Ardmore Historic District
The Ardmore Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. 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 Ardmore Historic District is located approximately three miles southwest of downtown Winston-Salem and is roughly bounded by Queen Street and Cloverdale Avenue on the north, Duke Street and Sunset Drive on the east, Ardsley Street and Walker Avenue on the south, and Knollwood Street on the west. The Ardmore Historic District is quite large, consisting of more than 2,200 properties and extending approximately thirteen blocks in length and about ten blocks in depth. The Ardmore Historic District is overwhelmingly residential and consists of at least ten platted residential developments from 1910 through 1924 as well as three large apartment complexes from 1947 through 1951. In addition to single and multi-family housing, the Ardmore Historic District contains a collection of historic commercial and institutional buildings including several churches, two schools, and one building from the large regional hospital located at the district's edge. The Ardmore Historic District also contains two historic parks.
Ardmore was built on rolling terrain that contains some of the highest elevations within the circa 1925 city limits. Rising up from Peter's Creek on its northern and eastern edges, Ardmore's steepest hills are typically found east of Hawthorne Road. Small streams run through several of the lower areas of Ardmore, notably in Lockland and Miller Parks.
Hawthorne Road predates the neighborhood and is situated along a high ridge. It bisects the district diagonally from northeast to southwest. Six of the platted areas in the Ardmore Historic District include sections of Hawthorne Road (originally known as Ardmore Avenue). Each plat has a unique street pattern, but most follow a loose grid interspersed with curving streets. Unifying the various platted developments are relatively consistent, small lot sizes, narrow distances between houses, and uniform, narrow setbacks from the street. The lots in Crafton Heights and the early Ardmore development are slightly smaller than in the Westfield development.
The topography of the neighborhood plays an important role in its character. Corona Street in Crafton Heights as well as Queen Street and Grace Street in the early phases of the Ardmore development make modest use of the steep topography in their design by loosely following contour lines. The houses also respond to the topography and are often situated above street level with distinctive stone retaining walls made of randomly-laid, rough-hewn granite. One of the most extensive examples is 260 Sunset Drive (c.1920), and incorporates a large flight of steps with the retaining wall. Another excellent example is at 1820 Grace Street (c.1930). More typical are the walls, often with integrated steps, in the 1400 block of Academy Street. The use of recycled concrete from old sidewalks is often found in Ardmore. The broken concrete pieces are laid randomly like stone walls although the concrete pieces tend to be larger than the pieces of stone. The date of these walls is unknown, but they appear to have been constructed within the period of significance. Two good examples exist at 1616 Elizabeth Avenue and at 855 Knollwood Street. The terrain flattens in the Westfield and Westover Park developments making the use of retaining walls less frequent and providing a broader, more open appearance.
Though the response to topography is not strong in the layout of the streets, the overall design of a few areas was influenced by the curvilinear, hill-hugging streets in many earlier, naturalistic suburban developments, such as West End in Winston-Salem [see West End Historic District]. The graceful curves of the 2000 block of Elizabeth Avenue (laid out c.1920), Grace Street, and the 1700-1800 blocks of Queen Street (the latter two platted in 1922) were constructed such that the traveler was not given the full view of the streetscape ahead. This feature does not appear in the later phases of the neighborhood platted after 1922. It appears only once more in the very slight curve of the 2200 block of Fairway Drive. Elsewhere the streets were laid out in a loose grid pattern although the Westfield development does feature triangular medians at its streets' junctions with Miller Street.
The earliest homes in the Ardmore Historic District are found in Crafton Heights and date from around 1910. 402 Sunset Drive and 245 Corona Street are probably two of the oldest houses. The Sunset Drive house is a typical Late Victorian design with a two stories, an L-plan, and wraparound porch with turned posts. The Corona Street house is similar but features the popular, hip-roof, Queen Anne form with a front-gable projection. Overall, however, these house styles are not widespread in Ardmore, although there are a few transitional houses, such as the one at 1600 Academy, where elements of the Queen Anne style and the Bungalow house type are mixed.
