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LGBTQIA+ Historic Context Study

Discovering Important Places

The Raleigh Historic Development Commission is preparing a historic context report to identify places important to LGBTQIA+ culture in Raleigh. The report will include a list of significant historic places (both existing and lost). It will also include a short history of Raleigh's LGBTQIA+ communities. Finally, it will recommend buildings and sites that are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Project Details

Historic Preservation
Date Range:
Project Lead:
Tania Georgiou Tully
Jeffrey “Free” Harris
Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Service Unit:
Historic Preservation




  • Document research.
  • Community meeting to introduce the project.
  • Ten oral history interviews.
  • More community engagement opportunities TBD.
  • Draft report reviewed by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission.
  • Community meeting to share the results of the study.


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 Landmarks, Raleigh Historic Overlay Districts, and National Register designation. Broad citywide updates to the architectural survey and targeted context studies identify properties. Previous context reports prepared include Kit Homes and the Method Community

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

In 2019, RHDC staff issued an informal Request for Proposals for the preparation of a context. The budget is $10,000. Funds are from the Planning and Development budget targeted for historic reports and surveys. A consultant was hired in the fall of 2019. After COVID related delays, the project has restarted.

What is a Historic Context Study?

  • 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.