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«NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES Sunset Hills Historic District Greensboro, Guilford County, GF8233, Listed 1/14/2013 Nomination by Jennifer ...»

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Office of Archives and History

Department of Cultural Resources


Sunset Hills Historic District

Greensboro, Guilford County, GF8233, Listed 1/14/2013

Nomination by Jennifer Martin Mitchell

Photographs by Jennifer Martin Mitchell, March 2012

Corner of East Greenway Drive East and Rolling Road, looking east

Sunset Park

206-208 Waverly Way 1705 West Market Street NPS Form 10-900 OMB No. 10024-0018 (Oct. 1990) United States Department of the Interior National Park Service National Register of Historic Places Registration Form This form is for use in nominating or requesting determinations for individual properties and districts. See instructions in How to Complete the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (National Register Bulletin 16A). Complete each item by marking “x” in the appropriate box or by entering the information requested. If an item does not apply to the property being documented, enter “N/A” for “not applicable.” For functions, architectural classification, materials, and areas of significance, enter only categories and subcategories from the instructions. Place additional entries and narrative items on continuation sheets (NPS Form 10-900a). Use a typewriter, word processor, or computer, to complete all items.

1. Name of Property historic name Sunset Hills Historic District other names/site number

2. Location Bounded by W. Friendly Ave., N. and S. Elam Ave., W. Wright Ave., street & number n/a not for publication S. Tremont Dr., N. Aycock St., and Kensington Rd.

city or town Greensboro n/a vicinity state North Carolina code NC county Guilford code 081 zip code 27403

3. State/Federal Agency Certification As the designated authority under the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, I hereby certify that this nomination request for determination of eligibility meets the documentation standards for registering properties in the National Register of Historic Places and meets the procedural and professional requirements set for in 36 CFR Part 60.

In my opinion, the property meets does not meet the National Register criteria. I recommend that this property be considered significant nationally statewide locally. (See continuation sheet for additional comments.) Signature of certifying official/Titl

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In my opinion, the property meets does not meet the National Register criteria. ( See Continuation sheet for additional comments.)

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8. Statement of Significance Applicable National Register Criteria Areas of Significance (Mark “x” in one or more boxes for the criteria qualifying the property (Enter categories from instructions) for National Register listing.)

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9. Major Bibliographical References Bibliography (Cite the books, articles, and other sources used in preparing this form on one or more continuation sheets.)

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Verbal Boundary Description (Describe the boundaries of the property on a continuation sheet.) Boundary Justification (Explain why the boundaries were selected on a continuation sheet.)

11. Form Prepared By

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Continuation Sheets Maps A USGS map (7.5 or 15 minute series) indicating the property’s location A Sketch map for historic districts and properties having large acreage or numerous resources.

Photographs Representative black and white photographs of the property.

Additional items (Check with the SHPO or FPO for any additional items.) Property Owner (Complete this item at the request of SHPO or FPO.)

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Paperwork Reduction Act Statement: This information is being collected for applications to the National Register of Historic Places to nominate properties for listing or determine eligibility for listing, to list properties, and to amend existing listing. Response to this request is required to obtain a benefit in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) Estimated Burden Statement: Public reporting burden for this form is estimated to average 18.1 hours per response including time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining data, and completing and reviewing the form. Direct comments regarding this burden estimate or any aspect of this form to the Chief, Administrative Services Division, National Park Service, P. O. Box 37127, Washington, DC 20013-7127; and the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reductions Projects (1024-0018), Washington, DC 20303.

NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) Narrative Description The Sunset Hills Historic District contains approximately 280 acres of a residential area west of downtown Greensboro, the seat of Guilford County, North Carolina. Greensboro is situated in North Carolina’s Piedmont about eighty miles west-northwest of Raleigh, the state capital. The Sunset Hills Historic District encompasses most of the area platted as the Sunset Hills subdivision, which was developed by A. K. Moore Realty Company beginning in the mid-1920s. The company filed five separate plats with Guilford County in late 1926 and the street layout depicted on those documents remains intact. The district also includes relatively small portions of other subdivisions including Morehead Park, which was platted in 1906 and 1928; Shaw Estates, platted in 1925; College Park, section two, from 1926; and the Holden subdivision from 1931.

Sunset Hills lies just west of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, which was founded as a school for women in 1891 as the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial School. The school began admitting men and was renamed the University of North Carolina Greensboro in 1963. North Buffalo Creek is west of Sunset Hills and flows northeast from central Guilford County through the city of Greensboro to join South Buffalo Creek creating Buffalo Creek in northeast Guilford County. Lindley Park, a residential development begun in the 1910s, is southwest of Sunset Hills, while the College Park neighborhood is south of Sunset Hills. North of Sunset Hills is a residential area dating to the mid-1950s.

Although the neighborhood is a peaceful respite in an urban setting, modern commercial development lies in close proximity. Friendly Center, an outdoor retail mall developed in 1957 and expanded over NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) time, is northwest of Sunset Hills. A compact historic commercial area at the corner of Walker Avenue and South Elam Avenue borders the southwest corner of Sunset Hills.

The Sunset Hills Historic District is bounded on the north by West Friendly Avenue, on the south by Wright Avenue, on the west by North and South Elam Avenues, and on the east by North Aycock Street and Kensington Road. Several major roadways are located in close proximity or within Sunset Hills.

Wendover Avenue West, a freeway that serves as a loop around the city, follows the path of North Buffalo Creek and lies west of Sunset Hills. West Friendly Avenue, a major east-west urban thoroughfare forms the northern boundary of the Sunset Hills Historic District, while east-west-running West Market Street intersects the neighborhood. Within the neighborhood streets are generally laid out in a grid pattern, but there are some curvilinear streets as well.

