! Most Attractive Buildings in Raleigh

The responses to the survey on the most attractive buildings in Raleigh are now in and have been tabulated. That James B. Hunt Library on the NCSU Centennial campus was voted the most attractive building in Raleigh with a score of 780, significantly above the second place building, Christ Church which had a score of 492. The third-place finisher was the Second Empire Restaurant (341), followed by the North Carolina Museum of Art (270). The last building in the top five was the State Capital building with a score of 216. The scores for all the buildings are given below. More photographs of all the buildings are also given at the end of this document.

 Hunt Library East Side        South Side           West Side           North Side


 Christ Church         Second Empire         NC Museum of Art    State Capitol East Side 

For further analysis, the buildings were divided into two groups, those with older style architecture and those with newer style. Examples of the older style at the State Capitol and Christ Church and for the newer style are the Hunt Library and the NC Museum of Art. Given this breakdown, the majority of those ranking 5 buildings split their votes by ranking two in one group and three in the other group, slightly more choosing 3 new and 2 old buildings.

There appeared to be less interest in deciding on the Most Attractive building in Raleigh compared to the number of buildings nominated and the number of people who talked to me about the Ugliest building in Raleigh survey completed last year. It should be noted that the building that was #1 in the Ugliest Building survey – the NC AIA Center for Architecture and Design – was also nominated as one of the Most Attractive buildings in Raleigh and was the only building to appear in both lists. However, it came in 13th in the field of 19 with a score of 39.

I want to thank all of you who nominated and/or voted during this non scientific survey. It was both fun and enlightening on my part and I hope you enjoyed it also.

   Attractive Building Score & Rank 
No.  Score	Rank	  Name      
9	780	1	James B Hunt Library, NCSU
5	492	2	Christ Church
15	341	3	Second Empire - Dodd-Hinsdale House
11	270	4	North Carolina Museum of Art
17	216	5	State Capitol 
18	182	6	Tharrington & Smith
16	161	7	State Employees Credit Union
13	120	8	Main, Peace University
14	90	9	PNC Building
4	70	10	Bloomsbury Estates Building
7	65	11	Democratic Party Hdqt - Goodwin House
3	48	12	Bell Tower at NCSU
1	39	13	AIA NC Center for Arch & Design
10	33	14	Legislative Building
2	32	15	BB&T Insurance
6	16	16	First Presbyterian Church
8	3	17	Insurance Building
19	1	18	Wiley School
12	0	19	Oberlin Baptist Church

Attractive buildings are difficult to define and so much is left to the observer to determine what constitutes an attractive building. Here we are only concerned with the external presentation of the building. I know that some buildings are beautiful on the inside, but ugly on the outside; we’re not interested in those buildings. For these nominations, we were only interested in buildings that are attractive on the outside, that is, as we would see them as we drive by. Also excluded are individual homes with the exception of multi-use facilities, such as the NCSU Chancellor’s new house. Landscaping can make an unattractive building look better, but it was not considered in the nominations. More photographs are presented below.

To see the building number and name, hold your cursor over the thumbnail image, then click on the thumbnail to obtain a larger image. Note that vertical images are distorted in the thumbnails in order to fit them in the available space; however, the enlarged images are normal. The number, name and address of all the buildings appear below. Because of the number of images, loading of this page may be a little slow.