Discovering the past of our new home

By CAM Raleigh | March 25, 2011

1792 Raleigh map

CAM Raleigh is moving into a building that’s new to us, but our home is certainly not new. 409 W. Martin Street sits on a plot originally envisioned in the 1792 plan for Raleigh by William Christmas. Click on the map to zoom in. Plot A in the middle is the State House. You can find us at the red-highlighted plot.

The original use of the building was for storing and distributing fruits and vegetables. It was once occupied by the Brogden Produce Company, and was a hub of activity, working against time to supply old Raleigh with fresh fruit and vegetables. Today the building is located within the Depot National Register Historic District.

Our street gallery, which you can see along West Martin street, was thought to have once been a giant open loading dock with only a roof and sides. You might notice a slight slant to the floor, believed to be used for washing debris out onto the street day after day.

It’s a story that inspired Dan Steinhilber, our inaugural exhibition artist, to create a series of site-specific installations that reference this idea of containing the perishable, working with materials like cardboard boxes, shipping pallets, and stretch wrap.

We’re excited to be carrying on the tradition of seeking what is fresh and contemporary at CAM Raleigh. We hope when you come to visit, you’ll feel the same connection we do to the building’s history, and the rhythm of ever-changing inspiring exhibitions.

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