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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.