By the late 1910s, however, the early development in Ardmore had come to be dominated by the Bungalow and Colonial Revival style houses. Among the bungalows, the Craftsman Bungalow style was most prevalent although Colonial Revival stylistic motifs became quite popular by the mid-1920s. One of the earliest bungalows in the Ardmore Historic District is the Webster S. and Othelia Alexander House. Dating to circa 1915, this one-and-a-half-story, front-gable bungalow at 2210 Queen Street is unusually large and features a wraparound porch with porte-cochere and paired, square posts on brick piers. Displaying stronger Craftsman motifs is the R. Eugene Spoon House (c.1920) at 2006 Elizabeth Avenue. This example also has a front-gable roof, but is ornamented with a shingled gable end and a partially engaged porch with battered posts on brick piers. Another early example is more typical of bungalows across the neighborhood during the 1920s. 1418 Academy Street (c.1920) has a side-gable roof and front-gable porch, with Craftsman details including false beams, exposed rafter tails, and knee braces.
Arguably the best example of a Craftsman Bungalow is at 2116 Queen Street. Built in 1926, this one-and-a-half-story house has both shed-roof and eyebrow dormers and a side-gable porch that extends into a porte-cochere. Its porch is its most significant feature with heavy, battered posts ornamented with elongated diamond motifs. The posts rest on brick piers, while the stuccoed gable ends feature half-timbering. Other outstanding Craftsman Bungalows include the 1919 G. W. Jerome House at 2002 Elizabeth Avenue, James Tierney House at 1201 Hawthorne Road, and the Coy Sparks House at 2230 Queen Street (c.1926).
More typical of the Ardmore Historic District bungalows is the house located at 818 Miller Street. This weatherboard-sheathed house was built about 1926 and has a shingle-sheathed, gable-roof dormer, eight-over-one Craftsman-style windows, knee braces, and exposed rafter tails. Illustrating the use of other exterior sheathing materials is the modestly-sized, front-gable, stucco example at 641 Hawthorne Road. This house features wide, battered, stuccoed piers, knee braces, and wooden casement windows on the side of the unusual attached carport.
The variety in bungalows is unequaled by any other architectural style in the neighborhood. Ranging from the very simple, virtually unornamented form with wide eaves and deep porches to full-blown Craftsman examples, the bungalow is the vehicle for a range of stylistic expressions. In fact, bungalows account for roughly one-quarter of the housing stock in Ardmore and there are more than three hundred Craftsman-style examples. Although accounting for only about ten percent of the total number of bungalows, the use of Colonial Revival stylistic motifs on bungalow forms is unusually frequent in Ardmore. Colonial Revival bungalows are best represented by examples like the Arthur and Blanche Browne House (c.1924, 1811 Elizabeth Avenue). This side-gable, one-and-a-half-story house features a gable-roof entrance portico with arched entrance and Tuscan columns as well as a side porch with Tuscan columns. One of the best examples in the neighborhood is the circa 1933 Henry Shutt House at 2316 Fairway Drive. This side-gable, stuccoed house has wood casement windows, a gable-roof entry portico, a walled patio and fanlight and sidelights at the entry.
After bungalows, Colonial Revival style houses were the most frequent houses built in Ardmore before World War II. Numbering about 125 examples, Colonial Revival style houses are found throughout the neighborhood. Many of the earliest and best examples are located on Hawthorne Road. The house located at 444 Hawthorne Road (c.1920) is particularly well executed and has the classic, two-story, double-pile, side-gable form with shingle-sheathed dormer, Flemish bond brick, fanlight, modillions, and Tuscan columns on brick piers. A more typical example is at 2252 Elizabeth Avenue. The William and Cornelia Willis House, built circa 1925, features massing similar to the above example, but is executed with weatherboard siding, six-over-one windows, and a shed-roof porch with paired, square posts ornamented by trellis.
