An 1889 Restoration Candidate in Kernersville: The First Thing It Needs Is a Good, Sturdy Fence

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The owner of 4981 George West Road in Kernersville apparently doesn’t think much of the house. The listing mainly is concerned with two other things. One is how nice the flat, 1-acre lot would be for a home site. The other is this goat:

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Listing: “If there is an Old Billy Goat Gruff in the yard, RUN! He is the neighbors and shouldn’t be there!”

The goat lives nearby (supposed to, anyway) and may not appreciate having visitors on the turf he’s staked out. Since the neighbors haven’t put up a fence, that may well be the first thing a buyer will want to do. It also appears that the goat may be eating the house, so someone needs to get on it right away.

“This is a bit over an acre of FLAT land with a few old trees that would make a gorgeous homesite!” the owner says, seeming to overlook that it’s already a home site. The house was built in 1889, and from the outside it appears to have a bit of charm.

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It has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 1,054 square feet. There are no pictures of the inside. The house has no heating or cooling systems. The asking price is $30,000 or an economical $29 per square foot. With some work, it could be a sweet little place, a home with more character than whatever a new owner is likely to come up with to replace it.

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The outbuilding seen above appears to be a neighbor’s, judging from the county GIS system photo below.

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The house has a Kernersville address, but it’s closer to Walkertown, just east of U.S. 158.

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The 1839 Davie County Jail: A National Register Property in Mocksville Is For Sale in an Online Auction

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Davie County’s original jail was built in Mocksville in 1839, three years after the county was established. Now it’s the centerpiece of an online auction of five properties all on the same downtown corner. Prospective buyers can bid on the properties separately or all of them together.

The jail is the centerpiece. It housed the county’s most armed and dangerous for 70 years and then became a residence. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 2001 the current owner bought it and converted it to office use.

A brief rundown of the deal:

Update: The online auction now is scheduled to run until Tuesday December 17. (click here for details and any changes). For comparison, the jail and other properties were listed for sale as a package in 2018 for $580,000; in 2015 it was listed for $620,000.

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As the video shows, there’s nothing left to identify the building as a jail except for the plaque. Still, it’s a substantial piece of local history. “The Davie County Jail is of considerable local significance, for its history parallels that of the county since its founding,” the National Register nomination states. “The sturdy, well maintained building with its handsome Flemish bond brickwork is an important Mocksville landmark.”

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The lot for the jail and guest house, as seen above, is a nicely wooded half acre. The jail’s address is 284 S. Main Street (online listing). It’s listed as having 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, 1,752 square feet.

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One odd detail: The kitchen appears to be upstairs.

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The guest house is being sold with the jail. It has about 858 square feet. The garden lot sits behind the guest house, well off the street.

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The entire package is 1.27 acres. The two additional houses are the “Yellow House” and the “Gray House,” 131 and 141 E. Lexington Road, respectively. The aerial view shows Lexington Road, U.S. 64, at the top and South Main Street, U.S. 158, at the right.

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131 Lexington has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 3,046 square feet. It was built in 1898.

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141 Lexington is a bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 1,272 square feet. It was built in 1933. Both houses have vinyl siding. These are the only pictures of the two houses available.

A 1955 Mid-Century Masterpiece in Greensboro, $1.099 Million

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Update: The listing was withdrawn December 5, 2019.

Mid-Century Modern never generated any great mass appeal among mainstream home buyers. It’s too out-there for the typical family. And you won’t find a Mid-Century home much further out there than 3905 Henderson Road in Greensboro’s remarkable Hamilton Lakes neighborhood. The house is for sale at $1.099 million. The price has been reduced a bit since it was listed (originally $1.195 million), but it’s still $384 per square foot, a rather breath-taking price for any type of house in Greensboro.

3905 henderson road front.jpgPhoto courtesy of Preservation Greensboro

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The 1955 home has everything you think of with Mid-Century design — lots of glass that brings the indoors and outdoors together, modern materials, sleek lines, flat roofs and an ultra-clean, uncluttered look. More than 60 years after it was built, it still looks as “modern” as the day it was finished. The house has 4 bedrooms and three bathrooms, 2,886 square feet on a lot of 0.4 acre.

Designed by Thomas Hayes for his college roommate, it’s known as the Will and Diane Howard House (Hayes and Howard went to N.C. State). “Their home featured a flat roofline and solid wood and brick exterior walls that alternated with voids of glass,” Benjamin Briggs of Preservation Greensboro wrote. “Interior spaces were austere, featuring areas of terrazzo and carpet coupled with masonry and textured walls. Unusual details include clerestory windows located between ceiling joists and a copper hood above the fireplace. True to the style, public spaces are logically separated from private as the form of the house is dictated by the function of spaces. Form follows function.”

