R.I.P. Garland Jones

R.I.P. Garland Jones

Last Days

April, 30, 2009, by Jedidiah

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One of the last remaining examples of high modern architecture in downtown Raleigh looks like it has seen its last day. The last remaining facades of the Garland Jones building on the corner of Martin and Salisbury Street started coming down last night and look to be finished the end of today or tomorrow.

Rest in Peace Garland Jones. Downtown will miss the period of our city’s history that you represent as well as the beautiful blue panels that reflect the surrounding city and skyscrapers so well.

Garland Jones Eulogy

Garland Jones on WUNC State of Things

Garland Jones Loses its Marbles

Read More

Architecture, Other posts by Jedidiah.


Garland Jones


  • hackles10
    04/30 10:47 AM

    Its time to move on, I just hope this lot doesn’t sit vacant for 2-3 years before construction starts!

  • Sallie
    04/30 11:08 AM

    The county is $20 million over budget just for this little ole’ year alone - WTF do you THINK is going to happen to that lot?!?! That’s right - NOTHING!

  • arthurb3
    04/30 11:12 AM

    I am sure the stucco and cement/fake stone building will look just as nice!! (uggg)

  • Carver
    04/30 11:32 AM

    I’m hopeful they will hold a downtown Mud-Bogging event in the empty lot.(Seeing how it looks like nothings going up here for some time.) Maybe I can set up a street cart and sell Alligator meat to all the local folks!

  • Miles
    04/30 11:40 AM

    Raleigh’s blatant indifference towards history and aesthetic decency is really starting to piss me off..

  • hackles10
    04/30 11:45 AM

    Haha, what a bunch of whiners on here.  That building was a dump.  I used to spend a decent amount of time there, and it was horrible! 

    You are all willing to rip on the city and its choices because of the old blue marble facade? 

    Garland Jones was there because the building before it was knocked over, and it was far and away time for it to go. 

    Now, if the building the put up in its place is boring/lazy/ugly/uninspired then that is a completely different argument.  But to say that the building as it stood should have stayed around is a bit silly. 

    I bet most of you griping barely set foot in that place except maybe to get your marriage license!

  • Jess
    04/30 11:59 AM

    Good to see it go…I used to work in that building…it was always so drab…

  • GD
    04/30 12:13 PM

    I also worked in that building quite a lot when I was a real estate paralegal and I hated it with a passion!

  • TSnow27604
    04/30 12:14 PM

    Decades of neglect will turn anything into a “drab” “dump.”

  • RaleighRob
    04/30 12:34 PM

    To be fair to those commenting on the city, it’s actually the county that’s tearing this one down.

    My biggest peeve about the whole thing is that I know the county doesn’t have the funds to put up their proposed replacement building, so this will be yet another hole in the ground with nothing being built.  Leaving the old building standing would have made a lot more sense but aesthetically and economically.

    I hope the city learns from the county’s mistake here and before they start tearing down the old police station, make 100% sure they got the funds to build the replacement first!

  • Dana
    04/30 12:46 PM

    Just wanted to point out that this is not a “greedy developer” tearing down this unusual building. It is our county government at work.

  • Barden
    04/30 01:16 PM

    Good riddance! What an eyesore!


  • T-Plain
    04/30 01:28 PM

    The saddest part about this is that they didn’t figure out a way to tear it down in a way that would make it look like they were playing Arkanoid.

  • MMI
    04/30 01:57 PM

    T-Plain, what OTHER comparison could you make, though?  The rectangular blocks just scream for a “Breakout”-type game comparison.

    Oh, and “unusual” is just code for butt-ugly.

  • dt
    04/30 02:22 PM

    Got only one word to describe my feelings:  Booooo!

  • Carver
    04/30 02:59 PM

    I’m not a fan of the building either but I’d hate for the lot to sit empty.  That’s all!  Anybody still up for Alligator meat from my street cart?  :)

  • smitty
    04/30 06:29 PM

    I remember standing near there when they demolished the First Citizens building on Wilmington and Martin in 1991. http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=102849  They had planned to build there too…  Was empty until the RBC Plaza.

  • TSnow27604
    04/30 08:06 PM

    I think those with the negative opinions of this building and style need to revisit an article from last October and read the comments.  http://www.newraleigh.com/articles/archive/baptist-female-university/  Most all designs spend some time being out of favor.  The old Meredith College was also turned into a governmental building with less than appropriate upkeep until it was seen as an eyesore and torn down.  The difference is that the Queen Anne style is now seen as attractive again.  One day we will all wonder how we let this happen.

  • Enigma
    04/30 08:51 PM

    Happy to see that awful looking eyesore on it’s way to being gone forever.  Raleigh is looking much better already and I’m glad there’s a few progressives in the decision making house.  Hooray for progress!

  • M Jones
    05/01 12:25 AM

    I’m a huge fan of preservation—especially when it comes to significant examples of mid-20th century architecture.  But folks, this wasn’t one of them.  This was modernism on the cheap, and it had outlived its painfully dated “mod” veneer, and its usefulness.  Let’s be honest: It was ugly, and I for one am not sad to see it go.
    That said, I totally agree with some of the other comments that, should the county/city decide to build something in its place that’s equally cheap and faceless, then shame on them.

  • Pepper
    05/01 12:46 AM

    Has anyone that commented negatively about the beauty of this building been a designer or architect….or simply lawyers, doctors, and such that have little frame of design reference….

    If so, or if not, please give us an example of an aesthetically pleasing building in the area, in your opinion.

    Let’s compare notes.

    Just wondering.

  • Adam
    05/01 10:06 AM

    RIP you ugly building

  • Seriously?
    05/01 10:13 AM

    M Jones - if this one wasn’t a perfect example of modernism, can you, pray tell, point out something better in town? I’ll even narrow it down for you - give me one example that’s better just DOWNTOWN?

    For all of you pseudo-architectural critics - can you with all sincerity say that the gaping hole that will be smack dab in the middle of our downtown for years to come is honestly better than having something there? If you don’t catch my drift, please let me refer you to the site for the Hillsborough, the Edison, the L building, any of the nine million and one parking lots that we have around the city…

  • Carver
    05/01 11:17 AM

    Stay Classy Raleigh!

  • MMI
    05/01 12:14 PM

    Hey, I never claimed to be an architectural critic.  I just said the thing was ugly.  I’m fairly certain I don’t need the training to say that in this case.

  • T-Plain
    05/01 12:52 PM

    ^ Agreed.

    Until the opiner’s club is limited only to architects and the otherwise properly credentialed, us slackjawed, philistine masses who also roam the streets will have our opinions on it, some of which will be negative.

  • Me
    05/01 02:11 PM

    Thank YOU Raleigh for taking this eyesore away!!

  • M Jones
    05/01 03:22 PM

    **sigh** I am coming from an aesthetic perspective, not from an urban planning perspective.  No, a gaping hole is NOT preferable in the downtown built environment.
    I am simply saying that the uproar over this eyesore meeting its ultimate demise is wholly unfounded.  It was ugly.  Let it go.

  • hackles10
    05/01 04:29 PM

    The positive side of these “gaping holes” is that they are prepared lots in downtown that are ready for development as the credit markets ease, and the economy starts moving again. 

    Sucks to have the eyesore, but I am excited for the potential of the 5-6 lots in 12 months time!

  • JRD
    05/01 05:07 PM

    I find it interesting that nobody ever complains about the demolition of the other building on that lot.  Its way older and is in a style of which there are few examples of in downtown.

  • JZ
    05/01 07:20 PM

    >> Until we as a culture decide to make the effort to educate ourselves on the higher principles of architecture and the urban landscape, the discussion will always remain tethered to brutish aesthetic ‘gropings’. (For example, if you believe in any eternal truths, then, by definition, beauty cannot ALWAYS be in the eye of the beholder.)

    >> I think the ongoing discussion about this building since early last year has been a good gauge of how Raleigh thinks about its past, present and future.  More than losing the building, I’m disappointed at the lack of a sophisticated forum that enables us to move the conversation beyond the trite declarations of “I think its ugly!” or “I think its beautiful!”. 

    >> Such is life in Raleigh…..urbanistically sisyphean, sensorially solipsistic and way too fucking black and white.

  • MMI
    05/01 08:58 PM

    What you call trite, I say is a beautiful expression of an absolute.  If only every decision were so clear!

  • TSnow27604
    05/01 10:43 PM

    Not having an open mind to different architectural styles is like only liking one type of music or food or saying you only like action movies and comedies are no good.

  • JZ
    05/01 10:46 PM

    MMI: And I rest my case. 

    Have a lovely evening all.

  • MMI
    05/02 01:41 AM

    trite, *adj.*
    - lacking in freshness or effectiveness because of constant use or excessive repetition; hackneyed; stale

    “You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it does.”

  • jay_sikes
    05/07 03:32 PM

    MMI- i think that JZ is using trite in the correct way and i would second the assessment of your declarations as being trite.

  • MMI
    05/07 04:55 PM

    Wow, jay—you came all the way over here from the other post to say that?  You cared so much about saying that that even a closed post couldn’t stop you??  I’m touched.  No, really.

  • jay_sikes
    05/07 06:22 PM


    unfortunately a potential continuation of the debate was cut short on that thread. no doubt, in order to preserve the GJB’s memory through those photos. thats fine, i don’t control what threads are stopped and started.

    but some of you just couldn’t help but beat a dead horse. so i think its perfectly appropriate to call you out on your statements. but don’t take it so personally, you aren’t the only one mindlessly dribbling about this issue.

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