New Listing: 420 McAdoo Avenue, A 1905 Bungalow Long Owned by One of Southside’s Earliest Families

420 McAdoo Avenue
The Margaret Murray Thornton House

  • $295,000
  • 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2,071 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $142
  • Built in 1905
  • Listed March 29, 2021
  • Last sale: $156,600, November 2014 (foreclosure)
  • Neighborhood: Southside
  • Note: Older homes in Southside rarely come up for sale. There have been only two in the past three years.
    • The house sits at the corner of McAdoo and Murray streets. Originally part of the Murray family’s large estate, the property was bought in 1901 by Margaret Murray Thornton (1872-1926) from her mother, four siblings and other relatives. Her father, William Rufus Murray (1836-1893), owned a general merchandise store on Market Street. He was listed as living in what is now Southside on Asheboro Street (Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) as early as 1884.
    • After Margaret’s death, her husband, Charles Dilk Thornton (1872-1947) owned the house until 1943. He was born in Gloucestrshire, England, and worked as a dispatcher for Southern Railway.
    • The Greensboro Redevelopment Commission bought the house in 1997 as part of Southside’s redevelopment.

Sold: A ‘Near Perfect’ Piece of Old Salem in Greensboro’s Irving Park, $730,000

709 Blair Street
The Tom and Sara Sears House

  • Sold for $730,000 on March 15, 2021 (listed at $800,000)
  • 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3,974 square feet (per county), 0.73 acre
  • Price/square foot: $184
  • Built in 1979
  • Listed November 18, 2020
  • Last sale: The house has been owned by the sellers since it was built.
  • Neighborhood: Irving Park
  • Note: The house is a meticulous copy of the John Vogler House in Old Salem, built in 1819.
    • The house was built by Tom and Sara Sears, two of the Triad’s most accomplished preservationists and antique collectors (Antiques magazine says they’ve assembled “one of North Carolina’s finest collections of southern antiques.”). Both have served on the boards of Old Salem and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem. Tom also has served as Old Salem’s director of grounds and buildings, a member of the Greensboro Historic Preservation Commission and on the executive council of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers.
    • Seasons magazine: “With master builder D.C. Patton from Burlington and woodworker Roger Harvell from Greensboro (who once worked for famed designer Otto Zenke) — not to mention a lot of their own sweat equity — the Searses raised a near perfect replica of the Vogler House … . It included five fireplaces and eventually a copy of Old Salem’s bake house for a tool shed, plus a replica of the Moravian firehouse on the square for a garage.”
    • John Vogler House, Old Salem NRHP nomination: “A prominent architectural statement was made when silversmith John Vogler built his 1819 two-story Federal style brick house on Main Street at the southwest corner of Salem Square, which departed from traditional Germanic/Moravian architecture. An early advocate of industrialization, Vogler’s hand was in the mix of the Salem grist mill in 1819, the Salem Cotton Mill in 1836, and the industrial activities that followed. However, even with its refinement and stylishness, the house contained Vogler’s shop, and he did not separate his work and living space until 1846. The house was given to Old Salem in 1952 by Vogler descendants and is an exhibit building.”

New Listing: 2312 Lafayette Avenue, One of the Older Houses in Kirkwood, $699,700

2312 Lafayette Avenue
The Proctor-Cardwell House
… or, if you prefer, The Ballard Brothers Fish Company House

  • $699,700
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, 2,902 square feet 0.42 acre
  • Price/square foot: $241
  • Built in 1928
  • Listed February 23, 2021
  • Last sale: $455,000, March 2015
  • Neighborhood: Kirkwood
  • Note: It looks like a slate roof. The listing shows the roof material as “other,” so I’m guessing it is.
    • The house was built by Kirkwood Inc. in 1928 and was a rental property until the company lost it to foreclosure in 1931. It was bought by the Ballard Brothers Fish Company of Cape Charles, Virginia. Although the company doesn’t appear to have had any other presence in Greensboro, it continued to use the house as a rental property (the company appears still to be in business, dba Cherrystone Aqua-Farms).
    • The first owner-occupants were salesman Albert W. Proctor of the Greensboro Overall Company and his wife, Ann, who bought it in 1936.
    • In 1939 Dr. Willard Cardwell, a physician, bought the house and owned it for 53 years, selling it in 1992. His wife, Amelia, was a singer (soprano) and general manager of the Greensboro Opera Association in the 1950s.

The Charles Augustus Hendrix House: A Grand 1890s Mansion in Dunleath, $300,000

Those great Doric columns grab your attention, don’t they? The Charles Augustus Hendrix House is one grand old mansion. And at $300,000, it’s far more affordable than most of its surviving peers. The house needs some work, but, unless there are stuff-of-nightmares issues (foundation, plumbing, etc.) unseen in the listing, that could be a remarkable price.