A variation of the Colonial Revival style, Dutch Colonial Revival, is unusually common in Ardmore with close to fifty examples. These houses are most often found on Hawthorne Road and in the Westfield development. 2234 Rosewood Avenue is a particularly good example and represents the fashion in Ardmore for these houses to have brick lower levels and weatherboard (or wood shingled) dormers and gable ends. This house has a gable-roof hood on consoles at its entry. Another, unusually large, example is the Bowen House (c.1923, 462 Lockland Avenue). It features weatherboard siding, pressed tin shingle roof, shed-roof dormer sheathed in wood shingles, and a hip-roof porch with square posts.
Closely following the Colonial Revival style in popularity is the American Foursquare. There are nearly one hundred examples built extensively throughout the neighborhood, particularly in the Ardmore plats, the area between Academy Street and Ardsley Street, and in the Westfield development. One excellent example is found at 1902 Elizabeth Avenue and dates from around 1924. Having the typical, two-story, cube-like form and pyramidal hip roof, this example features two exterior sheathing materials (weatherboard lower/wood shingles upper), wrap around porch with paneled posts on brick piers, hip-roof dormer, and decoratively cut exposed rafter tails. The house at 656 Sunset Drive is also an excellent example displaying German siding. A typical brick example is found at 2026 Academy Street. Built about 1930, this house features six-over-one windows, hip-roof porch with square posts on brick piers, and brick balustrade. Also representative is the Samuel Burton House located at 670 Irving Street. Built around 1928, this house has German siding, a hip-roof porch with a gable marking its entry, Tuscan columns on brick piers, and Craftsman-style door and sidelights.
Completing the pre-Depression architectural palette in Ardmore is the Tudor Revival style and its simpler variation, Period or English Cottage. Tudor Revival is relatively uncommon in Ardmore with less than twenty examples including the circa 1928 Arthur Utley House at 2039 Academy Street. Period Cottages, however are very numerous and are the most frequent house type built during the 1930s with over one hundred examples. These houses tend to have brick exteriors, double-pile massing with side gable roofs. The steeply-pitched, often asymmetrical, front-gable entry pavilion is also a defining feature as are any number of the Tudor Revival inspired motifs such as round-head doors. One of the most architecturally exuberant Period Cottages is the Samuel and Hettie Katzin House located at 2231 Elizabeth Avenue. Another outstanding example is the c.1937 Tucker House at 2380 Fairway Drive. Featuring clinker brick exterior with casement windows, stuccoed gable with half-timbering, and dovecote in the gable end this house illustrates some of the rustic and romantic elements common in Ardmore Historic District's Period Cottages. The use of tile and roughly hewn stone like that found at 2079 Queen Street are also common. The circa 1940 Kenneth Reid House at 2020 Academy Street is typical. This simple brick house has the round-head door and asymmetrical facade chimney that are the hallmarks of the style. Other houses in the Ardmore Historic District have even more restrained Period Cottage-style ornamentation, taking on the more boxy massing of Minimal Traditional houses in combination with simple entry pavilions, facade chimneys, and occasionally, round-head doors. A good example is located at 1807 Elizabeth Avenue. This house was built about 1942 and features a shed roof supported by curved brackets over its entry. While the facade has both a round-head door and facade chimney, the house's simple, boxy shape, minimal eaves, and lack of steep gables is similar to that found in Minimal Traditional houses.
A variation of the Period Cottage in Ardmore illustrates that not all of these houses have connections to the Tudor Revival style. Rather, they combine elements of the Cape Cod style such as steeply-pitched side-gable roof, double-pile massing, and gabled dormers with the Tudor-derived asymmetrically-gabled entry pavilion. The house located at 2217 Elizabeth Avenue is an excellent example. Built about 1939, it is one-and-a-half-stories with gabled dormers, and an asymmetrically-gabled entry pavilion with narrow, half-length sidelights. A second good example is 1154 Hawthorne Road. This house, built about 1940, has massing similar to the above example, but features a very steeply-pitched front-gable roof on the central entry pavilion; there is also an attached garage wing.
