A place to DREAM of what YOU would do in Raleigh

If you could put anything anywhere in Raleigh… what would you do? What would you like to see? Where? Why? This is a thread to unleash all our dreams of what we wish for in Raleigh.

One thing I always dream of is seeing the building Form & Function occupies in five points turned in to a restaurant with a roof top lounge/bar. There are already floor to ceiling windows with views of all of five points and room for a huge kitchen in the back. If you have ever been in there, and looked out, its beautiful! The design/feel of the restaurant would be retro modern. The rooftop would have a nice bar that you could go up to and have a cocktail while you wait for your table or for after dinner drinks. This would be a one of a kind restaurant to Raleigh in one of a kind location.


A lake with houses on it, but I realize that would not be downtown.

18-hole putt putt course on the corner of the parking area at Cameron Village HT overlooking DTR skyline. Punch through the wall for an entrance into the old Foster’s space for a restaurant/bar ‘clubhouse’.


An observation tower! Could put in a triangular-version of the Space Needle in a weird lot like the diagonal block of Edenton/Hillsborough/West Streets. A viewing platform and a rotating restaurant would be a good tourist attraction.




For downtown Raleigh, I would purchase the Sir Walter and restore it back to being Raleigh’s premier hotel. Something along the lines of the Virginian hotel in Lynchburg or the Francis Marion hotel in Charleston.
image https://www.historichotels.org/hotels-resorts/francis-marion-hotel/


Somehow incorporate a Riverwalk style pedestrian and commercial waterway through some portion of downtown.


Take half of Dix park and turn into into a tourist destination (Raleigh Aquarium or small city zoo or some sort of college basketball museum). Anything that would attract more tourist revenue. Oh and a lightrail system.


@Dave_M Agreed! I think a great place would be between West and Capital… where they plan to put the devereaux park. They could put the commercial spaces on west street over looking the riverwalk. Maybe commercial spaces with condos above. Would love to see a riverwalk… that would finally give us some sort of water feature in Raleigh.


I’ve mentioned this before, but an underground bowling alley in the basement level of Kimbrells.


Awesome transit system. Frequent service, clean, safe, reliable, good coverage.


I am in Charlotte right now staying in uptown. Really nice. I was surprised at how much bigger Charlotte is and feels. Raleigh will undoubtedly never be as big as Charlotte. However I really like Raleigh and there is a lot to do that would make it way better such as public transit and a larger cohesive urban walkable area.


What if we had more squares like Moore & Nash squares? Could have a square for each neighborhood. I like the idea of encouraging skinnyish buildings but 4 to 7 stories tall around them. Maybe make them a combo of squares with trees and outdoor restaraunt space like Piazzas.

Could connect them with urban avenues like Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.

Would actually be the most “city of oaks” thing we could if we copied this.


new city council …


Somewhat Realistic:

  1. Significant investment in Historic City Market so that it is a vibrant retail/restaurant destination and one of the highlights of the city.
  2. New tallest building at the N&O site with a beautiful design.
  3. I agree that the Sir Walter should be restored to Raleigh’s premier hotel. I get the need for affordable housing, but I’m not sure why it needs to be on Raleigh’s most prominent street in one of its most historic buildings.
  4. Either drastically improve Red Hat Amphitheater, or if the city is insistent on expanding the Convention Center, find a way to put Red Had on the roof. Make it an architectural statement with high quality sound, make it a “must-play” like Red Rocks or the Hollywood Bowl.
  5. 213 Harrington: Build this as proposed in the renders with all of greenery.

Edit: 6 (should probably be #1): How could I forget mentioning Dix Park? This is a project that is currently happening, but it would be great if they went even bolder and moved the timeline forward. If I were in charge, I’d help finance it by doing ground leases along Lake Wheeler as originally planned, plus put the full-court press on some of the area’s wealthy, and then go BIG on projects like the creek, the entry plaza, the grotto, and the ridge. Really make it a destination along the lines of Central Park, Grant/Millennium Park, Balboa, etc. Would love to find an anchor for the Ridge as well to help draw people.

Dreaming Even Bigger:

  1. Underground metro with stops at Union Station, Historic City Market, Cameron Village, North Hills, the new MLB stadium (see below), Dix Park, PNC Arena, UNC Rex, RDU, a couple at RTP, etc.
  2. Significant river through town, maybe with a waterfall in Dix Park. A nice riverwalk with cafe’s and retail along the shore.
  3. Remove Central Prison, replace with MLB stadium as the home of Raleigh’s new team. This would anchor a mixed-use center and possibly contain an MLS stadium as well.

Agree about City Market and The Sir Walter. No excuse for their current uses.


In love with everything! :heart:
Great vision as well! :sunglasses::star_struck::hugs:


I’m actually on Commonwealth right now!

(Full Res)


I like the dream big approach. Taking the underground from North Hills to Cameron Village to Memorial Auditorium is something I need in my life.

Also, I would dust off the old plans for the Soleil Center and modify the design so it could be placed where the current parking decks are at Cabarrus and Salisbury streets. All parking would be underground and connected to the convention center and Two Hannover.