2412 Sylvan Road: Quite A Bargain in a 1937 Sunset Hills Bungalow

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Update: The house sold for $225,000 on September 18, 2017.

If you want a real steal on a classic home, Sunset Hills isn’t usually the place to look. 2412 Sylvan Road may be an exception. It’s on the market for $249,900; at 2,020 square feet, the price comes to $124 per square foot. That’s the lowest price per square foot among the five vintage houses now for sale in the neighborhood (ranging from $139 to $178) and among the 12 that have sold this year (which have ranged up to $187).

The current owners have had the house since 1966. Naturally, it needs work, but it looks to be mostly interior painting and perhaps some floor refinishing. However, the listing includes very few photos, so there’s no telling what much of the house looks like inside (it’s a for sale by owner deal).

2412 Sylvan is a 1937 brick bungalow with four bedrooms and two baths. It has the gracious touches you would expect from that period — a spacious front porch, hardwood floors, a substantial brick fireplace in the living room, a breakfast nook. The kitchen has been updated, and the house has a new roof and HVAC. There’s a deck on the back and an average-size yard. The updating noted in the listing appears to be a work in progress as of this date; the fascia boards have been replaced but not painted, and the new gutters aren’t up yet.

Provided there are no awful surprises in an inspection or in the rooms not pictured in the listing, 2412 Sylvan Road looks a like an opportunity to buy into Sunset Hills at an unusually affordable price.

(Note: The listing puts the square footage at 2,600. I’m using the 2,020 figure that appears in county tax records, as I usually do when there’s a discrepancy.)

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106 Fisher Park Circle: One of Greensboro’s Grandest Mansions for Sale at $1.35 Million

Imposing, large brcik home, two stories with four colossal columns in front

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.

Listing on realtor.com

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409 Westdale Place: A hidden 1939 gem in Lindley Park

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Update: The house sold for $228,000 on November 1, 2017.

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.

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409 Westdale is highlighted; the lot immediately behind it is included in the sale. For some reason, Longview Street was never cut through from Walker northward to Wright Avenue and Fry Street, even though it picks up again at Fry and lots were laid out all the way through. Just how an entire block in Lindley Park came to be undeveloped is a real puzzle.

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The backyard extends all the way through the trees to where Longview Street would be if had been extended from Walker Avenue to Fry Street.

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1907 Madison Avenue: A Sunset Hills Classic for Sale After 43 Years

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Update: The house sold for its asking price, $429,900, on August 30, 2017. It had been for sale for seven days when the owners accepted the offer.

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.

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200 E. Bessemer Avenue: A Grand Fisher Park House That Could Become a Home Again

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Update: The house sold as a commercial property for $330,500 on April 6, 2020.

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.

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1033 Pearson Street: A Classic 1946 Brick Bungalow in the Asheboro Community

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Update: The house sold for $86,500 on August 15, 2017

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).

1033 pearson street front door.jpgThe 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.

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Wednesday June 28: A Mid-Century Modern Shindig* at a National Register House

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Preservation Greensboro’s Love-A-Loewenstein Party

  • Wednesday, June 28, 5:30 p.m.
  • The James and Anne Willis House
  • 707 Blair Street, Greensboro

From Preservation Greensboro:

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.

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507 Park Avenue: A 1915 fixer-upper in the Dunleath Historic District, open Saturday

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Update: The house sold for $60,000 on July 7, 2017, one month after it went on the market. After a thorough renovation, the house sold for $250,000 on September 11, 2019. It had been listed for $242,000.

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 walk-through 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.

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603 N. Church Street: A 1914 Craftsman Gem in Fisher Park

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Update: The house sold for $250,000 on July 31, 2017.

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.

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OK, it needs some cosmetic work.

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.

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Interesting little room with a problematic ceiling
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Not the kitchen of anyone’s dreams, perhaps, but it’s serviceable
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Low-ceiling attic room

 

5 Open Houses at Historic Homes on June 4

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306 South Mendenhall Street, College Hill

A classic historic district Victorian, extensively renovated. Built in 1922. Open Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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1905 Rolling Road, Sunset Hills

“Lovingly restored Sunset Hills beauty.” Built in 1938. Open Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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518 Willowbrook Drive, Lindley Park

Overlooking Lindley Park on a lot of just under an acre. Garage includes a two-bedroom apartment. Built in 1946. Open Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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1606 Independence Road, Kirkwood

Fireplaces, built-ins and a beautiful deck. Built in 1946. Open Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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508 Piedmont Avenue, Gibsonville

Fully renovated farmhouse in highly affordable Gibsonville. Built in 1926. Open Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

3215 N. Rockingham Road: A 1935 Cotswold Tudor manor house for $2.9 million

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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.