By the end of the Great Depression, bungalows had fallen out of favor although Period Cottages and Colonial Revival style houses continued to be built. A new house type, Minimal Traditional, had begun to appear and by the postwar era had eclipsed all others in popularity and even surpassed the bungalow in number. In fact, from the late 1930s through the mid-1950s there were more than five hundred Minimal Traditional houses built in Ardmore. Minimal Traditional houses tend to exhibit a variety of characteristics but simplicity of design and a lack of ornamentation are common to all. Box-like massing, minimal eave depth or lack of eaves altogether, and the use of a low-pitch, side gable roof are also common although a few front-gable examples to exist.
Examples of Minimal Traditional houses are found throughout the neighborhood, particularly on streets that developed at a later date (i.e. Bellview and Knollwood). A typical example is 714 Bellview Street. This one-story, side gable house has asbestos shingle siding with a front-gable projection and eight-over-eight, double-hung sash. Another good example is found at 423 Brent Street. This brick house also has a front-gable projection with six-over-six and eight-over-eight windows with sidelights. These numerous Minimal Traditional dwellings were built alongside Cape Cod-style houses and Ranch houses from about 1945 through the mid-1950s and into the 1960s. While most of the examples were built after 1953, a few early Ranch houses were constructed around 1950. A good example is found at 715 Fenimore Street (c.1952). This side-gable house has asbestos shingle siding, a picture window and eight-over-eight, double-hung sash. There are very few houses in the Ardmore Historic District that date from after 1965.
Like Minimal Traditional houses, Cape Cod style houses were most often found on streets that developed later, but were scattered throughout Ardmore as in-fill construction. The Cape Cod style features double-pile massing in a house that is one or one-and-a-half-stories tall with a central entry and without a front porch. The side gable roof of the Cape Cod tends to have a steep pitch and gabled dormers are common as are modest Colonial Revival references. A representative example, with side-gable roof and gabled dormers, is found at 2230 Elizabeth Avenue. Ranch houses are less common in the Ardmore Historic District, although they are numerous immediately south of the district boundary.
While Ardmore was marketed as a single-family neighborhood, duplexes and small-scale apartment buildings played a distinct role in the neighborhood's development during the late 1920s through the mid-1950s. Several excellent examples remain as rental property (fueled in part by North Carolina Baptist Hospital students and staff) and are primarily located in the areas platted by the Ardmore Company north of Academy Street and in the Irving/Fenimore streets area. These buildings displayed a significant amount of architectural detail that allowed them to blend seamlessly with their single-family neighbors. The majority of both duplexes and quadruplexes were a variation of the Foursquare house form, two-story with hip roof. Two separate entries with individual porches or porch roofs were often provided. 340-342 Crafton Street is a representative example in brick with gabled porches, sidelights, and square posts on brick piers. Wood siding and wood shingle ornamentation were also common on duplexes, but less frequent on quadruplexes. An excellent quadruplex exists at 720 Hawthorne Road. This brick, two-story building has a hip roof and Colonial Revival stylistic features such as Tuscan columns on the double-tier porch, modillions, and sidelights.
