Greensboro has a century-old love affair with the architecture of old England. Considering our revolutionary spat here in 1781, the affection might appear ironic, but Greensboro has long held an interest in antiquities and craftsmanship, and it is likely from these roots, not nationalism, from which our interest grew.
Greensboro’s Tudor-style houses are part of a wider celebration of period architecture inspired from Europe, Colonial America, and Asia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This eclectic body of work borrowed themes for residential designs that touched back to the charming hand-crafted work of pre-industrial artisans and vernacular local materials.
England participated in this nostalgic era by exploring its Tudor and Elizabethan period architecture, recognized by historians as half-timbered structures such as c. 1450 Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire (image, right). These striking designs, references as “Black and White” buildings in England, included features such as asymmetry, irregular rooflines, diamond-paned windows, jettied overhands, and chimneys with elaborate flues.
Greensboro enjoys dozens of English Tudor designs, primarily built between 1914 and 1930. As our September 2019 “Architecture of England” excursion revealed, Tudor architecture is at its best when attention is placed in details, and Greensboro has several well-detailed examples to celebrate!
1. The King Residence, 314 North Church Street, Center City
Architect Harry Barton (1876-1937) designed this grand residence, likely Greensboro’s earliest Tudor-style house, erected in 1913-14. Barton was a native of Philadelphia, and moved to Greensboro in 1912, He accepted leadership roles in professional circles including the American Institute of Architects in North Carolina. He is well-remembered as the lead architect for the Guilford County Courthouse of 1918-1920.
Plans were commissioned by John Washington King, a native of Stokes County, and his wife Nancy. John was educated at the Oak Ridge Institute and the Eastman business college at Poughkeepsie NY. He learned the tobacco trade from his father and developed a reputation for making one of the best Havana cigars. He wed Nancy Howard of Kinston in 1909 and the couple had two children. He was elected to two terms in the lower house of the general assembly in the 1920s.
The two-story frame house features a simple gable front and wing elevation with fields of plaster (representing historic daub) between primary timber posts. A tapered horizontal jetty sill, or “bressummer,” underlies the third-floor gable. A full-width porch with a Gothic arch entry has been enclosed, and dormer windows continue the half-timber theme of the façade.
An article in the Sunday, February 8, 1914 Greensboro Daily News announced “During the past week John W. King moved into his beautiful new house on Church street. Mr. King’s new house has attracted considerable attention and favorable comment on account of the beautiful exterior design and the completeness of the plan and detail of the exterior.” The article continues “The exterior has been designed in the “English-half-timber” style of architecture, and it is believed to be the first house of this style to have been built in Greensboro vicinity. Interior appointments also followed the Tudor style, including brick mantels of cream tapestry brick with green tile work, and dark ‘mahoganized’ woodwork.”
With this house began Greensboro’s love affair with Tudor architecture.
2. The Galloway Residence, 1007 North Elm Street, Fisher Park
Just a few years later, John Marion Galloway, Jr., commissioned a Tudor-style house in 1919. A Tennessee native, he moved to Rockingham County at an early age and was educated at the Oak Ridge Institute as well as the University of North Carolina. In 1918 he married Margaret Greeson of Whitsett. They had two daughters. John was a tobacco broker who was reckoned to be the largest grower of Brightleaf cigarette tobacco in the world during his lifetime. He was instrumental in establishing the grower’s Co-operative Tobacco Marketing Association in North Carolina, to secure more lucrative prices for tobacco in the state. The mansion remains today as a tangible reminder of an important chapter in the growth of Greensboro as a center for the tobacco industry.
In the design of the house, architect Harry Barton continues details of Tudor design utilized in the King house, including us of tapered jetty bressummer beams on both paired front gables, and a dramatic porch entryway. However, Barton expands the Tudor vocabulary to include stone walls, quatrefoils, and exposed rafters. The facade of the house has two projecting bays on either side of a centered front porch. The porch is covered by a shed roof supported by exposed rafters and massive tapered granite piers. Other features include dormer windows with lattice panes, false timbering in the attic dormers, and a heavy modillion cornice. The entire home is roofed using red tiles. The stone façade is composed of Mount Airy Granite, a popular local building material.
The house is included in the Fisher Park National Register and local Historic Districts. The house was designated a Guilford County Landmark Property in 1985.
3. The Carlson Residence, 705 Sunset Drive, Irving Park
Also composed of a stone façade, the Carlson residence was designed by Hartford, Connecticut architect A. Raymond Ellis (1882-1950). This Tudor house was begun in 1925 and consists of 14 rooms at a cost estimated to be $50,000. New architectural elements were introduced to Greensboro’s Tudor ensemble, including casement windows, an oriel window above the front door, a jettied second floor, and hipped inset dormers. A dramatic stone and shouldered chimney rises the full façade height of the house. The builder was C. J. McMichael of Greensboro. Ellis designed several homes in Greensboro in the 1910s and 20s. He was also the Architectural Editor of Woman’s Home Companion, where he advised readers on homebuilding practices. The magazine featured his designs, allowing him a national audience of clients.
