North Cherry Street Historic District
The North Cherry Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.
The North Cherry Street Historic District consists of six primary and four secondary structures ranged on either side of the 100 block of North Cherry Street. All six primary structures and the four secondary structures, all of which date from the construction or renovation of their respective dwellings, contribute to the significance of the district. The North Cherry Street Historic District encompasses most of both sides of one block, or approximately four acres, one block from the main intersection of North and South Main streets and East and West Mountain streets at the core of the downtown area.
Although in close proximity to the South Main Street Historic District, the North Cherry Street Historic District is effectively separated from that district by particularly intrusive 1970s and 1980s development on all four corners of the intersection of Cherry and Mountain streets, including a convenience store and gas station, a convenience store, doctors' offices, a multi-family apartment complex and a funeral home, which consists of an earlier house which was massively overbuilt in the mid-twentieth century, obscuring most, if not all of the earlier fabric.
To the northeast the 200 block of North Cherry Street has been redeveloped by 1980s medical offices on either side of the street which separates the district from a less intact collection of early to mid-twentieth century dwellings to the north on North Cherry Street.
The North Cherry Street Historic District is a tree-lined block with cement sidewalks on the east side of the street. On the south and north ends and along the rear property lines of the east side of the block is commercial development which effectively defines this residential block. The west side of the block has only two houses, both of which are set well back on deep landscaped lots. The east side, which has four dwellings, is also tree-shaded, but the houses are set quite close to the street, and the shallow lawns are bisected by the sidewalks.
The architecture of the 100 Block of North Cherry Street is an interesting combination of turn-of-the-twentieth-century styles, ranging from the late Victorian Totten-Goslen House (ca.1900) at 141 North Cherry Street and the elegance of the Neoclassical styling of the George Virgil Fulp House (131 North Cherry Street; ca.1915), to the Colonial Revival Odell Beard House (126 North Cherry Street; ca. 1910) and the Bungalow styling of the R.C. Morris House (134 North Cherry Street; ca.1925). The primary significance of the North Cherry Street Historic District is the relatively unaltered streetscape of an early twentieth century residential neighborhood.
The earliest dwelling in the North Cherry Street Historic District is probably the Totten-Goslen House (ca.1900) at 141 North Cherry Street, and its contemporary smokehouse reflected the rural nature of Kernersville at the turn of the century.
The showcase of the block, the George Virgil Fulp House (ca.1915), located at 131 North Cherry Street, is also constructed in the Colonial Revival/Neoclassical style. It has perhaps the most elegant interior treatment in Kernersville. The house features French doors, a sweeping stair, Colonial Revival mantels and a paneled dining room.
The Odell Beard House (126 North Cherry Street; ca.1910) is a frame cottage reminiscent of the eighteenth century Coastal Cottage, once popular in eastern North Carolina. This house has the requisite full-facade engaged porch supported on slender columns which rest on low piers. A central shed dormer stretches across the front facade of the gabled roof.
The other three houses in the block are the Morris House (134 North Cherry Street; ca.1925), a brick Bungalow; the Pulp-Whitaker House (120 North Cherry Street; ca.1900, 1930), a one-story brick cottage; and the J.B. Stanley House (112 North Cherry Street; ca.1914), a Colonial Revival, two-story frame dwelling.
The 100 block of North Cherry Street was home to successful businessmen and their families, and is evocative of the period of growth in Kernersville during the three decades prior to the advent of the Great Depression.
The North Cherry Street Historic District is a collection of six representative examples of early twentieth century residential architectural styles dating from about 1900 to 1930. Included are examples of the late Victorian Colonial Revival and Bungalow styles. The George Virgil Fulp House (131 North Cherry Street; ca.1915) is one of the best examples of the Neoclassical Revival style in Kernersville, and the R.C. Morris House (134 North Cherry Street; ca.1930) is one of the better examples of the Bungalow style in Kernersville. The area was the home of a number of prominent Kernersville citizens who were involved in banking and furniture manufacturing. The North Cherry Street Historic District conveys the atmosphere of a turn-of-the-century neighborhood, with a collection of diverse, intact styles second only to the South Main Street Historic District in Kernersville. These houses illustrate Kernersville social history during the period 1900-1930.
The history of the North Cherry Street Historic District is representative of the first three decades of the twentieth century in Kernersville. The district includes the residences of typical, prosperous citizens of Kernersville during the period, including the home of local banker and entrepreneur, George Virgil Fulp.
