Raleigh, North Carolina
THE RALEIGH-DURHAM AREA is a hotbed of college basketball. From October through March, the attention of the sports world is more often than not focused on the fierce rivalries among the stateís three most prominent schools: Duke University, the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University.
Hoops hoopla aside, Raleigh, the stateís capital city since the end of the 18th century, offers its residents and visitors much more: world-class museums, shows and live concerts, historic sites and a wide variety of shopping options.
The city of Raleigh, one of the few U.S. capitals planned on paper before being built, was established in 1792 at a spot originally known as Wake Crossroads, which had served as a spot for north/south travelers to stop for rest and refreshment. Lawmakers chose the location as the stateís first permanent capital, naming the new city in honor of Sir Walter Raleigh, who founded the first English colony in the New World on North Carolinaís Outer Banks in 1587.
The Capitol building was completed in 1840 using Greek Revival-style architecture, while the North Carolina Executive Mansion, finished in 1891, is one of the few examples of Queen Anne cottage-style architecture in the United States. The two buildings are among the most prominent structures in Raleigh.
The arts always have been a top priority in North Carolina and its capital. In 1943, the state became the first to provide financial support for an orchestra. The North Carolina Symphony, based in Raleigh, performs around 185 concerts a year. The North Carolina Museum of Art became the nationís first state-supported art museum in 1947.
Raleigh hosts two additional major museums, the North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the largest natural history museum in the Southeast.
Seven major institutions of higher learning call the Raleigh area home, including North Carolina State University, Peace College, Shaw University, St. Augustineís College, Meredith College, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Wake Technical Community College. When the North Carolina State University School of Design was established in Raleigh in 1948, it attracted several influential modernist architects.
For those who live to shop, the Southeastís first shopping mall, Cameron Village, opened for business in Raleigh in 1949 and still thrives today.
For information about Raleigh, North Carolina and the surrounding area contact Bill Macchio of Media Services