«NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES Sunset Hills Historic District Greensboro, Guilford County, GF8233, Listed 1/14/2013 Nomination by Jennifer ...»
NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) Garage 2207 Wright Avenue ca. 1980 Noncontributing Building A one-story, front-gabled, synthetic-sided garage stands in the rear yard.
Frances and Homer White House 2208 Wright Avenue ca. 1928 Contributing Building The one-and-a-half-story, three-bay, side-gabled, brick Colonial Revival-inspired dwelling with a slate shingle roof includes a nearly full-width, flat-roofed porch supported by square wood posts with astragals and beveled caps. The porch shelters a paneled wood door. Windows are nine-over-one and are crowned by soldier-course lintels. A pair of front-gabled dormers with six-over-six windows rest on the front roof slope. A brick chimney occupies the east elevation, forward of the roof ridge. Gable ends are sheathed in synthetic siding. A gabled ell extends from the rear elevation. The Whites bought the parcel in December 1927 and likely constructed the house in 1928. The Whites owned the house until 1958.
Homer Sands worked for Sands and Company, which was a general merchandise business, according to the 1928 city directory.
Lillie and Albert Wilkinson House2209 Wright Avenueca. 1949Noncontributing Building
The one-story, three-bay, cross-gabled, brick dwelling has been altered with the addition of a new frontgabled porch with columns, a pergola, a Chippendale-inspired balustrade, vertical composite siding, and an applied truss. A façade brick chimney straddles the ridge of the front gable. Six-over-six windows are replacements and topped with soldier-course lintels. A gabled ell extends from the rear elevation. The 1947 city directory lists this house as “under construction.” Albert Wilkinson was the director of the news bureau for the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina.
Contributing Building The one-story, three-bay, side-gabled, brick Ranch house features a modern front gable over the entry.
The replacement six-over-six windows surmount paneled aprons. A gabled ell extends from the rear elevation. Mardis Bentley was a manufacturer’s agent, according to the 1960 city directory.
Lucy and Charles Swaringen House2211 Wright Avenueca. 1928Contributing Building
The one-and-a-half-story, three-bay, side-gabled, brick house includes an off-center, projecting front gable. Thick brick posts and a solid brick balustrade with concrete caps support the shed-roofed porch that shelters the replacement wood paneled door with an upper fanlight. A vinyl-sided dormer rests on the front roof slope. A brick chimney rises from the east elevation. A hip-roofed ell extends from the rear elevation. The Swaringens bought the parcel in June 1928 and built the house soon thereafter. The house remained in the family until 1976. Charles Swaringen worked for the railway mail service, according to the 1929 city directory.
Mabel and Samuel Strickland House2213 Wright Avenueca. 1928Contributing Building
The one-story, three-bay, side-gabled, aluminum-sided dwelling displays an altered, nearly full-width porch with square posts and a wood balustrade topped by an eyebrow pediment with a stucco tympanum and returns; vinyl siding sheathes the porch fascia. The replacement wood door includes a fanlight at the top. Windows are six-over-one. A brick chimney with a concrete set off occupies the west elevation. A hip-roofed ell extends from the rear elevation. Mr. Strickland worked as a traveling salesman for W. I.
Anderson & Company.
NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) Summary The Sunset Hills Historic District is a large residential historic district comprised mostly of dwellings and their accompanying domestic outbuildings in an area west of downtown Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina. This verdant suburban neighborhood that began developing in 1925 encompasses most of the five sections of Sunset Hills that were platted by A. K. Moore Realty Company of Greensboro; small portions of four other subdivisions of the period are also included within the boundaries. Abounding with mature trees and lush vegetation and following a grid plan intermingled with some curvilinear streets, Sunset Hills remains an outstanding local example of conscious suburban planning for residential development in the period just before the onset of the Great Depression.
