Raleigh, North Carolina
Senator William Christmas originally panned four green spaces for the City of Raleigh and named them for state leaders Richard Caswell, Thomas Burke, Alfred Moore, and Abner Nash.
One of these spaces, Caswell Square, was repurposed for Government buildings in 1846. Another, Burke Square, was used as the site for the Governor’s mansion in 1883.
Moore Square is one of the two of remaining green spaces from the original plan, and we’re thrilled to be adding this area to this year’s roster. Our focus will be on the rare downtown surviving example of a once-common, urban Raleigh house form, and the only 19th-century residence remaining on Moore Square: the J.M. Norwood House. The house was constructed c.1870 for James Morgan Norwood. Norwood was was born in 1862. He eventually became a public official who served as Chief of Raleigh Police in the late 19th century and even ran for mayor in 1919. As Police Chief, Norwood cracked down on gambling and public intoxication. He also revised the shift schedule to ensure that officers were always on patrol. In addition to his public service, Norwood was a local business leader and owner of the Norwood Cigar Company located on Wilmington Street.
In 1997, the house was relocated 200 yards from its original location because that land had been marked by the city for a new consolidated fire station (although it looks like that plan was changed since the site is now Moore Square Magnet Middle School). The Norwood House today serves as the Moore Square Visitor Center.
If you've had an unusual experience at the Norwood house, we hope that you take a moment to complete our survey linked below.
Investigation at this location: