Raleigh Loses Modern Office Building

Demolition began this month on Raleigh's Garland Jones Office Building, one of the city's most important examples of high modernism, according to the American Institute of Architects.

Constructed in 1961, the building was owned by Wake County, which plans to raze other structures on the same block to make way for a new $200 million justice center.

The Garland Jones building was one of the city's first with a curtain wall—of glass, blue panels, and vertical strips of aluminum. At one corner, a four-story panel of white marble appears to float above the sidewalk. In keeping with architectural enhancements of the time period, the building also featured a drive-up banking window and a bomb shelter in the basement.

"Fifty years ago, we were tearing down Victorians and buildings from the late 19th century that we now hold up as precious," local architect Jon Zellweger says. "We love what our grandparents built and hate what our parents built."

Opposition to the demolition has been mixed: There was less support for the Garland Jones building than previously threatened and lost pieces of Raleigh modernism. Many argue that by the time the public became aware of the county's plans, it was too late.

Preservation North Carolina, a statewide preservation organization located a block away from the Garland Jones building, echoes this sentiment. The group's president, Myrick Howard, told the Raleigh News and Observer, "It was made very clear to a number of people that this building is a goner."

 

For more photos, stories, and tips, subscribe to the print edition of Preservation magazine.

Subscribe to the Today's News RSS feed

Comments

Submitted by asfine at: May 1, 2009
what a loss! this was a really stellar example of modernism in raleigh...very short-sighted decision. raleigh's loss. please learn from it and protect your modern-era heritage

Submitted by Brian at: April 30, 2009
I found some information about this razed building and its replacement here: http://www.gogoraleigh.com/2008/02/11/wake-county-unveils-justice-center-plans/