Stone Houses & Historic Entry

Design rendering of the Gatekeeper's Cottage at Dix Park

For over a century the State of North Carolina employed countless physicians, nurses, therapists, and support staff throughout the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus to serve the mental health needs of its patients. Over the years, many hospital staff lived on the campus. The historic entrance of Dix Park that winds through the Grove includes three stone houses: Superintendent’s House, Physician’s House, and Gatekeeper’s Cottage, all built in the 1920s.

Rehabilitation of the stone houses and their grounds was approved as part of the Dix Park Master Plan and will transform the historic entrance into a prominent gateway for Dix Park while preserving and honoring the site’s public health era.

Stone Houses at Dix Park in current condition

Project Details

The property is owned by the City of Raleigh and will be leased to Dix Park Conservancy to manage the Stone Houses & Historic Entry project.

Following renovations, the Superintendent’s House will house the Dix Park Conservancy staff offices including meeting and conference space. The Physician’s House will provide office and classroom space for non-profits and community groups. The Gatekeeper’s Cottage is proposed to serve as a welcome center for the historic Boylan Drive entrance at Dix Park.

In addition to the renovation of the buildings, the grounds of the Historic Entry will be become a welcoming approach for all – connecting the Rocky Branch Greenway into Dix Park with multi-modal pathways. Gardens and plantings will beautify the area and support a stronger natural ecosystem, while a new public restroom will add a much-needed facility for park visitors and greenway users alike.

Stone Houses at Dix Park under construction in fall 2022


The Stone Houses & Historic Entry project is funded by the Dix Park Conservancy and made possible by State Employees' Credit Union & the SECU Foundation.


The project broke ground January 2023 and is expected to be complete in January 2024. We anticipate a public opening in early 2024.

Project Contact

Nick Smith, Chief of Staff – Dix Park Conservancy

Project Documents

View presentations and documents from the Stone Houses design and construction process.

October 12, 2023

Stone Houses Fall 2023 Project Report (Dix Park Conservancy)

August 8, 2023

Stone Houses Summer 2023 Project Report (Dix Park Conservancy)

Other Presentations 

Project update presentations are given at City Council, Dix Park Leadership Committee and Dix Park Community Committee meetings. City of Raleigh Public Meeting Agendas, Presentations and Minutes are available using the city's paperless system. In BoardDocs, click the icon in the top right corner to select the committee you are looking for to view meeting materials.