Three remarkable houses on three different Main Streets came up for sale last week. They’re all worth looking at. The first: The Barefoot-Tate House, 507 N. Main Street in Graham. What’s particularly wonderful about this one is that it’s a kit house manufactured by the Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan, and shipped to Graham to be assembled on site. (They also were referred to as “knock-down” houses; Aladdin used the term “Readi-Cut”).
“Manufactured housing” meant something different 100 years ago compared to today. Aladdin houses were affordable but substantial structures, made to last and designed for a variety of neighborhoods. Aladdin was the first mail-order home company, established in 1906. Its competitors eventually included Sears, Montgomery Ward and, briefly after World War II, the late, lamented Lustron.
The Barefoot-Tate House is the Aladdin “Colonial” model. The original price was about $1,895; the 2021 price is $285,000. It has 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms in 2,915 square feet, just $98 per square foot. The lot is 0.67 acre. Pictures with the listing indicate that it looks to be in great condition. It’s in Graham’s North Main Street Historic District on the National Register.
If you don’t recognize the name, various members of the family also went by Hoenes, Höhns, Haenes, Haines and Haynes. Also Hanes, which is how it’s pronounced. Eventually, this particular branch of the family started spelling it that way, and that’s how the world knows them today. Philip Hoehns, a second-generation Moravian American, was the first of the family to move to North Carolina, bringing along his parents and siblings from Pennsylvania in 1774. A few years earlier, he had bought land in Wachovia, the large Moravian settlement that contained most of what is now Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. He ultimately accumulated 1,800 acres in the area.
In 1778, Philip (1752-1820) married Johanna Salome Frey (1760-1845). “Settling on land Philip had purchased, tradition claims they first lived in a hickory-pole hut, followed by a log house,” the home’s National Register nomination states. “In the winter of 1797-1798, they began construction of their last house, a commodious and sophisticated two-story, four-bay-wide, double-pile, Flemish-bond brick dwelling.”
Philip became a prosperous farmer and distiller, and after his death it was said that “his industry and economy were accompanied by the blessing of God in an evident manner.” The blessing is still evident, as that commodious and sophisticated house of his has come up for sale at $1.695 million.
Mebane’s future has arrived. In recent years, the town has become a bedroom community, nicely situated on I-40/I-85 between the Triad and the Triangle. With the current momentum for telework, the town may be better positioned than ever. If you have to commute only once or twice a week, or less, to Chapel Hill, Durham or Greensboro, why not live in Mebane?
The town’s home prices suggest that many people feel that way. Two current examples are a couple of 1920’s bungalows that have come up for sale recently. Both are immaculate, and both occupy relatively large in-town lots. 304 S. 5th Street is a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom home, 2,363 square feet. The price is $430,000, $182 per square foot. A few blocks away, 100 N. 6th Street is a 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home, a bit bigger at 2,633 square feet, and a bit more expensive at $498,000, $189 per square foot.
The town of Whitsett was named for the Whitsett Institute, a school for boys founded by the son of early settler Joseph Whisett. The family homestead has stood in the small eastern Guilford County town since 1883, but it may need some luck to remain standing much longer. The house and its surrounding 11 acres are for sale at $1.3 million. A hopeful sign: The owners have listed it as a residential property, even though it has been used as a financial firm’s office for many years. A less hopeful sign: They’ve also listed it as a commercial property, “11.3 Acres of Improved Commercial Land for Sale”:
“Prime development opportunity along the I-40/I-85 corridor in the fast-growing E. Guilford and W. Alamance market,” the listing reads. “Two properties consist of an office building on 11 acres and a vacant tract of 67 acres. Highest and best use is mixed use residential consisting of apartments, townhomes and SF lots.”
And, oh, by the way, “Beautiful Victorian House built in the 1880s is currently used as office.”
212 Florence Street is a little worse for wear after more than 100 years. Still, its Craftsman features are intact, and now it has a chance for a new lease on life. The Preservation Greensboro Development Fund is seeking a buyer to restore the house to its original use as a single-family residence. It was divided into three apartments decades ago.
It’s a great opportunity for anyone who would love to restore a historic home. And as a contributing structure in the National Register Fisher Park Historic District, it’s eligible for historic-rehabilitation tax credits. The house will be sold subject to a rehabilitation agreement and a preservation easement to ensure the structure and its distinctive features are returned to good condition and converted back to a single-family residence.
201 County Club Drive was a relatively late addition to Greensboro’s most affluent neighborhood. The Colonial Revival was built around 1940, and today it retains the stately elegance of its era, which was rapidly drawing to a close. The house was listed for sale this week at $863,000.
The Morgan House has 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms, in 3,058 square feet, which comes out to an impressive $282 per square foot. The lot is 0.46 acre. The interior looks impeccable; the landscaping is gorgeous as well. The house is a fine example of Irving Park at its opulent best, but it isn’t quite as remarkable as its first owner.
Roy Morgan may have had one of the most distinguished careers of anyone in Greensboro in the mid-20th century, but he may be one of the least known among the city’s leading figures of the time. Aside from serving on the City Council, most of his work was far from Greensboro.
Update, September 21, 2021: The house will be demolished. The City Council rubber-stamped the rezoning. For those who follow such things, council member Tammi Thurm was the only one who stepped out of line and voted against it.
The Kimrey-Haworth House was described as “endangered” when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places 30 years ago. But it’s never been as endangered as it is now. The Greensboro City Council will vote Tuesday evening on a rezoning proposal that would clear the way for the historic house to be demolished, along others on its block in the West Friendly Avenue-Muirs Chapel Road area, for a medical office building.
Medical office buildings can be built anywhere. There are some in the West Friendly-Muirs Chapel area already. But historic homes like the Kimrey-Haworth House, built around 1925, are increasingly rare. They can’t be replaced. The historic homes that would be demolished have greater value to the community than yet another office building. If the City Council says no to this developer, he can build his office building somewhere else and the community will get the same benefit from it. But if they say no to the Kimrey-Haworth House and its neighbors, those homes and their history be gone forever, and the value they bring to our community will be lost forever.
Lexington’s first residential neighborhoods were built out beginning in the the late 1800s, and they’re relatively intact today. Those neighborhoods — Courtenay, Hillcrest, Oak Crest, Park Place, Robbins Heights, Rosemary Park and Westover Heights — now constitute the Lexington Residential Historic District on the National Register. It’s a sprawling area running from Business 85 and Grimes School to the north down to West 9th Street to the south. It contains the much smaller Park Place local historic district.
The district contains a variety of interesting historic homes, and four of them are on the market now. They include a gorgeous Mediterranean Revival, a judge’s austere Colonial Revival, a Craftsman bungalow and a Craftsman Foursquare, all built between 1915 and 1926.