«NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES Sunset Hills Historic District Greensboro, Guilford County, GF8233, Listed 1/14/2013 Nomination by Jennifer ...»
Dwellings could not cost less than $5,500 and any house plans had to be approved by Moore Realty. The final restriction noted in these early deeds was that “no person of negro descent shall own said lot or shall occupy said lot except as domestic servants.”11 Those who built houses or purchased them in the first few years of development were overwhelmingly married couples, some with children. Very few houses served as rentals, but by the 1930s that changed and many smaller homes in Sunset Hills were occupied by tenants. Because Sunset Hills contains a wide range of dwellings—from modest two- or three-bedroom dwellings to grand homes with servants quarters—the range of occupations represented by these earliest Sunset Hills residents varied. Corporate officers—presidents, managers, treasurers, and secretaries—formed a significant number of early owners of substantial houses in Sunset Hills. They occupied mainly East and West Greenway Drive, both the north and south, and West Market Street. Other professionals, such as attorneys and physicians, lived in commodious dwellings on these streets and other streets of large houses on spacious lots.
Smaller houses, like those on Berkley Place and Camden Road, were the homes of professionals and small business owners in the 1920s, but in the 1930s teachers, accountants, insurance agents, and professors owned these dwellings. It was in the late 1930s that women lived in Sunset Hills, but almost exclusively those who lived in more modest houses, appear in the city directory as being employed.
Several households in the late 1930s include married women who teach school or work for local government.
It is unclear how many houses the company built and sold to buyers versus those constructed by individuals on parcels purchased from A. K. Moore Realty, but Moore Realty ceased building homes in “A Few of Moore’s Better Built Homes in Sunset Hills,” pamphlet, 1929.
From a deed between A. K. Moore Realty Company, grantor, and Vera and Y. L. Busbee, grantees, dated August 5, 1926, book 507, page 208, Guilford County Register of Deeds Online Records System, http://rdlxweb.co.guilford.nc.us, accessed May 26, 2012.
NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) 1934 in Sunset Hills when the company went bankrupt during the Great Depression. During the 1930s, despite the Depression and A. K. Moore’s fate, building continued with approximately 150 houses going up during the decade with the majority being designed in the Colonial Revival style. Period Cottages, Minimal Traditional-style houses, and Cape Cod dwellings were also favored styles.
In the 1940s construction dipped somewhat with about 125 houses built in Sunset Hills, but by this time a good bit of the neighborhood had been built out. Approximately ninety buildings went up in the 1950s, including the Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in 1950 and its associated school in 1953 and First Christian Church, also in 1953. Twelve houses and the education building for the First Moravian Church on South Elam Avenue were built from 1960 to 1965.
The Sunset Hills Historic District represents the expansion of suburban residential development in Greensboro that was tied to an increase in automobile ownership and the simultaneous urbanization of the city due primarily to the growth of the textile industry. Sunset Hills was one of several suburban developments platted in the 1920s well west of the city core and away from the mills that drove Greensboro’s economy for much of the twentieth century. Increased car ownership, evidenced in Sunset Hills by the great number of historic garages, allowed for families to take refuge in a neighborhood that was considered to be on the outskirts of the city. Coinciding with the platting and early development of Sunset Hills was the advent of city planning as an alternative to the type of random development that occurred in the previous decades. In 1920, Greensboro became the first North Carolina city to create municipal planning commission, a move, which preceded a more intentional system of laying out streets and utilities.12 Planning and the zoning that resulted kept industrial and commercial development out of Sunset Hills resulting in the picturesque neighborhood that developed from the mid-1920s into the mids.
Architectural Context The Sunset Hills Historic District contains an outstanding collection of domestic architecture from the pre-Depression era through the post-World War II period.
The Colonial Revival style is the most predominant in Sunset Hills and one that proved popular from the neighborhood’s establishment in the mid-1920s up through the 1940s. Pervasive in the history of building in the United States, it enjoyed a heightened popularity from around 1880 into the 1950s. The Philadelphia Centennial of 1876 receives credit for creating interest in the style, one which took Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (Greensboro: Preservation Greensboro, Inc., 1995. 80-82.
NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) Georgian and Adamesque features and applied them to contemporary domestic architecture. In the early twentieth-century, publications like Russell Whitehead’s White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs from 1915 disseminated photographs of colonial buildings, which influenced architecture of the time. Whitehead endorsed Colonial Revival as a reflection of ‘American ideals’ and culture, while categorizing modernism as fulfilling a need for novelty.13 Colonial Revival houses built before the 1920s in Sunset Hills followed a national trend where dwellings in the style most closely resembled colonial precedents in their execution, proportions, and details. The Ulah and James Ferree House at 324 East Greenway Drive North dates to the late 1920s and epitomizes the Colonial Revival style as built in the period of early development in Sunset Hills. It is a substantial two-and-a-half-story, five-bay, side-gabled, brick house with a dentil cornice and cornice returns. It displays a front-gabled portico with a vaulted soffit. Tuscan columns support the portico as it shelters a semi-elliptical fanlight that surmounts a multi-light door flanked by sidelights. Windows are eight-over-eight and on the first level topped by a brick arch with a granite keystone. On the façade, a semi-elliptical fanlight crowns a multi-light door with sidelights, while the side elevations have a similar pattern, but with tall, multi-light windows instead of doors. Fluted pilasters separate the bays. A onestory, flat-roofed, open porch with Tuscan columns occupies the northeast elevation. In the 1930s and 1940s, Colonial Revival houses in Sunset Hills and elsewhere took on a more modest appearance characterized by simple pilastered entries and other attributes more derivative of colonial precedents, instead of fully-realized executions of the style. Built around 1943, the Elizabeth and Weston Reese House at 309 North Elam Avenue is a one-story, three-bay, side-gabled, brick Colonial Revival house displaying classical features such as brick quoins, a dentil cornice and a centered classical entrance with fluted pilasters and a frieze with triglyphs framing the paneled wood and multi-light door. A sidegabled, one-story screened porch with a dentiled cornice on its façade occupies the front (east) portion of the north gable end.
The Dutch Colonial Revival style with its characteristic gambrel-roof proved popular in the district in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Built around 1925, the Mamie and Austin F. Comer House at 200 South Chapman Street is a two-story, three-bay, brick Dutch Colonial Revival-style dwelling with a central front-gabled hood with vaulted underside supported by a pair of molded brackets and featuring an original Colonial Revival-style hanging pendant. Multi-light sidelights frame the fully-glazed, singleleaf door. Windows are six-over-one, double-hung sash with wood shutters punctured with crescent motifs. Columned open porches with brick and concrete floors and flat roofs topped with wood
William B. Rhoads, “The Long and Unsuccessful Effort to Kill off the Colonial Revival” in Recreating the American Past:
Essays on the Colonial Revival, ed. Richard Guy Wilson, Shaun Eyring, and Kenny Marotta (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006), 14.
NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) balustrades with square pickets occupy the north and south ends. Quarter-round tracery lights flank the exterior end chimneys.
Bungalows and other houses in the Craftsman style were built in significant numbers in the 1920s and to a much lesser extent in the early 1930s. The bungalow enjoyed national popularity in the late 1910s and 1920s and architects designed fine examples for clients from coast to coast. Scaled-down versions of the style proved immensely popular in towns and suburbs across North Carolina into the early 1930s.
Building plans for these houses, with their wide overhanging eaves, open arrangement of rooms, and inviting porches, appeared in national magazines and catalogs. The bungalow was inexpensive and easy to build and appealed to families’ desires for a modern house. The Sunset Hills Historic District contains a substantial number of bungalows including the Louise and Henry Foust House built at 109 Kensington Road around 1927. The one-story, front-gabled Craftsman bungalow includes a front-gabled, partialwidth porch with an upper louvered vent. It is supported by battered posts on battered coursed granite plinths; forward of the remainder of the façade, the posts on plinths support a pergola that shelters the continuation of the porch floor. A multi-light front door is flanked by multi-light sidelights. French doors pierce the façade on each side of the entrance. A coursed granite chimney is located on the north elevation. Near the dwelling's rear, side-gabled wings intersect. The Mary F. and Abraham W. Staley House built around 1927 at 2204 Wright Avenue is a one-story, three-bay, front-gabled, weatherboard bungalow with exposed rafter tails along its eaves exhibits triangular knee braces and wood shingles in its two front gables. Wood posts with caps support the smaller gable that shelters an open porch. Small side gables intersect with on each side elevation.
