Rendering of Oberlin Road streetscape

Oberlin Road Public Art Project

Raleigh Arts

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Project Details

The Oberlin Road Public Art Project is funded by the 2017 Transportation Bond. Capital Improvement Projects that meet the Percent for Art Ordinance standards, such as this one, are eligible to use 1% of construction funding for Public Art. Inclusion of aesthetics and artwork is an investment in our communities, with a focus on community identity and equity in quality of life. Communities gain cultural, social, and economic value through public art.

The purpose of the project is to improve the street from Groveland Avenue to the north of Bedford Avenue, with wider sidewalks, revised traffic lanes and bus stops, and landscaping. Some public water and sanitary sewer mains will also be replaced or added.

Artist Chandra Cox is working with the living ancestors of Oberlin Village to tell the story of this historic community. Chandra is working with the design team to integrate storytelling elements and artistically interpreted historical markers into the project.

This project is part of the Percent for Art program for Oberlin Road Streetscape Project.


Estimated installation in 2022.


Site Details

1018 Oberlin Road Circa 1948

The Oberlin Road Project is part of the Cameron Village & Hillsborough Street Small Area Plan that was approved by City Council in Feb. 2018. The Wade/Oberlin Small Area Plan of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan recognized Oberlin Road as the “main street” of the area emphasizing the need to more fully integrate pedestrian, bike, auto, and transit uses into a well-landscaped and attractive streetscape that serves people of all abilities.

The Oberlin Road Streetscape Plan was adopted by City Council on January 6, 2015. The plan focuses on improving the sidewalk environment.

Learn more about the Oberlin Road Streetscape Project.

Site History

Oberlin: A Village Rooted in Freedom

"Oberlin: A Village Rooted in Freedom" reveals how a historic preservation project has helped recover the story of a once-thriving town near Raleigh built after the Civil War by formerly enslaved and free blacks. Oberlin had more than 1,200 inhabitants before being paved over in the name of progress. The renovation of two 1880s houses by Preservation North Carolina has exposed remarkable stories about the families who lived there.

Artist Biography

Headshot of artist and professor Chandra Cox

Chandra Cox, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Art + Design, College of Design, North Carolina State University, is a practicing artist, image-maker who works in a range of mediums from oil, acrylic to digital media.

Cox's work has been presented at museums and galleries around the country, including the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Mint Museum, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Her work is included in public collections at North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, the University of North Carolina Law School, and the Tubman Museum. Cox has been Artist-In-Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts and illustrated the children's book Christmas Makes Me Think.

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