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Mordecai Neighborhood Overview

August 11, 2022

In our blog post of the Top 8 walkable neighborhoods of Raleigh, we mention the main destinations where people want to live with easy access to the shops and restaurants nearby, so today we want to dive deeper into a Downtown Raleigh neighborhood: Mordecai.

The general vibe of Mordecai is of a long established neighborhood just outside downtown with towering trees and a variety of architectural styles mostly from the early 20th century. Think craftsman bungalows, and Tudor/Colonial and other Revival styles.

From the main RHDC website:
Mordecai Place, like Raleigh's other early twentieth-century suburbs, occupies land that had been part of an antebellum plantation. The original plantation house, built in the eighteenth century and heavily altered in the Greek Revival style around 1824, survives and is open to the public as a house museum at Mordecai Historic Park. The early suburb that developed on sold and subdivided plantation land features a rich variety of the architectural styles popular in the first decades of the twentieth century, including the prolific Colonial Revival houses and Craftsman bungalows as well as the romantic revival styles like Tudor Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, Spanish Mission Revival, and Italian Renaissance Revival. There are also a few examples of a more typically rural vernacular style, the two-story, side-gabled dwelling known as an I-house. Towards the middle of the twentieth century, smaller Cape Cods and Minimal Traditional houses were built.

The neighborhood's most impressive houses, naturally, stand on large parcels nearest the grand Mordecai House. These are large Colonial Revival and Georgian houses with brick exteriors and were likely architect-designed. Bungalows are the most common house type in the neighborhood, and many feature the Craftsman detailing so strongly associated with the house type.


Map of the Mordecai Historic District

Located on the north side of town, Mordecai is bound by a bit of a triangle of roads, Wake Forest Rd to the east, Mordecai Drive to the north, Courtland or Blount St to the west, and Delway to the south. That location is Historic Mordecai Place, which was listed on the national register of historic places in 1998.

As Raleigh gets larger, more and more people may refer to the whole area as Mordecai, with locals and old-timers knowing the smaller distinctions within. Though what might be considered “Mordecai” by those less intimately familiar with the boundaries actually consists of many adjacent and sometimes quite similar neighborhoods.

Village at Pilot Mill homes in Downtown Raleigh

Across Wake Forest Rd from the Historic Mordecai neighborhood is East Mordecai (formerly the Lafayette and Meadowbrook neighborhoods, now combined since 2009), and directly south of East Mordecai (just south of Glascock) is a newer construction infill neighborhood called the Oakdale at Mordecai, and directly south of that (Parts of Sasser and south of it) is Oakdale. On the other sides, directly to the west of Historic Mordecai Place are Pilot Mill and Capital Park (redeveloped in the early 2000s), and directly south of Mordecai is the Person St district, which offers some mixed use and commercial options.


While many may naturally pronounce the name Mor-de-kai, locals know that we have our own way of saying it: Mor-de-key.


Like Oakwood, many neighbors host annual pig pickins or other get togethers worthy of closing down at least one street. It's not uncommon to see a handful of neighbors take over a street one day with kids on bikes and parents grilling out. Formally, the neighborhood CAC does participate in City and National events.


Two main destinations are accessible from Mordecai:

Iconic Krispy Kreme sign in Downtown Raleigh

- North Person Street District - The most famous spot here is the iconic Krispy Kreme shop on the corner of Peace / Person. But there's such a good mix - from the casual Oakwood Pizza Box to the sophisticated French restaurant, Jolie.

- Seaboard Station District - Next to Peace University lies the, currently being developed, Seaboard Station District. Most useful to homeowners is the convenient Ace Hardware.

See a list of everything at both locations here.

Ready to explore and see what's available for sale?  Check the listings here.

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