The office of the Lieutenant Governor is housed in the Nationally Registered historic home known as the Hawkins-Hartness House (HHH), located at 310 North Blount Street in Raleigh, NC. Located two doors down from the Governor's mansion, HHH was originally constructed as a private residence, but is now only used as an official office for the Lieutenant Governor and his staff.
Shortly after taking office, Lieutenant Governor Forest conducted a six month renovation, refurbishing the house back to its original 1882 intent. The renovation was done at no cost to the taxpayers. Visitors are welcome to tour the home (call the office to schedule a time).
The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources researched the history of the house, and we share it with you below:
On October 26, 1881, Dr. Alexander B. Hawkins of Leon County, Florida, bought the house located on Raleigh city lot 267, at the southeast corner of Blount and North streets. The house had formerly belonged to Mary W. Bryan. Family tradition states that Dr. Hawkins purchased it because his wife Martha, was particularly fond of it. Dr. and Mrs. Hawkins then returned to their home in Florida, the, tradition continues, after asking Dr. Hawkins' brother, Dr. William J. Hawkins of Raleigh, to have the Bryan house renovated for them during their absence. When they returned, it is said, the Hawkins found to their dismay that the brother had removed the Bryan house and built a new house of his own design for them. Mrs. Hawkins is believed to have added the verandah to modify what she considered to be t
he overly severe appearance of the exterior. Whatever their original reaction to it, the Hawkins found the house enough to their liking that they lived there for the rest of their lives.
Before Raleigh had a city wide water system, Dr. Hawkins devised an elaborate arrangement of his own. A windmill in the back yard pumped water from a well into a tank located in the attic. This water was used for utilities. A 6,OOO-gallon rainwater cistern in the north garden furnished filtered drinking water for the Hawkins house and the governors mansion just to the south. According to Mrs. Marshall D. Haywood, who lived in the Hawkins House as a girl, "Uncle David,” one of the governor's servants, came over with his cedar bucket and toted the water over to the mansion for them to drink. When the governor would end his regime, Dr. Hawkins would call up the next governor and invite him to have water from the cistern."
A. B. Hawkins conveyed the house to his sister-in-law, Martha H. Bailey, on June 19, 1895, with two deeds. Miss Bailey had been living with the Hawkins for many years, and the housing arrangement continued until the death of Dr. Hawkins, Mrs. Hawkins having died some time previously. Following Dr. Hawkins' death, Miss Bailey sold the house on January 6, 1922, to Sadie L. Erwin, the wife of William A. Erwin, manufacturer and philanthropist. The Erwins, who kept the house until May 5, 1928, but apparently never lived there, sold the house to Mrs. Annie Sloan Hartness, whose husband, James A. Hartness, was North Carolina Secretary of State between 1929 and 1931. The state of North Carolina acquired the property in July, 1969, following Mrs. Hartness' death. The house currently houses the office of the Lieutenant Governor.