Unlocking the mystery of a modern home off Wade Avenue and Capital Boulevard

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Off Wade Avenue, sits a distinctive and instantly recognizable home.

A lone, slender modern home sits on the corner of Wade Avenue, heading to downtown, just before Capital Boulevard.

On top of being off one of the city's busiest highways, the concrete and wood-covered home is sandwiched between a creek and a railroad, sitting on a floodplain with a concrete mill in the back - and it's where Marshall Davis calls home.

It's a home designed by Marshall's father, Raleigh architect Walter Davis.

"It was more like 'Dad, there's not a soul in Raleigh that's not going to know where I live," Marshall said of his initial reaction to the idea.

And homeowner Davis kind of likes it that way.

Every detail was carefully crafted - the angle of the house matches the angle of his shower, and the paint on the walls. The yellow paint color at his front door acts like a metaphorical yellow brick road to the party on the third floor, where visitors are met with stunning views.

The furniture is custom made, including the bar - something very important to Marshall who is also the owner of downtown Raleigh mezcal bar, Gallo Pelon. He says those who know that can't believe he's the man behind the house too.


"They like to connect the dots and then say OK, it's the weird guy that opens the mezcal bar has the weird house on Wade Avenue," Marshall said.

Marshall likes the spot for its industrial look, but his father fell in love with the design because it posed a challenge.
"It's just in my nature," Davis said, laughing and shrugging. "I think I've always liked doing things that are difficult."

The creek forced the building 50 feet past the bank. Wade Avenue drove it back 30 feet. Marshall wanted it tall enough to see past the railroad bridging over Wade Avenue. They had to put seven feet of structural fill at the base of it because of the floodplain, and more to make sure it leveled out to the highway for safe access to the driveway. And the home is covered in custom-designed raw concrete panels that provide insulation from the busy street sounds.

On top of all of that, it cost several thousand dollars to drill across the highway and run sewer lines from the other side of the street. They had to have a power company move lines over as well, and Marshall Davis still hasn't been able to get a cable company to provide purchasable Internet access.

The result of the restrictions is a three-story home that inside, looks like something you might find in an art and design magazine.

Davis is the former owner of Davis Kane Architects PA and he's designed various schools and fire stations in Raleigh. He said this home is the crown jewel of all his designs.

"This is the sort of design project that I've been hungry for all of my life but most of my clients have had their own ideas," Davis said. "This was a golden opportunity because my son is very similar in his attitude about liking things that are different."

Related Topics:
homearchitecturehomeraleigh newsbizarrecool spacesRaleigh
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