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Dodd-Hinsdale House
Photo by Michael Zirkle Photography, courtesy of Raleigh Historic Development Commission
The former home of Raleigh Mayor William H. Dodd is representative of the many grand residences that once lined downtown Hillsborough Street. Built in 1879, the building features a tall Second Empire tower with bracketed eaves, narrow arched windows and porches festooned with carved millwork. The juxtaposition of red brick walls with painted wood trim produces a striking architectural effect. In 1890, financial reverses forced Dodd to sell the house. The buyer was lawyer John W. Hinsdale, a New York native who fought for the Confederacy and later became the attorney for the Seaboard Airline Railroad. He is said to have maintained the home in grand style.

[photo] Historic view of the Dodd-Hinsdale House
Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History

The house remained in the Hinsdale family until 1971. By that time, most of Hillsborough Street’s other stately homes had been demolished and replaced by office and commercial development. In the late 1960s, a towering hotel was built just two lots down. For nearly a quarter century, the fate of the house hung in the balance, as the building went through a succession of short-term uses. Maintenance faltered and after a late-1980s attempt at renovation failed, the building was left partially gutted and vacant. In 1997, however, a private consortium purchased and successfully adapted the residence for use as a restaurant. In recognition of the building’s distinctive architecture, the new establishment is titled the “Second Empire.” The Dodd-Hinsdale House has also been designated a Raleigh Historic Landmark.

The Dodd-Hinsdale House is located at 330 Hillsborough St. The property is open to the public during the restaurant’s regular operating hours. Visit the restaurant’s website or call 919-829-3663 for further information.

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