Monday, August 4, 2014

A house is not a home……………………

………but hopefully someone can change that! 

You may recall, back in January, I shared the relocation 
story of what is believed to be the oldest residential 
home remaining in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Crabtree Jones House, circa 1795, was moved and you can 
see my previous posts about the plantation house HEREand 
on the actual move day HERE

Last Thursday evening I had an opportunity to actually get inside the house during a North Carolina Preservation Open House/Fund Raiser. For a $10.00 donation you could do a self-tour of the property with a bottle of locally brewed cold beer in hand - I thought that odd, a small antique pewter mug of homemade wine would have been more appropriate - my personal dream. Anyway, as I don't drink beer hubby got two to enjoy on a damp Summer eve! There were several home rehab people scattered about the property who answered our questions. One gentleman, who has apparently brought life back to several historic properties over the years, wished he was younger, and I believe richer, so he could take on this challenge……I could see longing in his eyes.

The interior was quite fascinating but made me realize that rehabilitation is going to be a gigantic undertaking for anyone. I do hope that somebody will come along soon though, someone with a deep respect for history, a clear vision, and of course the funds that a job of this magnitude will require.

Here are a few pictures of the interior - I particularly loved the many fireplaces.

Any 'house whisperers' out there? 


  1. I hope someone is able to restore this gorgeous old home.

  2. Oh, Mary, this will be some project. I do hope that someone takes it on. I can visualize the wonderful home this house could become again.
    Thanks for the update.

  3. Oh gosh, that sure is a old beauty. It will be a long shot for someone to step up and undertake ownership and restoration. Just thinking about regulatory requirements for lead paint, asbestos, etc., makes my head spin. Thank you for the beautiful photos!

  4. Mary I'm so glad you got to take a tour of this old house and were able to photograph it. I really home a good (and wealthy) buyer comes along and restores it to it's former glory. Thanks for sharing your photos. I like the vintage framing on them too. :) Pamela

  5. Oh my goodness but that's a huge project to take on! I can imagine that it will be someone's life-work. I am well past another big renovation, but I can always dream!

  6. This is certainly a great historical home. What surprised me the most though is that no one is surprised that the request is for an individual donor to do the restoration work. A house like this is part of American’s heritage and the citizens should be proud to take care of it. A while back, for a house being demolished in New York, I studied how much the US funds the arts (which include historic preservation) compared to Europe. I found, in 2012, that the budget had constantly been cut (because the arts budget has been steadily blocked by Conservative Republicans.) In 2011 the total budget in the US was $167.5M and in 2012 it had shrunk to $146.3M (or the salary of 3 NBA/NFL players) – I shudder to think what the arts budget is in 2014. Among industrialized countries the US is ranked dead last in arts funding as well as art education taught in schools (in 2010 the budget for the arts was 54 cents per capita – per comparison France was $20 per capita.) If Europe citizens refused to fund the arts like the ones here there would not be so many churches, castles and museums to visit in Europe by now.

  7. Just would like to add that I found out what was the US budget for the arts in 2013 – it went down from $167.5M in 2011 to $146.3M in 2012 and now only $139M in 2013 (considering that the budget for the war in Afghanistan alone in $8 billion per month …)

  8. I am so glad the house has a future. Originally I was fuming about moving it, but now I am much calmer. The house looks comfortable the way you have photographed it. I can imagine a family laughing and singing there. I wondered, weirdly, if this would be a suitable project for the rehabilitation of servicemen who came back from Afghanistan mentally and physically damaged. With the right management and plans this might be possible.

    1. Dear Louise - I'm happy that you are happier now about the moving of the house! I know you were very upset in your previous comments when I first shared the move. I agree totally that something could be done perhaps by a group rather than one owner - it's going to take such a lot of work and money! I quite like your idea regarding former servicemen, all of whom deserve much more that what is offered them following their service to their country. You may have read Vagabonde's enlightening comments above too - she hit the nail on the head regarding the budget cuts for the arts in this country compared to the disgraceful amount of money spent on fighting other countries wars, and the ridiculous salaries paid to entertainment/sports personalities etc. Yes, I could go on but will get off my soapbox now - thanks again for reading and commenting.

  9. Amazing old house - I love the different angles on it - and the interior could be so beautiful. I hope it gets the attention it deserves. And I love your header too.

  10. How exciting to get inside. How I also hope someone comes along that can do it justice.
    You can just see the potential all over the place, but oh so much work. If they do rescue it
    with a lovely remodel I hope they have another open house. Would love seeing it.

  11. Hello Mary,

    This does look to be a wonderful place but it would require a considerable sum to renovate we imagine. It is terribly sad these in these financially stringent days there never seems to be money for preserving pieces of history whereas building something new takes priority.

    There us definitely a raw beauty amongst these ruins. Your photographs are incredibly atmospheric. It must have been very hard for previous residents to look at the place which is now a mere shadow of itself.

  12. Wow, I would certainly love to tour this house... but it would leave me wishing I could restore it myself! Glad you were able to take a peek inside. And I agree, lovely fireplaces!

    xo Cassie

  13. Tanna at Brick Street Bungalow could do the job if someone would give her the money. :) Every town I went to in Colorado had worked on preserving its historic downtown with homes and buildings that were from the late 1800's. This home here is even older and would be such a shame to lose. I'm with Vagabonde when it comes to the ridiculous salaries paid to sports and entertainment persons. And the fact that we spend so much on war when we say we want peace. A friend recently said that countries want war and create chaos because they make their money from selling guns and tanks and ammunition. There are many individuals who could afford to preserve this home, or even a group of people, but the problem is so many people just don't care. Best wishes, Tammy


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