For the Residential Rehabilitation of the R. C. Rivers House, 326 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh
In November 2007, Stephen Hess and Hope Rollins purchased the R.C. Rivers House at 326 Oakwood Avenue. Rivers built the house in 1899. He was clerk to the Sheriff and also managed several Raleigh theaters. Since 1947, the house had been owned by the Connelly and Everett families. Steven and Hope, and their twins Jack and Lilly, became the first “new owners” of the house in sixty years.
Although structurally sound, the house was in need of major refurbishing and adaptation for modern needs. With help from Hope’s parents, Robert and Mary Rollins, the family began the task of restoring the house to its Victorian splendor. Glenn Deans was hired as the project contractor. This was the beginning of a true collaboration. It was Glen who solved the dilemma of where to place the children’s bedrooms and suggested converting the attic into a children’s suite. This represented a significant increase in the original budget, but what successful renovation project is completed on budget and on time?
The attic conversion necessitated the construction of a stair, which the house had never had. Downstairs, interior walls were rearranged in order to accommodate the new stair, while preserving the grand center hallway. A downstairs master suite was created within the original building footprint. The kitchen was expanded and completely remodeled. Throughout the house, layers of wallpaper were stripped away from the original plaster and the wall surfaces were meticulously patched and sanded. HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems were modernized. Mary Rollins was instrumental in creating a vision for the interior and helped select colors, wall paper, and light fixtures. Finally the exterior was painted a pleasing combination of yellow and green that accentuates the dwelling’s Victorian details. With the renovation complete, the family is enjoying their “happy new house” as the twins call it. And the historic Oakwood neighborhood has yet another house restored to pristine condition.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2009 Anthemion Award to Steven Hess and M. Hope Rollins; Robert and Mary B. Rollins; and Glenn Deans for the Residential Rehabilitation of the R. C. Rivers House, 326 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh.