The Mordecai Historic Preservation Committee
The destruction of this home has prompted neighbors to form the Mordecai Historic Preservation Committee to investigate options for future historic preservation in the Mordecai Place neighborhood. Look for updates here and please plan to attend a public information session at 7:30pm on July 20. Registration links will be posted soon.
Many neighbors we’ve spoken with feel powerless against the building trends witnessed in other neighborhoods and in recent developments in our own. That’s simply not the case; together we can choose to establish sensible parameters around redevelopment and growth.
As a first step, our group will meet with the Raleigh Historic Development Commission on July 20 to understand the different types of Historic Overlay Districts, and discuss whether the Mordecai Place neighborhood could pursue an HOD.
All neighbors are welcomed to get involved in determining how best to steward our neighborhood together. We will have public meetings and interest sessions as the discussion of options and decision making continues. The committee is open to all neighbors who wish to discuss the issue of historic preservation, from any perspective.
Neighbors, to get involved with the MHPC please email co-chairs Maggie Fyfe and Med Byrd at email@example.com
Committee Mission Statement:
Based on concerns expressed by neighbors, MHPC is exploring city tools for making redevelopment in Mordecai more balanced and predictable. MHPC will channel neighborhood feedback about options to preserve the interests of property owners and maintain shared aspects of the community’s natural and built environment.
Mordecai Place Neighborhood Plan:
In the early 1990’s, the Mordecai Neighborhood decided it wanted to participate in a city supported neighborhood planning process. In early 1994, the Raleigh City Council appointed 12 residents to a Mordecai Neighborhood Planning Task Force. Input was gathered from CAC residents at monthly CAC meetings as well as from “special” community meetings. From start to finish, the planning process took approximately nine months, culminating with approval of the Neighborhood Plan by City Council in September 1994.
The Mordecai Neighborhood Plan established the framework for the CAC seeking and obtaining two Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts (NCOD), a rezoning of part of the CAC from R-10 to Special R-6, and a listing of part of the CAC in the National Register of Historic Places. Considerable work has been done on a variety of other issues identified in the Neighborhood Plan, including pedestrian and vehicular traffic concerns. View the PDF document and maps here.
Mordecai Place Historic District
Mordecai Place, like Raleigh's other early twentieth-century suburbs, occupies land that had been part of an antebellum plantation. The original plantation house, built in the eighteenth century and heavily altered in the Greek Revival style around 1824, survives and is open to the public as a house museum at Mordecai Historic Park. The early suburb that developed on sold and subdivided plantation land features a rich variety of the architectural styles popular in the first decades of the twentieth century, including the prolific Colonial Revival houses and Craftsman bungalows as well as the romantic revival styles like Tudor Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, Spanish Mission Revival, and Italian Renaissance Revival. There are also a few examples of a more typically rural vernacular style, the two-story, side-gabled dwelling known as an I-house. Towards the middle of the twentieth century, smaller Cape Cods and Minimal Traditional houses were built.
The neighborhood's most impressive houses, naturally, stand on large parcels nearest the grand Mordecai House. These are large Colonial Revival and Georgian houses with brick exteriors and were likely architect-designed. Bungalows are the most common house type in the neighborhood, and many feature the Craftsman detailing so strongly associated with the house type.
In 1997, the Mordecai Place was designated as a National Register of Historic Places neighborhood.
National Historic Registry documents and maps: https://www.rhdc.org/mordecai-place-historic-district-3
Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts (NCODs) are generally limited to lot size, front setback and heights. This is the NCOD for Mordecai according to the UDO:
b.Conservation District 2 (east of Wake Forest Road, south of Cedar Street and portions of Courtland Drive - see Mordecai Plan boundaries)
Raleigh Historic Districts
Designation of historic neighborhoods or communities as local historic districts is a successful tool for maintaining a quality of life and providing economic security. Preservation has been proven to stabilize property values and stimulate new investment in older neighborhoods.
A Raleigh Historic District is a distinctive area, a place of singular historical flavor characterized by its streets and squares, buildings and trees, architectural design and landscape features. It may be monumental or simple, residential or commercial. There are currently eight local historic districts in Raleigh: Blount Street, Boylan Heights, Capitol Square, Moore Square, Oakwood, Prince Hall, Glenwood-Brooklyn, and Oberlin Village.
Mordecai Place is not currently a Raleigh Historic District. To learn more about the different types of local historic districts and HODs visit this page: https://www.rhdc.org/preservation-services/local-historic-landmark-and-district-designation