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Historic Preservation 201: Our Partners in Preservation
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Historic Preservation 201:  Our Partners in Preservation

CE Program - Historic Preservation 201: Our Partners in Preservation

When: Thursday, November 15, 2018
9:00 am - 4:00 pm (check in begins at 8:30 am)
Where: The Merrimon-Wynne House
500 N. Blount Street
Raleigh, North Carolina  27604
United States
Contact: Chris Stetkiewicz

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Historic Preservation 201: Our Partners in Preservation

Program includes panel discussion & tours of SIX historic homes!

November 15 | 9:00 am - 4:00 pm | 6 HSW Credits

The Merrimon-Wynn House | 500 N. Blount Street | Raleigh


6 HSW Credits | Lunch Included

AIA Triangle Members: $99 | Non-members $125

AIA Members with Assoc. AIA designation: $50


Join us for the second installation of our Historic Preservation series! As we did in Durham last year, we will have a lecture portion in the morning, including a panel discussion, followed by lunch and an afternoon of touring historic preservation projects. This year, we will focus on the Blount Street area in downtown Raleigh, all within walking distance from The Merrimon-Wynne House, our lecture venue and first tour location. We will tour six locations including The Norris-Heartt House, where we will end our tour.

Historic buildings are our tangible links with the past. The Federal and State governments encourage the preservation of historic buildings through tax incentives that promote the rehabilitation of historic structures of every period, size, style, and type. They are instrumental in preserving the historic places that give cities, towns, neighborhoods, and rural areas their special character.
The program will feature a  recap of the historic tax credit programs presented by North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) staff; a lesson on structuring the financial aspects of historic rehabilitation projects; and a presentation addressing historic guidelines from the national and local perspective with speakers from the Raleigh Historic Development Commission and the National Park Service.

Program will include panel discussion and conclude with a tour of six historic properties.

Learning objectives:

  1. Upon completion of this program, participants will effectively calculate the basics of the historic tax credits.
  2. Participants will distinguish appropriate rehabilitation guidelines and technical treatments from the national and local perspective with speakers from the Raleigh Historic Development Commission and the National Park Service.
  3. Participants will learn how to do a pro forma estimate of tax credit equity invested into a project. Participants will learn about the significance of Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures (QREs), tax credit equity pricing, and the basic financial structure of a tax credit deal.
  4. Participants will further demonstrate meeting and balancing the requirements for each new use and design, building code and life safety, and the historic standards and guidelines.

Afternoon tour of SIX historic properties:

Merrimon-Wynne House

The 1875 Merrimon-Wynne House at 500 N Blount Street is an imposing weatherboard-clad Italianate-style frame structure with Eastlake-style detailing concentrated at prominent front and side porches.  A 1910 renovation introduced bay windows and Federalist-style details on both the interior and exterior of the home.  Over its lifetime, the home has served as a residence, a dorm for Peace Institute, later Peace College and William Peace University, and eventually as offices for the State of North Carolina from the 1970s until its abandonment in 2008.   As a part of the North Blount Street redevelopment initiative, the home was moved from its original site at 526 N Wilmington Street to its current location at 500 N Blount Street.  The current owner purchased the home in 2013 and undertook significant renovation and repair work to the structure to restore it to its original beauty and convert to a new use as an event center. Modern interior partitions and alterations were removed, deteriorated interior and exterior woodwork was repaired or replaced, original plaster walls were repaired, and a new, modest addition was introduced to the rear of the house to accommodate the event center needs.  The new site was beautifully landscaped to accent the historic house, and a carriage house was introduced to the site to accommodate large receptions.  The renovation of the Merrimon-Wynne House has revitalized this significant historic structure and brought new vibrancy to the North Blount Street historic district. 


Francis-Ashley House

The Francis-Ashley House was originally a modest Queen Anne style home in the core of downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. The home first appears on the 1909 Sanborn map and had a series of additions, modifications and changes that culminated with the structure being used for corporate offices for the State of North Carolina. Matthew Konar Architect was honored to work with Mr. and Mrs. Francis, who saw this building as the office for their small business as well as a significant part of the historical fabric of downtown Raleigh and its many previous generations. Mr. and Mrs. Francis were drawn to the structure due to its plethora of turn-of-the-century, vernacular and stylistic features, including a stunning wrap-around porch, an asymmetrical façade (which is traditional to the Queen Anne style), the original wood siding, and many tall, double-hung windows. With so many quality attributes, the goal of the restoration was simple, uncover the historic features, allow them to shine once again and incorporate them into a functional office space. During construction, Mr. and Mrs. Francis were rewarded with a historical ‘surprise'… hidden inside the building was a kitchen house, originally separate from the main house, had been engulfed by the numerous past expansions. Today, with the renovations of the Francis-Ashley completed, Mr. and Mrs. Francis are proud to tour clients (and visitors) through their office and highlight all the features, especially the original kitchen building, that tell stories of Raleigh’s history.



