It’s a sign of the times that the Haywood House went up for sale May 8, and the sellers accepted an offer four days later. Nineteenth-century mansions that need “a little updating and TLC” can linger for months before just the right buyer comes along. But these are still not ordinary times, and the Haywood House is no ordinary home.
Built in 1802, it’s a Classical Revival mansion with four monumental columns out front. It has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms (one with a fireplace in what must have originally been a bedroom) in 4,330 square feet (per county records; the listing shows 4,800). That divides out to a very modest $81 per square foot. The once-sprawling grounds have been reduced to a manageable 10 acres. The property is a few miles east of Mount Gilead in the Uwharrie National Forest. The address is 2989 Thickety Creek Road.
The Reynolds and Hanes families are as emblematic of Winston-Salem as Old Salem or Bethania. The Lewallens came along a bit later and never achieved the same profile, but they, too, built a business and made their brand the industry leader and a household name (in the Southeast, at least).
The Thad and Nell Lewallen House in Buena Vista sold last week for $980,615. It was designed by William Roy Wallace (more here), one of the state’s more prominent architects of the period. It’s a big (4,700 square feet), Georgian mansion with a slate roof and a view of the Forsyth Country Club golf course. Its rooms are elegant and spacious, as is the well-landscaped 1.28-acre lot.
Update: The MLS listing was withdrawn on March 28.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 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.”
The Lasater Mill House is a mansion that was originally an outbuilding for a bigger mansion. It was designed by Northrup & O’Brien for a niece of R.J. Reynolds, Nancy Margaret Lybrook Lasater (1877-1952), and her husband, Robert E. Lasater (1867-1954), an RJR executive. Nancy’s mother, Mary Josephine Reynolds Lybrook (1844-1888), was a sister of RJR; she was the first of 12 children, only seven of whom survived to adulthood.
The house is at the west end of Lasater Lake, where Blanket Creek runs down to the nearby Yadkin River. The exterior and the interior are spectacular. I’d love to know what Northrup and O’Brien would say about how the house has been updated. If those bathrooms wouldn’t blow their minds, nothing would.
As J. Spencer Love was building Burlington Mills into the largest textile company in the world, he moved to Greensboro and built an 11,000 square-foot house befitting his status as one of 20th century America’s more prominent ground-breaking, union-busting industrialists. The mansion sits at 710 Country Club Drive on 3.3 acres of prime Irving Park property, and it went on the market this week for $7.495 million.
“The Love House is a palatial Georgian Revival mansion inspired by eighteenth century Virginia houses,” the neighborhood’s National Register nomination says. “It features Flemish bond brickwork, a steep hipped roof with segmental-arched dormers and a modillioned cornice, a five-bay facade with a swan’s neck pedimented entrance, a string course between floors, and brick corner quoins. Large one and two-story wings project from either side of the main block. An expansive landscaped lawn fronts the house and is bordered by a molded brick wall.”
The Conant-Praigg House was sold in April, almost four years after being put up for sale and almost three years after the owners gave up and took it off the market. It was finally sold without being listed publicly again. There are at least a couple reasons why it was a particularly difficult sell. One was a quirk of history.
Even in the hottest sellers’ market in recent memory, the sellers took a $150,000 loss on the house, and that was after owning it for 13 years. They had bought it, sadly, just two weeks before the 2008 real-estate market crash (they paid $850,000 in September 2008). Home prices have recovered overall, but, all these years later, there are still an unfortunate few houses that have been left behind.
The April sale, though, was the second in a row in which the sellers took a significant loss. The 2008 price was $50,000 less than the price paid in 2006. Prices may have peaked before the crash, but there’s another issue at 603 Hillcrest Drive.
NRHP nomination: “Its irregular massing, variety of surface materials, and rich ornamentation create a sophisticated late Victorian house of the Queen Anne style. Located at the south comer of McNeill and Barrett streets only two blocks from the county courthouse, the J.C. Black House is set back from McNeill Street on an L-shaped, flat lot. The facade of the house is sheltered from the street by a row of trees composed of hollys, pines, oaks, and one large magnolia. Other trees and shrubs are scattered around the property, but in no formal pattern. A low stone wall dating from 1937 borders the yard on the front and northeast sides.”
“While the interior of the house has seen modest alterations through the years, the exterior remains largely intact with only a few minor changes. As a whole, the J.C. Black House retains a high degree of integrity in terms of location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.”
“J. C. Black (1850-1902), who had broad political and commercial commitments in Moore County, was one of the most prominent men of his day in Carthage. A lawyer by profession, he served for years as Moore County attorney. Black was a strong promoter of economic growth in Carthage. Not only was he the leading spirit in the building of the Carthage Railroad in the mid 1880s, serving as its first president, but he was also one of the organizers and first stockholders of the Bank of Carthage.”
“Having been built during the pinnacle of Black’s career, his house survives as the consummate physical expression of his productive life and, in particular, his significance in the areas of commerce and politics/government. During the decade between the ca. 1893 construction of the house and Black’s death in 1902, J. C. Black represented Moore and Randolph counties in the state senate, served as mayor of Carthage, and was president of the Bank of Carthage. No other property attesting to his local importance survives.”
“After Black’s death, the house remained in family ownership and occupancy for nearly a century.”
The Emil and Anna Shaffner House sold this week for $710,000, and it was a bargain. The price for the 4,200 square-foot mansion was just $168 per square foot. That’s a lot of money, but many relatively mundane homes in upscale neighborhoods sell for far more. The Shaffner House is an extraordinary gem. An elegant stone cottage with steep gables and a tile roof, it sits on two-thirds of a beautifully wooded acre in Buena Vista.