Jane’s Walk Raleigh 2014 Recap!

I can’t believe it’s been over a week since Raleigh’s inaugural Jane’s Walk and I have yet to give everyone a recap of its dazzling successes (not counting the recap I gave Downtown Dame). If you need a refresher as to what Jane’s Walk is, please refer to my earlier post where the concept made its Quailford.com debut.

Like any other weekend in Raleigh (practically all year round), Jane’s Walk was not the only event taking over downtown the weekend of May 3-4. Some might see the overlapping festivals (Car Show, LGBT street fair, Food Truck Rodeo…) as an issue, but I see it as proof of diversity and growth!

Jane’s Walk is truly a one-of-a-kind event. Anyone can create a walk. There’s no need to sign up to go on a walk. No cost associated. The idea is to share an open, judgement-free, community-centric discussion with neighbors. It’s as simple as that!

There is only one problem with its simplicity – the other walk leaders and I had no idea how many people to expect to join us on our walks. This “problem” turned out to be a real blessing. Throughout the course of the weekend, 300 Jane’s Walkers conversed and traversed all over Raleigh! If that overwhelming figure is not enough to convince you of Jane’s Walk Raleigh’s success, then maybe you will appreciate the fact that our page experienced the heaviest traffic volume out of all of the cities on the Jane’s Walk Headquarters site (the web marketer in me had to share that).

200 years of Architecture & History in 400 square feet

Twenty-eight walkers followed architect Frank Harmon & researcher Catherine Bishir around the Capitol grounds. I’m upset that I had to miss this tour since it was directly before my walk. Hopefully this dynamic duo will lead a walk again next year and I’ll be able to join! The good news is that the Capitol building offers traditional tours lead by trained docents on Saturdays at 11am and 2pm.

Jane's Walk | Capitol Grounds
Catherine Bishir and Frank Harmon speak to the community about the architecture surrounding the Capitol grounds*
Jane's Walk | Capitol Tour
Tour-goers gaze up into the Capitol rotunda*

DTR History of Commerce Tour

I was shocked to have had 45+ tourists join me on my walk! Though I made a hobby of writing promotional guest posts on the Jane’s Walk blog, Goodnight Raleigh, and The Raleigh Connoisseur, I was certain that a maximum of 15 people would be behind me. That was a generous estimate considering six of those people came from my own family and I had begged the other nine 😉

Since public speaking is not my strong suit, the prospect of leading a 75 minute walk-and-talk centered around a subject that I am by no means an expert in made me pretty anxious. I even dragged Ben and Quailford around downtown the Monday before on a practice run. The day of the walk, as more and more people that I had never seen before kept trickling onto the sidewalk in front of the Briggs Hardware Building, my nerves were absolutely racking! However, the collaborative storytelling nature of Jane’s Walk gave me confidence and comfort.

Jane's Walk | DTR History of Commerce | Briggs Hardware
Walkers gather on the sidewalk to view the Briggs Hardware Building*

My biggest fear was that there would be architects, historians, or prominent business-owners on my walk to heckle me. And true, there may have been architects, historians, and prominent business-owners on the walk, but they did anything but heckle me. As a matter of fact, each walker contributed something very unique to the conversation – their own input and opinion. The highlight of the tour was when one of the walkers, the owner of Capital Bank Plaza, let us inside the building’s lobby!

Jane's Walk | Raleigh Furniture Co. Building
Leading the conversation from the fire escape of the historically African American Raleigh Furniture Co. Building*
Jane's Walk | Sir Walter Hotel
Conversation between walkers in front of the Hotel Sir Walter*
Jane's Walk | Hargett Street
Walkers take a look at The Oddfellows Building and The Raleigh Building from the north side of Hargett Street*
Jane's Walk | Capital Bank Plaza
Taking a peek inside the Capital Bank Plaza lobby*

Looking Back and Looking Forward: Mitchell Silver’s Downtown Raleigh 

As Raleigh’s former chief planning officer, Mitchell Silver guided the most popular tour with over 110 walkers. His focus on Raleigh’s progress was an appropriate transition from the first two more historically-themed walks of the day. We walked through the up-and-coming Warehouse District to see the future home of Union Station and Citrix. Mitchell made some great points about the necessary trade-offs when planning for a rapidly developing area such as downtown. I’m making a note to share some key takeaways with you on a very deserving separate post!