3215 n. rockingham road front alt cropped.jpegAyrshire 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.

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5 classic homes priced to sell

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104 Meadowbrook Terrace is the best value on the market among $1 million classic homes (aka mansions). Priced at $1.765 million, $207/square foot, it’s listed at almost the same price as the much smaller 701 Sunset Drive ($1.785 million), but on a square-foot basis it’s 47 percent less expensive (701 Sunset is $388/square foot). For the value-conscious millionaire, 104 Meadowbrook is the best buy in Greensboro.

[Update: The house was taken off the market June 3, 2017, after 19 months]

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Among the few historic district homes on the market, 214 S. Mendenhall Street is a sweet combination of price and indoor-and-out beauty. At $359,000, $128/square foot, it’s priced almost identically to the nearby and also lovely 306 South Mendenhall Street ($350,000, also $128/square foot), but has a bigger, more private lot and very nice outdoor spaces.

[Update: The house has a contract pending as of June 3, 2017]

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The five vintage neighborhoods west of downtown are the busiest market for classic homes in Greensboro. There are 24 on the market, and 12 are under contract. Eleven more have been sold this spring. 2808 Springwood Drive is an unusual Lindley Park home that almost looks like a beach house. The listing’s pictures of the interior look quite nice. At $199,000, $113/square foot, it’s a steal.

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In east and south Greensboro, there’s nothing else like 211 N. Dudley Street. A Mid-Century Modern classic, it has been meticulously restored by its current owners (the listing’s pictures show it off well). And at $245,000, $88/square foot, it’s an amazing bargain. Located across Dudley Street from A&T, it’s perfect for an Aggie (or anyone else) who values classic Modernist design.

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In the smaller towns and rural areas of Guilford County, 7204 Whitsett Park Road in Whitsett is a standout: a 1902 farmhouse on just under 2 acres, beautifully restored inside and out. The house is 3,100 square feet, and the property has a couple of outbuildings. At $299,000, $92/square foot, it’s a remarkable bargain.

[Update: An offer was accepted June 3, 2017; it fell through and the house went back on the market June 12.]

4909 Guilford College Road: A sweet little 1908 farmhouse

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4909 Guilford College Road is the last of its contemporaries, if there were any. When it was built in 1908, it may have been alone out there, closer to Jamestown than Greensboro, surrounded by woods and maybe some farmland. Today, the area is a mix of ’60s and ’70s subdivisions, a church built just a few years ago and patches of undeveloped land, some of them quite large. Grandover is nearby, as is Business 85.

4909 guilford college road fireplace.jpgInsulated a bit by its partially wooded, 2 acre-plus lot, 4909 Guilford College Road is a quaint little gem. Listed at $189,800, the house has three bedrooms, one full bathroom and a half bath. Square footage is 2,186, so the price comes out to a modest $87 per square foot. The property includes a separate workshop with a bonus room and a barn.

You can’t see the house itself from the road, screened by trees and vegetation. The living room has a bay window. The kitchen has a fireplace. It has six fireplaces; one has a gorgeous mantel. Judging from the photos in the realtor.com listing, some of the rooms need painting and other cosmetic work, but the kitchen and bathrooms look to be in pretty good shape.

The property was owned by one family from 1961 until 2009, when it was bought by the current owner.

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4909 Guilford College Road, outlined in orange, with Grandover Parkway to the north and Business 85 to the south

New Listing: 214 S. Mendenhall, a Classic and Comfortable Victorian Farmhouse in College Hill

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Update: The house sold for $359,000 on August 1, 2017.

214 S. Mendenhall Street is a good example of what Greensboro’s historic districts strive to be: It’s not a museum piece, but a living piece of history that serves its owner as comfortably today as it did a century ago. It embodies the character and charm of turn-of-the-century architecture with its broad front porch, high ceilings and five fireplaces. And it has been thoughtfully restored and renovated, inside and out, to preserve those qualities in a home as livable as any modern house.

The Victorian farmhouse has four bedrooms and three fully renovated bathrooms in 2,800 square feet. At $359,000, that works out to a relatively modest $128 per square foot. The deep lot is 0.41 acre. It was listed for sale May 20.

