Sunday, February 09, 2014

A North Carolina mobile home --- 1795 style

Raleigh Public Record Photo.
Old houses generally don't fare well when the land under them skyrockets in value, but Raleigh, North Carolina's, 1795 Crabtree Jones house has been an exception. After years of shielding by a conscientious developer, it was picked up intact Tuesday and moved to a new location where it should be able to rest secure for another 200 years.

If you'd like to take a break from Iowa's cold and snowy winter and invest $350,000 (before actual restoration begins), it's available now from Preservation North Carolina.

Preservation North Carolina Photo.
The main part of the Federal-style home, a two-story block flanked by one-story wings containing a total of six rooms, was built ca. 1795 by Nathaniel Jones, known as "Crabtree Jones" to differentiate him from other men of the same name. Crabtree was (and is) the name of a nearby creek. It stood on a knoll above a quiet byway, now known as Wake Forest Road, surrounded by the Jones plantation.

A two-story wing containing the stair hall seems to have been added not long after the house was built. A second extension was added during the mid-19th century.

The Jones family continued to occupy the house until 1973, but as the years passed Wake Forest Road became a busy highway --- now six lanes flanked by commercial developments. The family sold the house and surrounding property to a developer in 1975 and the usual sprawl developed around it. The developer, however, protected the house within a one-acre buffer of woodland and conserved, but did not improve, it.

During March of 2012, however, the current owner announced plans for an apartment development on the site and preservationists scrambled to save the house.

Prepared for the move: Preservation North Carolina Photo.
An anonymous donor's gift allowed Preservation North Carolina to acquire a generous half-acre lot in the adjacent upperscale Crabtree Heights housing development already occupied by a 1960s brick ranch house and begin preparing for the move --- which the developer agreed to fund. The new location was part of the original Jones plantation, a half block removed from the family cemetery.

Preservation North Carolina now is looking for a new owner (with deep pockets) to buy the house on its new lot, restore and live in it.

You can read more about (and see more of) the Crabtree Jones House here. A report on the move is located here. If interested in detailed views of the move, see Mike Legeros' Flickr photo set here. And you can watch video of the move below (Raleigh News & Observer video).

No comments: