The Douglas-Ravenel House (Photo courtesy of Preservation Greensboro Inc.)
There are other mansions in Fisher Park, but perhaps none of them make the statement the Douglas-Ravenel House does. Overlooking over the park with its towering columns and Neoclassical facade, its says prominence and grandeur in a way that can’t be missed.
106 Fisher Park Circle went on the market yesterday for $1.35 million. Its current owners have given it what the listing describes as a “million-dollar” renovation (after buying it for $770,000 in 2005). The house has five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms, twin living rooms, a library, dining room, den and eight fireplaces. Outdoor spaces include a spacious front porch, a private side porch and, in the backyard, an English garden and pergola. You can do a lot with 14 rooms, 5,200 square feet and a third of an acre, and the owners have done quite a lot and quite well, too. Their work was honored with a Restoration Award from Preservation Greensboro in 2006.
“The Douglas-Ravenel House was constructed in 1912, among the earliest houses in the Fisher Park neighborhood,” Preservation Greensboro’s Benjamin Briggs has written. “Occupying a high south-facing lot overlooking the wooded park, the Douglas-Ravenel House is one of the best residential examples of Neoclassical Revival architecture in Greensboro.” It also has been named a Guilford County Historic Landmark.
There have been few grand old houses for sale in Greensboro’s historic districts this year. Even if there had been, the Douglas-Ravenel House would be a standout.
409 Westdale Place sits off the beaten track (Walker Avenue) in an unusual little corner of Lindley Park. The street runs one block from Walker north, ending just before it reaches South Lindell Road, so there’s no through traffic. The owners of 409 Westdale also own the undeveloped lot on Longview Street immediately behind their house, which is included in the sale (several neighbors on Westdale also own the undeveloped Longview lots behind their houses). It’s an interesting little spot.
So, a buyer will get a classic Lindley Park home on a deep double lot for $245,000, a reasonable price for one of the hottest neighborhoods in Greensboro this year. The house is an elegantly simple brick bungalow with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,720 square feet (the price works out to $142 per square foot). The interior features such period touches as arched doorways and built-in shelves and cabinets in the living room. It appears to be in 100 percent move-in condition.
Classic homes in Lindley Park have sold for $174 per square foot down to $116 this year. Only three have sold below $142, so 409 Westdale is a relative bargain. It has been on the market for about three weeks. The way older homes have moved in Lindley Park this season, you wouldn’t expect this one to be available much longer.
Update: The owners accepted on offer on July 24, a week after listing the house.
Owners of classic homes in Lindley Park, Sunset Hills and Westerwood are getting the message that this is a good year to sell their homes. Five have gone up for sale in the three neighborhoods this month, and there have been 11 closings since June 1. Fast deals are common. Offers were accepted in a week or less on five houses currently under contract.
One of the latest to come onto the market is 1907 Madison Avenue in Sunset Hills, a distinctive 1928 brick bungalow. The exterior features arched brickwork over the windows and a low brick wall around a front patio. It’s roomier than it may look from the street — 3,118 square feet with five bedrooms and three full bathrooms. It sits on a quarter-acre lot that easily accommodates the detached two-car garage.
The listing price is $429,900, $139 per square foot. That’s right on target for an immaculate home in one of Greensboro’s most popular older neighborhoods.
1907 Madison’s owners have had the house since 1974 (four of the classic homes now for sale in the neighborhoods haven’t been sold since the ’70s). It’s one of the most elegant classic homes you’ll find in Greensboro.
200 E. Bessemer is an unusual opportunity: Used as offices for the past 20 years or so, it’s being marketed as either a residence or offices. Converting it back to a home would be relatively easy, as it was never divided up or altered significantly from its days as a residence, aside from the back yard being paved. The property is zoned for office use, which allows it to be used as a residence.
The house went on the market this week at $410,000, a reasonable $145 per square foot. It’s known as both the Avalon Center and the A.J. Schlosser House. Built in 1920, it has three bedrooms and a bath and a half. It features two fireplaces with their original tile and mantels, unpainted woodwork, three sun porches (one off the master bedroom) and a relatively new slate roof (installed in 2000). A backyard garage has been converted into a one-room studio. The main house has exterior lighting and an HVAC system with electrostatic air filtration. The front yard has a sprinkler system. The owner clearly has taken good care of the house.
It’s hard to miss — an imposing two-story granite house, sitting in a prominent location at East Bessemer and Magnolia Street. Arched stonework decorates the front door and first-floor windows. The driveway passes through a portico on its way back to the studio.
The house is in the Fisher Park Historic District. The block is a mix of residences and houses converted to office use. The Craftsman house next door, 208 E. Bessemer, also went on the market this week; that one is for sale only as office space. Across the street are two grand old 1924 apartment houses, the Fairfax and the Shirley.
1033 Pearson Street may be the most attractive older house for sale now in south Greensboro. It was built in 1946, a little later than most in the Asheboro Community. It features brick arches on the front porch and a nicely renovated interior. The house was one of the many cited in the neighborhood’s successful nomination for the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 (listed under the neighborhood’s previous name, South Greensboro).
The house is for sale for $89,500. An offer was accepted almost immediately after the house went on the market in May, but it fell through. The house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. With 1,232 square feet, its price comes out to just $71 per square foot. The interior maintains its lovely period features, such as arched doorways and a breakfast nook.