Although dwellings are the predominant property type, four churches and a linear park that extends several blocks from north to south also occupy the Sunset Hills Historic District. The district contains 912 contributing buildings, 139 noncontributing buildings, 13 contributing structures, 14 noncontributing structures, and one contributing site. With just over 700 contributing principal buildings, only 45 principal buildings constructed during the period of significance are noncontributing due to alterations that significantly compromise their integrity. The number and quality of contributing resources, historic landscape features, and mature tree coverage imbue the neighborhood with a high degree of historic character.

The district’s topography is characterized by some level areas and rolling hills with the highest elevation in Sunset Hills at around 800 feet above sea level. A. K. Moore Realty Company, the developer of Sunset Hills, oversaw the planting of trees throughout the neighborhood in the 1920s and trees remain an important feature of Sunset Hills. Many streets feature mature trees growing in the right-of-way between the sidewalk and curb or within the yard just beyond the sidewalk. In addition, trees with expansive canopies dot the front lawns of most houses.

Sidewalks are common throughout Sunset Hills lining both sides of the district’s streets; the exception is Ridgeway Drive, which lacks sidewalks, and North Elam Avenue, where a sidewalk is only on the west side. Throughout the district, sections of sidewalk are stamped “J. H. Brinkley, Thomasville” and are likely the mark of a company owned by John H. Brinkley Jr. who owned a building contracting company; these sidewalks likely date to the late 1940s to mid-1950s. Many front yards feature stone or brick retaining walls creating a separation between public and private space. Dwellings are typically set back from the street or sidewalk. Smaller houses, like those along South Elam Avenue, display small front yards, while larger dwellings occupy substantial lots and are typically placed at or near the center of these parcels. Lot sizes vary throughout the district with the largest lots found along West Market Street, on both sides of Greenway Drive North, and on the northernmost block of Greenway Drive South.

NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) Smaller lots are found along North and South Elam Avenues, Camden Road, Wright Avenue, Sylvan Road, and South Tremont Drive. Naturally, where lots sizes are smaller houses are positioned closer together than in areas where parcels are larger.

Houses in the Sunset Hills Historic District represent a wide range of forms and styles typical of the late 1920s through the early 1960s. Houses are overwhelmingly brick veneered. Less common in the district are stone-veneered dwellings, framed houses with weatherboard exteriors, and cementitious and synthetic-sided houses. Reflecting the emerging role of the automobile during the period when Sunset Hills began its development, many properties include historic garages with most constructed of lapped wood siding, German siding, or, in a few cases, brick.

The oldest dwelling in Sunset Hills is the two-story, three-bay, frame dwelling at 2702 West Market Street. According to neighborhood residents, the house was built in 1895 on the south side of West Market Street, but was moved to its present site around 1932. It is a hip-roofed, synthetic-sided Colonial Revival-influenced dwelling with a front-gabled portico supported by square posts that shelters a blind fanlight surmounting a paneled wood door with sidelights.

The presence of the late-nineteenth-century dwelling on West Market Street is an anomaly for Sunset Hills is a neighborhood that developed primarily from the mid-1920s through the post-World War II era.

The district contains architectural styles and forms typical of suburban developments of this period.

The Colonial Revival reigns as the most common style in Sunset Hills and it is applied to houses in the most modest manner—a simple pilastered entry on a one-story, side-gabled house—to its grandest execution set forth in commodious, two-story, brick edifices with classical porticos, molded cornices, and tripartite entrances with semi-elliptical or semi-circular fanlights and divided-pane sidelights.

Rolling Road in the northern section of the district boasts several well-executed Colonial Revival-style houses including the Ida and Frank Siler House at 2107 Rolling Road. Built around 1928, the two-story, side-gabled, brick Colonial Revival house features a low-pitched arched portico with flared eaves and a tongue-and-groove vaulted ceiling. A semi-elliptical fanlight and divided-light sidelights lend the entry a degree of elegance. The Helen J. and Barnard B. Vinson House at 1909 Madison Avenue is a typical two-story, side-gabled, brick Colonial Revival house. Constructed around 1925, it displays a wellexecuted classical entry with a broken pediment with returns and stylized dentils supported by Tuscan columns. The dentil molding repeats along the cornice of the façade.

After 1930, Colonial Revival-style houses in Sunset Hills often became plainer with fewer details. The Lola and Jesse R. Holshouser House at 2103 Rolling Road dates to circa 1935 and is a stripped down, two-story, side-gabled, brick house with a front-gabled portico with plain, square wood posts. Soldier course lintels over the first floor façade windows are the only embellishment on this otherwise plain NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) house. The Edna and Pleas M. Sawyer House at 1808 Madison Avenue dates to ca. 1936 and is a twostory, side-gabled, weatherboard Colonial Revival-style house with scant detailing except for the triglyphs along the frieze of the Tuscan-columned, one-story portico. There are exceptions to the posttransformation of the Colonial Revival style. The Annie and William Donald House at 1803 Madison Avenue and the Sara and Neal Sheffield House at 1805 Madison Avenue, both built in the mids, are well-appointed, two-story, side-gabled, brick Colonial Revival-style edifices with highlydetailed classical entries. The Donald House features a swans neck pediment with dentils and a center finial. The Sheffield House exhibits a dentil cornice and a pedimented portico with dentils and Tuscan columns. Built around 1939, the Anne and Edward Benbow House at 103 South Tremont Drive is a twostory, brick Colonial Revival-style house with an intricately detailed, front-gabled portico with returns and fluted posts.

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