OCPA to Sponsor and Host Traditional Architecture Seminar this October in Downtown Raleigh

Oak City Preservation Alliance (OCPA) will be hosting the 2016 Traditional Architecture Gathering in downtown Raleigh October 13 through 16. The conference will be held at the First Presbyterian Church. While the conference is for members only, there will be a public presentation and open discussion on Friday, October 14, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. There is no charge for the public presentation, but please register in advance so that seating is assured.

Speakers will be Dan Morales, a practicing architect and urban planner in the Washington, D.C. area, will present a program entitles "A Gift to the Street: How to speak about the importance of Architectural Beauty". Tom Low,architect and urban planner, is the founder of Civic by Design, a forum of urban planning held regularly in Charlotte. He will be discussing Southside, a planned community in the downtown area. Presentations will be followed by open discussion.

OCPA is a non-profit group whose goal is the preservation and restoration of historic structures and sites. Traditional Architecture (TRADARCH) is an international cooperative which promotes the theory and practice of traditional architecture.

Both groups have in common many interests and values. Both understand the importance of heritage and community to quality of life. Both encourage the practice of traditional building methods and materials with the goal of quality, good design, longevity and continuity, leading to stronger and more enjoyable and beautiful communities.

For more information or to reserve seats please use the Contact Us form HERE.

Refining of rezoning of residential neighborhoods in Raleigh

The city of Raleigh underwent rezoning of 30% of its area in 2015. The proposed rezoning was “upzoning” in most areas, meaning some more intense uses and building practices unfavorable to historic districts and many other neighborhoods. OCPA members were strong and vocal opponents of the changes that would threaten historic districts. OCPA, along with other concerned groups and individuals, were successful in limiting harmful changes.

One action item was unsuccessful. Although the planning department stated that the city council would decide on the final zoning, the council voted only on what planning staff presented to them. Planning staff failed, for whatever reason, to present the request that building heights be limited to two stories, the height of all buildings currently in the districts.

Proposal to provide appropriate street lighting for historic districts

In late 2015 and early 2016, the city began to replace all streetlights in Raleigh identical “Roadway” fixtures. The Roadway is intended for main thoroughfares, yet was being placed in residential neighborhoods as well. Fortunately, the city had to go through the process of getting approval for the lights that were to be placed in historic districts. OCPA was instrumental in providing evidence that the Roadway is not suitable for historic districts and the application was denied.

We continue to work with the Society for the Preservation of Historic Oakwood, the City of Raleigh and Duke Energy Progress utility company to achieve appropriate lighting for historic districts.

Support for Maintenance of Integrity of Historic Districts

In 2014 Prince Hall was added as a new historic district. In 2016, a hotel developer wished to build a hotel in the district, but did not want to comply with the guidelines. He promptly began inciting a movement to “delist” the portion of the district where he wanted to build. Aided by other developers who stood to gain by this reversal policy, the proposal was pushed through the process. OCPA supported the Raleigh Historic Development Commission in efforts to preserve the Prince Hall District.

Family, alumni push for national historic designation for former African-American school in Raleigh

The old school building is already designated a historic place by Raleigh. A national historic designation  wouldn’t  give the building any more special protection from teardown and development. 

The old school building is already designated a historic place by Raleigh. A national historic designation wouldn’t give the building any more special protection from teardown and development. 

source: The News & Observer

John Goode learned agriculture, arithmetic and French at the Berry O’Kelly Training School.

He also learned leadership skills that helped him climb the ranks during a 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force.

“For a small school, they did turn out some excellent citizens,” said Goode, 69.

Descendents of Berry O’Kelly, a prominent black leader, and alumni of the African-American school that operated in Raleigh during segregation hope the lone remaining building on campus will become a national historic place.

They are working with the city of Raleigh, which owns the building in the Method community of west Raleigh, to apply for the designation. The city uses the space as part of the Method Community Center.

They also hope the Oak Grove Cemetery, an African-American cemetery that dates back to the Civil War in the Method community, will become a national historic place.

On Tuesday, the Raleigh Historic Development Commission invited residents to share photos and other relics from the cemetery and the school, which closed in 1967 when schools integrated.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/midtown-raleigh-news/article37789443.html