Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon, the owners of the unfinished contemporary style house at 516 Euclid Street, may be allowed to continue building their dream home in Raleigh’s historic Oakwood neighborhood.

In a Wednesday memo, city attorney Dorothy Leapley advised the Raleigh City Council of Wake County Superior Court Judge Elaine Bushfan’s decision to rule in favor of Cherry and Gordon. The ruling will overturn a February decision by the city’s Board of Adjustment, which reversed Cherry’s certificate of appropriateness on the home design; the COA had been awarded by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission last fall.

Gail Wiesner, Cherry’s neighbor across the street, appealed the RHDC’s decision to grant the COA on the grounds that the design was inappropriate for the historic neighborhood. Raleigh City Council joined Cherry and Gordon in their lawsuit to overturn the Board of Adjustment’s 3-2 decision to reverse Cherry’s COA, based on Wiesner’s appeal.

Wiesner told the INDY this morning she “will definitely appeal” Judge Bushfan’s ruling. She has thirty days.


In a statement this afternoon, Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon wrote that they are “very pleased” to learn that Judge Bushfan will issue a ruling in their favor. They thanked their counsel, the City of Raleigh, North Carolina Modernist Houses and “the astonishingly generous people in Oakwood, in the city of Raleigh, from across North Carolina, and from all over the country who have offered financial and emotional support.”

“This decision affirms the RHDC’s authority to do its job and the ability of property owners in the City of Raleigh to have faith in their building permits, whether they reside in an Historic District or not,” the statement says.

“We hope that this legal battle is behind us. We now have the opportunity to focus on the things that make Oakwood the dynamic, diverse, and wonderful neighborhood that it is. We are now ready to move in and move on, and hope that our neighbors and neighborhood will join us.”