ASID Designer ShowhouseBy Diane Lea The Womans Club of Raleigh Presents: ASID Designer Showhouse "Welcome to the Andrews-London House"
Encased in the cocoon of history, the venerable Andrews-London House is now transformed into a beautifully redesigned testament to the talents and dreams of dedicated professionals.
The Woman's Club of Raleigh, with firms selected from area members of the American Society of Interior Designers, presents a brilliant treasure of form and function while retaining the historic integrity of one of Raleigh's finest older homes.
Located in the historic Blount Street neighborhood, the home is gracefully sited in the heart of the heritage of North Carolina's Capital City, near the Governor's Mansion and the heartbeat of the nation's only planned state capital.
Join us now as we transport you room-to-room on a journey from the beginning of the past century to an elegant 21st Century evocation of architecture and history.
Blount Streets Andrews-London House Transformed The 1916 Andrews-London House on the corner of North Blount and Lane Streets in downtown Raleigh, built for Graham H. Andrews, a former Mayor of Raleigh and a member of one of North Carolinas distinguished families, occupies a prime site in Raleighs once fashionable Blount Street neighborhood. Described in the National Register for Historic Places nomination for the area as an accomplished Georgian Revival structure, the two and one-half story red brick residence retains its elaborate Classical Revival detailing, featuring a columned portico with full entablature on its North Blount Street faade and a spacious colonnaded porch facing Lane Street, evoking the timeless architectural appeal, integrity and gracious stateliness of its early twentieth century origins when servants, family life and entertaining defined the lifestyle of the neighborhood.
The Andrews-London House was designed by James A. Salter, who moved to Raleigh in 1912 and became one of the citys leading architects. By 1919 he was appointed to the state building commission as architect for contemplated state government construction. In addition to his grand period revival residential designs, Salter was the architect for Raleighs Sir Walter Hotel, the State School for the Blind, West Raleigh Grammar School and the Administrative Building for the Methodist Orphanage.
A Family Affair
The Andrews family had established itself on North Blount Street long before Salter designed the Andrews-London House for Graham Andrews, whose father and the family patriarch, Alexander Boyd Andrews (known as A. B.), built a residence in the area shortly after purchasing a lot at North Lane and Blount Streets in 1873. By the time he began constructing his North Blount Street residence, A. B. Andrews was recognized for his remarkable business career that began in 1859 with employment as a courier with the Blue Ridge Railway. In 1861 he joined the Confederate Army, rising to the rank of Colonel while serving on the staff of Governor Zebulon B. Vance.
After the war, A. B. Andrews returned to railroading and served with several lines before becoming first vice-president and director of the Southern Railway Company in 1895. As president of the Western North Carolina Railroad, he is credited with opening up western North Carolina by rail in 1881. The house he built at 407 North Blount Street, the Andrews-Duncan House, is thought to have been patterned after a design by G. S. H. Appleget, designer of the 1869-70 Heck-Andrews residence at 309 North Blount Street. Cited by architectural historian Catherine Bishir as probably the first large house built in Raleigh after the Civil War, the Heck-Andrews House was constructed for West Virginia industrialist Jonathan Heck and his wife Mattie. One of the few Second Empire style residences in Raleigh, the homes completely intact exterior features an ornate mansard roof, fanciful tower, a three-quarters wrap-around porch, and elaborate ornamentation, including Italianate bracketing. The Heck House was purchased in 1921 by attorney Alexander Boyd Andrews, Jr., brother of Graham Andrews. The State has made two rooms and the porch of the main floor of the Heck-Andrews House available for a gift shop and boutique during the three weeks of the Showhouse.