Jane's Walk | Mitchell Silver
Mitchell sharing stories of Raleigh’s downtown development
Jane's Walk | Warehouse District
Crowding around Mitchell in the Warehouse District
Jane's Walk | Mitchell Silver & Lauren Pritchett
Dad got a picture of Mitchell Silver and me in front of the Convention Center

Opportunity Dorthea Dix

On Sunday, Matt Tomasulo of CityFabric and WalkYourCity welcomed over 90 walkers to his co-working space, BLDG Co. in Boylan Heights. I have followed Matt’s efforts for several years, and most recently heard him speak for Creative Mornings at CAM Raleigh. We strolled through historic Boylan Heights, crossed Western Boulevard, and made our way to the Dorthea Dix property. Though I am familiar with the iconic views that the (hopefully) future park offers, I had no idea that there was this much space available for pleasure within just a few minutes of downtown. While attending the Downtown Raleigh Alliance Awards Ceremony back in February, I heard a sound byte from Mayor McFarlane that Raleigh has over 90,000 acres of green space within city limits. That’s more than Atlanta and Minneapolis! After seeing the endless green pastures on Matt’s walk, I understand why we need to embrace this asset.

Jane's Walk | BLDG Co.
Katherine introducing Matt in front of BLDG Co.
Jane's Walk | Dorthea Dix
Made it to the Dix entrance!*
Jane's Walk | Raleigh Skyline
You could hear the gasp in unison as walkers viewed the Raleigh skyline*
Jane's Walk | Green space
On the edge of Dix property near Centennial Campus, there is this majestic field of green! The Farmers Market is just beyond here.*

In addition to talking with my own family and friends, I met so many other neighbors that care about leaving the best legacy for our city. Notable new friends included the owner of Capital Bank Plaza, a Raleigh Little Radio volunteer, and the other walk leaders. I was most inspired by our City Organizer, Katherine Loflin, who brought Jane’s Walk to Raleigh. By spearheading a study called “Soul of the Community”, the NC native and her team concluded that out of all of the drivers, openness is the most important factor in connecting people with their places across the board. Her passion for Raleigh’s citizenry and expertise in building healthy communities are what motivated her to bring the open-source concept of Jane’s Walk to the City of Oaks!

Jane's Walk | Organizer and Leaders
Katherine Loflin, Matt Tomasulo, and me posing in front of BLDG Co. after the final Jane’s Walk of 2014

Participating in Jane’s Walk has been metamorphic in the way I view Raleigh and its residents. The more we know, the more we share, the more we care! Even though it is an annual event, Jane’s Walk’s mission resonates all year round via community curiosity and conversation. This definitely won’t be the last time you hear me talk about Jane’s Walk in 2014!

*Photos courtesy of Katherine Loflin

NC State’s Memorial Bell Tower Tour

View of Bell Tower from Holladay Hall

Yesterday, I went on a free tour of NC State’s Memorial Bell Tower. Whenever I approach PR’s or if I’m en route to Cup A Joe, I’ll take a moment to admire the tower’s grandeur, but even as an alum and neighbor to it, I knew very little about it. Luckily, there is someone who is a Memorial Bell Tower aficionado and proudly shares his enthusiasm with others by leading tours! Dr. Tom Stafford, former Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, invited alumni to join him on a tour of the bell tower and so I went, along with one of my Delta Gamma sisters.

I was especially excited about this tour because I had just picked up a rare find at Reader’s Corner used bookstore, North Carolina State University: A Pictorial History. This book was published in celebration of my Alma Mater’s centennial milestone and in the year that I was born, 1987 (NCSU was founded on March 7th, 1887). Now that I’ve taken the tour, I can flip through the pages with even more insight.

Centennial Celebration Book, 1987

I’m going to brief you all on the tour, but I do not want to give away any spoilers! I encourage you, especially if you are a member of the Wolfpack, to go on one of these tours. Dr. Stafford has lead over a hundred of them and has continued to lead them since retiring in 2012. There is limited space on the tour (you will understand why in a minute), but next time I see one coming up I will be sure to Tweet it out from the rooftops!

We started the tour at Holladay Hall, NC State’s first building and home to the first day of classes on October 3rd, 1889. Holladay Hall held everything the students needed, thus named the “Main Building” of the North Carolina College of Agriculture & Mechanic Arts. So when people ask you, “What’s the oldest dorm/dining hall/health center on campus?” You can answer assuredly with “Holladay Hall!”.

