Long View Center: Our Rich History
Long View sketch
Originally established as the Tabernacle Baptist Church in 1870, the Long View Center officially opened its doors with a concert performance by Celtic chanteuse Susan McKeown in July of 1998. The Tabernacle congregation remained in the space until 2001 as they built their new home in North Raleigh while the Long View Center established itself as one of the premiere locations for non-denominational weddings in the Triangle.
Not to be confused with the Poe House at Longview Farms (note one-word spelling of Longview) which is located near Wake Medical, the Long View Center (note two-word spelling of Long View) is in the heart of downtown Raleigh, just across from Moore Square and City Market.
In November of 2006, a small but growing, non-denominational congregation, Unity Church of the Triangle, moved in to the Long View Center and now shares the space with a number of other tenants such as the Trust for Public Land and International AffairsCouncil. Once again, the sanctuary is used for church service every Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00 am.
In addition to beautiful, historic office suites and spiritual gatherings, today the Long View Center is home to an excellent acoustic concert series that features nationally- and internationally touring artists; an art gallery in the lower-level 1880 Hall; and enrichment classes offered both internally from our tenants and from a myriad of travelling instructors. New activities are being planned or booked on a regular basis.
Why This Name?
The name "Long View" dates back to the early 1920's when Clarence Poe, publisher of the Progressive Farmer magazine, began assembling land for his homeplace on the eastern side of Raleigh which he called Longview Farms. Mr. Poe sucessfully published this periodical for 57 years, writing editorials advocating better health, progressive agriculture, and education for all North Carolinians during the magazine's near six-decade run. Eventually, after leaving Poe’s hands, The Progressive Farmer’s mailing list helped launch one of the most popular magazines in circulation today: Southern Living.
In 1962, his farm became a residential development called Longview Gardens, which now includes Enloe High School and the Raleigh Country Club, as well as the Longview Shopping Center. The old home place, now called the Poe House, still stands today near Wake Medical Center.
Mr. Poe chose the name Longview for two reasons: first, he wanted his home to be up on a hill with a "long view" to see the beauty of nature and the setting of the sun; second, he liked the concept that one must live life in a way that takes the "long view" when making daily decisions. Clarence Poe believed how one lives their life is critical to their happiness and their ultimate success; this means to choose action based on a long view, and not a short-sighted view to life.
Gordon Smith, owner of the Long View Center and grandson of Clarence Poe, renamed this historic site in memory of his grandfather. Today, almost 10 years since its founding, the Long View Center and Clarence Poe’s “long view on life” philosophy combine to create a true, historic centerpiece in downtown Raleigh. If you want to learn more about Long View Center and our activities, feel free to join us every Tuesday at 4:30 and 5:30 for our Open House; no appointment is necessary, but RSVPs are encouraged by calling 919-835-1868.
History of the 1880 Hall
The Long View Center’s 1880 Hall, so-named to commemorate the construction of the Tabernacle Baptist Church's first dining hall, is the most-recently renovated space at our facility.
During the first 60 years of the 1880 Hall’s history, food was served to many members and guests of the church. In fact, good food became a proud Tabernacle tradition.
During these six decades, two Tabernacle Baptist Church leaders included Needham Broughton and J. Melville Broughton, both cousins and two of the original ten founders of Tabernacle Baptist Church. As the influenza epidemic spread around the world, this global tragedy also visited the Tabernacle. It was during October 1918 when the epidemic raged to its peak, and the Tabernacle’s 1880 Hall kitchen made soup, delivering it to hundreds of homes throughout the City of Raleigh, as many of its residents were either too ill to leave their home or feared the consequence of being out and contacting the deadly disease.
Ernest Carroll, a member of the Tabernacle, was one of the leaders of the “Soup Kitchen,” delivering soup to needy families. Unfortunately, while helping others, Ernest Carroll became infected with the influenza and passed away in a matter of days.
More than 20 years later in 1940, the Tabernacle built its new primary kitchen and dining hall, fittingly named in honor of Mr. Carroll. This "new" hall began serving the Tabernacle Church for 60 years, until the year 2001 when Tabernacle Baptist Church moved to its new location on Leesville Road in North Raleigh.
The Carroll Building, located behind what is now the Exploris Middle School, is presently in the planning stages of a complete remodel/renovation, and will add to the myriad of activities available at Long View Center as we continue to grow.