Watch Nature Devour This Abandoned Raleigh Neighborhood
It’s not often you stumble across a completely abandoned neighborhood in the middle of a built-up segment of suburbia. But today I went driving through an eerie series of narrow streets, transported to another world right behind Millbrook High and Triangle Town Mall.
Wild hedges and gnarled fallen oaks obscured the decaying houses behind them. Kicked in doors made me wary of who might be waiting inside. This area of Raleigh has a reputation, and I suspect squatters might be watching me through cracked windows. In fact, only a stone’s throw away from here, a house was busted for being part of a Raleigh prostitution ring.
As I drove down the narrow streets–nervous, because there’s not much room to whip my car around and escape if needed–I stumbled upon something even more surprising: A set of ornately-painted and colorful abandoned townhomes!
What happened here? Why is this entire neighborhood abandoned? How did it used to look?
My friend Josh Drummond, who alerted me to the neighborhood’s presence, sent me a slew of research on the original owner and the story of this land. As I looked it over, a story began to form. And through the magic of Google Street View, we can travel back in time to when these homes were still lived-in, new, and beautiful.
The homes were built in 1954, and according to the Raleigh Public Record, Alvin G. Moore, a Master Mason at the Millbrook Masonic Lodge, acquired the property in 1979. He turned the properties into rentals. When he passed away, the land was put into a Trust, which was later given to his wife Sylvia Moore. Developers at Litchford Properties, LLC bought the land in 2013.
A few questions still remain: What happened to all of the renters? Why has nothing been done with this property since then? Why are so many houses left standing, but empty, for so many years? And what will eventually be built here?
Let’s look at the first house, compare it with Google’s old images, and how the years of loneliness have changed its facade.