Holladay Hall 1890 vs 2014
Top photo circa 1890

Dr. Stafford went on to share some pretty amazing stories including one about a current student who is the great, great, grandson of someone in NC State’s inaugural class (yes, meaning he was there on October 3rd, 1889!). Next, he took us to the back entrance of Holladay Hall. But first, he pointed out a gem that most of the alumni had never even noticed. I used the excuse that most of my classes were held on Centennial Campus, so I seldom spent time on Main Campus, and that is why I had not seen the iconic Block S molding on the back facade of Holladay Hall!

Holladay Hall Block S
The Block S on the back of Holladay Hall was added in the 1930s.

When all of the oohing and aahing had ceased, we were lead into the Chancellors’ Board Room before meeting in the very exclusive (and very small) carillon room! Wolfpackers know that there are no bells in our bell tower, but we do still have a carillon room from where the bell music originates. It plays on a cassette tape which is then amplified through speakers inside the tower.

NC State's Carillon Room
Helen, my DG sister and fellow Wolfpack alum, pretending to play live music for the bell tower in the carillon room.

Up until 1989, someone would play that very carillon at 5 o’clock to close out each work day and take record in a notebook. Unfortunately, the carillon pictured below is no longer in working operation (know of any carillon players/repairmen?). Live music is scarcely heard from the bell tower now, but one lucky little boy (future alum) and one alum got the opportunity to play few diddies on the modern-day carillon during the tour.

Carillon
Carillon
Carillon Record Notebook
Dr. Stafford points out the record keeping of those who played the carillon.

My mind is blown at how much history (and how many people) a few square feet can hold!

At this point, I could barely recognize that we were on a bell tower tour. Before arriving on campus, I figured the tour would last 30 minutes. We’d get a peek inside, listen to a couple of stories, and be done with it for the day. Boy was I pleasantly surprised that it was far from that! Nearly 90 minutes into the tour, we made it to the base of the bell tower.

Our bell tower was erected as a memorial to the NC State alumni who died during World War I. Construction began in 1921, but was halted when money ran out quickly due to the Great Depression. It was completed in 1937 with funds from the Works Progress Administration.  Because of the haphazard construction schedule, you can tell a difference in the shades of granite stonework throughout the exterior of the tower when the lighting is right.

Memorial Bell Tower Shrine Room

bell tower shrine room
Looking up to the top of the tower from the floor of the Shrine Room.

We finally made our way into the shrine room and this is the part that I definitely don’t want to give away. There are 35 names inscribed in the shrine room of those who died during WWI. However, we only lost 34 men to the war! Someone made a mistake, and there is no CTRL+Z when it comes to engraving. One of the names on the list has been altered. Can you tell which name was edited to save face? (Look very closely!)

NC State WWI memorial

I’m not telling you the answer because I urge you to go on this tour and find out for yourself! We stopped only a handful of times, but the tour was 2 hours long! It is thanks to the storytelling ability and obvious passion of guides like Dr. Stafford that the historic preservation of key landmarks is maintained. Holladay Hall and the Memorial Bell Tower stand proudly and soundly today, after years of memories and many more yet to be made.

Join Me on Jane’s Walk

Jane’s Walk is coming to Raleigh for the first time this year the weekend of May 2-4! Jane’s Walk is a festival that celebrates our neighborhoods with walking tours led by local folks to honor Jane Jacobs’ Birthday.

Who is Jane Jacobs? Jane Jacobs was an author and urban activist lending a powerful voice toward city officials, architects, designers, and the public during the middle of the 20th century. Her most famous work is a critique on contemporary (1950s at the time) urban design, The Death and Life of American Cities. To this day, her theories and proposed guidelines continue to be influential for urban planners. Jane’s Walk was designed to sustain Jane’s legacy by promoting urban literacy!

Jane's Walk

It turns out that I have wanted to lead a Jane’s Walk before I even knew that Jane’s Walk existed. A few months ago, I found myself glued to Goodnight Raleigh, a blog about  historical Raleigh, when I realized that there is not a lot of accessible information about downtown’s commercial architecture and history. Even though I have no formal training in architecture nor history, just a strong affinity for (and addiction to researching) the subjects, I thought Raleigh could use a tour all about commercial architecture in downtown! I had made some connections with a few local architects and even wrote up a brief proposal. Around this time, I added my Raleigh Landmarks Map to this site. Eventually, my petit rêve kind of dissolved. I would say it was because I was “busy” but truth be told, I think I was just nervous to actually bring it to fruition!

