RALEIGH, N.C. — Some of the grandest homes in Raleigh could be up for sale soon. Many date back to the Civil War.
In recent years, the state has used the homes for offices, turned the lawns into paved parking lots. But a new plan would put 25 historic treasures along Blount Street up for sale.
It's out with the new, and bring back the old. Some state-owned properties will be sold to private owners.
"I think by putting it into the private sector, it will be rehabilitated and maintained at a higher level than we can maintain it," said Joe Henderson, State Property Officer, of the Blount St.. property.
After the Civil War, Blount Street became Raleigh's fashionable avenue. It is home to the governor's executive mansion, which is very much a part of the neighborhood.
A planning report recommending the sale of 18 of the 24 acres along historic Blount Street and Oakwood has the endorsement of the Capitol Planning Commission. Twenty-five homes would be sold, including the Hawkins-Hartness House, now used as offices by the lieutenant governor.
Built in 1887, the Hawkins-Hartness House has four stories, with just under 8,000 square feet. The conference room is the original dining room of the house; much of the original moulding and hand carvings are still intact.
Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said prices will be in the neighborhood of $500,000 on Blount Street.
"In addition, Meeker said, "some may be used as bed and breakfast, or for another semicommercial purpose that will allow them to be fully renovated but also have an economic value."
It may take state planners a while to figure out which houses to sell, which ones to keep. It's a procees that could take up to 10 years before the Blount Street historic homes are on the market.
The General Assembly must approve the Blount Street Master Plan before further work proceeds.