Historic preservation is about community reinvestment, renewal, pride of place, and building our city’s tax base one property at a time. At PGI’s 2010 Annual Meeting, members took an opportunity to recognize those who have contributed to historic preservation by restoring properties over the past year. Attended by 135 people, the event held at Revolution Mill recognized four private homes, a downtown storefront, a university building, and an infill project.
Recipients of the preservation award have completed exemplary restorations that have adhered to the Secretary of Interiors Standards for Rehabilitation, and went beyond the basic requirements for restoring a building.
There are few Spanish Colonial Revival Style homes in Greensboro, but those that we do have – sport their trademark arched porches, stuccoed walls, and iron balconies that capture imagination and the heart. We bet this was the case for Jackie and Scott Tanseer who restored the Horace G. Alexander House in the College Park neighborhood.
The Tanseer’s completed a thorough restoration of this beautiful home, paying special attention to details that ranged from reconstruction of the foundation to the Spanish Tile roof that tops the house, and just about everything else in between. It took five years to get the job done, but today the Horace Alexander House shines just as brightly as it did when constructed during the roaring 20s.
The W. E. Blair family were the earliest known occupants of this handsome two-story brick Colonial Revival House located in the heart of the Irving park neighborhood. Blair was third vice-president of the North Carolina Trust Company, assistant secretary/treasurer of City Development Company, treasurer of Southern Real estate, and treasurer of the Irving Park Company. This spectacular 1925 Colonial maintained its Neoclassical entry with a balustraded roofline and unusual pedimented dormers when it was purchased by Margaret and Bill Benjamin. The couple saw beauty in the original integrity and design of the home, and completed a restoration that enhanced the home instead of changing it. Today, this Gate City landmark home is well preserved, and a focal point for the Irving Park neighborhood.
An exploration of the historic College Hill neighborhood would yield only stone house, and it is the Craftsman-style bungalow built by William D. Roach in 1914. Roach was the president of the Rowe and Roach wholesale granite company, so it is logical that he built his own home to showcase his business. The unusual house features battered stone porch supports, wide overhanging eaves with scrolled exposed rafters, and a fashionable low-pitched roofline. Once a series of apartments, this house was expertly restored by Pam Frye as a single family home and today the house features an updated kitchen and gorgeous hardwood floors.
Located in the heart of the Fisher Park neighborhood, this grand Adam-inspired Colonial Revival home was built for McIver Hunter, a purchasing Agent for the Proximity Manufacturing Company. The house was constructed around 1922, and features unusual and delicate details such as two Chippendale balustrades, keystones that embellish windows, an elliptical fanlight above the main entry, arched dormer window openings, and a demilune porch supported by attenuated columns. All of these details and more have been restored by current occupants Mary and Jeff Beach, who even retained the original slate roof! Thanks to their initiative, another spectacular Fisher Park home will stand the test of time for future generations to enjoy.
Dianne and Brent Ziegler have been called downtown pioneers, and few would argue with that description. The couple has made a splash in center city Greensboro by completing a LEED Platinum certified restoration in a 100 year old building along South Elm Street.
First occupied by the Hampton Piano Company in 1906, this classic downtown building with arched windows and a handsome cornice illustrates how historic preservation has merged with sustainable practices. As we heard from Carl Elefante at our 2008 annual meeting: the most sustainable building is the one already built!
UNCG’s Alumni House (image, top of page) was constructed during the Great Depression in 1937 through funding provided by the alumnae of the Women’s College and the Works Progress Administration. Architects Penrose Stout of New York and William Henley Deitrick of Raleigh styled the house after Homewood, the c. 1803 Baltimore, Maryland home of Charles Carroll. Interior designer Frank Jones of Richmond, Virginia oversaw the interior architecture of the reception and meeting center that functioned as a meeting place for university groups and alumni. Thanks to the UNCG Alumni Association, this treasure remains used today in much of its original form, thanks to a recently completed $5 million rehabilitation project. Worn finishes were carefully refurbished, and today the house features an appropriate Colonial Era theme. Thanks to the Alumni Association, One Design Center and David Gall Architects for their dedication to the restoration of the Alumni House.
This year, Preservation Greensboro is for the first time recognizing a new project that has been completed with special consideration for Greensboro’s historic context. For our first infill development award, the Holderness Presbyterian House on South Mendenhall Street in the heart of the College Hill neighborhood is recognized for its special attention to the context of its neighborhood.
The house was tailored for College Hill by featuring a Queen Anne inspired form, a broad front porch, and attention to details such as a tongue and groove porch floor and a shingled gable. As more and more buildings are constructed in and around our historic neighborhoods, we can only hope that as much consideration goes into future projects as that went into the Holderness House. Thanks to Presbyterian Campus Ministries for their hard work and dedication to this project.
Do you know of a project in Greensboro that might be recognized by Preservation Greensboro? If you do, please let us know by email, and provide the address, an image, and a brief description of the scope of work.