Then I came across Raleigh’s inaugural Jane’s Walk! Anybody can create a walk at any time during the festival. Jane’s Walk has provided me with the opportunity to share my route with friends and neighbors.

Please join me on Saturday, May 3rd at 12 noon for the DTR History of Commerce Tour!

We’ll start in front of the COR Museum (Raleigh’s oldest “skyscraper”) and end at the SkyHouse construction site (Raleigh’s newest skyscraper).


View Larger Map

Visit my walk site here for more information! You do not need to sign up or register, but here is a link to the Facebook Event. Just show up and enjoy!

Below is a preview of some of the sites we’ll see, taken from my tumblr, OakCityGram*.

Capital City Club, Then and Now
Capital City Club
Wilmington Street, Then and Now
Wilmington Street

I will be facilitating and getting the conversation going, but participants are encouraged to share their own knowledge, observations, and opinions on the tour. Though I dabble in learning about Raleigh’s history and architecture, I’m by no means an expert on the subjects and welcome anyone to chime in. I invite you to be a part of a movement to preserve Raleigh’s history and strive for a successful future.

After my tour, head on over to Nash Square to follow Mitchell Silver’s walk, Looking Back and Looking Forward. May 3rd is sure to be a day full of inspiration!

I hope that you will join me for the DTR History of Commerce Walking Tour. Also be sure to check out the rest of Raleigh’s walks, as they will be added to the Jane’s Walk Raleigh site throughout the coming weeks. And if you do not live in Raleigh, there might be a Jane’s Walk near you!

Special thanks to the Raleigh City Organizer, Katherine Loflin who is volunteering her time to make the first Jane’s Walk in Raleigh a success!

*Historic photos from NC State Archives, browse more here.

A Breaking Bad Tour of Albuquerque

In this day and age, preparing for a special occasion can include coming up with a hash tag to use on social media. Not only does this hash tag provide a “brand” for the event, but it helps keep track of all of the Instagrams and Tweets the people in your party post to the web! I was very excited to come up with a hash tag for our winter vacation (it’s the little things in life, isn’t it?). We decided on #pritchettsbreakbad because it defined our final destination of ABQ. But I think it also of mirrors the spontaneity of the entire trip, which we are not necessarily known for! 🙂

We flew into Las Vegas Christmas night and over the course of a few days made appearances at the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, and among the red rocks of Sedona before ending up in Albuquerque for a self-guided tour of Breaking Bad filming locations. You may call us crazy/obsessive fans, and I may agree with you but ABQ is the Hollywood of critically-acclaimed, Emmy award winning television!

Before leaving for our vacation, I created a Google Custom Map with all of the locations we wanted to check out. Making a custom map is really easy and fun! I made one previously for Historic Raleigh Sites. Since many people have already done the Breaking Bad “tour”, there was a lot of info out there to help us research exact addresses. The Breaking Bad Wiki was also very helpful! Here’s our final map (I hope to improve upon it for future BB tourists – still needs some cleaning up):

Using Ben’s Android smart phone, we navigated all over New Mexico’s largest metropolis to see the sites! Here’s a brief (seriously, we saw A LOT of sites) pictorial review of Breaking Bad’s Albuquerque. If you are as much of a super fan as I am, you will instantly recognize these locations and be able to remember the scenes, but I’ve included AMC screenshots for reference! I also need to apologize for the quality of some of the photos – I took a few out the car window (plus I don’t have the skills nor the means that cinematographer Michael Slovis has).

WARNING: I can’t promise that the following doesn’t contain spoilers, but I’ll try to steer clear 😉

