Raleigh architect Louis Cherry welcomes a challenge. The designer behind spaces for local mainstays including Crawford and Son, the Cameron Village Library and the Burning Coal Theatre Company—not to mention his own modernist-style home that caused a stir in historic Oakwood a few years ago—just finished restoring a century-old building at the corner of Bloodworth and Lane Streets.
The one-story wooden building that served as Barnes Grocery for 70 years will now house Cherry’s firm, Louis Cherry Architecture. Anisette Little Shop, which sells sweets from the Five Points Bakery, and Mainland Creative/Oak + Co., a local design boutique and home goods retailer, will rent space in the building as well.
“It’s near our house, and we walk by it all the time,” says Cherry of his decision to buy and restore the dilapidated 118-year-old building, which is freshly painted gray with a pop of red at the door. “People were a little afraid of it because it was in such a precarious position structurally. It needed substantial foundation work, which can be scary, but my background in architecture and building made it not as daunting of a project. It took five months to rebuild the foundation and to repair a lot of the structure, but the renovation went great and it worked out just like we hoped.”
This month, Cherry will open the building to the public in the first of a series of monthly pop-up events designed to engage the community with world of architecture, art and design. He’ll feature some of his own photographic work as well as work from the Raleigh-based photographer Elizabeth Galecke and local jeweler and metalworker Claire Ashby.
“We want to create a stronger connection with architecture and art and design,” Cherry says of the pop-up series. “We’ll be mixing it up each month with different mediums and types of art and this will be a way to use the platform of an architect’s office to connect to art and artists.”