Advocates of Raleigh's Historic Joel Lane Museum House worry about proposed 20-story neighbor

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Advocates of historic Raleigh home worry about proposed 20-story tower
Some advocates of a house considered Raleigh's oldest residence, The Joel Lane Museum House, are deeply concerned

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Some advocates of a house considered Raleigh's oldest residence, The Joel Lane Museum House, are deeply concerned

it will be lost in the shadow if a proposal to build a 20-story building nearby is passed.

"We have four main areas of concern here," said Lanie Hubbard, director of the Joel Lane Museum House.

The Joel Lane House on Hargett Street was built in 1769.

Lane is famous as a founding father of Wake County and Raleigh.

The house is now a museum -- and one of the central features is in the garden center.

"It's a sundial marker with a stone plaque listing the names of 43 enslaved people who worked Lane's plantation and built the house," Hubbard said.

Hubbard said there are concerns about the central garden and historical site as the city council and planning department consider a rezoning request that would allow developers to build up to 20 stories across the street.

'That is the original site where Joel Lane's house was located," Hubbard said about the block across the street that is up for rezoning. "We want to make sure that there is a very thorough archeological investigation done before everything's destroyed.

"We're also concerned about shade in our gardens," she added. "We talk about colonial herbs and medicine. We also have a memorial there on a sundial to the 43 people who were enslaved here and I would hate to see that sundial not see the sun."

Hubbard said she doesn't oppose the development but hopes to work with the city.

"We're also concerned about parking. We have no dedicated parking. We don't even have any dedicated disabled parking spots," Hubbard said. "We have problems sometimes with visitors reaching us with accessibility. We don't want anything that's going to exacerbate that. And finally, when they did build Bloomsbury Estates, the seismic disruption in the vibrations of the construction process broke the plaster in this 18th-century house. So, we want to make sure that our facilities and infrastructure are protected."

Advocates have appeared before the Raleigh Historic Development Commission with their concerns.

They'll also be at the next City Planning Commission meeting.

ABC11 reached out to Raleigh City Council Member Jane Harrison who represents the rezoning district as well as the attorney for the developer who filed the rezoning request and did not hear back as of this publishing.