Period revival styles appeared in the 1920s and remained popular in the district in the 1930s and to a lesser extent into the 1940s. Tudor Revival-style houses are among some of the grandest dwellings in Sunset Hills and are typically brick, two-story with cross or intersecting gables and half-timbering sometimes sheathing a portion of the exterior. Round-arched doorways with heavy batten doors with large metal strap hinges are common and sometimes set in a projecting bay. Architect Lorenzo Winslow designed the Mary and Hugh Preddy House at 303 West Greenway Drive North in the Tudor Revival style. Completed in 1927, the two-and-a-half-story, three-bay, side-gabled, brick and half-timbered Tudor Revival-style house features a projecting, two-story, front gable containing the entrance. A batten wood door with metal strap hinges and pierced by a small window with diamond-patterned wood muntins is set in a Tudor arched-head brick surround. Tall narrow windows with stone sills flank the door. A slate roof tops the dwelling. The Tudor Revival-style Mary and McArthur A. Arnold House at 201 South Tremont Drive dates to 1935 and is a one-and-a-half-story, side-gabled, concrete block and stucco dwelling displaying large dentils along its cornice and a front-facing gable with a catslide roof.
The extended portion of the front gable is half-timbered and patterned brick and contains the entrance: a Tudor-style batten wood door with strap hinges, a small six-light window, and an arched head. A pair of NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) front-gabled dormers with casement windows rest on the front roof slope. Windows throughout are original metal casement types. The Arnolds, owners of Arnold Stone Company of North Carolina, bought this parcel in April 1935 and built the house soon thereafter.
Much more prevalent than Tudor Revival style houses are Period Cottages, which were typically small, side-gabled brick or stone dwellings with steep front gables and front or side-gable chimneys. Built around 1928, the Margaret and William E. Tucker House at 2125 Wright Avenue is a one-and-a-halfstory, three-bay, side-gabled-with-returns brick Period Cottage displaying two projecting front gables.
The smaller, steeply-pitched front gable with returns and an upper arched-head louvered wood vent contains an arched, open bay forward of the divided-light front door and an open porch occupying the west side of the façade. Brick posts and a solid brick balustrade with concrete caps support the open porch with arched openings; a flared shed roof tops the porch. Dr. Ruth Collins, the campus physician for North Carolina College for Women, built the Period Cottage at 203 South Tremont Drive around
1932. The one-story, side-clipped-gable, stucco dwelling displays a front-facing, off-center gable with a stucco chimney centered on its façade. Masonry decorative elements such as diamond-shaped motifs lend the dwelling a Spanish quality. A hip-roofed porch topped with an arched wood-louvered dormer features exposed molded rafter tails and arched openings.
It is likely many houses in Sunset Hills were built according to published pattern books that enjoyed widespread popularity during the period of the neighborhood’s heyday, but only one has been positively identified as resulting from such a publication. The Ferdinand H. Ogletree House at 305 South Chapman Street dates to around 1927 and was built according to the plan for "The Collingwood," which is depicted in 101 Classic Homes of the Twenties: Floor Plans and Photographs by Harris, McHenry & Baker Co. of Elmira, New York. The book is a 1999 unabridged re-publication of the 1925 Better Homes at Lower Cost. The one-and-a-half-story, four-bay, side and front-gabled, Colonial Revival-style dwelling includes a front-gabled vaulted portico that shelters a paneled door topped with a blind wood fanlight.
Cape Cods were built throughout the district in the 1930s and 1940s. Cape Cods are one-and-a-halfstory, side-gabled, rectangular houses usually constructed of brick with gable-front dormers on the front slope of the roof. They often have side-gabled porches or wings that sit lower than the main block. The Ruth and Frank Hearn House at 1811 West Friendly Avenue is an outstanding example of the Cape Cod style. Built in the late, the one-and-a-half-story, three-bay, side-gabled, brick dwelling displays a plain entry with a paneled wood and two-light door. Windows are eight-over-eight and six-over-six and three dormers rest on the front roof slope. An east elevation brick chimney rises through the roof of a onestory, side-gabled sunporch.
NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) Minimal Traditional houses enjoyed an enduring popularity in Sunset Hills and appear from the late 1930s through the 1950s. By the 1930s Period Cottages were falling out of favor as the effects of the Great Depression and the scarcity of materials it created led Americans to build simpler house forms that exuded a sparseness of the emerging modernist idiom. Minimal Traditional houses alluded to historical styles, but this expression was more understated and typically applied to a smaller form. In the Sunset Hills Historic District, Minimal Traditional houses take several forms including side-gabled dwellings with a front-facing gable, a one-story L-shaped form, or a side-gabled rectangular form. They have lowor medium-pitched roofs and are brick or weatherboard. Built in the early 1940s, the Louise and Fredrick Scott Jr. House at 2516 Berkley is a one-story, three-bay, side-gabled, brick Minimal Traditional dwelling with a center, front-facing gable reminiscent of the Period Cottage form. The Winifred and Herbert Wood House at 312 North Elam Avenue dates to just after World War II and displays classical elements including a dentil cornice and pilastered entry on a one-story, three-bay, sidegabled, brick house. The Edith and Charles Irwin House at 307 Kensington Road dates to the mid-1950s and is one-story, side-gabled, brick Minimal Traditional dwelling has an off-center, weatherboardsheathed front gable.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Ranch house, with its low-pitched roof and open floor plan, enjoyed some popularity in the Sunset Hills Historic District, but the presence of the style is minimal because most of the neighborhood was developed by this period. The Ranch style originated in California in the 1930s and by the middle of the century it had been adapted to meet the needs of families who desired a low-cost dwelling with living area on one level and enough space for all its members to enjoy their privacy. Ranch houses in the Sunset Hills Historic District have mostly brick, but also weatherboard and synthetic exteriors with broad chimneys, occasional bands of windows, classical references or spare to no detailing, rear patios, and typically lack a front porch. The Foster family built the Ranch house at 104 East Greenway Drive North around 1953. The one-story, side-gabled, brick Ranch house consists of a four-bay central block flanked on each side by slightly lower, one-bay, side-gabled, brick blocks. Fluted pilasters frame a paneled wood reveal and a recessed entry. Windows are eight-over-eight and six-oversix with aprons beneath façade windows. A wide brick chimney straddles the roof ridge.
Split-Level houses, which enjoyed favor from the late 1940s through the 1970s, are related to Ranch houses, but typically have three levels. They display a low-pitched roof, overhanging eaves, and the horizontal massing of a Ranch, but have a two-story unit connected at mid-height to a one-story block creating three staggered floors. At 209 North Elam Avenue, the Dare and James Filipski House from the mid-1950s is the district’s best example of a Split-Level. The four-bay, brick, wood-shingle, and T-111sided house has its entrance, a paneled wood door with a fanlight, in the side-gabled wing. The intersecting one-story-on-basement front gable is sheathed with wood shingles, but has a high brick foundation. A wide brick chimney rises from the southeast corner of the side-gabled wing so that it NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) actually projects forward of the facade. The south gable end is clad in the same wood shingles found on the front facing wing. A carport is incorporated beneath the southwest (rear) corner. The ca. 1960 Mary and Glenn Gordon House at 2414 Madison Avenue is a side-gabled, three-bay, brick Split-Level with a stylized classical portico supported by wood posts.
The Sunset Hills Historic District boasts four historic churches. The chapel of the First Moravian Church at 300 South Elam Avenue dates to1948 and is a Moravian Revival-style, two-story, three-bay, frontgabled, brick building with an arched hood sheltering a double-leaf, paneled wood door topped by a fanlight. Winston-Salem architectural firm Northup and O’Brien developed the Moravian Revival style by incorporating features of historic buildings in Salem, including arched-hood entrances and arched bays. The firm designed the Calvary Moravian Church from 1925 and Adrmore Moravian Church from 1931, both located in Winston-Salem.14 The architect for First Moravian Church is unknown.