Continue reading “The Charles Augustus Hendrix House: A Grand 1890s Mansion in Dunleath, $300,000”

209 Aberdeen Terrace: An Interesting Family’s 1924 Bungalow, With a Price Reflecting the Times

The Aubrey and Georgia Lloyd House has a lot going for it. It’s a lovely Craftsman bungalow, it’s in the very attractive West Market Terrace neighborhood. From its owners’ perspective, the best thing about it may be that they bought it for $206,500 two years ago, and now they’re about to sell it for $370,000 or so.

Continue reading “209 Aberdeen Terrace: An Interesting Family’s 1924 Bungalow, With a Price Reflecting the Times”

New Listing: 1715 Wright Avenue, A Fisher Park House in Sunset Hills (Maybe)

Update: The house sold for $475,000 on December 4, 2020.

However it got there, the Esther W. Armfield House does look a bit out of place at 1715 Wright Avenue. This is a modest corner of Sunset Hills, down where the neighborhood starts turning into College Park. On a block of mostly bungalows, Mrs. Armfield’s stately Colonial Revival with its towering columns stands a bit apart, like a rich, elderly recluse who turns up unexpectedly at a neighborhood cookout.

Why it is where it is turns out to be a somewhat uncertain story involving First Presbyterian Church, maybe, and one of Greensboro’s more prominent architects of the early 20th century, who neither designed the house nor lived in it.

Continue reading “New Listing: 1715 Wright Avenue, A Fisher Park House in Sunset Hills (Maybe)”

New Listing: The Fisher-Carlson-Latham House in Fisher Park, $589,900

Update: The house sold for $493,000 on January 29, 2021.

605 N. Church Street is just the kind of place historic districts were created to save, a remarkable example of early 20th-century architecture. The wraparound front porch curving out toward the street, second-story porch above it, leaded-glass windows and cross-gambrell roof all combine for a look that’s as distinctive as it is elegant.

The Dutch Colonial is for sale at $589,900, and even at that price it’s a relative bargain. With 3,735 square feet, the price works out to $158 per square foot. Similarly impressive homes in Fisher Park have been selling for $190 to $250 per square foot.

Continue reading “New Listing: The Fisher-Carlson-Latham House in Fisher Park, $589,900”

413 McAdoo Avenue: If You’re Interested in Southside, You Better Move Fast

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Update: The owners accepted an offer eights days after they listed the property for sale. That deal fell through, however, as did a second contract. A third contract resulted in a sale, though at a surprisingly low price: $274,000 (on June 15, 2020).

Southside is a downtown neighborhood of classic old houses and well designed new homes that fit very nicely together into a “traditional neighborhood” redevelopment plan. Houses come onto the market in Southside more rarely than any other neighborhood in Greensboro, so if you’d like to live there, you need to be ready to go when the infrequent opportunities arise.

Continue reading “413 McAdoo Avenue: If You’re Interested in Southside, You Better Move Fast”

810 Cypress Street: A Newly Renovated 1920 Dunleath Classic, $319,000

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There’s been a conspicuous shortage of homes for sale in the Dunleath Historic District lately, so 810 Cypress Street is a rare find. It was sold 10 months ago and thoroughly renovated. When it was sold, it looked like this:

810 cypress street.jpg

810 Cypress received a dose of good taste inside as well. Continue reading “810 Cypress Street: A Newly Renovated 1920 Dunleath Classic, $319,000”

Two Classic Greensboro Houses and Their Spacious Lots May Be Too Much for Developers to Resist

Two interesting old houses turned up for sale in the past couple of weeks with a disappointing element in common: Both owners appear more interested in selling to developers than to homeowners. Each of the properties has a bit of acreage, and both are in areas that have been developed with subdivisions in the past few decades. Losing them would eliminate pieces of Greensboro’s historic character from once-outlying neighborhoods where little of that quality remains.

Continue reading “Two Classic Greensboro Houses and Their Spacious Lots May Be Too Much for Developers to Resist”

616 East Lake Drive: A Spectacular Mid-Century Modern in Westerwood, $725,000

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The for-sale sign went up at 616 East Lake Drive last Wednesday. The sellers accepted an offer by Saturday, and all I could think was, “What took so long?” Even at a relatively high price (for Westerwood) of $725,000, it’s no surprise the house went off the market so quickly. It’s one of the most impressive mid-century houses in Greensboro.

Continue reading “616 East Lake Drive: A Spectacular Mid-Century Modern in Westerwood, $725,000”

631 Scott Avenue: A 1905 Lindley Park House Featured on This Year’s Tour of Historic Homes, $369,900

631 scott avenue pgi
Photo courtesy of Preservation Greensboro

The Lydia and James Cartland House is one of the earliest in Lindley Park. Built in 1905 across the street from its present location, the house crossed the street sometime in its first 20 years. Today, it’s nicely restored and a beautiful example of its time period and its neighborhood.

