Update: The MLS listing was withdrawn on March 28.
The owners of Double Oaks, the Harden Thomas Martin House, are selling it as a turnkey business, including the furnishings and fixtures. But if you need 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms and a commercial kitchen just for yourself and your family, it would serve quite nicely as a $1.795 million single-family residence.
The house has been impeccably restored. The interior is as attention-grabbing as the exterior. Originally operated as a B&B from 1998-2007, the current owners bought and reopened it in 2016. They’ve restored the formerly closed third floor and added extensive landscaping, making it an active venue for weddings and other events.
The house is on the National Register. It was built in 1909 for Harden Thomas Martin (1857-1936) of Rockingham County. He operated community stores there before retiring and moving to Greensboro in 1909. He had a second career in the city as a real estate developer.
“The Harden Thomas Martin House embodies distinctive elements of the early Colonial Revival style, and is one of the very few fine examples of the style surviving in Greensboro,” the home’s National Register nomination says.
“Designed by Greensboro architect G. Will Armfield, the house features a bowed, two-story, Ionic portico and an exceptionally generous center hall with a grand split-run stair. The house’s interior trim – including a handsome first-floor portal and eight mantels – remains completely intact. …
“The dominant exterior feature of the Martin residence is the broad front porch with Tuscan columns and a turned balustrade which carries across the full facade and the forward bays of each side elevation. The centerpiece of the porch — and of the entire house — is the bowed, two-story portico supported by four fluted Ionic columns with large terra cotta capitals. The portico shelters a bowed, second story balcony with a turned balustrade.”
Along the street, the house has a retaining wall of Mount Airy granite, which matches the foundation. “An early photograph of the house does not show this wall, which was probably added during the 1920s when the grade of Mendenhall Street was lowered to meet the newly created Madison (now Friendly) Avenue to the south,” the nomination states.
The owners recently bought another National Register property, the Nu-Wray Inn in Burnsville, which they’re now restoring. Although a couple remarkable vehicles from their classic-car collection are seen in some of the photos, I wouldn’t expect them to be included with the furnishings and fixtures.
Architect G. Will Armfield
The Martin house is the only home known to have been designed by Armfield, one of Greensboro’s most remarkable architects of the period. He took up architecture in his fifties after a successful career as a dry-goods merchant. Any professional training he might have had is unrecorded. The late start didn’t stop him from having a varied and productive career.
“When North Carolina passed an architectural practice act and began the formal registration of architects, G. Will Armfield of Greensboro was granted certificate #1 on May 15, 1915,” the NCSU Architects and Builders directory says. “He was one of a large number of men who were certified based on having already been in practice prior to 1915. The Armfield Family Newsletter stated that his son Joseph joined him in architectural practice, and G. Will Armfield continued in that line of work as late as 1924.
“Armfield gained a number of substantial commissions, of which the best known is the large, classically inspired Alumni Hall (1914) at the Oak Ridge Institute in the village of Oak Ridge in Guilford County. He also undertook commercial and residential buildings in Greensboro. One of the few that have been identified as standing is the large, Southern Colonial-style residence Harden Thomas Martin House of 1909, built on Mendenhall Street in Greensboro as a retirement residence for Reidsville merchant Martin.”
Armfield’s blueprints for the house are now in the Special Collections Research Center at the NCSU Libraries.
- $1.795 million
- 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 6,700 square feet, 0.54 acre
- Price/square foot: $268
- Built in 1909
- Listed March 8, 2022
- Last sale: $625,000, June 2016
- Neighborhood: Westerwood
- Listing: “This is a turnkey business sale with all furnishings, fixtures and equipment included.”
- Note: County records shows the size of the house as 4,973 square feet, which may not reflect recent work that restored the third floor. They also show the date as 1910.