Local News

Neighbors pitch in to landscape modern Oakwood home

Posted October 19, 2014
Updated February 16, 2016

— After months of debate and court rulings, neighbors bonded together on Sunday to help with landscaping at controversial modern house in Raleigh's historic Oakwood neighborhood.

“My idea was something like a barnraising, and we call it a yard raising," said Madonna Phillips, who organized the event. "We wanted to get all the neighbors together and do something positive where we could see some results immediately."

Marsha Gordon and Louis Cherry were granted necessary permits to build the contemporary house at 516 Euclid St., including a certificate of appropriateness from the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.

Construction on the house irked neighbors, who argued that the house didn't fit with the character of Oakwood, and they filed a complaint over it. That led the city's Board of Adjustment to reverse the certificate, which suspended construction on the home until a judge ruled in favor of the homeowners in September.

"It feels amazing. I mean, the reason we wanted to live in Oakwood is largely because of the community and the incredible people that live here," Gordon said Sunday.

Most neighbors were happy that the court battle over the home is mostly over. A neighbor who lives across from the home has appealed the judge's decision.

"Now they're moving forward," said Robin Vuchnich. "They're gonna be in their lovely home very soon, and I think most of the neighborhood wants to see that happen."

Gordon and Cherry plan to move into their new home by Dec. 1.


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  • Gail Dragon Oct 20, 2014
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    A beautiful home, I am glad they were able to move forward.

  • archmaker Oct 20, 2014

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    that "hideous green house" across the street that you point out is not exactly "historic" either - that's the lady that brought on the lawsuit.

    it's amazing that she can even see the modern house for all of the junk on her front porch.

  • glarg Oct 20, 2014

    Smash cut to: the home now completely encased in a bamboo grove.

  • Nick Ditcheos Oct 20, 2014
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    not the folks across the street

  • TimeWillTell Oct 20, 2014

    Good to see such a positive outpouring of community. For the whiners - hey, move on out to southwestern Wake, where development plans depend on which developer buys off the most people, and that nice single-family neighborhood wakes up to find a car lot and/or strip mall across the street. And y'all raise caine about a hourse that looks different. Get over yourselves.

  • Christopher Rose Oct 20, 2014
    user avatar

    weee. Another great story about rich hipster gentrification drama of ITB raleigh... sigh

  • hollylama Oct 20, 2014


  • foodstamptrader Oct 20, 2014

    Visited the house on Saturday. Once landscaped it should be a real asset to the neighborhood. Some of the little run down shot gun shacks nearby are what need to go! The hideous green house across the street is not exactly "historic" either. The couple building this place are the nicest folks you could ever meet. First time I ever met them. Let them be good neighbors.

  • Dan Carter Oct 20, 2014
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    I do hope one day someone can find a neighborhood with all "modern" houses, and build an 1880's Cape Cod !

  • Ijaz Fahted Oct 20, 2014
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    That's exactly what it sounds like was happening. One neighbor getting others riled up and turning them against the rest of the neighborhood. It sounds like the original complainer is the one appealing the judges decision.

    This will go a long way to mending the hurt caused by the original complaint.

    I have a friend in Oakwood and I always enjoy seeing the parades and gatherings that go on down there. People being good neighbors and welcoming all.