One of its most distinctive features is an oversized eat-in kitchen with a brick fireplace. The current owner has finished the attic to create a nicely appointed den or entertainment room. The outdoor spaces, including a large deck and pergola in the unusually deep backyard, give it an additional dimension.

The home was built in 1900. In 1903, John and Laura Sharpe bought it, and it stayed in their family for 73 years. The current seller, Donna Kelly, is a former member of the Historic Preservation Commission. She bought the house in 2003.

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814 Olive Street: A Fisher Park classic, open this weekend during the Historic Homes Tour

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Update: The house sold for $470,000 on June 30, 2017.

814 Olive Street is a Foursquare with a distinctive stone foundation and porch columns. It was built in 1918 and thoroughly renovated over the past two years. It went on the market Friday at $474,900. It will be open on Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. both days, as Preservation Greensboro brings a couple thousand people into the neighborhood to visit eight other houses for its seventh annual Historic Homes Tour.

The renovation of 814 Olive was high end — Thermador appliances, master suite with marble floor and double granite vanities in the bathroom, etc. Also a walk-in closet, something you’re not going to find in many non-renovated Fisher Park homes.

The renovation is not unusual for Olive Street. “Over the past few years, the street has seen a make-over that has seen a much needed re-investment into worn housing stock,” Benjamin Briggs of Preservation Greensboro wrote in 2014. The renovations of 808, 810 and 813 Olive Street all have received preservation awards from the organization.

814 Olive has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. A den could be used a fourth bedroom. The house has a sunroom, spacious eat-in kitchen and deck looking out over the deep backyard.

At 2,504 square feet, the price comes out to $190 per square foot, lofty but about what one would expect for a restored 1920s home in one of Greensboro’s finest early 20th century neighborhoods.

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The house sits on a deep, level 0.33-acre lot.

 

Open House: 707 Blair Street, a Lowenstein classic on the National Register of Historic Places

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Update: The Willis House sold for $524,095 on August 2, 2017.

There’s an open house at a classic Lowenstein home in Irving Park on Sunday (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.). The James H. and Anne B. Willis House, 707 Blair Street, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its retention of character-defining Mid-Century Modern features. Built in 1965 and designed by the Lowenstein-Atkinson firm of Greensboro, it has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and 3,000 square feet. That comes out to $194 per square foot, a relative bargain in Irving Park.

The Willis House would be distinctive in any neighborhood, but especially so in this one.

“The long, one-story, front-gable-roofed, Modernist dwelling differs in architectural character and orientation from the neighboring predominately traditionally styled homes … These residences stand closer to Blair Street and Hammel Drive than their rear lot lines, contributing to a regular façade rhythm and allowing for large back yards. The Willis House siting, dictated by the lot’s topography, is reversed. The residence occupies the 0.7-acre lot’s southwest corner and is screened on all sides by either vegetation or wood fences. Deciduous and evergreen trees fill the front yard’s slope, providing privacy, while landscaped beds along the dwelling’s perimeter contain woody shrubs and perennials. … The wooded setting and sloping grade continue on Blair Street’s opposite side, as the City of Greensboro maintains a 2.6-acre wooded tract flanking a creek that is part of the approximately four-acre Nottingham Park.”
— from the National Register nomination

The current owners, Thomas and Sara Sears, bought the home from the Willises in 2002. They completed a restoration in 2003 and a renovation in 2014 that maintained what the nomination calls “exceptional” interior integrity.

“Only a small number of Greensboro residences are truly Modernist in design, and each stands out in neighborhoods of more traditional houses. … The low, horizontal residences blend in with their settings, reflecting the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian House: economical and efficiently-planned buildings constructed of natural materials. Expansive windows and natural materials facilitate continuity between interior and exterior spaces. Common interior features include expressed structural components, radiant heating, passive cooling, cork and stone floors, wood wall and ceiling sheathing, and built-in furniture.

“The Willis House exemplifies the application of the same principles, which were more mainstream by 1965, in a cost-effective yet stylish residence. Its long, low form is typical of mid-twentieth-century dwellings, but its orientation with a broad, front-gable, secondary elevation facing the street is less common.”

It’s a remarkable house and a remarkable opportunity to own a piece of mid-century history.

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815 Woodland Drive: Irving Park’s highest-priced mansion

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815 Woodland Drive holds the distinction as the most expensive house for sale in Irving Park this spring — 5,200 square feet overlooking the golf course, listed at $1.79 million. That comes out to a high-even-for-Irving-Park $343 per square foot, although in that category it ranks only second in the neighborhood (701 Sunset is just a bit less expensive at $1.785 million but also quite a bit smaller, coming in at $388 per square foot).

