This historic industrial property was constructed for the milling enterprise North & Watson, Company, later named Greensboro Roller Mills. The earliest component of the complex is three stories tall, constructed of timber and covered in wood clapboards in 1893. Subsequent phases added in 1907 and 1912 were of brick construction and increasingly elaborate in design. The 1912 phase is the most elaborate, featuring segmental arched windows, brick corbels, and a handsome stepped parapet gable.
The history of the mill is associated with the Watson family, who introduced the roller mill process to Greensboro. The mill produced a variety of flour, cornmeal and feeds and operated under the same family management for more than four generations.
The complex was abandoned in 1972, leaving its future in doubt until developers proposed converting the buildings to residential use in 1984. Architects Glave Newman Anderson of Richmond, VA preserved charming features and materials including exposed brick walls and structural timbers. They created twenty-eight unique living units that were instantly successful. Wafco Mill is touchstone to the industrial and commercial development of Greensboro as a well-preserved example of late nineteenth and early twentieth century industrial construction development. Its collection of milling machinery remained largely intact at the time of redevelopment, providing a dynamic context for some of Greensboro’s most interesting residences.
The complex, located at 801 McGee Street – will be represented by two very different units. Unit 8 enjoys access to an outdoor deck and sports exposed brick walls and an interesting two-level living space that is evocative of urban lofts. Unit 10 is located on the second floor and enjoys a single-level floor plan with exceptionally high ceilings and two bedrooms. The mill was designated a Guilford County Landmark Property in 1995.
On May 18-19, Preservation Greensboro’s Third Annual Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens will feature ten vintage homes of the College Hill neighborhood. Plan to spend the weekend touring stunning homes of the nineteenth century that highlight interesting architecture, design ideas, and local history! Advanced tickets will be available for purchase after April 20th. Group tickets of ten or more are available for $15 per ticket!