A look into the past, present, and future of Raleigh, NC’s skyline

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The historic Masonic Temple Building at 133 Fayetteville St. | Photo by RALtoday

Downtown’s skyline is rapidly evolving and it’s getting harder to keep up with what’s what. There are 20+ developments under construction or planning to break ground this year. Let’s dive in to some of Raleigh’s oldest, newest, and tallest towers.

Setting the stage

The Masonic Temple Building, found on the northeast corner of Fayetteville and Hargett streets, is one of the oldest high rise buildings in Raleigh and is NC’s first skyscraper built with steel-reinforced concrete.

The seven-story building was completed in 1908 — and today, it still looks very similar to how it did 100+ years ago. The tower’s facade is Indiana limestone up to the third floor + light brick was used for the rest of the building. The structure’s detailed sides are ornamented with terracotta.

More than a century later, 133 Fayetteville is now home to office and commercial spaces including Empire Properties. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places + designated as a Raleigh Historic Landmark.

Reaching new heights

The tallest building in downtown Raleigh (for now) is PNC Plaza, which was completed at 301 Fayetteville St. in 2008. Its 33 stories reach 538 ft. and are filled with offices, retail space, parking, and residential condominiums.

In midtown, tenants began moving into the tallest residential building in Raleigh in April. The Eastern, located in North Hills, has 36 stories of luxury apartments with 21 penthouses on the top three floors + a rooftop terrace with views of the downtown skyline.

A new record-breaker?

In March, the city council approved zoning requests for “The Nexus,” a mixed-use development that will be built on The News & Observer’s former property across from Nash Square. Once completed, it could be as tall as 40 stories, making it the tallest tower in city history.

The site could house up to 2,425 residential units, 1.44 million sqft of office space + 70,000 sqft of retail space. A construction timeline has not been announced.

What other past, present, or future Raleigh skyscrapers pique your interest? Tell us here.

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