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Jane’s Walk Returns to Raleigh

Jane's Walk -- Mitchell Silver -- HandmadeNC.com

I live near downtown Raleigh, as I have for 13 years. I love to see how the city has evolved and I am particularly enthralled with the history that peppers each street. We’re lucky to live in a place that’s walkable. There’s a friendly smile, neighborly wave, giggles of school children, and clip of runners as I make my way through my neighborhood on my daily dog walks. It’s pretty marvelous to live with such a palpable sense of place. I’m pleased to bring you the words of Lauren Pritchett today. Lauren is co-organizer of Jane’s Walk Raleigh.

Cities all over the world, including Raleigh, are gearing up to honor the late urban activist Jane Jacobs’ birthday through Jane’s Walk the weekend of May 2-3, 2015. Jane’s Walk offers a way for passionate citizens to lead free conversational walking tours about their home city. Anyone can plan and lead a tour – the only requirement is to have fun!

In 2014, Raleigh hosted its inaugural Jane’s Walk, which captivated nearly 500 people through different walking tours about history, architecture, urban development, and parks.

Jane's Walk, Raleigh 2014

Raleigh’s 1st Jane’s Walk

Raleigh’s first Jane’s Walk appropriately began where our capital city established its roots – on the Capitol grounds, with a tour called 200 years of Architecture & History in 400 square feet. Researcher Catherine Bishir and architect Frank Harmon discussed elements of our rich Southern history with eager Raleighites throughout the Capitol.

I was ecstatic to lead the History of Commerce Tour, which highlighted several commercial buildings in downtown Raleigh. Each landmark had a different story to tell, adding a significant layer to Raleigh’s dynamic history. Although I spent a lot of time researching each historical landmark, I learned even more from the people who joined my walk and shared their own experiences with the group.

Next, dozens of walkers followed former City Planner Mitchell Silver through the downtown Warehouse District on his Looking Back and Looking Forward tour.

On the second day of Raleigh’s 2014 Jane’s Walk, Matt Tomasulo of CityFabric and WalkYourCity (two wonderfully thriving handmade Raleigh businesses) led the way from the Boylan Heights neighborhood to the Dorothea Dix property to discuss potential for city parks and green space.

Each homegrown walk featured a unique component of North Carolina’s capital city and sparked conversation among strangers and neighbors alike.

Jane's Walk 2015

Jane’s Walk Raleigh 2015

I am thrilled that Jane’s Walk is returning to the Oak City this year because we already have an eclectic itinerary in the works. Back by popular demand, Catherine and Frank will be leading the Capitol grounds tour again on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 at 12pm.

This year’s newest addition to the Jane’s Walk Raleigh repertoire is a tour of The Wedge Community Garden by Shamsa Visone on May 2nd at 11am. Shamsa and tour-goers will talk about how to grow a healthier and happier neighborhood through communal gardening.

There is still time for anyone to sign up to become a walk leader! You are encouraged to share your love of local food, art, fashion, and just about anything else with other Raleigh citizens. Just visit the Jane’s Walk Raleigh website or contact Lauren Pritchett for help setting up a walk. One of the best parts about living in Raleigh is being surrounded by the enthusiasm of citizens who love their community.

Jane's Walk -- Raleigh 2015

As someone who’s completed three historic home renovations in Raleigh, I wholeheartedly agree! Cheers to Raleigh…Ra-Ra-Raleigh!Jane's Walk -- Raleigh 2015