Barbara Boney Campbell: Oakwood house doesn’t ‘fit’

March 24, 2014 

When I moved to Raleigh in 1985, I chose to live in Historic Oakwood because of the beautiful homes. I knew it was a protected neighborhood. Since that time, there has been new construction, all of which conformed to the guidelines administered by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission, formerly the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission.

Many of the neighbors today are understandably upset over the current Euclid Avenue house controversy. Several strongly worded pieces in your paper from non-Oakwood residents have pointed to diversity in architectural styles and acceptance.

What those who have never lived in a historic district didn’t write is this: A house that is so out of character with the rest of the neighborhood is simply that: out of character. If a 1950s modern neighborhood suddenly had an 1808 federal house built, it would be out of character and would not “fit” into the neighborhood’s architectural style. OK to build it: maybe. Does it “belong” there: no.

I have to wonder why the Euclid Avenue house was planned and started knowing the controversy that would surround it before, during and very probably after completion. The potential damage to the neighborhood makes me think of the litmus test that applies here: Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Barbara Boney Campbell

Chair, Raleigh Historic Development Commission (1988-1992)

Raleigh

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