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Old 12-30-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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I ran across this building on a drive through downtown Raleigh today. It is located between the CSX railroad tracks and the historic Mordecai neighborhood. I did some internet searches and this is what I have dug up so far about its history.

“Built in three phases, with each building named after the year it was constructed, Pilot Mill consists of The 1892 Building, The 1903 Building and The 1910 Building. In 1910, Pilot Mill’s 425 looms, 11,000 spindles and 300 workers transformed 5,000 bales of cotton into 8 million yards of cloth. Production continued until the late 1970’s.”

After a series of owners and renovation projects, The Pilot Mill now houses the Raleigh Charter School as well as various office space. Anybody know a little more about the history of Pilot Mill? I would love to hear more about it from long time residents of the area.

Here are a few pictures I took of the Pilot Mill buildings today (December 30, 2008)











Some older pictures I found of the Pilot Mill Buildings

http://www.presnc.org/Mill_Reuse_Website/albums/pilot%20Mills/images/Pilot%20BEFORE%5B1%5D_AFTER%20FLYER_jpg.jpg (broken link)





Some interesting websites with More Information about the Pilot Mill Building (including some interior pictures of some of the rennovations):

Wake County North Carolina Textile Mills

NC Preservation: Pilot Mill

Gailor, Wallis & Hunt Lawyers - Pilot Mill

Hedgehog Holdings: Pilot Mill (http://www.hedgehogholdings.com/pilotmill.html - broken link)

N&O Article Re: Pilot Mills Redevelopment

Last edited by North_Raleigh_Guy; 12-30-2008 at 09:19 PM..
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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You need to start up an "Endangered Raleigh" blog. The one in Durham is fascinating.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Five Points
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NRG- I know that it was started by the Williamson family of Raleigh. It is truly a great renovation. Amazing what they did to it. Raleigh was a a fledging cotton mill town back in the 1890's with Pilot Mill, The Raleigh Cotton Mill and Caraleigh Cotton Mill. This happened just about when cotton got down to less than a nickel per pound. Local farmers then shifted to other crops which ended our reign as the cotton trading capital of The Old North State.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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It may also be the home to Exploris Middle Schhol next year. The school lost their building with the sale of the Exploris museum last year (although they were allowed to stay this year) but the current owner of the buildings (who has a granddaughter at Exploris) has generously offered to let the middle school move onto the property and feed into RCHS.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:35 AM
 
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Thumbs up The Cotton Mill

Here are a few pictures I have of the nearby Cotton Mill which was rennovated back in the mid 1990's and now houses several condo units. The Cotton Mill is just down the Road from The Pilot Mill. It is located along the CSX railroad tracks in downtown Raleigh next to Seaboard Station.

"The original mill was built in several stages in 1890 and expanded in 1895. The building was originally a portal for the rail freight line on the east side. Once the active textile processing closed, other uses for the property have included warehousing for a variety of goods including carpets, and bicycles. Residential renovation for 50 condominiums was completed in 1996." Source











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Old 12-31-2008, 07:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncletupelo View Post
NRG- I know that it was started by the Williamson family of Raleigh.
Good info uncletupelo! Here is an image I found in the NC State Archives. Looks like the Williamson family name appears on this document.




Lamishra, that is very interesting about the exploris school moving to this location. Thanks for sharing the info.

~ NRG
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:22 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
Here are a few pictures I have of the nearby Cotton Mill which was rennovated back in the mid 1990's and now houses several condo units. The Cotton Mill is just down the Road from The Pilot Mill. It is located along the CSX railroad tracks in downtown Raleigh next to Seaboard Station.

"The original mill was built in several stages in 1890 and expanded in 1895. The building was originally a portal for the rail freight line on the east side. Once the active textile processing closed, other uses for the property have included warehousing for a variety of goods including carpets, and bicycles. Residential renovation for 50 condominiums was completed in 1996." Source
Believe it or not, but the Cotton Mill has 50 condos...quite a bit more than a "few". The smallest ones are just over 800 SF and the largest is about 2600 SF. The average condo is a ~1300 SF two bedroom loft but all 50 are unique in some way. Every pre-renovation buyer had the oppty to customize their unit and many did. I know, I was one of those people. It ended up being the BEST investment in my entire life. In the mid 90's, these condos were sold renovated at around $75 a square foot....some more, some less. I want to say that the cheapest units were about 67K with the largest unit going for around $150K. I paid $113K for mine plus I bought one of the garage spaces for $3500. Needless to say, all the condos and garage spaces sold before the building was finished. The condos are either flats with up to 14' ceilings or loft units that have between 17ft and 25ft high ceilings with 10'+ tall windows. All condos in the building enjoy a 50% property tax credit every year because it is a historic property and the city and county were anxious to jump start downtown living. When I first moved into my unit, Glenwood South was NOTHING and everyone thought I was crazy for buying in that location. But, I always believed that it was going to be a huge win given how close it was to the government complex, 5 Points, Hayes Barton and Cameron Village.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Five Points
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RNC2- Yeah I had a friend that bought a new unit back then and sold it 5 years later for a 6 figure profit. Those are very cool, unique spaces. I hope that one day the same will be said for the Dillon Supply warehouses.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:30 PM
 
Location: East Coast
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Thanks for sharing those pics. It is always interesting to see some Raleigh history, as most everything you see out is new or newer unless you get downtown.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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I worked at pilot mills in the early seventies and lived in one of the mill houses on harper street.i am amazed at the transformation!
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