Boylan Heights

February 16, 2024

Tim Clarke

Discover the character of Boylan Heights, near downtown Raleigh, NC. Explore historic homes and a vibrant community in this charming neighborhood.

Boylan Heights is one of Raleigh's oldest neighborhoods. It sits next to downtown Raleigh.

Developers started building Boylan Heights in 1907.By 1915, most of the charming Craftsman and Queen Anne-style homes were built.

How Boylan Heights Began

The neighborhood sits on land that originally belonged to William Boylan, a local businessman and politician in the late 1800s.

He helped bring the railroad through Raleigh.After William died, his son inherited the land. Developers saw an opportunity with this large tract of land near downtown Raleigh.

In 1907, the Boylan Heights subdivision was established - one of North Carolina's first planned suburbs.

The developers designed curvy streets that followed the hilly topography.

They advertised modern amenities like electricity, sidewalks, and sewers.

This attracted Raleigh's growing middle class to buy homes.By 1915, all lots were sold and built upon, creating a streetcar suburb oasis.

Today over 450 homes fill Boylan Heights. It blends historic early 1900s homes with some newer infill.

The location provides a quiet neighborhood feel steps from lively downtown.This common history gives Boylan Heights a cohesiveness you can still feel today.

Residents are committed to preservation, beautification and maintaining the original neighborhood vision.Historic architectural integrity has been carefully maintained through the decades.

Origins of a Planned Suburb

William Boylan's Land

William Boylan was a businessman and politician in the late 1800s. He owned 100 acres of land just outside Raleigh. After he died, developers saw potential to build a neighborhood there.

Building the Neighborhood

In 1907, developers established the Boylan Heights subdivision - one of North Carolina's first planned suburbs. They sold all the lots by 1915.

Preserving History

Residents today keep the historic feel. They work to preserve the original neighborhood vision through the Boylan Heights Association. The architecture has been carefully maintained for over a century.

Charming, Diverse Architecture

Part of what makes Boylan Heights so appealing is its architectural diversity. As you stroll the curved streets, you'll find a charming mix of styles:

  • Traditional early 20th century homes like Craftsman bungalows, Queen Anne Victorians, and Colonial Revival designs.
  • Larger homes built in the 1920s and 30s, ranging from stately Tudors to Dutch Colonials.
  • Modest mill houses from the neighborhood's early working-class days.

No matter the architectural style, Boylan Heights homes exude historic character. You'll find artisan details like built-in bookshelves, stained glass windows, and ornate moldings.Deep porches, mature oak trees, and blooming gardens enhance the streetscape.

Grand and Modest

Large homes line Boylan Avenue with big porches and gardens. More modest bungalows fill the interior streets. But all the homes have historic charm.

A Tight-Knit Community

Knowing Neighbors

Boylan Heights has a strong community spirit. Neighbors know each other by name. They look out for one another.

A Strong Community Spirit

The sense of community in Boylan Heights runs deep. Neighbors know each other by name and look out for one another.

The Boylan Heights Association keeps residents connected through social events and beautification efforts.

Many neighbors are second or third generation residents, passing their homes down through generations.

Newcomers are welcomed warmly into the social fabric.

Front porches provide natural gathering spots for neighbors to chat.

Parks and community greens host events like movies in the park and concerts.

The annual Boylan Heights ArtWalk invites the public in to enjoy local art, talent and hospitality.

Top Reasons to Live Here

  • Walkable access to downtown Raleigh and Fayetteville Street
  • Historic homes with character and craftsmanship
  • Friendly, tight-knit community
  • Safe, family-friendly streets for playing
  • Annual ArtWalk festival celebrating local talent
  • Excellent schools like Fred Olds Elementary
  • Shady trees and green spaces
  • Front porches to chat with neighbors
  • Close to restaurants, shops, and nightlife

Fun Neighborhood Places

  • Raleigh Little Theatre - Historic community theater
  • Fred Fletcher Park - Green space with a playground
  • Boylan Bridge Brewpub - Relax on the patio with views
  • Person Street Pharmacy - Old-fashioned lunch counter
  • Oakwood Dog Park - Downtown park for pups

Small Town Charm, Big City Living

With its peaceful streets and friendly neighbors, Boylan Heights feels cozy and small town.

But lively downtown Raleigh is right nearby. It's perfect for people who want historic community and urban convenience.

Ideal for Urban Families

Boylan Heights is great for urban families. It has a kid-friendly vibe. Parents feel at ease letting children walk to the park or ride bikes on the quiet, safe streets.

The neighborhood feeds into the highly-rated Fred Olds Elementary School.

Thoughts from Tim about Boylan Heights

Raleigh continues expanding rapidly with plenty of new construction neighborhoods. But you can't replicate the historic ambiance of Boylan Heights. The neighborhood remains dedicated to preserving its heritage and architecture.Having helped many clients find their perfect home in Boylan Heights, I've seen firsthand what a special neighborhood this is.If you're considering buying in Boylan Heights, I suggest looking for homes on the interior streets to get more bang for your buck.While the homes on S. Boylan Ave are grand, the cozy bungalows offer great value and character. Walk the neighborhood to get a feel for the community vibe.Introduce yourself to neighbors and ask about the Boylan Heights Association to learn about events and preservation efforts.When selling, I advise homeowners to highlight historic details like hardwood floors, built-ins and moldings. And be sure to stage your front porch! Porches are integral to the community here.My team can market your home through local events like the ArtWalk to reach qualified buyers who value the history and neighborly feel.With its charm and walkability near downtown Raleigh, Boylan Heights is a gem. As a long-time area expert, I'm here to help you maximize your real estate experience in this wonderful neighborhood. Let's connect!

Frequently Asked Questions about Boylan Heights

When was Boylan Heights developed?

Boylan Heights was developed in the early 1900s, with the first homes being built in 1907. By 1915, the neighborhood was fully built out.

What architectural styles are common in the neighborhood?

Popular architectural styles include Craftsman bungalows, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Tudor. Homes showcase historic details like built-ins, stained glass, and ornate porches.

Is Boylan Heights a historic district?

Yes, Boylan Heights was designated a National Register Historic District in 1985 to preserve its architectural heritage.

How walkable is the neighborhood?

Boylan Heights is highly walkable, with sidewalks and short blocks. Residents can easily walk to downtown Raleigh attractions.

Is Boylan Heights family-friendly?

Definitely! With kid-friendly parks, safe streets, and excellent schools, Boylan Heights appeals to urban families.

What amenities are close by?

Top amenities include Oakwood Dog Park, Person Street Pharmacy, Boylan Bridge Brewpub, and the Raleigh Little Theatre.

How do residents connect with each other?

Neighbors connect through the Boylan Heights Association, porch gatherings, and events like the annual ArtWalk.

What is housing stock and availability like?

Housing stock includes around 450 homes, mostly dating from the early 1900s. Availability is limited due to high demand.

Are there rules for renovations or changes?

Yes, exterior changes require approval from the Boylan Heights Historic Preservation Commission to maintain architectural integrity.

How do I learn more about living in Boylan Heights?

Reach out to the Boylan Heights Association online or attend a neighborhood event. Local real estate agents can also provide insights.

Tim M. Clarke

About the author

17 years as a Realtor in the Research Triangle, Tim seeks to transform the Raleigh-Durham real estate scene through a progressive, people-centered approach prioritizing trust & transparency.

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