In the first half of the 20th century, James W. Hopper was the man to see about designing just about any kind of building in Leaksville, Spray or Draper. In 1923, he designed his own Tudor Revival home at 817 Washington Street in Leaksville. It’s been for sale for a long time (on and off for eight years) at a conspicuously low price, now $245,000 ($62/square foot). It’s now under contract.
There are some visible reasons for that price. The listing’s photos don’t make the house look like an all-out restoration project, but it could use quite a bit of updating (to use the language of the internet, your jaw will not drop when you see the kitchen and bathrooms). It’s right on the edge of the neighborhood, facing a busy thoroughfare. The air conditioning is unusual.
It’s an outstanding house, though, “the best example of the Tudor Revival style“ in the fine Central Leaksville Historic District, the district’s National Register nomination says.
Mansions can be tricky to sell. How many people need a 9,000 square-foot house? Six bedrooms? Five and a half bathrooms? Belmont, the Robert Payne Richardson Jr. House, is as grand a mansion as you’ll find, and it took more than six years to sell it (the sale closed in May).
The price was $950,000, just $106 per square foot. It was listed originally for $1.495 million more than six years ago. The seller lived there and rented it out as a wedding and event venue, and that’s likely to be its use going forward. The buyer is a Delaware corporation that owns a wedding venue called the Bella Collina Mansion in Stokesdale (“Tuscany’s version of Cinderella’s Castle!!!”), so the Richardson house appears to have a sustainable future, always a big question for a grand estate like this.
“Because of both its historical associations and its architectural distinction, the William Lindsey House is a pivotal building in the Reidsville Historic District.”
— National Register nomination for the Reidsville Historic District
The Lindsey House is as impressive inside as it is from the street. And, being in one of the Triad’s smaller cities, the $434,900 price ($83 per square foot) is probably, say, a third of what it might be in Greensboro or Winston-Salem.
Interestingly, the towering columns out front weren’t an original feature. “Early in the 20th century, a new porch was constructed across this facade, in the Neo-Classical Revival style,” the NRHP nomination says. “It consists of a one-story, full-facade porch supported by corinthian columns which are repeated in monumental fashion in the central projecting two-story pedimented portico.” The original porch was apparently wide enough only to span the entrance.
719 S. Main Street in Reidsville is for sale for the first time in 84 years. Reflecting the often immense difference between home values in larger cities and smaller ones, its price of $227,000 ($77 per square foot) appears to be a bargain. Some cosmetic work is needed inside (the kitchen and bathrooms aren’t fabulous), but the house appears to be livable as it is. It has been owned by only two families in its 152 years, and it has some serious Reidsville history behind it.
When the glory days of Rockingham and Caswell counties passed, they didn’t leave much behind except some grand old houses. Rivermont in Eden is a relatively late example of the old mansions of Rockingham County (there are two others currently for sale and another under contract). Built in 1936, it’s move-in ready and all yours for $650,000.