Community Art Center Locating In One Of Johnston’s Oldest Homes

A Clayton couple plans to transform one of Johnston County’s oldest homes into a much needed Community Art Center.

Michael and Amanda McNulty plan to locate the art center inside the Walter R. and Eliza Smith Moore House in the Cleveland community.  The two-story four-bay home was built around 1835.

The McNulty’s hope the home can become a meeting place for the community with an exhibit gallery, art workshop classes and much more.  They also plan to offer studio space rentals for artists and a community garden for the public to enjoy.

“We are excited to repurposed the historic Smith-Moore House of Johnston County located at 3919 Raleigh Road as a Community Arts Center, providing the community with visual arts classes and workshops, interactive garden programs, leased studio space, music, a gallery, small scale events and more,” Amanda McNulty told WTSB News. “We hope to build a wonderful relationship and partnership within this community using the arts as a bridge.”

County commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning request for the property from Agricultural Residential to Community Business – Special Use District.  Several people spoke in favor of the rezoning including a representative from a local non-profit gardening group.

The home and 8 acre site have been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2005.  The Smith Moore Home is believed to be the second oldest home in Johnston County.

There is still a lot of work to be done before the Art Center can be opened.  An opening date has not been set but the McNulty’s hope to open sometime late this Fall.

In an unrelated rezoning hearing, commissioners approved a request from Steven R. Sanderson of Wendell to rezoning 4.19 acres on Cleveland Road near South Shiloh Road in the Cleveland Township from Agricultural Residential to General Business.  The property is owned by Arbutina Properties LLC.  No one spoke in opposition of the rezoning petition.