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LGBTQIA+ Historic Context Study

Discovering Important Places

The City of Raleigh, on behalf of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission (RHDC), is hiring a consultant to prepare a historic context statement. The report will identify places important to LGBTQIA+ history and culture in Raleigh and provide criteria for evaluating future sites for either traditional historic designation or alternative forms of non-regulatory recognition.

This project is a first step to document and recognize historic places important to Raleigh’s LGBTQIA+ community. It will not be a comprehensive LGBTQIA+ history of Raleigh or of North Carolina. The final report will include a brief history of Raleigh’s LGBTQIA+ communities, up to 10 oral history interviews, a list of significant historic places (both existing and lost), documentation of up to 20 important places, and will recommend sites and topics for future research. 

Thanks to those who have followed the progress of Phase I, attended the community meetings, and participated in online surveys. A Request for Proposals (RFP) for Phase II of this project was issued and consultant selection is underway. Phase II will build on the preliminary draft research and historic places roster developed during Phase I and will deliver a final report for public use.

Please visit the Email Alerts page to sign up to receive alerts from the RHDC when future Phase II community meetings are scheduled.

Project Details

Historic Preservation
Date Range:
Project Lead:
Erin Morton Pugh, Senior Preservation Planner

Phase II

  • Community meeting to introduce the consultant. 
  • Phase I material review and additional document research. 
  • Complete up to 2 additional oral history interviews. 
  • Community meeting and online engagement to present preliminary findings and project updates. 
  • Draft report reviewed by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission (RHDC). 
  • Final report adopted by the RHDC and provided to City Council. 

Community meeting to share results of the study and discuss next steps for implementation.

Phase I

  • Final project contract executed. (September 27, 2021)
  • Community meeting to introduce the project. (Completed virtually on October 14, 2021 & in person on June 22, 2022)
  • Document research. (Complete)
  • Conduct 8 oral history interviews. (Complete)
  • Community meeting to provide project updates (Completed October 19, 2022)
  • Draft report sections and roster of historic places provided to City staff. (Completed January 2024)


Part of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission’s (RHDC) mission is to identify and recommend properties and neighborhoods for historic designation. This includes Raleigh Historic LandmarksRaleigh Historic Overlay Districts, and listing in the National Register of Historic Places. City staff identifies previously unknown properties with broad updates to the citywide architectural survey records and by using more targeted theme context studies. Previous context reports prepared include Kit Homes, Architect Leif Valand, and the Method Community.

In response to a citizen request, the RHDC reviewed existing historic designations and found that the LGBTQIA+ community lacks representation. There are currently no properties related to Raleigh’s LGBTQIA+ history listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, there is not a developed context for evaluating potential historic resources for official recognition.

What is a Historic Context Study?

  • A method of organizing or grouping information about historic properties that share a common theme, place, and/or time.
  • Identifies places important to a specific community, architect, or cultural event.
  • Includes a list of known significant historic places (both existing and lost) and a short history.
  • Recommends buildings and sites that are eligible for historic designation.
  • Provides a way to evaluate places discovered later.