The house was commissioned by Dr. Carl Ismael Carlson and his wife Laurinda Richardson Carlson. Laurinda was a daughter of Lunsford Richardson of the Vick Chemical Company fame, and Carlson was a Swedish-born chiropractor who began practicing in Greensboro in 1908 as one of the earliest in the state in his field. Neighboring houses also held Richardson and Vick Chemical Company connections, resulting in the cluster taking the colloquial name “Cough Drop Hill.”
The house is a contributing structure within the Irving Park National Register Historic District.
4. The Lindeman Residence, 306 Parkway Street, Fisher Park
In October 1926, a building permit was issued to Mae Elliott Lindeman for the construction of this Tudor-style home. Greensboro-based architect Harry J. Simmonds (1885-1942) provided plans that were executed by contractor George W. Kane. The $20,000 house was profiled in a Greensboro newspaper article in 1928 as, “…one of the show places of that section of the city. Set off to advantage by its elevation from Parkway on which it is located, this home is a source of constant delight to the owners and never fails to attract the admiration of visitors.”
The Tudor-style house features restrained details common to the genre, including a half-timbered second floor of a jettied central pavilion and second floor supported by brackets. Other novel features include a wall dormer to the right of the central pavilion, diamond leaded glass windows, and whimsical S-curved diagonal bracing. Originally, the brick of the first floor was unpainted, and the dark timbers of the second floor were contrasted with lighter colored stucco.
Mae was from Missouri and had a long interest in gardening. Sidney was a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. The couple lived in Richmond, Virginia, before moving in 1924 to Greensboro, where Sidney served as the Carolinas manager for Frigidaire and the Domestic Electric Company (Delco) though he transitioned into the insurance business in 1929.
The house is included in the Fisher Park National Register and local historic districts.
5. The Sebastian Residence, 1401 McConnell Road, Nocho Park
The Sebastian’s were pillars of the community when they began construction of this English Tudor-style house in October 1927. Not only was Dr. Sebastian a physician at the L. Richardson Hospital across the street, but his wife Martha was librarian at the Carnegie Negro Library on the campus of Bennett College. Dr. Simon Powell Sebastian was a native of Antigua in the British West Indies. He came to Greensboro as a student at NCA&TSU, and later attended Leonard School of Medicine at Shaw University in Raleigh. Dr. Sebastian led efforts to create the L. Richardson Memorial Hospital in 1927, a medical center that provided care for black citizens. He served on the board until his death by automobile accident in 1937. In 1915 he married Martha Josephine Oxford of Massachusetts. The couple had two accomplished sons, one a graduate of Harvard, the other of Lutheran College.
Their $13,000 house was likely an inspiration for many black residents of the east Greensboro who might have been inspired by the Sebastian’s prominence within the context of crushing Jim Crow laws enforced at the time.(image, top of page)
Around 2006, developer Allen Sharpe acquired the property as part of an extensive redevelopment project for multi-family housing. Sharpe’s plans included saving the house, which remains a benchmark for Greensboro citizens.
6. The Preddy Residence, 303 West Greenway North, Sunset Hills
Hugh N. Preddy of Oak Ridge married Mary Dodson of Thomasville in 1915. By 1928, the couple purchased this splendid Tudor-style house for $10,324 overlooking the Greenway Park just off West Market Street. The couple’s life exemplified the high-living of the Roaring Twenties as Preddy was employed as a clerk for the Greensboro office of E. A. Pierce & Company, on Friendly Avenue in downtown. E.A. Pierce & Co. was a securities brokerage firm based in New York City, later known as Merrill Lynch. With the stock crash of 1929, Preddy lost his position at the brokerage firm and the couple took extra income by sharing their home with several family members. Although Preddy found a new position as a telephone operator the next year, the family ultimately defaulted on their mortgage in 1933. The property was sold at public auction, only to be purchased by the estate of Mary’s grandfather. The estate owned the property until 1941.
Among Sunset Hills’ many Tudor-style homes, the Preddy house is one of the most impressive. Attributed to architect Lorenzo S. Winslow (1892-1976), the 3,837 square foot house features many of the charming characteristics of Tudor design, including a steeply pitched slate roof with a prominent cross gable, and half-timbered walls above the second floor that create chevron, lozenge, and quatrefoil designs. Interior appointments reflect Colonial Revival designs, including a Federal Period mantel, plaster crown moldings, quarter-sawn oak flooring, and plaster archways between rooms. Winslow later became the first architect to the White House in Washington DC.
The house is a contributing structure within the Sunset Hills National Register Historic District. It will be opened as a Love-A-Landmark fundraising event on the evening of October 30.