A1A Car Wash | Octopus Car Wash
A1A Car Wash | Octopus Car Wash
A1A Car Wash, Abiquiú - AMC
A1A Car Wash | Episode Shown Here: Abiquiú | Debuts in Pilot
Jesse Pinkman's House
Jesse Pinkman’s House | Another BB Tourist took our picture!
Jesse Pinkman's House - AMC
Jesse Pinkman’s House | Episode Shown Here: Caballo Sin Nombre | Debuts in Pilot
The White Residence
The White Residence
The White Residence - AMC
The White Residence | Debuts in Pilot
Crossroads Motel - "The Crystal Palace"
Crossroads Motel – “The Crystal Palace”
Crossroads Motel - "The Crystal Palace"
Crossroads Motel – “The Crystal Palace”
Crossroads Motel - "The Crystal Palace" | Wendy's Residence - AMC
Crossroads Motel – “The Crystal Palace” | Episode Shown Here: …and the Bag’s in the River | Featured throughout series
Schrader Residence
Schrader Residence
Schrader Residence - AMC
Schrader Residence | Episode Shown Here: Seven Thirty-Seven | Featured throughout series
The Dog House
The Dog House
The Dog House, Seven Thirty-Seven - AMC | Also shown in Crazy Handful of Nothin' and Blood Money
The Dog House | Episode Shown Here: Seven Thirty-Seven | Also shown in Crazy Handful of Nothin’ & Blood Money
Tuco's Headquarters
Tuco’s Headquarters
Tuco's Headquarters, Crazy Handful of Nothin' - AMC
Tuco’s Headquarters | Episode Shown Here: Crazy Handful of Nothin’
Jesse & Jane's Apartment | A very nice neighbor took our picture!
Jesse & Jane’s Apartment | A very nice neighbor took our picture!
Jesse & Jane's Apartment, Breakage - AMC
Jesse & Jane’s Apartment | Episode Shown Here: Breakage | Featured throughout Season 2
Beneke Fabricators
Beneke Fabricators
Beneke Fabricators - AMC
Beneke Fabricators | Debuts in Negro y Azul
Saul Goodman's Office
Saul Goodman’s Office
Saul Goodman's Office - AMC
Saul Goodman’s Office | Debuts in Better Call Saul
Combo's Corner
Combo’s Corner
Combo's Corner
Combo’s Corner

 

Combo's Corner, Mandala - AMC
Combo’s Corner | Episode Shown Here: Mandala
Combo's Corner, Abiquiú - AMC
Combo’s Corner | Episode Shown Here: Abiquiú
Los Pollos Hermanos | Twisters
Los Pollos Hermanos | Twisters
Los Pollos Hermanos - AMC | Debuts in Mandala, featured throughout season 2, 3 & 4
Los Pollos Hermanos | Debuts in Mandala, featured throughout season 2, 3 & 4
Los Pollos Hermanos | Twisters
Los Pollos Hermanos | Twisters
Los Pollos Hermanos, No Mas - AMC
Los Pollos Hermanos | Episode Shown Here: No Mas
Million Dollar Deal | De Anza Motel
Million Dollar Deal | Motel de Anza
Motel de Anza, Mandala - AMC
Motel de Anza | Episode Shown Here: Phoenix
Lavanderia Brillante | Delta Laundry
Lavanderia Brillante | Delta Laundry
Lavandería Brillante
Lavanderia Brillante – Superlab | Debuts in Más, featured throughout season 3 & 4
Lazer Base
Lazer Base
Lazer Base, Full Measures - AMC | Debuts in Abiquiu, also featured in Hazard Pay
Lazer Base | Episode Shown Here: Full Measures | Debuts in Abiquiu, also featured in Hazard Pay
4th level of Copper St. Parking Deck
4th level of Copper St. Parking Deck
Gus Fring walking toward his car in End Times - AMC
Gus Fring walking toward his car | Episode Shown Here: End Times
Casa Tranquila | Medical Complex
Casa Tranquila | Medical Complex
Casa Tranquila, Face Off - AMC | Gus visits Hector prior to this episode
Casa Tranquila | Episode Shown Here: Face Off | Gus visits Hector here prior to this episode
Denny's
Denny’s
Denny's, Live Free or Die - AMC
Denny’s | Episode Shown Here: Live Free or Die
Vamanos Pest | An auto mechanic shop
Vamanos Pest | An auto mechanic shop
Vamanos Pest - AMC | Debuts in Hazard Pay, featured throughout season 5.1
Vamanos Pest | Debuts in Hazard Pay, featured throughout season 5, part 1
Cafe where Lydia meets with associates | Grove Cafe & Market - very delicious!
Cafe where Lydia meets with associates | Grove Cafe & Market – very delicious!
Cafe, Gliding Over All - AMC | Featured throughout season 5, part 1 & 2
Cafe | Episode Shown Here: Gliding Over All | Featured throughout season 5, part 1 & 2
Extractor Pick-up Location | John B Robert Dam
Disappearer Pick-up Location | John B Robert Dam
Extractor Pick-up Location, Confessions - AMC | Also featured in Ozymandias
Disappearer Pick-up Location | Episode Shown Here: Confessions | Also featured in Ozymandias
Civic Plaza
Civic Plaza
Civic Plaza, Rabid Dog - AMC
Civic Plaza | Episode Shown Here: Rabid Dog
To'hajiilee
To’hajiilee

