William Henley Deitrick and Peggy Futrelle Nowell both left an indelible mark on the landscape of their hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. Deitrick was one the most prolific and well-known North Carolina mid-century architects, and Nowell was the matriarch of the family that to this day runs Nowell's Clothiers, the menswear store that provides Raleigh statesmen, businessmen, and good Southern men-about-town with their requisite khaki, plaid, and bow ties. Where Deitrick and Nowell's legacies overlap is in the house they both called home - the William Henley Deitrick house that has presided over Glenwood Avenue for just shy of a century. In our 21st Annual Memorial Day Auction we are offering items from the Estate of Peggy Futrelle Nowell that populated her life in the William Henley Deitrick house for the 61 years that she lived there.
Raised in Danville, VA, William Henley Deitrick settled in Raleigh after he attended Wake Forest College, served in the United States Army during WWI, and completed his architectural training at Columbia and in the office of Raymond Hood (of American Radiator Building fame) in New York City. After several years as construction manager for the Raleigh School Board, in which role he oversaw the building of other architect's plans for public schools, Deitrick started his own firm in 1927. This proved difficult timing - with the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, Deitrick was left struggling to keep his company afloat.

Fortuitously for Deitrick, the government works and contracts that brought so many through the Depression were solidly in his wheelhouse from his time at the School Board. Throughout the '30s, Deitrick's firm designed tens of public schools, post offices, medical buildings, courthouses, and more. What could have been a financially ruinous season instead cemented Deitrick as a public architect of note. He would go on to help design such important buildings as the Dorton Arena at the North Carolina Fairgrounds - a trailblazing monument to Modernism - the Raleigh News & Observer building, and the original Modernist Carolina Country Club building, which was eventually torn down and replaced by a traditional structure.
Deitrick's interest in Modernism developed over the course of his career, and many of his public projects reflect that aesthetic turn. But the residences Deitrick designed were almost all traditional, including his own. Deitrick built the Glenwood Avenue house for his family in 1938. With its imposing Georgian facade, it is considered one of the most significant revivalist structures in the area, and has been mentioned in several publications on important North Carolina homes. Deitrick lived there until he and his wife sold it to Alton Gwynn and Peggy Nowell in 1958.
The J.S. Dorton Arena
For the Nowells, the William Henley Deitrick House was at the heart of a burgeoning family that would grow to include three children, six grandchildren and ten great grand children. Peggy Nowell outfitted the home in the classic style in which it was conceived, with the same eye for quality and beauty that characterized the family's popular clothing store. As her son relates, Peggy took pleasure in surrounding herself with beautiful things that she loved, and she built a substantial collection of porcelains and crystal. She kept her home ready to entertain, always with the table set and decorated for the season. As an active member in the Junior League and a charter member of the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, Nowell was deeply engaged in her community. William Henley Deitrick built the landmark house on Glenwood Avenue, and from it Peggy Nowell built the gracious life of the consummate Southern lady.

Highlights from The Estate of the Late Peggy Futrelle Nowell in The Memorial Day Auction are below. In addition to pieces from the William Henley Deitrick House, the auction includes pieces from the Nowell's second home in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

The complete selection from The Estate of the Late Peggy Futrelle Nowell can be viewed here.

The 21st Annual Memorial Day Auction
Monday, May 25th
9:00am (EDT)