The mission of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission is to identify, preserve, protect, and promote Raleigh’s historic resources.
Hi-Mount Historic District
Developed between 1938 and 1951
One of Raleigh’s best-preserved speculative subdivisions
Located two miles north of downtown, the Hi-Mount historic district is a well-preserved twentieth century speculative neighborhood. The eleven-block district developed between 1938 and 1951, with the majority of construction occurring after World War II. Hi-Mount’s houses are small, setback from the street, and fronted by landscaped yards. Side driveways are common, and many homes have garages, carports, or small sheds. The district’s roads generally follow a grid pattern and are lined with trees.
Hi-Mount’s dominant architectural style is Minimal Traditional, followed by Cape Cod and Ranch homes with sparse detailing. Homes range in size from one to one-and-a-half stories tall and two to four bays wide. All are frame construction with brick or concrete block foundations and front- or side-gabled roofs. Many have replaced their original wood, brick veneer, or asbestos siding with vinyl or aluminum. Picture windows are common, and in keeping with the district’s style, front porches are small and simple.
Hi-Mount was once Crabtree Plantation, owned by Kimbrough Jones, who is believed to have operated a horse farm. In 1926, Raleigh businessman J.J. Fallon purchased a portion of the plantation, later subdividing it into sixty-six lots for residential development. Between 1939 and 1947, George H. Wright Jr. of the Wright Construction Company built forty-one homes in Hi-Mount.
In late 1946, a post-war building boom led Wake County officials to expand the subdivision, opening it up for further development. The district’s stylistic continuity can be attributed to its small number of developers. Pine Ridge Homes, Inc. and Hi-Mount Homes, Inc.—both owned and operated by J. “Willie” York and Ed N. Richards—erected over 100 Cape Cod- and Minimal Traditional-style houses between 1947 and 1949. Wright returned to Hi-Mount in 1951, partnering with L.M. Curtis to form the Allied Building Company, which oversaw the construction of twenty-nine Hi-Mount homes, including the district’s minimalist Ranches, or Ranchettes.
Post-war government financing programs also contributed to the subdivision’s homogeneity. The Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration provided affordable financing to returning vets, and developers, eager to profit, followed agency regulations to ensure their homes would qualify. As evidenced by Hi-Mount, this often resulted in architecturally standardized neighborhoods.
As a district, the Hi-Mount neighborhood illustrates a shift in housing styles from late 1930s to the 1950s and is a prime example of the post-war building boom as it occurred in Raleigh. Today the neighborhood retains a high level of architectural integrity.
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