No Word from City Council on Oakwood House

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When Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane emerged from closed session after Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting, she had little news to share about the infamous Oakwood house, much to the dismay of the reporters who’d hung around.

A modernist house in Oakwood has sparked debate about the place for new design in historic neighborhoods. A decision from a city board last week called for construction to stop on the house, but the city has not yet ordered the owner to stop work on the home on Euclid Street — work that is almost complete.

516 Euclid St.

Karen Tam / Raleigh Public Record

“We have given the attorney a recommendation on how to proceed, but until those next steps and some of those conversations happen, we don’t have any specifics to report,” said McFarlane, adding that she couldn’t discuss the next steps or conversations.

McFarlane said it was likely going to be a long process.

Last week, the Board of Adjustment overturned a Certificate of Approval that was issued to homeowners Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission in September. These certificates are required when constructing or renovating a building in a historic district. The Board’s decision was in response to an appeal filed by Oakwood neighbor Gail Weisner.

Cherry and Gordon have the option to appeal the Board’s decision to the Wake County Supreme Court. They can also file for a new Certificate of Appropriateness and alter the house to come into compliance.

The controversy surrounding the Euclid Street house has divided the neighborhood and spawned a parody Twitter account. Tuesday the group North Carolina Modernist Homes announced they will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Friday at the home “to discuss its active entry into the fight for due process for modernist houses under threat.”

2 thoughts on “No Word from City Council on Oakwood House

  1. If this goes through it would set a terrible precedent. I’m all for preserving our historic neighborhoods (I live in one myself), but the time to do that is in the planning stage, not post-construction. If the city doesn’t have a mechanism for review of new structures in historic districts, then it needs one pronto.

  2. The City does have a mechanism. The owners went before the board that is responsible, took comments from the board at a publically advertised and open meeting, resubmitted the plans with changes based on those comments and was approved.