RALEIGH: Modern home in Oakwood sparks debate - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Modern home in Raleigh's Oakwood sparks debate

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A Raleigh home being built with a modern flair has the historic neighborhood of Oakwood fired up.

The home is almost completed but now the homeowner's plans might be put on hold.

"We got a building permit in October and here we are in March. We still have a building permit but because of the Board of Adjustment's making this decision to overturn the RHDC's decision to give us the Certificate of Appropriateness, we have no idea what is going to happen," said homeowner Marsha Gordon.

What Gordon does know is that her neighbor filed an appeal with the BOA, saying her home does not follow the city's historic guidelines.  

"If you can't trust a building permit, what can you trust," asked Gordon.

"This is an interesting case with valid arguments on both sides. The three members that voted to overturn the RHDC decision felt that the modernist design was inconsistent with the historic district guidelines," said BOA attorney John Silverstein.

He said despite the Raleigh Historic Development Commission's stamp of approval, the modern home on Euclid Street is still subject to the BOA's authority.

"That's not the way you do business," said Myrick Howard, president of Preservation North Carolina.

Howard spent the last 35 years working in historic districts and said Gordon's modern home is in line with the character of Oakwood.

"Why would we want fake buildings from our own time? Part of why Oakwood is interesting is because it shows you the layers of time," Howard said.

Some neighbors agree.

Molly Feichter lives down the street from the modern home on Euclid Street. Feichter said she is in favor of the home and believes there is a silent majority in favor of it as well.

For Gordon and her architect husband, Louis Cherry, their design was meant to keep the authenticity of 2014.

"You cannot build a historic home. You can only build a home in the year that you are building. In a hundred years from now, our home will be historic," Gordon said. 

Gail Wiesner lives right across from the modern home and is the neighbor that filed the appeal to the Board of Adjustments.

In a statement to WNCN she said,

"Most of the discussion regarding the home being built at 516 Euclid Street has been about modern architecture in the Oakwood Historic District, but my main concern and the reason for my appeal has been that the RHDC did not properly approve the application or correctly apply the City's historic guidelines.

 The Certificate of Appropriateness approval process includes a right to have the City's Board of Adjustment review that decision. That's right there in the rules. I provided the RHDC with notice of intent to appeal within 20 days of the COA's original approval on Sept. 9, 2013, so this is not an after-the-fact attempt to change something that's been finalized as I've heard many people suggest.

 All the parties involved were aware or should have been aware that this challenge to the 516 Euclid COA was going to take time to resolve and the approval would not be final until the appeal process finished playing out."

The BOA meets again March 10. If the overruling is upheld, the City of Raleigh will have a chance to appeal. If so, the trial will go to the Superior Court. 

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

  • All lanes back open after fatal accident on University Boulevard near Charleston Southern University

    All lanes back open after fatal accident on University Boulevard near Charleston Southern University

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:12:28 GMT
    North Charleston Police continue to work a three vehicle accident that has closed University Boulevard near Charleston Southern University.
    North Charleston Police continue to work a three vehicle accident that has closed University Boulevard near Charleston Southern University.
  • Common Core dispute pits Zais against education boards

    Common Core dispute pits Zais against education boards

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:59 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:59:12 GMT
    A dispute over how to rewrite South Carolina's math and reading standards pits leaders of South Carolina's two education boards against Education Superintendent Mick Zais, three months before voters replace him. Zais has promised to use a new law to kill Common Core standards before he leaves office in January. The one-term Republican lacks the authority to do so. But he has influence over the review process. The law directs educator panels to review current math and reading standards, which ...
    A dispute over how to rewrite South Carolina's math and reading standards pits leaders of South Carolina's two education boards against Education Superintendent Mick Zais, three months before voters replace him. Zais has promised to use a new law to kill Common Core standards before he leaves office in January. The one-term Republican lacks the authority to do so. But he has influence over the review process. The law directs educator panels to review current math and reading standards, which ...
  • Disturbing social media trend grows

    Disturbing social media trend grows

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:48 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:48:26 GMT
    A growing social media trend has parents and firefighters worried nationwide, KPRC reported.
    A growing social media trend has parents and firefighters worried nationwide, KPRC reported.
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.