Originally constructed in 1878, the Higgs-Coble-Helms House is a Raleigh Historic Landmark and a contributing structure to the North Blount Street National Register Historic District.  After serving as a residence for nearly a hundred years, the State of North Carolina purchased the historic house in the 1970s and used the structure as office space until the mid 2000s. The structure sat vacant and un-maintained for over 12 years before the house was purchased by the current owner.  The structure was renovated many times over its life; unfortunately, none of the renovations were sensitive to the house's original Victorian style and quality.   Because the structure was vacant for so long, significant structural and finish repair was required on both the inside and outside of the house.  The current owner sought to restore the structure to its original beauty while converting it into a viable business use that meets modern life safety and accessibility standards.  As a part of the project, the adjacent Andrews-Duncan Carriage House was also purchased and fully restored for use as a residence.  On the exterior of the house, an ill-proportioned addition was removed, and the front façade was returned to its original configuration.  Non-historic windows were replaced with historically sensitive windows, the tin roof was repaired and refinished, and all deteriorated woodwork was repaired or replaced.  On the inside, modern interior partitions were removed, and all damaged woodwork and finishes were fully restored. As a part of the project, the site was also refreshed with historically-sensitive plantings and the existing parking area behind the house was paved and significantly improved. The restoration of the historic Higgs-Coble-Helms House has preserved this historic landmark for future generations and has helped to reinvigorate Raleigh's North Blount Street Historic District.  


Pell House

The Pell House at 111 E North St. is a 2-story red brick Georgian Revival structure with 3 prominent dormer windows adorning its gable roof.  The house has a rectangular plan with a modest single-story wing off the rear of the structure and a recessed corner utility porch.  The front door boasts an elaborate arched door surround and the Tuscan-colonnaded front porch has triple columns at the corners. French doors open onto a side patio on the eastern side of the house. The house served as a residence until the 1970s when the state purchased the property and used the house for offices.  The home has remained relatively well preserved through the years but has suffered from deferred maintenance during the time since the state abandoned its use as offices in 2008.  The current owners are renovating the Pell House for continued use as offices and have undertaken significant structural and finish repairs. Painstaking attention has been given to restoring deteriorated woodwork, plaster, and flooring throughout the home.  The original kitchen footprint has been expanded into what was once a butler’s pantry, an accessible bathroom has been added on the main level of the house, and a new side patio and rear porch have been added to provide handicap accessibility into the structure.  The site is slated to be fully revitalized into a feature garden with a modest amount of parking provided at the rear of the home.  Once complete, this stately structure will join the recently renovated homes of the North Blount Street historic district to showcase and celebrate Raleigh’s significant architectural heritage.


Norris House

The Norris House is one of the historic buildings along North Blount St. that was owned by the State of North Carolina and listed for sale in 2015 and early 2016. The Norris House has been recently restored per the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for rehabilitation and is a historic tax credit project.  It is also located in the N. Blount St. Historic District, under the purview of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.  The original structure was built in 1879 with later additions and modifications including the removal of the porch, replacing it with a double height, Mt. Vernon style version.  Purchased in the 1960’s, the former residence was converted to office space for state government workers before sitting empty and derelict for years.  Todd Jones and Kimberly Brackett Jones began the years long rehab in 2016, which included the restoration of the original porch on the east elevation and converting the space to a business and events venue.  The Norris House opened in the spring of 2018 and is an excellent example of adaptive reuse and historic preservation in one of Raleigh’s oldest residential areas long neglected.   



The Andrews Duncan house was built in 1873 and commissioned by Colonel Alexander Boyd Andrews, (1841-1915) one of the leaders in the nineteenth century railroad business which did much to unite distant sections of the state.  The grand house was designed in the Victorian Italianate style by George S. H. Appleget and constructed by builders Wilson and Waddell. Both the builders and Appleget were associated with the construction of the Heck-Andrews House built next door only a few years earlier.


Laura Duncan Pearson, wife of a Raleigh dentist and widow of a Durham tobacco industrialist, bought the house from the Andrews estate in October 1919. She opened the house to tenants, running it as a rooming house until her death in 1968 at age 91.  The house remained in the Duncan family until it was purchased by the state of North Carolina in the 1972. It was converted to office space and occupied by a division of the State Bureau of Investigation for several decades while slowly falling into disrepair.  The house was finally listed for sale in 2016 and is now under contract to be sold. The new owners plan to faithfully restore the structure and to live in the seven bedroom, six bathroom, 10,000-plus square-foot mansion. The Andrews Duncan House was designated a Raleigh Historic Landmark in 1972.  As a condition of the impending sale, the Andrews Duncan House will be conveyed with preservation covenants held by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office.



Registration Refund Policy

Requests for refunds must be submitted in writing no later than 14 days prior to the date of the program. Requests for refunds may be emailed to for consideration. The approved refund amount will be paid by check or credit card depending on original payment method and may be subject to a service fee.  AIA Triangle withholds the right to deny or approve any refund based on condition or circumstance.

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