Continue reading “631 Scott Avenue: A 1905 Lindley Park House Featured on This Year’s Tour of Historic Homes, $369,900”

The 1925 Harry Barton House in Hamilton Lakes, $1.65 million

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Few architects have been as historically prominent in Greensboro and across the state as Harry Barton. For more than 20 years until his death in 1937, he designed several of the Greensboro’s most notable buildings, including the UNCG Auditorium, the Quad and others on the campus; the Guilford County Courthouse; the Cone Export and Commission Building; First Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant; and World War Memorial Stadium. His home designs ranged from the elaborate Italian Renaissance style of the Sigmund Sternberger house at 710 Summit Avenue to the relatively simple Effie M. Anderson House at 303 S. Mendenhall Street.

When he designed his own home, he created a classic. Continue reading “The 1925 Harry Barton House in Hamilton Lakes, $1.65 million”

Classic House of the Week: 1820 Madison Avenue, a Timeless Gem in Sunset Hills, $475,000

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Update: The house was sold for $420,000 on September 12, 2018.

There are grand, beautiful houses that have been sold three or four times in the past 20 years. This kind of turnover typically says nothing about the house; we just live in a restless time. That’s especially true for the upwardly mobile types who can afford to pay, say, $400,000, $500,000 or more for a house. People who are in a position to make big money tend to go where it leads them.

And then there are houses like 1820 Madison Avenue. It went up for sale this week for the first time in 43 years. It’s easy to see why the owner has lived there so long. Continue reading “Classic House of the Week: 1820 Madison Avenue, a Timeless Gem in Sunset Hills, $475,000”

Historic House of the Week: A 1790 Federal-Style Mansion in Caswell County on the National Register

5869 U.S. 158.jpg
The Moore-Gwyn-Ewalt House and its 200 acres are now listed for sale at $1.75 million.

The counties surrounding Guilford have seen plenty of history, Caswell in particular. In the early decades of the nation’s history, Caswell was one of the state’s most prosperous and prominent counties, but, long beyond living memory, its fortunes crashed. Now, about all that’s left of its glory years are some truly impressive houses, scattered here and there from Camp Springs and Cherry Grove up to Milton and Semora.

national-register-plaque transparent.fw.pngThe Moore-Gwyn-Ewalt House in the Locust Hill area is a beautiful example of Caswell’s past — 6,226 square feet of Federal-style elegance on 200 unspoiled acres. The house was built in 1790; considerable square footage is in the form of two well-designed wings built in 1995. It was listed June 1 at $1.75 million. The address is 5869 U.S. Highway 158. Situated southwest of Yanceyville and close to N.C. 150, it’s within a relatively easy commute to Greensboro.

Continue reading “Historic House of the Week: A 1790 Federal-Style Mansion in Caswell County on the National Register”

Classic House of the Week: A Fine Example of 1920s Westerwood Elegance, $339,500

401 n. mendenhall street.jpg

Update: The house was listed for 30 days and then withdrawn. The owners now have put it up for rent again.

Westerwood is a showcase for the qualities of early 20th-century homes. The neighborhood got started in the 1890s but didn’t take off until the 1920s. Its winding, tree-lined streets are a populated with a variety of beautifully designed Craftsman bungalows, Tudor Revival cottages and Colonial Revivals with the occasional mansion (Double Oaks) and now even a remarkable Mid-Century Modern home mixed in.

401 North Mendenhall Street is an excellent example of the neighborhood’s style. Continue reading “Classic House of the Week: A Fine Example of 1920s Westerwood Elegance, $339,500”

Classic House of the Week: A Distinctive 1927 Mansion in Sedgefield, $684,000

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Update: The house sold for $465,000 on May 29, 2020.

For decades, High Point Road was a primary route between Greensboro and High Point. Anyone paying the least attention as they passed Sedgefield saw 3000 W. Sedgefield Drive, facing the road between streets leading into and out of the area. For many of the tens of thousands of drivers who passed it every day, it was about all they saw of Greensboro’s classic golf-course development.

Continue reading “Classic House of the Week: A Distinctive 1927 Mansion in Sedgefield, $684,000”

Classic Homes of the Week: 2 Mid-Century Modern Houses at Opposite Ends of the Price Spectrum

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1611 Longfellow Street in O. Henry Oaks, a modest little Mid-Century Modern classic

[Update: 1611 Longfellow sold for $95,000, a $6,000 premium to its asking price, on May 15, 2018. 105 Falkener Drive sold for $312,000 on August 13, 2018.]

Most people tend to think of Mid-Century Modern as a high-end home style with exalted prices, found in exclusive neighborhoods like Irving Park and Hamilton Lakes. That’s often true, but not always. Two mid-century modern homes have come up for sale in Greensboro recently, and one does fit that profile. The other certainly doesn’t.