Built in 1925, 815 Woodland is a brick Georgian with five bedrooms, five and a half baths and a five-car garage. But there are two details beyond the home’s description that make it particularly interesting. After all, there are nine million-dollar homes for sale in Irving Park this spring, and some of the others are as grand and almost as expensive.

First, the owners are semi-celebrities — Martin Sprock III, Greensboro native, founder of Moe’s Southwest Grill, and buyer-and-seller of big expensive houses, and his wife, Leigh-ann, an entrepreneur in her own right and a former real estate agent in Atlanta for 10 years. They live in Charlotte now (a 4,000 square-foot home in Myers Park, built in 1925 and bought for $2.7 million in 2014).

The Sprocks’ real estate investments have made news well beyond Greensboro. In 2014, the Palm Beach Daily News reported that in recent years Martin had sold three houses there at prices ranging from $1.9 million up to $8.1 million. In 2015, he dropped $3.5 million for Middleburg Plantation near Charleston, S.C., a 326-acre spread that dates back to the 1690s.

Second, 815 Woodland has not been an easy sell. The Sprocks bought the home in 2004 for $1.7 million. This is the sixth time they’ve put it on the market since 2011 (original asking price: $2.19 million). They have experience with this kind of sale. A house Martin sold in Palm Beach in 2014 (6,600 square feet total, seven bedrooms and a guest house on almost an acre, now for rent at $45,000/month) was on the market for five years. It was listed originally at $10.5 million and sold for more than $8 million.

Note: This post has been corrected to state that 701 Sunset has a higher cost per square foot because it’s smaller than 815 Woodland rather than larger.

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815 Woodland Drive: Foyer, dining room and den

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Endangered historic house in Jamestown needs a new owner

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The William G. Wiley House at 4909 Vickrey Chapel Road in Jamestown is a classic example of a mail-order house, dating back to 1908.  It needs a buyer soon or it will be torn down.

The house was bought from Radford American Homes, a mail-order company based in Illinois. The cost was $1,800, plus $1 for the catalog and $5 for the plans. The plans showed a one-and-a-half story clapboarded house with a sweeping pitched cross-gable roof, a dormer window, wrap-around porch with turned posts, and a south-facing bay window. An elaborate lightning grounding system was added around 1913, and pressed metal shingles were added around 1918.

The grounds include many outbuildings, including a smokehouse, garage, shop, horse barn and shed, and two privies. There also is a well house with basement potato cellar.

The well-preserved site maintains an important link to early 20th century rural life in Guilford County, and it illustrates the influence of national catalog and building supply companies. Guilford County has designated it as a landmark property in 1993. That status confers a property tax credit of up to 50 percent.

For more information about buying the Wiley House, contact Benjamin Briggs of Preservation Greensboro, 336-272-5003.  h/t to Benjamin for providing the information on the house.

 

Open houses at three pre-1950 homes April 22-23

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1109 Grayland Street — open Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • $269,000 (Update: Sold for $269,000 on June 6, 2017)
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2,060 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $131
  • Built in 1928
  • Listed April 19, 2017
  • Last sale: $235,000, June 2009

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104 Northridge Street — open Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • $225,000
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and 2 half-bathrooms, 2,763 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $81
  • Built in 1937
  • Listed April 18, 2017
  • Last sale: $142,500, February 2002

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1606 Independence Road — open Sunday, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • $241,500 (originally $264,900) (Update: The house sold for $224,900 on July 25, 2017)
  • 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,814 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $133
  • Built in 1948
  • Listed: January 4, 2017
  • Last sale: $212,000, February 2006
  • Neighborhood: Kirkwood

 

500 S. Mendenhall Street: One of Greensboro’s Best Queen Annes

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Update: The house sold for $274,500 on June 23, 2017.

How can this house be on the market again? In the past six years, 500 S. Mendenhall Street has been put up for sale three times without success. Now it’s available for a fourth try, this time priced at $285,000 ($110/square foot). Which would seem a rock-bottom price for a Queen Anne gem.

The house has been divided into three apartments, but a previous listing noted, “Appraiser suggested if $10K spent could convert back to single family dwelling and per sq ft would increase.” It sits on a prime corner lot in College Hill on Mendenhall at Walker Avenue, directly across from the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. It was built in 1900.

