Today a group of civic minded folks are planting azaleas and having a cookout at the site of the lost Latta House. Azaleas were donated by WRAL and NC Beautiful. Hopefully the azaleas are tough enough to survive the drought.
Loss of Latta House occurred earlier this year when it mysteriously burned to the ground after a 100+ year fight for survival. I have yet to hear the cause of the fire.
In the 1990’s it gained status as a Raleigh historic landmark and was listed on the National Register of historic places. Subsequently, this important landmark suffered missed opportunities to secure assistance and perhaps restoration.
Latta House was built in the late 1800’s by a former slave (Reverend Morgan Latta) to provide education for African Americans. Latta University was located in Oberlin Village, a freedmans community founded after the Civil War.
In the summer of 2004, I visited Latta House and took a few pictures (2 of them shown here). Though it had deteriorated significantly, I could see it had once been a handsome place. Especially handsome when you consider the circumstances under which it was built.