Innovative Plan for Blount Street
Today these three residences, situated side by side, are part of an innovative plan to revitalize the North Blount Street neighborhood by means of a comprehensive public-private partnership. Linda Edmisten, former National Register Coordinator for the Survey and Planning Branch of the State Division of Archives and History, recalls attending a legislative breakfast in the spring of 2000 sponsored by Preservation North Carolina, the statewide non-profit preservation organization and endangered properties fund. I was talking with Senator Tony Rand about his sons interest in living in Raleighs Downtown Oakwood neighborhood, says Edmisten, but houses there were so scarce he couldn't find one. Edmisten, whose office was in the 1850s Lewis-Smith House, one of the many State-owned residences on North Blount Street, suggested selling the state properties, with protective covenants, to private individuals. The idea was to put this valuable housing stock in the hands of owners with the means to do some sensitive and much needed updating while meeting the real estate markets demand for more Downtown residences.
It proved to be an idea whose time had come. Representative Deborah Ross shepherded a bill incorporating the privatization and redevelopment of the area through the General Assembly. Under the aegis of the State Department of Administration, a diverse and multi-faceted development group was assembled to help structure the Blount Street Redevelopment Plan. The team consisted of HDR Associates, an architectural firm skilled at managing large construction projects; Project for Public Spaces, a non-profit conservation organization; and John Milner Architects, a Philadelphia-based historic architectural firm. It initiated community-wide discussions, two public participation workshops and a framework for development teams to compete for the job.
Womans Club Takes The Lead
While the framework for Blount Streets redevelopment was in process, Secretary of Cultural Resources Libba Evans and her staff, at the direction of the State Property Office, confronted the practical matter of relocating their 80 employees currently housed in the Blount Street buildings. Terry Harper had been working for some time on our relocation plan when the Womans Club of Raleigh approached us about using the Heck-Andrews House for their American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Designer Showhouse, says Evans. The house was important for its architecture and as the childhood home of Fannie Heck, a founder and first president of the Womans Club of Raleigh, as well as a long-time president and organizer of the Womans Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention. However, the house did not have modern systems and wasnt suitable for a major up-dating. With plans already in place to move the Capital Area Visitors Center from the Andrews-London House (where it had resided since 1976) to the Museum of History Building, the Andrews-London House seemed a perfect substitute for Hecks homeplace.
Evans agrees that the ASID Designer Showhouse is an opportunity to work with the Club and area designers to renovate and up-fit the Andrews-London House for continued use after the Showhouse. While the ultimate use of the building has yet to be determined, in the interim it can be used for other public purposes such as meeting space for smaller groups and even exhibits, says Evans. By working with qualified partners like the Womans Club and selected ASID designers, we can make sure that everyones money goes toward the sensitive renovation of the house so it can continue to function as an appropriately adapted historic property.
Joi Tannert, the Womans Club and ASIDs Designer Liaison for the Showhouse, supports Evans goal to preserve the Andrews-London House for continued service. Tannert, a past president of the ASID Carolinas Chapter (North and South Carolina), brought the idea of reinstituting an ASID Showhouse to then current club president Jeannine Roberts and past presidents Joyce White and Pat Davis during the Clubs September 2002 Kick-Off Coffee. "In my work as ASID Chapter president, I saw how effective it was to have a permanent sponsor for the Showhouse," says Tannert. "In Charlotte, which has the longest running ASID Showhouse in the country, the event is always sponsored by the symphony. I knew a Raleigh Showhouse could be a great project for the Womans Club and one that might become a recurring event."
Tannert worked with an informal steering committee to find a site in the Downtown area. "We wanted a historic house for its architectural interest and to distinguish this event from the new house Parade of Homes in which the Club also participates," says Tannert. "When told about the decision to privatize the North Blount Street houses and redevelop the area, I thought this might be an opportunity to showcase the idea."
A new dimension was added to Tannerts role in the ASID Showhouse when, at the last minute, she and ASID designer Barbara Lile took on the design and furnishing of the homes non-existent kitchen. "The original kitchen had been partitioned off and converted to multiple bathrooms for the Visitors Center," says Tannert. "Since the cost of the installation of cabinets and appliances might have to be borne by the designer, no one was eager to put so much money into materials they couldn't take out. The State and a private contractor handled the removal of the public restrooms and walls, but we were stuck for what to do to fund appliances, finishes and cabinetry. We received some wonderful support, and finally Apex Cabinets came through with a major donation. Barbara and I are working off the colors and design of the adjacent Breakfast Room and Pantry which were designed by Allied Member Alice E. Henrick of Provenance Interiors of Cary."
