Pine State Creamery Butter Churn – Raleigh, North Carolina - Gastro Obscura
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Raleigh, North Carolina

Pine State Creamery Butter Churn

A giant cement churn carries the legacy of American resilience, unity, and greed. 

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In Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, an office complex that is home to a steakhouse, a boxing gym, and a Mexican restaurant is also unmistakably adorned with a 20-foot-tall cement butter churn. The fixture was part of a nine-million-dollar transformation in 1998 that nods to the building’s history as a functioning creamery from the 1920s.

Now an official city historical landmark, the Pine State Creamery was formed at the behest of the State College Agricultural Extension Service, which encouraged the establishment of dairy cooperatives after World War I. Raleigh developed in tandem with the creamery, which, throughout the middle of the century, created 400 jobs and produced 9.4 million gallons of milk annually, supplying half the state’s school systems’ cafeteria milk. But after top creamery officials pleaded guilty in 1991 to felony charges in a state-wide bid-rigging scheme (the Creamery had overcharged hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren for milk throughout the 1980s), Pine State suffered heavy fines and eventually succumbed to bankruptcy in 1995.

 

Know Before You Go

Just look up at the corner of Tucker Street and Glenwood Ave to see this fun surprise.

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