The Grimsley-Fry House on Fisher Park Circle sports an esteemed history and serves as a touchstone to a talented French-born architect.
Constructed in 1907 for Cynthia and George Grimsley, this home sits on a rise overlooking Greensboro’s Fisher Park. George Adonijah Grimsley (1862-1935), a native of Greene County, is remembered for his service as superintendent of public schools in Greensboro and his advocacy of public libraries. George attended the Bingham School, and the University of Tennessee before taking an administrative position in Tarboro. In 1890 he secured a position with public schools in Greensboro, and married Cynthia Tull (1858-1947). In 1902 he began a new career in the insurance industry and in 1907 he helped organize Jefferson Standard Life Insurance. He served in the capacity of president from 1913 to 1919. The house was purchased by Fanny and Fielding Fry. Fry was the 30th mayor of Greensboro and founder of Guilford National Bank – later North Carolina National Bank.
French-born architect Richard Gambier designed this two-story frame house with a Mount Airy granite foundation, a broad porch of Ionic columns with engaged porte-cochere, and a hipped roofline pierced by hipped dormer windows and tall corbelled chimneys. The design blends Neoclassical and Colonial Revival architecture, including a main entry flanked by sidelights and a transom, a bay window, and Ionic corner pilasters. Interior features include classical and art nouveau mantels and quarter sawn oak trim. Fanciful stonework at the front of the property is attributed to stonemason Andrew Leopold Schlosser.
The Grimsley-Fry House is located at 408 Fisher Park Circle in Greensboro. It was recognized to the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing structure within the Fisher Park Historic District in 1992, and was designated a Guilford County Landmark in 1984.
Written by Benjamin Briggs
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