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The Howards sold the house in 1967. Eventually, it fell on hard times, so hard it was included on the N.C. Modernist endangered list in 2013. Then, it was bought and restored by the current owners, Liz and Mike Felsen. The house “has been completely restored to its former glory w/open floor plan, sleek lines, walls of glass, original terrazzo floors, 6 outdoor terraces & 2-story Casita. Completely rebuilt by Gary Jobe [a prominent Greensboro builder], preserving almost everything in the original 1955 plan,” the listing says.

The reconstruction addressed “long-term challenges related to materials, drainage, and sustainability,” Briggs wrote. “It retains its original H-shaped plan and honors the scope, scale and materials of the initial design.”

The casita was a later addition, beautifully complementing the original. It could serve as a mother-in-law suite, if you have a really sophisticated mother-in-law.

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Mid-Century Modern continues to have an enthusiastic following. We’ve tracked 18 sales of Mid-Century homes in the Piedmont this year, and six sold at or above their asking prices. The Howard house is the most spectacular of the recently available Mid-Century homes in the area. There are few chances to buy such a remarkable example of the style.

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An 1898 Train Depot Goes Up for Auction in Madison This Saturday

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Update: The depot didn’t sell at the auction. It remains for sale.

The important thing to remember about the Stokesdale railroad depot is that it isn’t in Stokesdale any more. It’s in Madison. And on Saturday at 11 a.m. it will be auctioned.

The depot was bought in 1975 and moved to its present location just south of Madison at 3766 U.S. 220. Sam Heffinger spent five years turning it into a home for him and his wife, India. Sam was a carpenter, farmer and clock smith (and a Marine during World War II). Here’s how it turned out.

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The chain reportedly was found in the legendary wreck of the old 97 (“They gave him his orders at Monroe, Virginia, / Saying, ‘Steve, you’re way behind time / This is not 38, this is old 97 / You must put her into Spencer on time‘”).

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Sam was creative in his renovation. The front door and frame, along with other interior woodwork, came from a pre-Civil War home in Madison. The sliding freight doors were replaced by windows from a church. He salvaged doors from the Monticello Hotel in Charlottesville (they have “MH” on the doorknobs). The bronze railing and gate came from a bank in Charlotte that closed during the Depression. An elevator was brought in from a building in Madison.

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The house has 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms and 1,612 square feet. The lot is 1.93 acres. The wooden floors are original, as is the German paneling in what had been the office and waiting rooms. Sam added a basement and a garage. The basement holds the living room, a fireplace, the kitchen and a bathroom.It has a tin ceiling.

The property was previously listed for sale at $199,900 before the owner decided to hold an auction. The last previous sale was for $170,000 in May 2003.

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The Stokesdale depot before it was moved

 

Restoration Project of the Week: Holt’s Chapel, Haw River, $75,000

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One of Haw River’s first churches is for sale for $75,000. Holt’s Chapel was built in 1896 as the first and only home of Haw River’s Methodist Episcopal church. By 1942, the town’s two Methodist churches merged, following the national merger of their denominations. The chapel was used for Sunday school, and what had been the Methodist Protestant church on the hill behind the chapel was used for worship services.

More recently, the building was to be the home of an antiques and auction business, but it’s not clear whether the shop ever opened there.

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The address is 401 W. Main Street. Inside, there’s what looks to be some relatively new framing, but otherwise it’s 3,000 square feet of all but blank canvas. Great windows, high ceilings, open floor plan — it could be a very interesting home. With some work. “Needs electric/heat/cooling/connection to water & sewer,” the listing says. “Public water/sewer as well as electric and gas available.”

The Methodist church is still up the hill behind the chapel. A cemetery lies between them. The chapel is across Main Street from some railroad tracks. In the aerial view below it has a blue square.

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Zillow listing

Adamsleigh: Demolition Appears Likely for A Great North Carolina Mansion ‘Not Fit for Today’s Lifestyle’

Photo from wunderground.com

Update: The philistines have torn it down.

Residents of Sedgefield report seeing crews from a demolition company at work in Adamsleigh, the renowned 30,000 square foot mansion in the golf course community. An article this week in the News & Record indicates that time may have run out for the fabulous house. Built in 1930, it stands with Graylyn in Winston-Salem and Hillside in Greensboro as one of the Piedmont’s grandest mansions. But its new owner wants to build a house, and Adamsleigh is in his way.