At the turn of the century most of the area on the east side of North Cherry Street included in the district belonged to Mr. Calvin Roberts (Roberts-Justice House, Kernersville) whose house faces South Main Street. The property on the west side belonged to Rev. J.H. Totten, who was probably the earliest resident on North Cherry Street. He built a two-story frame dwelling about 1900 at 141 North Cherry Street.
The Totten-Goslen House is representative of late nineteenth vernacular architecture with Italianate detailing which was being popular in the later part of that century. The house is a bridge between the earlier two-story farmhouse styles and the newer, Neoclassical and Colonial Revival styles popular at the turn of the century. The Totten-Goslen House, with its two remaining frame outbuildings is reminiscent of the more rural character of the area which would soon give way to the more urban styling made possible by the rise of manufacturing and industry in Kernersville. The C.L. Linville family purchased the property about 1910, and lived there for years. The Goslen family then purchased the house and lived there until the 1980s when the house was converted to offices.
Odell Beard built a Colonial Revival Coastal Cottage on North Cherry Street about 1910 according to at least two local sources. The cottage has a side-gabled roof, with full-facade engaged roof on columns, and an interior chimney. The style of Mr. Beard's house is a distinctly late eighteenth century style, the Coastal Cottage, found in the eastern part of the state. This cottage is a forerunner of the extremely popular Colonial Revival style home which is represented in a more standard style, by the George Virgil Fulp House (131 North Cherry Street; ca.1915) and J.B. Stanley House (112 North Cherry Street; ca.1914) houses within the district.
The J.B. Stanley House and the George Virgil Fulp House were built about the same time, and are similar in scale and style, although the Fulp House is more ornately finished. This may be due to the fact that the Stanley House has been sided with aluminum, and some detailing could have been lost. Mr. Stanley was a furniture salesman who built his house about 1912.
George Virgil Fulp was living in a one-story frame house (ca.1900) he had built at 120 North Cherry Street when he purchased property from Mr. Linville, who was then living in the Totten-Goslen House (141 North Cherry Street; ca.1900). About 1915 he hired Yancey Albert, a builder, and Sherman Nelson, head carpenter, to build a house on the lot. The Fulp House is one of the best examples of the Neoclassical and Colonial Revival blend of styles in Kernersville, a style which was extremely popular throughout the state. Present owners of the house remember Mr. Nelson coming often to look at the house, which he considered his best work.
In addition to his involvement in the Bank of Kernersville, Fulp organized and served as president of the Kernersville Furniture Manufacturing Company in 1901. The company was organized to produce kitchen and bedroom furniture, and in 1910, branched out with the formation of the Ring Furniture Company.
About 1925 Mr. R.C. Morris, a furniture salesman, bought a portion of the rear lot of Dr. Justice's house (Roberts-Justice House, Kernersville) and built a brick bungalow facing Cherry Street. Mrs. Morris lived in the house until her death in the early 1980s.
Carey and Ed Whitaker bought the first Fulp House (120 North Cherry Street; 1900, 1930) and later sold it to a cousin, Dr. George Whitaker, who still  resides in Kernersville. Dr. Whitaker remodeled the frame cottage into two apartments and brick veneered the exterior, enclosing the original porch and replacing it with a one-bay porch. A brick garage was built about this time, and the house retains its ca.1930 detailing.
Both the Stanley and the Fulp-Whitaker houses provide good examples of two popular building styles in the late 1920s. The Bungalow styling of the Morris House remained popular through the 1910s and 1920s, and the Colonial Revival mode has never gone out of style in North Carolina. The genre returns again and again through the twentieth century. The Fulp-Whitaker House is a less ornate version of the Colonial Revival, but serves as a reminder of the durability of the style.
Interview with Mrs. Allie Fulp, Mr. Paul Fulp, and Mrs. Shirley Smith, March 7, 1987, in Kernersville, N.C. Notes on file with Survey and Planning Branch.
Interview with Harmon Linville, May 7, 1987, in Kernersville, N.C. Notes on file with Survey and Planning Branch.
Stewers, R.C. Forsyth County, Economic and Social. Winston-Salem, 1924.
† Virginia Oswald, Consultant, North Cherry Street Historic District, Kernersville, Forsyth County, NC, nomination document, 1987, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Wasington, D.C.