The Secretary of Cultural Resources and her staff provided assistance when confronted with another problem space in the Andrews-London House. The house has a ballroom on the third level that was not originally taken by a designer, says Tannert. It is a very large space with fireplaces on both ends, and the walls and ceiling are completely sheathed in wood. Weve decided to leave it as a surprise room for now. Secretary Evanss staff and the Executive Mansion Fine Arts Committee have asked designer Michael Steiner, ASID, to work on a design for the ballroom.
The 2005 ASID Designer Showhouse under the sponsorship of the Womans Club of Raleigh will remake the Andrews-London House into one of the most stylish houses in a neighborhood destined to return to its former glory as Raleighs most fashionable address.
American Society of Interior Designers
In conjunction with the Womans Club of Raleigh, the Carolinas Chapter ASID is proud to host Raleighs first Designer Show House since 1993 as an opportunity for designers to showcase their talents and enhance a local landmark.
After receiving their room assignments by lottery, designers were challenged to transform the house from an empty structure into a refurbished home highlighted by fashionable interior design ideas. Armed with the latest information on materials, technology, building codes, regulations and design psychology, area ASID designers have produced a visually appealing and enlivened space to suite a myriad of future uses.
Established to set standards for design excellence, The American Society of Interior Designers promotes health, safety and welfare for residential and commercial interior design. ASID was formed in 1975 with the merger of the American Interior Design and the National Society of Interior Designers. Today, ASID is the worlds largest professional organization in the design industry.
ASID accreditation establishes a common identity among design professionals, signifying that members have been graduated from an accredited design program, accomplished experience requirements, and passed the test administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). Of the 30,500 ASID national members, 20,000 are interior design practitioners, 6,000 are students, and 4,500 are manufacturers and representatives of interior design products and services.
The Womans Club of Raleigh: Effective Leadership by Diane Lea
The Womans Club of Raleigh has been an integral part of the Capital Citys community and civic life since it was founded in 1904 by Elvira Evelyna Worth Moffitt and a small group of friends. Moffitt, an Asheboro native and daughter of Jonathan Worth, Governor of North Carolina (1865-1868), hosted the first meeting in the State Library Reading Room. From that organizational meeting came the clubs mission statement: The object of this club is the intellectual, philanthropic, social and domestic betterment of the city. This original statement of purpose is as viable today as Raleigh has moved from a rural, agricultural and home-based economy to an urban technological community. The issues and complexities of this economic, domestic and cultural shift continue to be of concern to the Womans Club. Through their talent, perception and successful outreach, the Club strives to mitigate the difficulties of modern life and enhance its quality.
The first president of the Womans Club of Raleigh (1904-1907), Miss Fannie Exile Scudder Heck, was already a successful advocate for social change and the role of women in effecting it when she accepted the challenge of heading the new organization. Heck was born in 1862 in a location where her family had moved for safety from their home in Morgantown, West Virginia during the War Between the States. Her middle name, Exile, commemorated the trauma so many families experienced during those grim years.
After the war, Hecks family moved to Raleigh where her father, Jonathan Heck, established himself as a lawyer, successful businessman and prominent Baptist. He is said to have been the first man to endeavor to break up the business lethargy after the surrender, and soon began construction of the distinctive Heck-Andrews House. Fannie Heck was educated at Raleighs Hobgood Seminary and Hollins Institute (now College) in Roanoke, Virginia. As a member of the First Baptist Church of Raleigh, she became active in mission work in the citys slum section. In 1886 the Baptist State Board of Missions agreed to allow women to organize for mission work. At age 24 Heck was asked to preside over the Womens Central Committee of Missions, a post she held until her death in 1915. The Central Committee was permitted to join the Southern (later national) Womens Missionary Union (WMU) in 1888, and Heck was elected president of that body in 1892. Texas Baptist University professor Caroline Crawford Holcombe traces the emphasis in WMU to Fannie Heck, citing her as singularly responsible for establishing a department within WMU that focused attention on social service. She seems to have made a similar contribution to the newly formed Womans Club.
