419/425 North Boylan Avenue – 1948 (Demolished)

According to Dana at gogoraleigh, a new site plan is under review for 425 N. Boylan Avenue, across from 712 Tucker. A 250-unit mixed-use building will be placed where a pair of early International Style buildings currently are.

419 N. Boylan, front view

Although I have no documentation to support this, I have a strong suspicion these buildings were designed by Milton Small, while working for William Deitrick. Small’s designs typically featured exposed steel beams, windows that reached from the floor to the ceiling, and almost always looked to be floating–the lower level offset from the earth by a few inches. Additionally, this building is across the street from the Yancey Building, a building his firm operated out of before moving to Brooks Avenue.

There are few remaining pre-1950 examples of the International Style in Raleigh, and 419 is a beautiful and humble example.


425 N. Boylan was built a little after 419

Located on the same block is 425 N. Boylan Avenue. A bit less attractive than 419, it shares many of the same design styles. It was built a few years later, presumably by the same architect.

This area around Glenwood Avenue was important in the early prevalence of modernist architecture in Raleigh. Milton Small operated an office in the area, and there are still a few hidden modern buildings amid the new fancy mid-rise structures that have popped up in recent years.

There is little doubt that many of the remaining buildings of the 1950s experiments in modernism will rapidly disappear in the coming years.


Category: endangered, international style | Tags: 4 comments »

4 Responses to “419/425 North Boylan Avenue – 1948 (Demolished)”

  1. Richard B.

    Wow, and I thought it was bad when they EIFS’d up the once-elegant 410 North Boylan into the now-hideous “Boylan Executive Center.” There is a lot of sadness waiting to happen in this neighborhood, I fear.

  2. Sean Baker

    Here’s an article backing up the plan for the area there. They want to build a complimentary 7-story apartment unit there (across from Tucker, mind you). I can’t stand this.


  3. Adam

    Perhaps I am ignorant but please tell me why this era of architecture should be so cherished? While historic (this is historic?) and meaningful to the evolution of building design, they now stand in the way of more contemporary and useful building space. Even these pictures, which I am sure were shot by a skilled hand with a great camera, look horrible.

    A common trend throughout the nation recently has been to replace these once futuristic, now severely uninviting, structures with new and less historic (again, really?) stores and condos, and with good reason. I am all for the demolition of most of the buildings from this era. It is called progress. These buildings looked outdated 5 years after they were built.

  4. Tobias Kaiser

    John, thanks for writing about these. What a pity – while CAM has new quarters and AIA-NC is going up, sweet buildings like these don’t see alternative use but get eliminated. Shameful.

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