Photo © John Edward Linden
Urban revival Carolina style: Located in a restored produce warehouse, an innovative art center links past and present in an emerging historic district with a promising future.
By Linda C. Lentz
One of the country’s “best” and “fastest-growing” cities (according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Forbes), Raleigh has a lot going on in and around its 144 square miles: North Carolina state government facilities, major universities, a vibrant tech industry, and a multifaceted cultural scene. Luckily, a quorum of local officials, professionals, and entrepreneurs strives for an urbanscape that both looks to the future of this small, thriving metropolis and retains its Southern charms.
The city’s busy downtown is a hybrid collection of buildings dating from the 18th century to a new convention center and Marriott. Just a block away, the Depot Historic District resonates with the vernacular of its heyday (from the 1880s to the 1950s) as a commercial railroad hub. The four blocks of low-rise brick warehouses, factories, and depots appear to be frozen in time. But stretching out among them, the bold, cantilevered canopy of Raleigh’s Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) serves as a vivid affirmation that the neighborhood is moving forward.
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