Continue reading “Classic Homes of the Week: 2 Mid-Century Modern Houses at Opposite Ends of the Price Spectrum”

Classic House of the Week: ‘One of Greensboro’s Most Elegant’ Homes In College Park, $749,000

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The Fowler House, 1604 N. College Park Drive, sits well above the street atop a large terraced yard. The Mediterranean villa may be the grandest of the relatively few such homes in Greensboro. It would be striking anywhere, but on its lofty perch among the fine neighboring homes, it’s a real standout.

Continue reading “Classic House of the Week: ‘One of Greensboro’s Most Elegant’ Homes In College Park, $749,000”

711 Sunset Drive: The Joseph & Kathleen Bryan House Is For Sale for the First Time Since It Was New in 1935

711 sunset drive.jpg

Update March 12, 2018: The house was on the market for four days before an offer of $1.655 million was accepted. The sale closed March 12, 2018. 

Joseph and Kathleen Bryan bought a brand-new home in Irving Park in 1935, and now it’s on the market for the first time in 83 years. The 6,000 square-foot house was listed today at $1.675 million.

Bryan left the home to the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation when he died in 1995. The foundation leased it to UNCG for use as the chancellor’s residence until the university recently bought the new guy a McMansion at 15 Clubview Court near the Starmount Forest Country Club.

Continue reading “711 Sunset Drive: The Joseph & Kathleen Bryan House Is For Sale for the First Time Since It Was New in 1935”

111 Arden Place: A Million-Dollar Sunset Hills Mansion on the Auction Block

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The view from the street offers just a glimpse of the G. Simpson Boren House, aka the Thomas Shaw House, aka Edgewood.

Note, January 11, 2018: This post has been revised with comments and an additional photo from Benjamin Briggs, executive director of Preservation Greensboro.

When you look at auction.com, you can expect most of the listings to be foreclosed subdivision homes, condos and townhouses. Pretty mundane places. The last thing you might expect would be a house like 111 Arden Place, a 5,200 square-foot stone mansion on 2.26 acres in Sunset Hills. The tax value of the property is just over $1 million. In 1999, the last time it was sold before foreclosure last year, the price was $845,000. This could be an interesting auction.

Continue reading “111 Arden Place: A Million-Dollar Sunset Hills Mansion on the Auction Block”

307 S. Tremont Drive: A Classic 1930 Spanish Revival in Sunset Hills, $224,900

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Update: The house sold for $215,000 on February 22, 2018.

There aren’t too many Spanish Revival homes in Greensboro, so the few we have tend to stand out. That’s especially true for 307 S. Tremont Drive, a beautifully restored Sunset Hills home that went on the market last week for $224,900. The market is strong for houses in the older neighborhoods west of downtown; I’m a little surprised this house is still for sale after a week. That could change after an open house on Sunday.

Continue reading “307 S. Tremont Drive: A Classic 1930 Spanish Revival in Sunset Hills, $224,900”

808 S. Elam Avenue: A 1900 Victorian in Lindley Park, $355,000

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Update: The house sold for $335,000 on November 3, 2017.

South Elam Avenue between Walker Avenue and Spring Garden Street has a couple of two-story Victorians standing up among the bungalows that line the street. 808 South Elam is the larger of the two at just under 3,000 square feet, and its $355,000 price tag ($121/square foot) makes it an outstanding value in Lindley Park.

Continue reading “808 S. Elam Avenue: A 1900 Victorian in Lindley Park, $355,000”

909 N. Elm Street: Preservation Fund Seeks Buyer for Major Rehab Project

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Update: The house sold for $257,000 on June 6, 2018.

The Preservation Greensboro Development Fund is seeking a buyer for a historic rehabilitation of the Frank Leak House at 909 N. Elm Street in Fisher Park. The asking price is $330,000.

Continue reading “909 N. Elm Street: Preservation Fund Seeks Buyer for Major Rehab Project”

Hillsdale Farm: A Landmark Mansion and 27 Acres, $2.875 Million

6043 lake brandt road
The Colonial Revival house of Hillsdale Farm, built by Lunsford and Margaret Richardson

Update: Hillsdale Farm sold for $2.335 million on February 14, 2018.

If you want to buy a great big piece of Greensboro history, you can’t go much bigger than Hillsdale Farm: a 13,500 square-foot home and 27 acres of wooded land overlooking Lake Brandt. It’s yours for $2.875 million.

The property includes the mansion with eight bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half baths, and an indoor pool; greenhouse; playhouse; bathhouse; water tower; five-car garage with five-room apartment; and a very long driveway. The property also includes a 1/6 share of the very private Richardson Lake.

Continue reading “Hillsdale Farm: A Landmark Mansion and 27 Acres, $2.875 Million”