It was clearly a favorite of Marvin Brown, author of Greensboro: An Architectural Record:

“One of the best examples of Queen Anne style in Greensboro, it features a complicated picturesque roofline and wall planes, complete with two full-height cutaway bays and an an angled corner fringed with scrolled brackets. Its wraparound porch is fancifully finished with turned posts, brackets, pendants, balusters and spindles.” (Page 352)

That’s a pretty complete package of Queen Anne detail and whimsy. It appears to be in quite good shape, and it’s priced to move. Perhaps this time it will.

Note: The Zillow listing shows the house as 2,291 square feet, but the county tax record shows it as 2,587, which I suspect is more accurate. That’s the figure I’ve used as the basis of the per-square-foot price.

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The Kellenberger Estate: A National Register Property Now on the Market

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Update, September 29, 2017: Miramichi was taken off the market without a sale.
Update II, April 6, 2018: The property is listed again.

“The Kellenberger Estate is significant in the history of Guilford County, North Carolina, as an uncommon and largely intact example of a property transformed from a vernacular nineteenth-century farm into a country estate in the Colonial Revival and relaxed, naturalized style popular in the 1920s.”

National Register nomination

Miramichi, the Kellenberger Estate near McLeansville, was put on the market last week at an asking price of $849,000. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 in recognition of both the house and its remarkable 32-acre grounds. Its period of significance was 1921-44.

kellenberger 2.jpeg“It is the landscaping for which Miramichi is best known. The estate is dominated visually by the impressive naturalized landscape of native and exotic trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, many of which kellenberger 3.jpegremain in remarkably intact condition today,” the property’s nomination states. The landscaping was designed and planted from 1921 through 1944.

Included on the grounds are two stone grottos fed by kellenberger 5.jpegsprings (previously a “hog waller”), a curvilinear pool, a lake and dam dating from 1915 and picnic areas. A boathouse and swimming pool were built around 1930. A small log outbuilding and tenant house date from around 1925 and 1930, respectively.

The house experienced a transformation of its own. “The house was created by the Kellenbergers, beginning about 1921 using an existing vernacular log farmhouse as the focal point, and continuing into the 1940s with a series of alterations and additions,” the nomination states.

“The house was remodeled in two stages, the first beginning in 1922 when the Kellenbergers moved into the farmhouse, still without electricity, running water, or central heat. It appears from oral history, documentary photographs, and architectural evidence that the house, originally one-story-with-loft, was made one-and-one-half stories by the addition in the early 1920s of the two dormers. A rear shed was removed and replaced with an addition containing a library and kitchen. … One-story gable-roofed additions were added to the east side to house kitchen and service areas. A second expansion, this one in the 1930s or 1940, consisted of the current frame two-story addition to the back of the house considerably larger than the log house, with rows of-large windows and glazed double doors so ‘we can have the out-of-doors with us.'”

John Kellenberger (1886-1973) was a businessman who came to Greensboro in 1911 from Pennsylvania. He was a successful furniture, real estate and finance executive. May Latham Kellenberger (1893-1978) was born in New Bern; the family moved to Greensboro in 1904, and both of her parents became prominent in business and civic affairs. Together, the Kellenbergers figured among the city’s leaders for five decades.

“Anyone who considers the development of Greensboro from town to city in this century must reckon with the broad influence of John A. Kellenberger. … His interests ranged over the cultural spectrum and his life expressed an ideal of service to community and church … [He] was prominent in the city’s life for more than 60 busy and fruitful years. His influence extended far beyond the city he adopted as his home in 1911. In partnership with his wife of more than 50 years … Mr. Kellenberger demonstrated in his life and benefactions a love of history, a sense of the beautiful in music and the arts. and a devotion of religion.”

— The Greensboro Record, August 12, 1973

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900 Forest Hill Drive: A rare bit of flair in a ’50s split level

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Update: The house sold for $238,000 on May 12, 2017.

The phrases “split level” and “one of a kind” almost never go together. Creativity and flair were of little interest to the great bulk of homebuyers in the ’50s and ’60s. 900 Forest Hill Drive is an exception.

This 1955 split level offers a break from ’50s conformity. The sloping roof gives it an altogether different profile from typical split levels. Even though the interior displays the familiar smaller windows and lower ceilings of post-war style, the home’s horizontal fireplace and built-ins are a break from split-level blandness as well.