Heck continued her dedication to social service, and early on the fledgling Clubs energies were focused on issues related to the welfare of women and children. This direction is evident in the organizing departments for 1904-05, which included Child Culture (later Child Study), Literature, Domestic Science, Art, Village Improvement (later City Improvement), Charities, and Music. According to Julene Barlow McPhaul, the Clubs Century Historian, early projects included, a clean-up and beautification campaign in the town; investigation of the local milk supply which led to the hiring of the first milk inspector by the City; and attendance at the State Legislature on the day the Juvenile Reformatory is voted upon.
Current Womans Club president Barbara Volk describes several on-going programs that resonate with those early projects. The Womans Club has a long history of involvement with North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women (NCCIW) in Raleigh, says Volk. We support a program called MATCH which allows inmates to spend time in a space we helped furnish like a typical home environment with a living room, kitchen, crib, and games and toys. With the assistance of volunteer chaperones from the Womans Club and other organizations, the women can visit with their children while practicing the domestic and parenting skills which they learn as part of their reeducation.
As Club President, Volk is asked to support independent projects that extend the Clubs work and the individuals own outreach and education. Volks project is Summit House, an alternative method of incarceration for women convicted of non-violent crimes. Summit House allows six women to live in a residence with their children under very structured circumstances, says Volk. The residents cook meals, shop, receive treatment for addictions and acquire the skills necessary to become employable, all while living with their children. Chair for the Summit House project Gerry Gilbert coordinates each of the Womans Clubs eight departments to provide an activity with the children and their mothers once a month. The activity might be an art exhibit, a concert or attendance at a civic event such as the International Festival. Each month the Club sends something useful like toys, kitchen equipment or other supplies to Summit House and underwrites a biannual donation of $5,000 to the house.
During this intense period of planning and implementing the Designer Showhouse, the Club is remembering first president Fannie Heck, who led by example in helping to establish a remarkable legacy of service to the Raleigh community. Public Affairs Chairman Mary Rollins researched Hecks career with the goal of having a North Carolina Highway Marker erected in her honor. Rollins speaks glowingly of Hecks efforts to initiate the juvenile training center in Raleigh, and assigning Club members to escort juveniles each time they had to appear in court, a fore-runner of todays guardian ad litem program. (Rollins also notes that Heck played a major role in organizing the Womans Executive Committee of the Baptist Female University and raising money for the institution that became Meredith College.) The Highway Marker to Fannie Heck will be unveiled in front of the Heck-Andrews House, on April 28, during the first full week of the Designer Showhouse, says Rollins. It will remind us all that enjoying the Showhouse helps fund serious work.
Kids Bedroom Furnishing Solutions has designed the ultimate sophisticated, yet hip, American girls room, complete with splashes of bright color, bold patterns, and luscious textures. They have accomplished the mixing of fresh, contemporary design with classic furnishing. Through the blending of bright turquoise and chartreuse, visitors are instantly transported to an incredible South Beach Villa. The large-scale paisley wallpaper is inspired from the Art Nouveau period and works well with the boucle, velvet, and silks that create a posh young girls bedroom. She will be the envy of all her friends!
Susan C. Tollefsen, Allied Member ASID Susan graduated from East Carolina University and has been an interior designer for seven years and with Furnishing Solutions since 2003.
Resources: Fabrics: Kravet, Lee Jofa, Osborne and Little, Designers Guild Area rug: Fibreworks Decorative faux and finishes: Strickland-Long Collection Lighting: Louise Gaskill from Louga Designs Carpentry: Direct Force Painting: Greg Wright from Wrights Painting Company Wallpaper: Cole and Sons Photography: Cara Galati from CGG photography