As Hillsborough Street area booms, some historic houses fall by the wayside

More than two dozen historic homes have been demolished this year in one of Raleigh’s oldest residential areas, including an entire National Register Historic District just off Hillsborough Street.

The dozen houses that made up the Maiden Lane National Register Historic District were razed in late February to make way for a three-story, 203-unit apartment complex known on planning documents as Hillstone Cameron Village. The others that have been taken down were in neighboring Oberlin Village, a historic African American settlement dating to just after the Civil War, and the nearby West Raleigh Historic District, developed starting in the 1920s.

Collectively, “it’s a huge loss,” said Myrick Howard, president of Preservation NC, which encourages preservation and reuse of historic buildings across the state. “These houses are going down left and right.”

The first houses on Maiden Lane were built in the 1890s, just after R. Stanhope Pullen donated land to create a large park and a state university. What became Pullen Park and the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering, now NCSU, enticed people to move to the area, which was then rural land outside Raleigh’s city limits.

According to a history of the neighborhood, , the first houses on Maiden Lane belonged to families connected to the university. They included D.H. Hill, an English professor who became the college president, and John Allen Arey, who headed the school’s Dairy Extension Service and was known as “the father of the progressive dairy program.”

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(News and Observer, 3/9/18)