In addition to these early multi-family units are the Ardmore Terrace and Cloverdale Apartments built about 1949 located in the 2300 Blocks of Queen Street and Cloverdale Avenue. The Ardmore Terrace complex covers the entire block between Queen and Cloverdale while the Cloverdale Apartments extend north of Cloverdale Avenue to the railroad tracks. Together, the two complexes, which were built by the same company, includes ninety-one apartment buildings and an office building. The apartment buildings feature restrained Colonial Revival stylistic motifs on simple, two-story, brick buildings. The most notable feature of this complex is its use of the superblock plan where the many buildings are situated in an open, park-like setting with curved streets and mature trees. The buildings are set in multiple groupings forming front courtyards and rear utility entrances and parking areas. A similar complex, Miller Park Circle Apartments was platted in 1951 with twenty-four apartment buildings and a very small office building. This complex is located in the 2500 Block of Queen Street across from Miller Park. Other, later, apartment buildings were constructed in the late 1950s and 1960s, especially near the district boundaries and are non-contributing to the district. These are few in number and relatively modest in scale (like the circa 1960 Penburn Apartments at 501 Hawthorne Road) so that they do not significantly alter the character of the Ardmore Historic District.
The important role of the automobile in Ardmore is reflected in the numerous garages in the neighborhood. About twenty-two percent of the pre-1953 houses in the district have historic garages. These are usually detached single or double-bay buildings often with wood siding although brick, stucco, and wood shingle examples are found. Many of the most architecturally refined houses have garages that reiterate the stylistic motifs of the main house. The garage at 2334 Fairway Drive is a good example that repeats the brick sheathing and stuccoed gable ends of the house. The c.1936 garage at 821 Melrose Street is another excellent brick example with one bay, hip roof, and its original double-leaf, multi-light wooden doors. The single-bay, front-gable example at 426 Hawthorne Road is a weatherboard-clad building that exhibits original rolling wooden doors. Double-leaf wooden doors were also common. Many original doors have been removed and replaced with modern garage doors, but overall the level of integrity of Ardmore's garages is extremely high.
In addition to residential properties, the Ardmore Historic District has a number of institutional buildings including five pre-1945 churches and the North Carolina Baptist Hospital Nurses' Home. The Nurses' Home is the only historic building on the hospital campus to maintain its integrity; it is located on the northwest corner of Queen Street and Hawthorne Road. Built in 1928, the Nurses' Home is a simple, three-story, side-gable, brick building with modest Colonial Revival references. In fact, Colonial Revival is the dominate style for Ardmore's institutional buildings reflecting the national trends during the early twentieth century.
The earliest church in the neighborhood is Ardmore Methodist Church (630 Hawthorne Rd.), built in 1925. This Colonial Revival-style church is brick with a classical portico, three-tier spire, arched, stained glass windows, and triple, arched, double-leaf entries. It was designed by local architect Hall Crews. Ardmore Baptist Church, built in 1942, is similar. Ardmore Moravian Church (1931), however, represents the local trend of following early Salem architectural models. Designed by Northup and O'Brien, the church's design closely follows that of Home Moravian Church (built 1800, Old Salem). The brick building's tall, steeply-gabled front facade features a similar pattern of round-head windows surrounding the central, double-leaf entry with round-head hood on curved brackets and the building is capped by an arcaded cupola. The United Congregational Christian Church (1933) has been altered, but is brick and is simpler in design than the other churches with standard six-over-six, double-hung windows and a very small cupola. Another small church is the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church built about 1941. This brick, T-plan building features an entry pavilion with arched opening and stone accents. A second presbyterian church, Highland Presbyterian Church, was built in 1956 at the corner of Cloverdale Avenue and Magnolia Street. Its commanding Colonial Revival edifice with colossal colonnade and its hill-top location repeat the monumental tone of the earliest Ardmore Churches.
Two final, important institutional buildings in Ardmore are Ardmore School completed in 1929 and Moore School built in 1951. Ardmore School, located at 1046 Miller Street, is a two-story, brick and cast stone building, which features Art Deco bas-relief designs was also designed by Northup and O'Brien. In contrast, is Moore School located at 451 Knollwood Street. This school is a good example of a Modernist-style school from the 1950s with a flat roof and brick, glass and porcelain enamel panel walls.
