The Annie and Van. B. Nicholson Residence, located at 415 Woodlawn Avenue in Westerwood, is an excellent example of Colonial Revival Architecture.
One of the earlier homes on the tour, the Nicholson House was likely constructed in 1923, the first year the address is listed in the City Directory. Annie and Van Alston Ballard Nicholson were the first occupants of the home. Annie Hines Nicholson was born in Alamance County in 1888. Van was also born in 1888, a native of Warren County. The pair was married in 1917, and had two children: Joe and Elizabeth. Van held a position as a bookkeeper, working at the Greensboro Daily News at the time the family lived on Woodlawn Avenue. They only resided at 415 Woodlawn for five years before moving to a new home in Irving Park where they lived briefly before moving to Lakeland, Florida.
The Nicholson House is a classic American Colonial Revival-style house, with a symmetrical façade of double six-over-one windows, and a front door flanked by sidelights that is sheltered by a gabled entry porch. In this example, Colonial details are mingled with Craftsmen features, as seen with the delightful scrolled rafter tails along the eaves, and the whimsical eyebrow vents in the roofline! The interior is classic Westerwood – a central entry hall with stairs, a deep Living Room to one side, and a Dining Room on the opposite side.
In 1928, the 2,940 square foot house was purchased by Eleanor Shults for $7,500. Shults was born in Johnstown, New York, in 1891 and came to Greensboro around 1923 where she seemed to have lived a simple life working as an office manager for W. W. Dick Plumbing and Heating contractors and later serving as a Red Cross worker. Like most residents of Westerwood, she rented a room for extra income. In 1953, the house was purchased from the Shults estate by Esther J Teague. Teague moved to Westerwood from College Hill and was employed as an assistant in the office of Dr. Fortune. The home was acquired in 1982 by Robyn and Chris Musselwhite. They began a careful restoration of the home, as it had not been well maintained, including the refinishing of floors, the banisters and fireplace, and the enclosure of the screen porch. Other major alterations included adding space to the kitchen, a fourth bedroom at the top of the stairs, and a new open-plan Family Room. The backyard gardens offer welcome shade on a busy tour!
The 2014 Tour of Historic Homes and Gardens will feature a total of eight vintage homes in the Westerwood neighborhood. The tour will also include the “Village Fayre”, an event that will include food trucks and arts and crafts venues on Saturday, May 17th. Live music will include Larry G. Davis – Acoustic Jazz, Westerwood String Band – Folk, and Joel Landau – Beatles Sing-A-Long.
Tickets are available online through the link below, or at The Extra Ingredient (Friendly Center) and Brown and Gardiner (N. Elm Street). Stay tuned to our website, this blog and our Facebook page for additional tour information!