One of the grand dames of early 20th-century Raleigh, the Neo-Classical Revival Tucker House was repaired after fire destroyed parts of it in the 1930s. Forty years later, it was preserved by moving it a full city block from its original location. The residence was built for Garland Scott Tucker, a Raleigh businessman. Tucker was the founder of G. S. Tucker and Company Furniture, which he expanded into a chain of stores in eastern North Carolina. Tucker married Toler Moore of Tarboro, North Carolina, and in 1904, the first of their four children was born. About 1915, the Tuckers built this house at 420 North Blount Street, then considered the premier residential street in Raleigh. The elegant home was a bit unusual for its time--it not only had a bathroom downstairs, but two more upstairs. A descendant recalls the layout--a reception hall, library, radio room, telephone room and dining room downstairs, as well as the kitchen, bathroom and a butler's pantry--in the pre-World War I years when household servants were a fixture. There are also four fireplaces downstairs and five bedrooms and a sleeping porch upstairs. The home boasts fine mahogany woodwork throughout, dark paneling on the walls and beautiful hardwood floors, which incorporate Greek key designs.
As the Tucker's family home, the mansion was the scene of a constant round of formal teas, receptions and parties for many years. When necessary, it was also used for family funerals, with the deceased lying in state in one of the richly appointed rooms while the funeral service was performed. One night in the 1930s, as the family slept in the upstairs bedrooms, fire broke out on the first floor. The people escaped without injury, but damage was severe in some downstairs rooms. The damage was repaired, however, and life went on. The Tucker children grew up and moved away. Garland S. Tucker, Sr. died in 1949. Mrs. Tucker continued to reside there until her death in 1972, when the house passed into the hands of their only son, Garland S. Tucker, Jr. At that time, many homes surrounding the Tucker House were falling to demolition, as the state government pursued pressing needs for expansion. In 1975, Tucker donated the house to the city of Raleigh. The city responded by moving the house one block, to 414 N. Person Street, there to take on new life as a center for community and private events. The city renovated the mansion and furnished it with antique furniture. Today is serves as a community meeting house for the adjacent Mordecai and Oakwood neighborhoods, and as a rental facility. The Tucker House is a designated Raleigh Historic Landmark
The Tucker House is managed by the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department. Those wishing to visit may schedule a time by calling 919-996-4363. The house is also available for weddings, receptions, small parties, conferences and similar functions.
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