7. Harllee House, 1707 West Market Street, Sunset Hills
Completed in 1928 for Marjorie and Frederick Earl Harllee, along with their four children, and his mother! Harllee began his career in Greensboro in 1901 at Meyer’s Department Store in downtown Greensboro. Around 1909 he was promoted to manager of the store, and by 1929 he was selected as its president, a position he held until 1940. He was frequently cited for his numerous purchasing trip to New York where he kept pace with fashions and trends for discriminating Meyer’s patrons.
The house was described in the Greensboro Sunday Record upon completion as “among the finest in Greensboro.” Designed by Lorenzo S. Winslow and built by J. N. Coe and company, contractors. Winslow expanded the Tudor style in Greensboro with a variety of spandrel panels below second floor windows in shapes of diamonds, quatrefoils, and x’s. other features were expanded, such as use of casement windows, Tudor arches, and tapered jetty bressummer beams. Interior special arrangements include a front-to-back Living Room with a “Living Porch” sun room to the side, with a Dining Room, Breakfast Room arrangement complemented by a Kitchen and Sitting Room.
The house is a contributing structure within the Sunset Hills National Register Historic District.
8. The Ziegler Residence, 2004 Madison Avenue, Sunset Hills
The Edna and Sam Ziegler residence was also designed by Lorenzo S. Winslow, and constructed by the A. K. Moore Realty Company building department. The two-story house sports a brick first floor with a half-timbered and stucco second floor. A front-gabled entry with slightly-flared eaves features a Tudor arch filled with a wood batten door. Second floor spandrel panels include diamond, S-shaped, and cross motifs. The house and its plans were featured in the Greensboro Daily Record Saturday Evening Edition when it was completed in July 1928.
Sam B. Ziegler was a native of Pennsylvania. In 1919 he married Edna Woods of New York. The couple had four children and lived in Junction City Kansas before moving to Greensboro around 1925. Sam held a position with Ziegler Brothers Pavers and completed work in the nearby town of Hamilton Lakes in the late 1920s. The town was unable to pay the company for their work, resulting in a lawsuit. The Zieglers sold their house in 1931 and moved to Nashville Tennessee.
The house is a contributing structure within the Sunset Hills National Register Historic District.
9. The Wright Residence, 808 Twyckenham Drive, Lake Daniel Park
This house was constructed by John Bunyon Wright, Jr. in 1929 for $6,500. A native of Greensboro, John attended Georgia Military Academy and Georgia Institute of Technology. John was just 22 years old when he began this house, and he married Inez Phillips in 1930. He held a position of vice president of Guaranty Waterproofing Company and Wright Builders Supply company at the time of construction. Wright remained a resident of the house until his death at the age of 35. The house served many years as a duplex, and the first occupants of the second unit were Mary and Eugene Douglas of Richardson Realty.
The Wright house represents an unusual subtype of Tudor-style architecture in its front gabled form. The one-and-a-half story facade is punctuated by a tall brick chimney, with brick veneer on the first floor and half-timber details found on the upper levels. The centered entry to the house is flanked by narrow windows. Other details include shed wall dormers that extend along each side of the house, as well as a south-facing sun room.
10. Hillside, the Price Residence, 301 Fisher Park Circle, Fisher Park
Hillside is an expansive residence that overlooks Greensboro’s Fisher Park. It was commissioned in 1929 by founder and president of Jefferson Life Insurance Company, Julian Price and his wife Ethel Clay. Price was promoted to president of the company in 1919 and served in that capacity for twenty-seven years, growing company to thirteenth in the nation among insurance companies and to one of the largest white collar employers in the city. The couple remained in the house until their respective deaths, at which time bequests were made to establish Price Park near Blowing Rock and Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church on West Market Street.
The sprawling residence is an example of Period Revival architecture by Greensboro architect Charles C Hartmann (1889-1977) and erected by contractor George W. Kane Construction. Hartmann was a prominent Greensboro-based architect who had a reputation for designing office buildings, hospitals, and factories, but this commission was unique int hat it served his first and most important client, Julian Price. Hartmann composed the house to evoke a rambling ancient English Tudor home, with a rambling form featuring gables, wall dormers, and stair towers. Notable façade details include rough stucco, herringbone brick, and false-half-timbered walls with projecting pegs, and massive brick chimneys with articulated flues and clay pots. Interior appointments include a molded plasterwork ceiling, wide plank flooring, and octagonal entry hall and stair tower. F. D. Lewis, an associate of C. C. Cridland in Philadelphia, composed the landscape to include retaining walls of Blue Ridge Parkway stone, serpentine flagstone walkways, and mature evergreen feature trees.
The house is a contributing property within the Fisher Park Local Historic District, National Register Historic District, and was recognized as a Guilford County Landmark in 1983.
Written by Benjamin Briggs
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