 

To'hajiilee - AMC
To’hajiilee
To'hajiilee
To’hajiilee
To'hajiilee
To’hajiilee
To'hajiilee - AMC
To’hajiilee
To'hajiilee
To’hajiilee
To’hajiilee | Episode Shown Here: Ozymandias

Best Quality Vacuum Repair | On the Spot Vacuum Repair

Best Quality Vacuum Repair | On the Spot Vacuum Repair
Best Quality Vacuum Repair, Granite State - AMC
Best Quality Vacuum Repair | Episode Shown Here: Granite State

 

3rd Annual Historic Church Walk in Downtown Raleigh

I took a career aptitude test this morning. I just Googled “career aptitude test” and clicked on the first decent result. The results indicated that I should be a clergyman. I’ve decided that I, in fact, skew my own results whenever I take a career aptitude or personality test. I think the results depend on what I’ve been interested in recently. If I had spent my weekend working in the garden, I am sure the results of the test would have told me to put down the Bible and pick up a spade. But I was not working in the garden this weekend. I don’t even have a garden yet. I spent yesterday morning touring the community of historic churches in downtown Raleigh!

Earlier this week, my dear friend, Mandy, told me about a downtown church walk happening this weekend. I am so glad we made good on our word to check it out. There were eight churches on the walk. Together, we had already been inside four of them. Before becoming a member of and getting married at Edenton St. Methodist, Mandy had visited First Presbyterian. We have both been to beautiful weddings at Sacred Heart Cathedral. And one morning a couple of years ago, we happily stumbled into St. Paul A.M.E. Church during a search for a yard sale.

This left us with four churches we had never been to before! Our first stop was Church of the Good Shepherd, situated at the corner of Hillsborough and McDowell Streets. This Episcopalian congregation began in 1874 in the building that is now known as All Saints Chapel. The original structure was moved and eventually restored by Empire Properties in 2006. As it turns out, Mandy and I had in fact been to what was once the Church of the Good Shepherd at my own wedding in 2011!

allsaintschapel3
All Saints Chapel
All Saints Chapel
All Saints Chapel

Construction of the “new” building started in 1899 and was completed in 1914. The stained glass windows were installed over a period of 60 years.

Church of the Good Shepherd
Church of the Good Shepherd
Church of the Good Shepherd
Church of the Good Shepherd

Next on our stop was the First Baptist Church on Salisbury Street which had its first service on March 18, 1812 in the Old State House (which is presently occupied by the State Capitol we know today, circa 1840). Members of the church were quite the nomads because they had also gathered in a building on Moore Square, at Briggs Hardware, and then a building at the corner of Morgan & Wilmington Streets before finally having their first service in the present structure on September 11, 1859. The progressive history of this church began with a diverse group of 14 slaves and nine freed individuals of European descent. It continued to honor its women members during the turn of the century and was very involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

First Baptist, Salisbury Street
First Baptist Church, Salisbury Street

In the summer of 1868, the African American members of the First Baptist Church requested dismissal from the integrated church to form a separate congregation on Wilmington Street.

First Baptist Church, Wilmington Street
First Baptist Church, Wilmington Street

Our last visit was to Christ Church at the corner of Edenton & Wilmington Streets. The land on which this church currently stands belonged to William Boylan until 1826. Mary Summer Blount purchased the land in 1829 to build the first Episcopal church. By the 1840s, the congregation grew so large that the founder of the American Institute of Architects, Richard Upjohn, was hired to design the building we now enjoy today which was consecrated in late 1853. Coincidentally, in an effort to pay off the $18,000 construction costs, Christ Church sold its pews to the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Christ Church
Christ Church

Interestingly enough, the Mordecais were prominent members of Christ Church. They actually converted from Judaism to Episcopalian because of the lack of Jews in Raleigh to marry. Christian pronunciation of the historic family name is “mȯr-di-ˌkē” and the original, Hebrew pronunciation is such: “mȯr-di-ˌkī”. So no matter how you say it, I think you say it right 😉 Alas, I will save my experience at Mordecai Historic Park for another post!

Although I would not classify myself as a religious woman, I have a deep appreciation and respect for the church tradition. Every place of worship houses so much rich history that fosters a unique bond between its past and present members. Most importantly, though, is the commitment that each of these churches has to the betterment of the downtown Raleigh community.

Additional reference: North Carolina’s Capital, Raleigh by Elizabeth Culbertson Waugh