Architecture: two hours cycling through west Raleigh, December 29, 2020

Posted: January 28, 2021 in Central North Carolina trips, Coronavirus Diaries 2020

I drove the half hour over to Raleigh from my home in Chapel Hill. I like looking at buildings. I street parked on the near side in the neighborhood off Wade Avenue, just behind Whole Foods. It was cold outside, I had gloves and a hood.

I started biking around, taking pictures of modern buildings in the brilliant light.

Apartment complex in west Raleigh

NC State has had an esteemed architecture school for many decades and the modernist spirit seems to effect many or most of NC State’s buildings. Classes were on winter break so I biked through campus with almost no one around. Even parking garages can be fetching.

The campus was quite open for bicycling.

I was hardly aware that the NC State Centennial Campus existed until quite recently. It is physically separate from the older main campus, built just recently southwest of the existing campus, the other side of railroad tracks and the big highway Western Boulevard.

Another relatively new building in this same area is the Catholic cathedral for Raleigh: the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, opened in 2017. Clearly conservatives were in charge of picking an architect. The cathedral seats two thousand and sits in the middle of a giant parking lot. Couldn’t they have been more original than this?

I enjoyed cycling around the new NC State Centennial Campus, looking at the pretty buildings.

For the rest of the bike ride I did a big loop east towards downtown Raleigh. Off Dorothea Drive just southwest of downtown a developer has built a brand new neighborhood that recalls, I dunno, Charleston SC? Raleigh never had old neighborhoods that looked like this but I like it just the same.

I biked all along Fayetteville Street through downtown, then turned back cycling west and back to my car for the thirty minute drive home.

Comments
  1. Gerrie says:

    I missed this adventure when you first posted it. I see that you went past the NC State Library on the Centennial campus. If you have not taken a tour inside, you should plan on it even if you have to wait until post-covid. The interior is beautiful and unique, and it has a totally automated book retrieval system that I found quite fascinating when I visited.

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