The Asheboro Community was built out mostly from the 1860’s through the 1920s. It was a more middle-class neighborhood than Fisher Park or Irving Park, but the houses included imposing Queen Annes amid the bungalows. Many of the older homes, large and small, are still standing. Like some other prosperous Greensboro neighborhoods of its era, such as College Hill and Dunleith, the neighborhood suffered mightily during the Depression and the decades that followed. Today, renovations are underway on at least one grand old house on Pearson Street, although others are still boarded up or decaying with absentee ownership. Overall, the area shows early signs of a renaissance. If 1033 Pearson is bought to be owner occupied rather than a rental, it will be another step forward.
Do you love Mid-Century Modernism? Do you love mod parties?
Why not enjoy both at our mod party at the Willis House?
The 1964-65 Willis House is significant due to its character-defining architectural features specified by Greensboro architects Loewenstein-Atkinson. Edward Loewenstein and Robert A. Atkinson Jr. led a firm notable for its promotion of Modernist architecture in North Carolina during the mid-twentieth century. The Willis residence manifests Modernist principles in its long, low form and floor plan dictated by function rather than exterior appearance. Generous use of glass and high-quality natural materials such as cypress vertical board siding, walnut and birch paneling, variegated brick veneer, and slate create continuity between the interior and exterior.
The Willis House is an exceptional example of Modernism, and in recognition of its status it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
Save the date to see this incredible house decked out with 1964 culinary and material memorabilia for a Preservation Greensboro fundraiser! Contact us for tickets.
* Shindig was a mid-century word for party. Click here for another mid-century use of the word.
[Update: The house sold for $60,000 on July 7, 2017, one month after it went on the market.]
507 Park Avenue looks like the best opportunity in Greensboro right now for a buyer who wants to give a historic home a thorough restoration. While the Zillow listing has no interior photos, it includes a quick video walkthrough that provides a good idea of its condition (screenshots below).
The Craftsman bungalow is for sale at $79,900, a price definitely down in the fixer-upper range for a home in the Dunleath Historic District (remember, it’s Dunleath now, not Aycock). It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and either 1,637 square feet (county records) or 2,131 (Zillow). It has been owned by one family since 1961.
The house is easily identified by its distinctive front porch, with double columns atop tall brick pillars, and a dormer with somewhat cramped-looking windows. The front yard is in good shape, especially if you love shrubs. A double concrete-strip driveway leads to a backyard garage. Also behind the house are a brick fireplace, clothes line and a small shed. The video indicates the interior isn’t awful but does need a thorough renovation. The listing says it has central air conditioning, but there are a couple window air conditioners as well.
507 Park went on the market Wednesday. If this is the kind of opportunity you’re looking for, get over there Saturday and take a look. Very few properties are for sale in Greensboro’s historic districts this spring, and this looks to be the best renovation candidate on the market.
603 N. Church is the most intriguing home for sale in Greensboro’s historic districts. It’s a striking house — you don’t often see a granite Craftsman — set well back on its lot, which is not uncommon in Fisher Park.
It’s on the market for $275,000. Built in 1914, the house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an attached studio apartment. There’s a deep, tiled front porch. The front door opens into a large living room with a fireplace and exposed-beam ceiling. The door frames and other woodwork are unpainted. The living room and dining room have built-in window seats; there are built-in shelves in the finished attic. The rooms are spacious, particularly on the first floor. The square footage is listed on Zillow and other sites as 1,926, but county property records say 2,696 (the real-estate listings don’t include the finished attic or the apartment). The lot is just under a half acre.
The most curious aspect of the house is that it has been for sale for a year and a half. The current price is 30 percent lower than its original $395,000. It does need some work inside, but as the photos show, nothing too dramatic — cosmetic work to clean up some wear and tear, updating for the kitchen, bathrooms and some light fixtures. There are suspended ceilings in a couple rooms, and who knows what’s above them. The landscaping isn’t much. For a house in Fisher Park that’s not going to require a huge amount of renovation, $275,000 is not a bad price.
3215 N. Rockingham Road is an English manor house in Sedgefield. It even has a name, Ayrshire. There probably aren’t many English manor houses built on golf courses, but, still, you could easily see DCI Barnaby or Miss Marple knocking on the door to ask the lord about a mysterious death in the village.
Ayrshire is for sale at $2.9 million. A 1935 Cotswold Tudor, its 10,000-plus square feet contain four bedrooms, four full baths and three half baths, plus dining room, den, library, sunroom with a bar, stone terraces, etc. The lot is 2.88 acres, backing up to Sedgefield’s Donald Ross golf course.
The interior features butterfly pegged floors, wood and plaster moldings, leaded glass windows, solid wood beams, and a marble wall fountain in the main hall. A breezeway connects the house to its garages, two-bedroom guest quarters and herb garden. A magazine article some years ago details its interior design and the extravagant sourcing of its reclaimed stone and wooden beams.
Ayrshire has been on the market for a year and a half. It previously was listed in 2011 and 2012 for $3.75 million. Its current price of $2.9 million, $271/square foot, isn’t quite as extravagant as the property itself. There are any number of smaller properties with higher prices on a square-foot basis.
There isn’t a classier residence in a classier neighborhood in Greensboro. Then again, there isn’t one with a higher price tag, either. It’s the most expensive property currently for sale in Greensboro.