One of the happier developments among historic houses recently is that the Walter Thomas House in Leasburg has gone under contract. It’s a great restoration opportunity, and it’s been for sale for a year and a half. Leasburg is somewhat out of the way, 10 miles from Yanceyville or Roxboro.
Some of the work has been done — a restored staircase, new septic system, plumbing, electrical upgrades, new insulation and reinforced chimneys. The metal roof is less than 15 years old. Add in five chandeliers, seven fireplaces (one with a Thomas Day mantel — this is all according to the listing), the columns out front and the upstairs balcony, and you’ve really got something special.
Doors can be such interesting features. This is the front door of 245 N. Hawthorne Road in Winston-Salem. Very distinctive shape and construction (wide, too). Just the kind of front door a Tudor Revival should have. The whole house is gorgeous, as its $525,000 price suggests. It went on the market last week, and the owners accepted an offer four days later.
124 West End Boulevard is the smaller half of a two-house entry on the National Register of Historic Places. Winston-Salem’s H.D. Poindexter Houses date back to the 19th century and consist of two adjacent homes, the Poindexter House and the smaller Poindexter Cottage. The cottage was put up for sale last week at $299,900 and almost immediately went under contract.
The houses now stand side-by-side in the West End Historic District, but they started out a few blocks away in a neighborhood that was wiped out by the expansion of Winston-Salem business district in the mid-20th century. Their rescue was an early victory for preservation in the city. By the time the historic district was created, the Poindexter houses already had escaped into its friendly surroundings.
Update: The house sold for $801,000, above the asking price by $26,000, on September 25, 2020.
When Sloan and Geneva Gibson built their home in 1955, they were thinking modern all the way. The great room has bi-fold doors with motorized screens, opening the room to the outdoors. It was among the first homes in High Point with heat and air conditioning from an electric heat pump, NCModernist says.
The house merits a mention in The Architecture of High Point North Carolina for, among other things, its landscaping, designed as part of the house to provide privacy, and the concrete, tinted green so it wouldn’t stand out so much.
The Gibson House went on the market this week at $775,000. Even though it’s 65 years old, the listing describes it as “contemporary.” It started out modern, but it’s become timeless.
There are only four National Register properties for sale in the Piedmont right now (that I know of, at least, plus one under contract), but they represent a wide variety, particularly in size and price. There’s the small and unforgettable Villa Fortuna in Reidsville, just 1,500 square feet and $99,900 (needs some work). And then there’s Boxwood Lodge in Davie County, 9,300 square feet and $3.45 million (needs nothing but your $3.45 million).
Boxwood was built in 1934 and has been a B&B since 1995. The listing says a $5 million renovation was completed in 2007. The house is set on 51 mostly wooded acres near the Yadkin River, It has eight bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half-baths in 9,304 square feet (according to county records). That comes to a remarkable $371 per square foot. But, then, it’s a remarkable house.
Update: The house sold for $2 million on October 7, 2020.
The Maya Angelou House has had a $1 million-plus makeover since she died in 2014, so it’s quite different from what it was when she lived there. But it was her house for 20 years, so it definitely deserves its name. It’s for sale now at $2.395 million.
Maya Angelou became the third owner of the house in 1994. She had come to Winston-Salem in 1981 as the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest. After her death, the house was bought for $500,000 by Shelley and Daryl Bible. The current listing agent told Triad Business Journal that the couple “wanted to stay true to the essence of the home and its legacy, but it needed a lot of renovation.”
Update: The house sold for $70,000 on January 11, 2021.
There are a couple commonly used real-estate phrases that don’t make much sense if you read them literally. One is “hard to find” (as in, “hard to find brick ranch in 1950s neighborhood”). Do you want a home that’s hard to find? I suppose some people actually do, and if you’re one of them, there’s a house for sale in Montgomery County you should see. If you can find it.
Update: The house sold for $131,000 on June 26, 2020, $13,000 over the asking price. The owners accepted the offer May 30, two days after putting the house up for sale.
Caswell County has some of the grandest antebellum mansions in the state. The John Johnston House is something quite different and more rare. “Though members of the Johnston family were prominent in social and economic affairs in Caswell County from the eighteenth century onward, the significance of the house derives less from the specific historical contributions of its occupants than from its representation of a class of plantation residence that has rarely been preserved,” the home’s 1997 National Register nomination says.
Even with the shutdown of the economy in recent weeks, the market for historic homes in the Piedmont has been ticking along. Activity has been a bit slower than you would expect in the spring, but houses are still coming onto the market, offers are being made and accepted (sometimes very quickly) and sales are closing.
In Winston-Salem, one of the most remarkable houses sold in the past two months is 125 N. Westview Drive, the home of one of the city’s most significant families of artists — John Ehle, Rosemary Harris Ehle and Jennifer Ehle. The Buena Vista mansion was sold without being listed. The sale closed April 15 for $910,000, a modest $108 per square foot. A listing belatedly posted this week includes only the photo above (Google Street View isn’t any help).
Novelist John Ehle and actress Rosemary Harris Ehle bought the Spanish Revival home in 1969. They were apparently only the second owners of the 8,400 square-foot mansion (the deeds aren’t available online to prove it). It was designed by Charles Barton Keen and built in 1925. An intriguing house, it has a pink stucco exterior and red Ludowici-Celedon tile roof. It sits on two prime acres of Buena Vista.