Just over ten years ago, Preservation Greensboro launched its Treasured Places Watch List to raise awareness of threatened properties, and to illustrate the special problems encountered in saving historic sites across the city. The organization was established by a group of determined citizens in 1966 who established a community network that could offer alternatives to the destruction of historic resources. In 2004, Preservation Greensboro continues this service by offering assistance to property owners in the restoration and conservation of historic properties. Tools include generous federal and state tax credits administered through the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, as well as property tax deferral through designation by the Guilford County Historic Preservation Commission. Additional easement programs and property marketing is available through Preservation Greensboro.
Below is a list of Treasured Places that are currently on our 2015 Watch List.
A&T’s Heritage Row This historic community along Bluford Street overlooks the A&T campus to the south. Platted around 1900, the street was a convenient location for professors and administrators who built fashionable Craftsman bungalows and rectilinear Foursquares with generous front porches beneath pendulous oaks. The oldest home on the street is Nelson Station at 903 Bluford Street. It was constructed around 1903 as the home of Agnes and Walter Nelson. Mr. Nelson taught in A&T’s Mechanical Department. Their Queen Anne-style house features turned porch posts with sawn brackets. A block east is the Bluford-Jeffries House at 1007 Bluford Street. This handsome American Foursquare house was constructed in 1916 and features Prairie-inspired details and served as the home of Hazel and Dr. F. D. Bluford. Dr. Bluford was hired by A&T in 1916 where he quickly rose through the ranks to become President from 1925 until his death in 1955.
What to watch for: Bluford Street began to change in the late twentieth century as homeowners retired or moved away and their homes were converted for rental use. Poorly maintained older homes have increasingly been condemned and destroyed for parking or multi-tenant housing. As neighborhood land values continued to decline, A&T is taking the opportunity to expand its campus north across the street. The current campus master plan calls for the streetscape to be destroyed and replaced with green space within a 10-15 year timeline.
Adamsleigh Located in the Sedgefield neighborhood, Adamsleigh is an estate that features a sprawling 15,000 square foot manor house coupled with a caretaker’s cottage, a pond, two swimming pools, gardens, and other outbuildings. Greensboro’s grandest manor house was designed for their clients Elizabeth and John Hampton “Hamp” Adams by Luther Lashmit, a talented architect in the offices of the Winston-Salem firm Northup-O’Brien. Though plans were finalized the week of the October 29th 1929 “Black Tuesday” stock market crash, work on the opulent house continued without pause. Adamsleigh is the only known work of Lashmit in Greensboro. The eclectic Renaissance-inspired English Tudor style architectural theme includes a covered porte-cochere for arriving guests, a cylindrical stair tower topped by a conical roof, a classically-inspired entry-way to a flagstone terrace and lawn, and a stunning array of hand-forged wrought iron that graces windows, doors and a weathervane.
What to watch for: Though the estate has been little changed since the 1930s, and a majority of decorative treatments, finishes, and fixtures remain from the original period of construction, the property is currently vulnerable to destruction for redevelopment for new homes. As the city’s largest house, opportunities exist to return the home to its splendor using local, state and federal abatements and tax credits, but the home remains on the market years after being listed.
Proximity Print Works The historic Proximity Print Works at 1700 Fairview Street in northeast Greensboro was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014 (image, top). Like the Revolution Mill property, Proximity Print Works was part of the Cone industrial empire. The mill was the first textile printer in the South, and it represents the growth of the city and its economy in the twentieth century. The mill was constructed in phases, beginning as early as 1913.
What to Watch for:
The historic Proximity Print Works was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. The designation allows for developers to participate in federal and state Historic Tax Credits.The scope and scale of redevelopment could resemble the mixed uses of the nearby Revolution Mill – blending residential with some commercial spaces. Tax credits will be crucial for the project, but the size of this project will be challenging for development companies to process.
Haithcock House Spencer S. Haithcock moved to Greensboro from Vance County around 1884 and opened a drugstore on Asheboro Street (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive). He constructed a wood-frame house at 815 Pearson Street in Southside that stands today as an excellent example of vernacular Italianate design. The house is one of a rapidly decreasing number of late ninetheenth- and early-twentieth century houses that remain standing in the Old Asheboro neighborhood.
What to watch for:
The former owner of the Haithcock House lost the house to foreclosure, and the mortgage holder now owns the property. The former owner was not able to complete modernization and improvements required by the city, so the city has placed an order on the property that improvements be made or the structure must be demolished. Unless a buyer is identified, the financial institution that owns the property will be required to demolish this important structure. Hopefully, a private owner will be identified to make necessary improvements to the house, which is an economically depressed area where such investments have been limited.
Lyon House E. W. Lyon was a mining engineer who consulted on various copper, silver, and coal mines here in North Carolina, including a gold mine near Rocky Mount. The house he and his wife Minnie commissioned is inspired from the classical architecture of the Colonial Period, featuring a central gable topped with demilune window. A generous front porch is supported by Tuscan fluted columns and is topped by a balustrade. To each side the symmetrical facade are tripartite windows, brick corner pilasters, and dormer windows. The formal architecture of the house was to evoke tradition and substance, both important qualities during the Edwardian era of history.
What to watch for: The house has witness severe deteriorated in the past 15 years, as its owner has not been able to make investments needed to maintain the historic residence. As part of the Fisher Park National Register Historic Districts, the property could be restored utilizing National Register historic preservation tax credits. Otherwise, the property will be considered for demolition due to minimum housing code violations
Price House, also known as Hillside, stands at 301 Fisher Park Circle in Greensboro’s Fisher Park neighborhood. It was constructed in 1929 by founder and president of Jefferson Life Insurance Company Julian Price, the sprawling residence is an example of Period Revival architecture by architect Charles C Hartmann. The house was designed to evoke a rambling English Tudor home, complete with rough stucco, herringbone brick, and false-half-timbered walls, massive brick chimneys with articulated flues and clay pots, and an asymmetrical massing that features gables, wall dormers, and a stair tower.
What to watch for: Although the property was listed as part of the Fisher Park National Register Historic District in 1991 and was locally designated as a Landmark Property in 1983. It is currently under threat of foreclosure by its mortgage-holder Bank of America, which could sell the property to a developer for new construction. It is hoped that the property might be recognized by the state as having statewide significance, rendering it one of the most protected sites in the county. With designation, a new owner could complete a major restoration for use as a private residence.
War Memorial Stadium World War Memorial Stadium on Yanceyville Street was dedicated in 1926 as the first major monument in North Carolina dedicated to those who made the supreme sacrifice in World War I, and it has remained central to the civic and athletic life of the city to the present. In the words of Mayor Edwin Jeffress, “The soldier boys … wanted something that would be useful; that would help develop mind and body; that would in this way be a perpetual memorial to those who have passed.” The stadium lost its Minor League anchor in 2004, but it remains a popular venue for youth- and college-level baseball. Its structural integrity is questioned by some, and studies made into the soundness of the poured concrete structure are contradictory.
What to watch for: War Memorial Stadium continues to suffer from long deferred maintenance that has resulted in crumbling masonry, antiquated facilities, and an increasing number of safety issues. A comprehensive refurbishment is necessary to address these issues, and perhaps repurpose the facility for its next 100 years of service. This could be funded using a combination of public and private resources to assure that this landmark remain preserved as a functional memorial to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the enjoyment of future generations.