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church at 2205 West Market Street was built in 1950 and is a highly ornate, Gothic Revival edifice constructed of Rowan County pink granite with limestone trim and sculptures.
The site includes the two-story, fourteen-bay, coursed pink granite, Gothic Revival-influenced Our Lady of Grace School built in 1953.
In keeping with the predominant idiom found throughout Sunset Hills, two churches located on the district’s main thoroughfare, West Market Street, were executed in the Colonial Revival style. Classical porticos, pediments, quoins, modillioned cornices, Palladian windows, entrances with fanlights and sidelights characterize Colonial Revival ecclesiastical architecture. Built in 1953 then expanded in 1983 and 1993, First Christian Church at 1900 West Market Street is a two-story, brick Colonial Revival-style building for a congregation founded in 1917. It lacks a portico, but exhibits classical detailing throughout. The chapel of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church occupies a commanding location at 2105 West Market Street. Built in 1959, it features massive square wood posts and pilasters with molded caps supporting the full-height, front-gabled, portico graced with a modillioned cornice and a louvered wood cameo vent at the center of the tympanum. The underside is paneled, while the floor is slate. A doubleleaf entry with paneled wood doors is framed by fluted pilasters and topped by a swan's neck pediment.
Several neighborhoods in Greensboro developed as intentional planned communities in the 1920s.
Westerwood and West Market Terrace, both projects of A. K. Moore Realty Company, had been platted before the 1920s, but significant numbers of houses were not built in either area until the 1920s. Both are immediately to the east of Sunset Hills. Lake Daniel, which is located north of West Market Terrace Heather Fearnbach, "Northup and O’Brien (1916-1953)," North Carolina Architects & Builders: A Biographical Dictionary, Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, N. C.
NPS Form 10-900 OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) developed around the same time as Sunset Hills. All three neighborhoods contain styles and forms, similar to those found in Sunset Hills including the Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and Craftsman.
Among its domestic resources, Lake Daniel contains George A. Grimsley High School, built in 1929 and designed by Charles C. Hartmann.
OMB Approval No. 1024-0018 (8-86) Bibliography 1940 Census of the Population. National Archives and Records Administration.
Briggs, Benjamin. “A. K. Moore: Developer, Promoter, Park Builder,” in “Sunset Hills Tour of Historic Homes.” Booklet, May 2012.
Briggs, Benjamin. “Lorenzo S. Winslow.” North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Dictionary, Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center. North Carolina State Universities Library, Raleigh, N. C.
Briggs, Benjamin. “Welcome to Sunset Hills: A Place to Park for Life,” in “Sunset Hills Tour of Historic Homes.” Booklet, May 2012.
Brown, Marvin A. Greensboro: An Architectural Record. Greensboro: Preservation Greensboro, Inc., 1995.
“A Few of Moore’s Better Built Homes in Sunset Hills, pamphlet. 1929.
Fripp, Gayle Hicks. “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: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1985.
Guilford County Geographic Information System website, http://gcgis.co.guilford.nc.us/guilford_new/.
Guilford County Register of Deeds website, http://rdlxweb.co.guilford.nc.us.
Rhoads, William B. “The Long and Unsuccessful Effort to Kill off the Colonial Revival.” In Recreating the American Past: Essays on the Colonial Revival, ed. Richard Guy Wilson, Shaun Eyring, and Kenny Marotta, 13-25. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006.
Sanborn Map Company. Greensboro, North Carolina: 1960.
Section 10: UTM References - continued 5. 17 606260 3992010 6. 17 605350 3992030 Verbal Boundary Description The boundary for the Sunset Hills Historic District is shown by the bold, dark line on the accompanying Guilford County map drawn at a scale of 1” = 200’.
Boundary Justification The Sunset Hills Historic District boundaries are based on the edges of several subdivisions, all platted between 1906 and 1931 and described in this nomination. The five plats for Sunset Hills, which were filed in 1926, make up the majority of the district however. The boundary encompasses the greatest