Monday, November 16, 2009

My World Tuesday #57: Sir Walter Hotel


"To Grandmother's House We Go"
Raleigh, NC - October 2009 (Click to embiggen)

Be a virtual tour guide on That's My World Tuesday

One of the cooler aspects of My World is that it gives me a chance to learn things I never knew about places right under my nose. Such is the case with the Sir Walter Hotel on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Until I was researching this post what I knew about the place could have been summed up as "It's an old hotel that was converted to more or less affordable apartments for elderly citizens still able to live independently." Period. Paragraph. End of story.

Who knew the place had so much history behind it? Who knew that it's the oldest hotel building in town still standing? Who knew that at one time it was effectively both the "unofficial headquarters" of the state's Democratic Party and was (justifiably) nicknamed North Carolina's "third house of government"? I did not know these things. I knew it was old, I knew that I'd helped move my paternal grandmother in there back in 1979 or 1980, I knew ... well that was about it.

Turns out there's a lot more to know about the place. If I'd thought about it (I hadn't) I'd probably have guessed that the Sir Walter had historic status form the state. I might have guessed that it was in the National Register of Historic Places. But honestly, I just never gave it that much thought. I think sometimes we see something so often that we don't see it anymore. Which probably explains why I can go to Greensboro or Durham and come home with a hundred new photos without breaking a sweat, but can't do this in the city where I live.

The National Register has done a great job of thumbnailing the history of the Sir Walter, so rather than regurgitating what they've already written, . Maybe I should check their site for some of the other places I've stopped seeing, eh?


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19 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Great post as always, Mojo! It is strange how we can live with old sites of one kind or another and never realize the history they have until we happen on it by chance. Marvelous old building and an interesting history!

Enjoy your day!

Sylvia

Carver said...

I remember when it was a hotel and also eating there as a child. Good post.

Jane said...

Great photograph Mojo, sounds like an interesting place. Thanks for sharing:)

Martha Z said...

I think that is a good use for the old building especially if the area has the amenities the elderly need close by.

Sistertex said...

Great photo and post. The uncovering of history is always something I find interesting. Thanks!

Dirkjogt said...

Always interesting to 'discover' history in your own neighbourhood.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Mojo: You are really right about learning more about your area from the My World posts. We have an old hotel in Kent that has been in court for years.

Jack and Joann said...

Great post. I like Raleigh, N.C.
Cool town.

SandyCarlson said...

Well, come to New Haven and I'll show you it's sister very near the Yale campus. I would have sworn you took this on Chapel Street....

Arija said...

So very true. Not until we have to show our town to an outsided do we realize what we ourselves have. So often we take visitors to see places we ourselves have neglected because we could always see them 'some other time'.
Nice post.

Lawstude said...

i couldn't agree more. in order for us to share our world, we need to ask information and research about the place. and oh boy, there are interesting facts we will learn and discover about the place right under our nose.

by the way, i love the blue to white hue of the sky. you must have taken it late morning or noon. great job.

JOE TODD said...

I have found writing these posts does get me out and about. I'moften out doing one thing and discover something else entirely different but very interesting.

zeal4adventure said...

Funny how we pay little or no attention to things close to us. Great post!

Stephany said...

What a beautiful old building! It's a plus that it has an interesting history.

napaboaniya said...

So often we might have walked past places like these and never knew the history...
Blame it on our lack of discovery genes till we actually need it...

maryt/theteach said...

Great My World shot, Mojo! I got my post up this morning - a little late I know... :)

Daryl said...

I like this angle and the light is just right

Mama Zen said...

Old buildings are such treasures. I really like the perspective you chose for this picture.

Lil Bit said...

Neat ... yeah, you ARE in the capitol. Surely there's TONS of stuff there to keep your shutter going and going and going. ;)