|After Two Centuries, It's Time to Move the Crabtree Jones House|
If all goes as planned, Blake Moving Company of Greensboro will lift up a 220-year-old, 200-ton Raleigh house this year and move it 460 feet south to a new lot at the end of Hilmer Drive.
The house, built by Wake County settler Nathaniel "Crabtree" Jones, occupies part of the 15 acres that will become the Jones Grant Apartments. Last March, the Raleigh Historic Development Commission voted to have developer Russ Davis wait a year before demolishing the Crabtree Jones House, in hopes he could find an alternative. Davis, who said at the time that he didn't want to destroy the house, spent the following months working with the nonprofit group Preservation North Carolina to find a relocation site.
The Crabtree Jones House driveway comes out on Wake Forest Road, but the house is set so far back, surrounded by trees, that it's easy to miss. Even partway up the 3015 Wake Forest Road driveway, it's hard to make out the Crabtree Jones House at the top.
"So few people even know this house, with all its interiors and finishes intact, even exists," said Chuck Nitzel, a Raleigh resident, in an email to the Record. "A building that has been on its original foundations for over 200 years, longer than all but maybe five structures in Raleigh is about to be moved."
Davis said Myrick Howard of Preservation North Carolina suggested the move to Hilmer Drive.
"If it were on the site I picked, it would almost certainly lend itself to use as a commercial structure, an office perhaps," Davis said. "This will not just preserve the house, but its designation as a historic house."
(Raleigh Public Record, 2/15/2013)