House With A Happy Room
Established in 1913
Alexander Currie Holt (1874-1950) was born in Alamance County. He was born into the influential Holt family, among whose members included Edwin Michael Holt, the father of textiles in Alamance County, and Thomas Michael Holt, the 47th Governor of North Carolina.
In October 1911, Alexander married Grace Clary (1883-1956) in Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. The couple honeymooned in Philadelphia and New York before returning to Greensboro. In May 1912 the couple purchased a large lot from the Summit Avenue Building Company on which they would build their house. The couple lived on South Greene Street as their new residence was completed on Cypress Street in 1913. The groom was a native of Burlington and served as a bookkeeper for Proximity Mills. In time, Holt was promoted to Secretary-Treasurer of the Cone’s Proximity Mills. In 1912, he was a founder of the White Oak Bank, a mill community-oriented bank with a branch on Summit Avenue. The couple had two sons and a daughter and maintained ownership of the family residence until 1941 when they moved to Woodland Drive in Irving Park.
The two-story frame house blends an asymmetrical Queen Anne form, including a forward-facing gable and a wrap-around porch with Colonial Revival details such as a demilune window in the gable, a segmental-arched entry flanked by sidelights and topped with a fanlight, and Ionic columns supporting the front porch. Windows featuring a diamond motif enliven the visual appeal of the façade.
The interior of their home was commodious and advanced for its time. The house has three stairwells, a walk-in cedar closet, a butler’s pantry, and five fireplaces.
Many people associate the house with the Children’s Home Society, owner of the property from 1944 until 1959. The Society, founded in 1902, worked to pair children of all ages with adoptive parents. Many still remember their associations with the house in their formative years. It is thought that as many as 5,000 children awaited adoption, where prospective parents met children upstairs in what the society called “The Happy Room.”
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