Belle Acres burned down this morning, and its memories shall not phoenix

“Belle Acres”, the old home of (deceased) local multi-millionaire real estate developer and eccentric Kidd Brewer Sr. burned down this morning and with it went an anchor of this area’s past.

Kidd Senior was well-known as the developer of Crabtree Valley Mall just west of what was then back in the early 70’s the city limits of Raleigh on Highway 70/Glenwood Avenue, Crabtree at the time it was built being the largest enclosed mall between Washington DC and Atlanta (Raleigh was also the home the Southeast’s first shopping center, Cameron Village, back in the 40’s) and also at one time owned what was called “the real home of the North Carolina state legislature” the old Sir Walter Hotel in downtown Raleigh and also was a little infamous for publicity stunts such as wearing tights in public in front of his beloved Sir Walter when he lost a bet, a character among characters and with Belle Acres (pronounced “Belly-Achers” by those of us who knew kid and his mild manor estate home) being reduced to ashes this morning a scattering of whisping memories leapt heavenward never to be felt on this earth again.

I knew Kidd’s son, Kidd Brewer Jr., as a friend albeit not a close one, “Kiddo” and I being about the same age and while my dad did was a plumbing contractor and his dad was a real estate developer I don’t think my dad ever did any work for his dad but in any case, in any case when Kidd Junior commited suicide a few years back for reasons know only to his immediate family if them, Kiddo had just finished producing the very successful Hollywood semi-blockbuster “The Deep” and the pressure for success for his sophmore effort after that, well, there’s no point speculating publicly too much, after his death I honestly thought BA’ which by then had been converted into a restaurant was going to commit suicide itself, Belle being the home of so many happy memories and parties and such and then, the life simply left the building, it felt cold and damp even in the heat of the summer when I went back to partake of filet’ mignon fare a couple of times, so it surprised me it lasted as long as it did, until this morning.

Every time “The Deep” comes on cable I think of Kiddo, remember him, remember his dad, remember Belle Acres, but I suspect next time I surf in and out it as I watch 2-3-4 things simultaneously as I am want to do (hey, I am a guy, after all) that I’ll remember a little less and less about the happy times and the sadness of a life of a friend cut short and will let the memories fade into the arc of the timeline of my life, as they should.


10 Responses to “Belle Acres burned down this morning, and its memories shall not phoenix”

  1. Benjamin Kidd Brewer Says:

    I was just checking what I would find if I wrote the name Kidd Brewer on the WWW. Some days I find reference to the Kidd Brewer Stadium located in Boone, N.C., and, sometimes I come across another reference to Kidd Brewer Jr. and has association with the movie The Abyss. This time I was stunned to note that a landmark of my childhood memory, the Belle Acres, or the home to Kidd Brewer and his family for many years, burned to the ground in November 2005. I had not heard of this action from any source. I would have thought that I would have heard from one of the few remaining members of the greater Brewer family. I, too, have many memories and movie footage of the home built from remnants of garbage brought home from the Raleigh Dump. Anyone having further interest in the Belle Acres Compound or the Brewer family may feel free to contact me, Benjamin Kidd Brewer. After all, I was named for my Uncle Kidd Brewer. His actual name was Pierce Oliver Brewer and he was the younger brother of my father, Clyde Rowan Brewer. There were nine children in the Rowan Virgil Brewer family. Rowan was the father of my Uncle Kidd and my father and the other seven children. By the way. Uncle Kidd’s mother was named Jennie Belle Jones. See the connection? And, there is one child of Kidd Brewer still living in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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  7. Betty LaChaussee Says:

    Great article! I did some research about Belle Acres and I wish I had been around to attend those parties, or even to have dinner at the CrossRoads restaurant. One day I drove up there to wander around on my lunch break and a Raleigh cop showed up–so I scrammed!
    I think Belle Acres would make a wonderful addition to the Raleigh Parks System. Its panoramic views lend itself to binoculars for stargazers, even with the Crabtree Valley Mall skyglow! So why can’t we commoners go there just to look around, for a casual picnic lunch?

  8. Dave Giovine Says:

    Eccsentric Family, thou he was a hell of a diver; many of you can say many things about someone not here to defend themselves, maybe had James Camerron done the right thing; Kidd would still be acting and hating life all the same. Let the dead have their HONOR; memories fade and then we die; let for the interest of life we have our FAME and in fifty years we are forgotten about, many never heard about again; as for me Thank You CaptainOliver Kidd; mighty nice movie and something to think about.
    Sincerely David S. Giovine Director-Producer, Dvay CEO Thank you

  9. Kidd Brewer - News Says:

    […] “Belle Acres burned down this morning, and its memories shall not phoenix”. hkentcraig’s Blog. 2006. […]

  10. keebler Says:

    hello. I’m richard turner. son of the late henry turner 1958. Kidd Sr; and his wife mary frances ? were good friends -I had been in the old House (Barn) converted before the Newer house. I remember the cement truck falling in during construction of the front pool. They were great people, so sorry for all the family losses.RIP all, Im all that’s left of my family .Was just surfing for old family friends.
    richie in richmond,va.

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