For the Commercial Rehabilitation of 215 East North Street, Raleigh
The modest Queen Anne building at 215 East North Street was constructed c.1903 to reflect the turn-of-the century architectural tastes of the Blount Street and Oakwood neighborhoods. According to the 1909 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, there were originally two structures on the property – a house and a separate kitchen connected by a breezeway – within the same footprint as the current house. Sometime before the publication of the 1914 Sanborn map, the original detached kitchen house and covered walkway were incorporated into one structure, as it is today.
The State of North Carolina purchased and converted the structure for use as State offices in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Floors were covered in linoleum tiles and many other original architectural elements were covered with sheetrock and dropped ceilings.
Charles and Marvea Francis purchased the house from the State in the Fall of 2016 with the purpose of converting the building into a law office for the Francis Law Firm. Task number one was the removal of the commercial construction materials throughout the building. The removal revealed that a majority of the original historic fabric has remained intact over the years. The original exterior siding of the kitchen house, now encased within the building on the interior, was exposed during this process. The original pine flooring remained beneath the linoleum tiles and all of the restrained Queen Anne detailing was exposed for the first time in decades and restored. Structural modifications were made when needed, and damaged or deteriorated elements were replaced in-kind. The front porch, which had been replaced with a straight-sloped roof, was removed, and a historically-appropriate gabled pediment was constructed using evidence of the original roof lines found during the restoration process. The room configurations, which were surprisingly unaltered when converted to offices many years ago, were retained and work perfectly in their configuration for law offices.
Today, thanks to the efforts of Charles and Marvea Francis and their project team, the restrained Queen Anne style building at 215 East North Street once again serves as an fine example of turn-of-the century architectural taste in the Blount Street and Oakwood neighborhoods.
The Board of Directors of Capital Area Preservation, Inc. is pleased to present a 2017 Anthemion Award to The Francis Law Firm, PLLC, Matthew Konar Architect, PLLC; Richard Hall Designs, LLC; Greg Paul Builders, Inc. for the Commercial Rehabilitation of 215 East North Street, Raleigh.