The home’s appeal is enduring. The current sellers bought it in 2000 from a couple who had owned it since 1959. It went on the market Friday with an accepted offer in hand. If that deal should fall through, it probably won’t be long before another is in hand. The $237,900 asking price works out to a modest $117 per square foot.

The details: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2,034 square feet, .71-acre lot, Hamilton Forest neighborhood. Last sale: $179,000, June 2000.

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Offers coming quickly in Irving Park, Sunset Hills, Lindley Park

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607 Woodland Drive, asking $999,000, $312/square foot, offer accepted in three days

The spring home-buying season has gotten off to a fast start, particularly in Irving Park, Lindley Park and Sunset Hills. Two Irving Park homeowners have accepted very quick offers.  607 Woodland had been on the market for three days; the asking price of $999,000 works out to an impressive $312 per square foot. 1104 Sunset Drive (asking $569,000) had been on the market just four days before an offer was accepted.

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309 Woodbine Court, asking $394,900, $159/square foot, offer accepted in two days

In Sunset Hills, we have eight current pre-1950 listings, and six of them went under contract in March. 309 Woodbine Court ($394,900) accepted an offer in two days; 1808 Rolling Road ($400,000), seven days; 2206 W. Market ($618,000), nine days.

In Lindley Park, we have six current listings; four went under contract in March. 2611 Sherwood Street ($164,900) had been on the market two days; 803 Longview Street ($264,000), three days; and 2514 Walker Avenue ($225,000), 34 days.

Elsewhere:

  • The hot item in College Hill has been townhomes in the Wafco area. Four came on the market between February 22 and March 16; all four were under contract by March 27.
  • Listings are at premium in the historic districts. Aside from the townhouses under contract, College Hill has only two houses and a Wafco Mills condo on the market. Just four Fisher Park houses are listed, and two are under contract. An offer was accepted on 700 Magnolia Street ($195,000) after two days on the market. In the newly renamed Dunleath Historic District, only four houses are the market, all smaller homes priced $175,000 or lower.
  • The market for classic mansions in Sedgefield is tight and moving at a pace as stately as the homes themselves. Only three older homes are on the market, all at least 4,000 square feet and on the market at least nine months. Prices range from $425,000 to $2.9 million.

Four classic Greensboro homes currently for sale will be open April 1-2

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306 South Mendenhall Street: $355,000, a 1922 College Hill classic. Open Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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3605 Kirby Drive: $299,900, extensively renovated this year in Starmount Forest. Listed on Friday. Open Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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305 South Chapman Street: $299,900, an elegant 1930 Sunset Hills charmer. Open Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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1808 Independence Road, Kirkwood: $259,500, extensively renovated. Listed on Thursday. Open Sunday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

 

Aycock neighborhood gets a new name

aycock-signResidents of the Historic Charles B. Aycock neighborhood have decided to change its name. The new name is Dunleath, named for an 1857 mansion built on a farm that covered essentially all of what is now the neighborhood.

The name of the home is spelled two ways in historical records (Dunleith and Dunleath); the residents will make a final decision on the spelling later [Update 4/4/2017: They chose Dunleath.].  Just removing Aycock’s name was difficult enough. For those not familiar with North Carolina history, Charles B. Aycock was governor from 1901 to 1905. He was revered throughout the 20th century as “the Education Governor” because of his support for public education, including education for African Americans. Schools and related buildings all over the state were named in his honor.

aycock mug.fwLargely overlooked until recent years was Aycock’s fervent support of white supremacy and denial of rights to African Americans. He didn’t just share the prejudices of his time; he was a leader and force in promoting segregation and eliminating voting rights for black North Carolinians (His words: “We recognize and provide for the God-given and hereditary superiority of the white man.”).

In recent years, Aycock’s name has been disappearing all over North Carolina. UNCG has taken it off its campus auditorium, for example, and Duke has taken it off a dormitory. The Guilford County Schools renamed Aycock Middle School, from which the neighborhood took its name (the school is now named for Melvin C. Swann Jr., a longtime school administrator).

The renaming still leaves the neighborhood with two names. While Aycock was chosen when the neighborhood’s local historic district was organized in 1984, its nomination for the National Register of Historic Places, just a few years later, called it the Summit Avenue Historic District. Actually, it will have three names until enough years have passed that Greensboro gets out of the habit of calling it Aycock.

Acknowledgement: The learned Professor David Wharton provides a detailed look at the history of the neighborhood’s name on his blog, which provided some of the information above.