The Sunset Hills Historic District is eligible for the National Register under Criterion A for Community Planning and Development and Criterion C for Architecture. Context for the history of the birth and evolution of planned neighborhoods in Greensboro is provided in the historic context, “Modern Suburbanization and Industrialization, 1900-1941” (pages E 18-44) in “Historic and Architectural Resources of Greensboro, North Carolina, 1880-1941,” (Multiple Property Documentation Form).
Specific information about Sunset Hills and the suburbs that developed during the same period is found in the “Suburban, Neighborhood, and Mill Village Development.” In addition to Property Type 7 for Residential Neighborhoods (pages F 37-39), information about some of the styles present in Sunset Hills is also found under other property types in Section F, specifically, “Late 19th and early 20th-century popular forms” (pages F 3-8), “Early 20th Century Period Revival styles,” (pages F 11-13), and “Other Period Revival Styles,” (pages F 13-14). Additional analysis for architectural styles, specifically Minimal Traditional and Split Level houses, is provided herein. The district meets the registration requirements (page F 39), as the resources date from the historic period of the neighborhood’s construction and evoke a sense of a coherent community. The district also retains intact landscape elements, such as plantings, setbacks, walls, and parks, as well as historic buildings and structures. The Sunset Hills Historic District possesses a very high degree of integrity with only forty-four principal buildings constructed during the period of significance categorized as noncontributing due to alterations that significantly compromise their integrity. The Sunset Hills Historic District is locally significant for the period ca. 1925 to 1965. Although the period of significance extends into the last fifty years, an exceptional significance claim is not required because the architectural patterns in the district in the first half of the 1960s is a continuation of earlier buildings styles and forms.
Historical Background and Community Planning and Development Context
to Greensboro and took a management position in the real estate division of Guilford Insurance and Realty Company. In 1919, after some success in real estate and in response to the high demand for housing in the city, Moore, still working for Guilford Insurance and Realty Company, took over the development of a platted subdivision started in 1891 in an area northwest of downtown, but which had never come to fruition. By 1921 he formed his own real estate firm, A. K. Moore Realty Company, and named his suburban development Westerwood. In 1923, he expanded Westerwood to the west, calling this new plat West Market Terrace. Lots sold briskly and dwellings went up at a fast pace making these developments a great success for Moore.1 In 1922, Moore, bolstered by his success with Westerwood and West Market Terrace, purchased 212 acres from the estate of Col. James T. Morehead and another 136 acres, a tract known as the Benbow Farm. Moore platted the subdivision, named it Sunset Hills, and gave it the slogan, “Park here for Life,” alluding to the verdant qualities of the area. This area stood poised for development as West Market Street, Greensboro’s major east-west corridor into downtown, would be extended through Sunset Hills.2 In 1923, Greensboro expanded the city limits to North Buffalo Creek, a move that included Sunset Hills.3 Moore engaged Greensboro civil engineer Grady L. Bain to design the West Market Street’s extension into Sunset Hills as an expansive boulevard that would form the spine of this automobile-centered suburb. Lots along this main thoroughfare were large and would accommodate some of the district’s grandest dwellings.4 Elsewhere, Bain created a thirteen-acre park along a stream that flowed northsouth near the center of the development and streets laid out in a grid that was intermingled with slightly curvilinear roads. Moore paid particular attention to the preservation of the land’s tree cover. According to Moore’s advertising literature, “the developers have, in many cases, changed the size of lots rather than permit the destruction of a tree in the laying of a drive, gas, or water line. Hundreds of dollars have Benjamin Briggs, “A. K. Moore: Developer, Promoter, Park Builder,” in “Sunset Hills Tour of Historic Homes” Booklet, May 2012, n.p.; Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (Greensboro: Preservation Greensboro, Inc., 1995), 366.
Benjamin Briggs, “Welcome to Sunset Hills: A Place to Park for Life,” in “Sunset Hills Tour of Historic Homes” Booklet, May 2012, n.p.; Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (Greensboro: Preservation Greensboro, Inc., 1995), 398.
“Sunset Hills,” promotional booklet (Greensboro: Joseph J. Stone and Company, n.d.), 4.
Briggs, “Welcome to Sunset Hills.” NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) been expended in moving and transplanting trees from street right-of-ways.”5 Once Bain’s work was complete, A. K. Moore filed plats with the county for the five sections of Sunset Hills.6 Moore formed a partnership with Alan Turner selling lots and houses to those eager to settle in the Greensboro’s newest suburb.7 These early years of Sunset Hills are a study in marketing and boosterism by Moore and Turner and their associates. Moore Realty Company vigorously promoted Sunset Hills in brochures, pamphlets, and local media touting the almost mythical appeal of the subdivision. In one publication, Moore’s company is described as having a fascination with the area that would become Sunset Hills. According to the pamphlet, “this fascination soon grew to a vision of homes, streets, playgrounds and a community of good people—what possibilities there were for winding drives, landscaping and the creation of fine residences!”8 The first five years of Sunset Hills’ development saw the construction of an array of house forms and styles throughout the neighborhood, but the majority was Colonial Revival-style houses, followed by Period Cottages and Craftsman bungalows; nearly all the houses built in the 1920s were brick. In 1924, Arthur Moore hired architect Lorenzo S. Winslow (1892-1976) to work with clients to design houses for Sunset Hills under a service called Moore’s Better Built Homes. Moore also hired James R. Hollowell, a recent graduate in engineering from Clemson University, to assist potential buyers with their projects. It is likely that Winslow and Hollowell designed many of the Tudor Revival and Colonial Revival-style houses built in Sunset Hills in the 1920s. Winslow established his own firm in 1927 and in 1932 moved to Washington, D. C. to work with governmental buildings.9 A 1929 pamphlet released by Moore Realty Company touted the 179 homes that had been built by the company in Sunset Hills, which represented approximately two-and-a-half million dollars. The publication profiled specific houses and provided descriptions of each building lot. House number sixtyfour in the pamphlet is described as located on Waverly Way at Camden Road and is the ca. 1929 Mary M. and W. Frederick Morrison House at 308 Waverly Way, the only house at the corner that has eastern and southern frontage, as detailed in the publication. The pamphlet continues: “to nature’s contribution “Sunset Hills,” promotional booklet, 7.
The plats for Sunset Hills appear in book 9, pages 85-89, dated October 1926. Minor adjustments to those plats were made in November 1935 (plat book, 9, page 88) and January 1939 (plat book 10, page 90). Guilford County Register of Deeds website, http://rdlxweb.co.guilford.nc.us.
Gayle Hicks Fripp, “Greensboro’s Early Suburbs,” in Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs in North Carolina: Essays on History, Architecture, and Planning, ed. Catherine W. Bishir and Lawrence S. Earley (Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1985), 56.
“Sunset Hills,” promotional booklet, 5.
Benjamin Briggs, "Lorenzo S. Winslow," North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Dictionary, Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, N.C.
NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) of trees we have added [a] special planting of grass and shrubbery that makes this house into a real home.” It concludes, “this house was especially designed for those who desire all of the rooms on one floor yet want something better and more complete than the average cottage.” Home sixty-one is the Emma K. and Dr. H. Lee Wyatt House at 2417 Berkley Place. The Wyatts bought the house in 1929 from A. K. Moore Realty and it is noted for its brick veneer exterior, full two stories, large living room, and sunporch opening on to a tiled terrace. The description concludes, “to be fully appreciated this place must be seen, the price of which is much less than you would expect.”10 Like other suburban neighborhoods in Greensboro in the 1920s, deeds for property in Sunset Hills carried restrictions aimed at creating a quiet, attractive, and racially exclusive neighborhood. Deeds stipulated where a house or garage could be built on a lot in relation to the street and the side lot lines.