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Jason Harris: “It’s not fit for today’s lifestyle.”

The new owner is Jason Harris, a member of the family that owns FurnitureLand South. The News & Record and others have tried to reach him to find out his plans, but he hasn’t been returning calls lately. It’s easy to see why.  The home’s 13-acre lot would seem to provide plenty of room for a new house without tearing down a landmark. Adamsleigh is an irreplaceable piece of history for Sedgefield, for Greensboro and for the state. People who are doing great things usually want to talk about them.

Adamsleigh was built by High Point textile executive John Hampton Adams, one of the founders of Adams-Millis. It had been owned by his descendants since he died in 1935. Harris bought the property for $2.4 million in November 2018. The asking price was $3.895 million. It had been on the market for years.

“It’s not a home that I would want to live in,” Harris is quoted as saying in the News & Record. “It’s not fit for today’s lifestyle.”

Harris has a couple arguments for reducing the historic home to rubble, documented from earlier conversations. One is, basically, that the house was for sale for years and no one bought it so why not tear it down? Also, renovating it would be a monumental and expensive undertaking. It has no air conditioning, there’s asbestos in it, and it’s 30,000 square feet. And, of course, there’s “today’s lifestyle.” Such challenges have been overcome in the restoration of many historic homes, but almost anything can seem impossible to a man who doesn’t want to do it.

map showing lots in Sedgefield, with Adamsleigh on an unusually large one
Click for a larger image

All of this begs the question of why Harris bought Adamsleigh. His brother lives next door, but I wonder if it has more to do with the small fortune Harris could gain from redeveloping 13 acres in the heart of Sedgefield. Adamsleigh has the Sedgefield golf course behind it and across the street. It’s one of the oldest and most prestigious golf course communities in the state.

The bigger the houses are and the more space there is between them, the less there is of a feeling of community. The more people lecture about “private property rights,” the less you hear about responsibility. The more money talks, the poorer the community is, even one as rich as Sedgefield.

Video by Jonathan Corbett

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Photo from Fox8
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Photo from TriadMLS

Click here for more Adamsleigh photos

The Adamsleigh Designer Showhouse

In 2013, the Junior League of Greensboro and Traditional Home magazine staged a designer showhouse. “Adamsleigh—a splendid Tudor-style manor house built in 1930 on grounds replete with tennis courts, a caretaker’s cottage, a pond, and two pools—set the style bar high; it challenged a mix of local, regional, and national designers to stretch, to dream big,” the magazine said. The event showed what people with vision and talented designers could do with the home. Traditional Home photos by John Bessler and Peter Rymwid.

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Sold: The 1900 Isaac Dunlap House in Bonlee, a $70,000 Bargain with Much Original Detail Intact

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There’s a lot of work to be done on the Isaac Dunlap House in Bonlee, but there’s also much in the house that couldn’t be replaced and is still intact. The house “has retained nearly every piece of trim, hardware, stunning multicolored glass sashes & original doors … deep baseboards, 5 panel doors, lacy brackets & elaborate sawn balistrades,” the listing said.

The house is in western Chatham County, 1875 Elmer Moore Road. It was bought for $70,000 last week. It has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 3,770 square feet (just $19 per square foot). The lot is 9 acres. It was built around 1900. It’s an amazing house with connections to an interesting time in the history of the area.

While the house is in poor condition, just look at what has survived all these years.

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Note that the roof and the foundation look relatively new. They’re the best investments previous owners could have made, and that’s much of the reason the house has held up so well for so long despite not getting much in the way of other maintenance.

The interior is just as promising.

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The kitchen looks to have received more updating than the rest of the house, which is sad for the kitchen but good for all the other rooms. It’s about what you might expect, though, and there appears to be plenty of room to work with.

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It’s a big old rambling place. Outside, there are a number of outbuildings and a pond.

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The house was built by Isaac Dunlap, timber entrepreneur and a co-founder of the Bonlee community. He also was a founder of the Bonlee and Western short-line railroad, which he and his brother built to haul their timber. Dunlap’s timber salesmen rode around the country free through a customary reciprocal agreement with other railroads. When the head of a much bigger line discovered the Bonlee and Western was just 10 miles long, he wanted to cancel the arrangement. Dunlap reportedly told him his line might be short, but it was just as wide as any other.