The City of Gibsonville has issued a demolition permit for the Joseph Bason Whitsett House, an 1883 mansion built by the patriarch of the nearby town that bears the family’s name. The Whitsett House is on the north side of U.S. 70 just east of N.C. 61; the address is 7241 Burlington Road. It’s easily recognizable by the cellar built into a hill at the front of the property.
The property was bought in January by Ardmore Gibsonville LLC, a unit of Ardmore Residential of Greensboro. The Business Journal (paywall) reports the company plans to build 335 apartments on the site. A Gibsonville city official confirmed today that a demolition permit has been issued for the house.
The Long-Robbins House at 626 Knollwood Street in Winston-Salem is an almost-perfect-looking little 1940 cottage. Get rid of that aluminum screen door, and the exterior is about as charming as any you’ll find.
Among listings in the Ardmore Historic District these days, the $250,000 price is a real attention-getter. It reflects the relatively small size, 1,426 square feet. That comes out to $175 per square foot, which puts it in line with other bungalows and cottages for sale in the neighborhood.
From Preservation North Carolina, here’s the King House, an “early and important” property that’s been on their list for a while. It’s a great opportunity to give a historic structure a total restoration. Here’s how PNC describes it:
“Early log house with large stone chimneys, exposed beaded ceiling joists, wide wall planks, hand-forged door hardware, and a rear wing, once an early separate kitchen. All situated on a scenic ridge between Wentworth and Reidsville.
The Ethel and Carson Cox House in Thomasville is a real standout among the multitude of historic bungalows and cottages for sale this spring. Its Tudor style and turret with a witch’s hat roof make it a house you don’t forget, a quality long out of fashion.
The address is 221 Spring Street in the Colonial Drive School Historic District. The house has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 2,290 square feet. That comes to a modest (by today’s standards) $113 per square foot. The lot is a spacious 0.29 acre.
It’s remarkable that all three of the Whitsett family’s surviving homes have come up for sale in recent months. The 1883 Joseph Bason Whitsett House was sold in January. The Francis Marion Smith House, built in 1898, sold in February. Holly Gate remains for sale. Joseph and Mary Foust Whitsett and their children were arguably the most prominent family of their era in the greater Gibsonville-Whisett area, and their homes comprise a fitting memorial.
Holly Gate, 721 N.C. Highway 61 in Whitsett, was the home of Joseph and Mary’s daughter Effie and her husband, J.H. Joyner, both educators at the Whitsett Institute (founded by Effie’s brother William Thornton Whitsett). The “impressive, two-story, Queen Anne style, frame house, built around 1910, [is] one of the best surviving in the county,” according to An Inventory of Historic Architecture: High Point, Jamestown, Gibsonville, Guilford County (1979).
North Carolina’s brilliant mid-century Modernist houses are frequently endangered and often torn down, largely because buyers, sellers and realtors often do not realize the importance of how to identify, preserve and protect these livable works of art. You can’t save something if you don’t know where it is and why it is important.
This tour supports NCModernist, an award-winning nonprofit digital archive for owners, students, journalists, researchers, real estate agents, historians, preservationists, architects and architecture fans to protect and preserve the state’s Modernist houses. With documentation on over 5,000 houses, NCModernist is an unrivalled resource for Modernist research and preservation.
One sure way for your name live on is to have a high school named for you. Today, there may not be many people who could tell you who George Grimsley was (or even what his first name was), but most everyone in the area knows his name is on Greensboro’s oldest high school. Few people associated with the city have had a greater impact on Greensboro and North Carolina than he did as an innovative school superintendent, promoter of public libraries and an early president of Jefferson-Standard Life Insurance.
Grimsley’s suitably impressive house is now on the market for $1.295 million. One of the most prominent homes in the Fisher Park Historic District, it has 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. It’s a spacious 3,568 square feet, sitting on just over a half-acre. The price works out to $363 per square foot, which is in the range of what the most high-end historic homes are going for in elite neighborhoods.
Update: The house sold for $365,000 on March 1, 2023.
If you’re looking for a historic home in a small Triad town, the Wade-Arscott House may be the best buy available today. The classic Queen Anne is just $369,000, a bargain at $106/square foot. That is, of course, if the house is as sound and well-functioning as it looks. And if you’re seeking, or at least can live with, the relative remoteness of Troy.
But if that all checks out, 214 N. Main Street is a lively, rambling piece of 19th century history. It’s a B&B today (well reviewed), but a fairly small one (3,474 square feet), manageable for a family home. The house has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The lot is a quarter-acre. It’s one of just five structures in the National Register’s tiny Troy Residential Historic District.
Architecturally, there’s a lot going on here. “A notable example of Queen Anne architecture in Troy is the two-and-a-half-story Wade-Arscott House, a rambling frame residence that is enlivened by widely spaced windows, a one-story wraparound porch supported by square posts and enclosed by plain balustrades, a cylindrical, weatherboarded and shingled tower capped by a helmet roof at the southwest corner of the structure, and a peaked gable dormer incorporating a recessed balcony,” the district’s nomination states.
Update: By March 1, three of these houses were under contract.
The best place in the Triad to find an affordable starter or smaller home these days may be in the area’s smaller towns (actually, this may always be true). Here are five move-in ready bungalows and cottages priced under $200,000 and two more priced just a bit more.
The houses are spread out from Mount Airy to Ramseur. All but one were listed since January 1. They were built between 1900 and 1948. One is a stone cottage, one has remarkable brickwork. One is now an Airbnb short-term rental, none are restoration projects. Several have pretty substantial lots, up to just under an acre.
Update: Eight of the houses had sold by March 30, 2023. The other owner had accepted three offers but all had fallen through by the end of March. Two of the houses were put on sale again at higher prices within three weeks of their closings.
Is something going on? The real estate market slowed to a crawl late last year, but it looks like spring might be quite a bit busier. Nine historic homes listed since January 30 are already under contract. The properties include a stately $950,000 home in Winston-Salem’s Buena Vista neighborhood and a $50,000 restoration project in Thomasville, a 1918 bungalow in Greensboro’s Fisher Park Historic District and a 1972 Mid-Century Modern home at the Bermuda Run Country Club.
Twenty-two homes have been added to the site in the last 10 days, so it’s not like everything out there is being grabbed up in just a few days. But the pace does seem to be picking up, right in the middle of winter. Here, in no particular order, are the nine new listings suddenly spoken for: