Tracing an Architecturally Brazen Greensboro, 1944-1975

In 1955, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce launched a program entitled “Keep Greensboro Ahead”, which was intended to ensure that Greensboro remained an industrial and manufacturing powerhouse in North Carolina. The city was second only to Charlotte in population at the time and suburbs were expanding north and west of the city, fueled by new…

Pickett House brought Mid-Century Modern Style to Fisher Park

At first blush, the Mid-Century Modern-style Pickett house stands in contrast to the Colonial and Neoclassical-style homes in the neighborhood, but look beyond the simple lines and low-pitched roof to see how the large windows and exposed woodwork make this home a part of the Fisher Park family. Mary Thelma and William Earle Pickett likely…

Rezoning Denied, But Fate of Commencement House in Question

City Council reversed the Zoning Commission’s approval to rezone property near the corner of North Elm and Cornwallis Drive to allow for condos, but questions linger over the future of the Commencement House, an historic property of modern design and historic significance. The rezoning request for the property would have cleared the way for two…

Revolutionary House Slated For Demolition

Recently, preservationists and neighbors close to the historic Commencement House at 2207 North Elm Street learned that a rezoning request had been filed for four properties along Elm Street and Cornwallis Drive. Real estate developer John Stratton anticipates requesting the property to be rezoned to CD-RS12 and removing all the homes on the properties, including…

Covering Up a Brutal Past

An architectural style called Brutalism? Just what were they thinking? Without a trained eye, Brutalist buildings are aptly named. Hard concrete walls, minimal windows, harsh lines and a scarcity of decoration are hallmarks of the style. Greensboro has several notable examples of the style, including the Governmental Plaza (image, upper right), arguably the best example of…

Acclaimed House Near Irving Park Threatened

In 1957, twenty three young women from Greensboro’s Woman’s College (today UNCG) oversaw the construction of a house at 2207 North Elm Street. In the process, the students learned about load-bearing construction, material qualities, and the challenges posed by new, state-of-the-art technology such as dishwashers, garbage disposals, and aluminum wiring. In the American South in…