Welcome to Raleigh, North Carolina's capital!
Take a virtual trip-through-time of our city now, and when you are finished, start making plans to drop by for an in-person visit.
Raleigh is unique because it was planned from the beginning as a capital city. The state's General Assembly, tired of traveling all over the state for its law-making sessions, decided in 1792 that it was time for a permanent seat for state government. The assembly purchased a 1,000-acre site, hired a surveyor, and laid out a whole new town on a grid. Space was appropriated for a new state house, town squares, lots for homes to be built, and even a town cemetery.
Since then, Raleigh has grown considerably while holding on to its past. Today there are over 20 National Register Historic Districts and more than 80 National Register historic sites in the city. Raleigh also has five local Historic Overlay Districts--Blount Street, Boylan Heights, Capitol Square, Oakwood, and Moore Square--and more than 125 local historic landmarks, including numerous fine examples of early modernist architecture.
Begin your trip through the history of the city in 1760 at the Joel Lane House, the gambrel-roofed house of the planter from whom the land to establish North Carolina's capital was purchased. Next, visit Mordecai Historic Park, where you can tour the 1795 (with 1826 additions) plantation house of Joel Lane descendants, furnished with more than 200 years of family heirlooms.
See the National Historic Landmark State Capitol (1832-1840), perhaps the finest Greek Revival statehouse in the Nation. Located in the heart of downtown, one can head in any direction from the Capitol and find rich components of the city's history.
Walk across the street to experience the ecclesiastical glory of Richard Upjohn's National Historic Landmark Christ Church (1854).
Marvel at the craftsmanship in stone and wood of the Chapel at St. Augustine 's College, constructed in 1895 by African American students at the historically black college.
Take a break from the city-scape and relax with a hike at the 4,900-acre 1932-1943 WPA--designed and built--Crabtree Creek Recreational Demonstration Area (now Umstead State Park).
And finish your day by taking in a special event at the world-famous J.S. Dorton Arena (1952, listed 1976), with its revolutionary hyperbolic paraboloid roof, fondly dubbed "The Cow Palace" when it was built in the 1950s.
Charles C. Meeker, Mayor
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