Update: The house sold for $415,000, its full asking price, on November 6, 2019.
The Paisley House, 409 Hillcrest Drive in Westerwood, may be oldest house in Greensboro that’s still a residence. It was listed for sale on October 4; the sellers accepted an offer on October 8. A quick deal like that isn’t uncommon in Westerwood, one of Greensboro’s most attractive neighborhoods, especially now when so few homes are for sale there. What is uncommon is that the house is so much older than the neighborhood. The Paisley House was built in 1820; Westerwood was developed about 100 years later.
The oldest-house claim is hard to prove, maybe impossible, but no one has suggested a reasonable alternative (as Benjamin Briggs explains here). It was built downtown (the address is unknown). The house was moved to Westerwood, possibly around 1931, the first year the Greensboro City Directory shows a residence at 409 Hillcrest. This undated photo from Preservation Greensboro appears to have been taken while the house was still downtown:
Today, the house is elegantly updated with 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms and 3,418 square feet. The price is $415,000, a relatively modest $121 per square foot. It has a finished basement and a detached two-car garage with a 12-by-24 room above it. There’s a porch off to the right side of the front. The back of the house has a deck along with a spacious yard (the lot is 0.34 acre).
Hillcrest is a quiet, out-of-the-way street toward the western end of the neighborhood. Oldest in town or not, the Paisley House is beautifully preserved and in a lovely setting, one of Westerwood’s real treasures.
Listing for 409 Hillcrest Drive
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 Mary and Norman Jarrard House was built in 1969. It was designed by Jarrard himself, a professor of English at N.C. A&T. It has five bedrooms and four bathrooms spread across three levels (I think — the listings and property records show it as one level for some reason; it’s been a few years since I was in it, but I recall three) and 3,874 square feet ($187/square foot). It sits atop a relatively steep slope high above the street and the Lake Daniel Greenway, well hidden by trees. The challenging, wooded lot made it a much better candidate for a mid-century design, which emphasized blending in with the surroundings, than a traditional approach.
The landscaping is impressive, particularly around the swimming pool (saline, heated). There’s a koi pond as well.
Large windows and sliding glass doors open up the house to the outdoors. Earth tones throughout the house complement the setting. Skylights add even more light. On the top level, an open floor plan brings the living room, dining room and den together without sacrificing the intimacy of the various rooms.
Additional decks, including one on a lower level, provide additional outdoor space.
The driveway comes up from East Lake Drive, but you can also reach the house through an alley from the corner of Lakeview Street and Crestland Avenue.
Listing for 616 East Lake Drive
Update: The house was listed for 30 days and then withdrawn. The owners now have put it up for rent again.
Westerwood is 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. It came onto the market a week ago at $339,500. Built in 1926, it features an elegant, curved gable roof with a distinctive pair of dormers connected by two similar-sized windows. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, 2,337 square feet. That comes out to an optimistic $145 per square foot, toward the high end of the range of recent Westerwood home sales. It’s a finer home and in better shape than many that have been for sale recently, though, and it is priced lower than the $160/square foot being asked for a house across the street, which has been on the market for nine months.
The house appears to be in move-in condition (though the photos with the listing are surprisingly poor). The first floor has been opened up to create a large living room. It has updated bathrooms and an updated but almost rustic-styled kitchen. Well-placed trees at the corners of the front yard give the home some privacy from traffic on Mendenhall.
Surprisingly, the house isn’t owner-occupied. The owners appear to have lit out for the pleasures of golf-course living in a McMansion at Stoney Creek eight years ago. They’ve tried to sell 401 N. Mendenhall twice before, in 2011 ($329,000) and 2014 ($359,000). The market appears to be stronger than it was in those years, although the owners are aiming higher than many who have accepted offers recently just days after listing their homes.