstein; 2SL Design Build Collaborative; Fails Safe Construction; Oak City Artisans for the Residential Rehabilitation of the Hunnicutt-Lazarus House, 525 East Lane Street, Raleigh.