Very few commercial buildings are in the Ardmore Historic District. The only historic commercial buildings are located at the corner of Hawthorne Road and Magnolia Street. Built about 1950, these brick and concrete block buildings are one-story and have little ornamentation. A good example is 1309-1311 Hawthorne Road. Originally a furniture store, this building has a plate glass storefront, stepped parapet and tile coping.
Overall, the Ardmore Historic District is an extremely large grouping of early twentieth century residential properties with a high level of integrity. The Ardmore Historic District features many original sidewalks, granite curbing, mature trees, and significant retaining walls that contribute greatly to the character of the neighborhood. The houses themselves typically represent their original form and character. Replacement siding and replacement windows are the most common alterations. Enclosed porches and large additions can also be found, but are infrequent. The presence of a large number of garages adds greatly to the integrity of the district and are significant in the historical development of the neighborhood. Finally, as Ardmore grew from a fledgling suburb into a large neighborhood, institutional buildings were constructed and many of them still exist with a good level of integrity. Within the Ardmore Historic District there are relatively few non-contributing properties and most of these are in keeping with the existing scale and character of the district. The boundaries were drawn to exclude many potentially intrusive buildings such as the main portion of the large, Baptist Hospital campus and the commercial areas at Hawthorne Road and West First Street; at Hawthorne and Knollwood Street; at Cloverdale Avenue and Miller Street; and at Knollwood and Cloverdale. Thus, the Ardmore Historic District embodies the character of early twentieth century suburban life in Winston-Salem.
Located southwest of downtown Winston-Salem, the Ardmore Historic District is locally significant as an early twentieth century suburban neighborhood constructed as the city's first automobile suburb beginning about 1910. The large number of garages in the Ardmore Historic District attest to the importance of the automobile in the development of the neighborhood. Unusually large in size, Ardmore consists of several separately platted developments under more than five names that gradually coalesced to become a single, large neighborhood. Initially marketed to the new group of upper-middle income businessmen and professionals, the neighborhood also developed areas of modestly sized dwellings for the city's burgeoning middle-income residents. Physicians, attorneys, insurance agents, managers, factory foremen, and meat cutters and their families all resided in Ardmore with little social stratification. Their dwellings are an excellent collection of popular architecture from the early to mid twentieth century including numerous Craftsman Bungalows and Colonial Revival style houses as well as Period Cottage and Minimal Traditional houses along with a few good examples of Tudor Revival style houses.
The Ardmore Historic District is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places for community planning and development because of its place in Winston-Salem's suburban development. It was the city's first automobile suburb and grew to become the city's largest early twentieth century neighborhood. Furthermore, the neighborhood's fast-paced development, one new house a week for twenty-two years, illustrates its pivotal role in the city's growth. City boundary annexations consistently followed Ardmore's expansion during the 1920s.
The Ardmore neighborhood is also eligible for architecture. The Ardmore Historic District has a significant collection of illustrative and representative examples of architectural styles from the period of significance. This collection is significant as a distinctive entity where most of the individual components are not individually notable. As a whole, the Ardmore Historic District represents the vast variety of scale, architectural detail and combination of architectural expression typical of the early twentieth century. From circa 1910-1930 Craftsman Bungalows dominated the architecture in Ardmore with significant representation of the Foursquare house type and Colonial Revival style. By 1930-1940, Period Cottages and early Minimal Traditional examples had come into greater favor and by the 1940-1953 period, the Minimal Traditional and Cape Cod styles along with a few early Ranch examples typified the architectural palette.
The period of significance of the Ardmore Historic District extends from c.1910, the construction date of the oldest contributing resources located in the Crafton Heights subdivision, to 1956 to include changes in development patterns and architectural styles after World War II. The end of the period of significance is just slightly less than fifty years ago to recognize the resources that date from 1955 and 1956 as they are consistent with earlier post-war resources in character and scale. Although there are fewer resources dating from the postwar era than from earlier decades, these resources contribute to our understanding of the continued development of the neighborhood and the changes in taste and technology indicative of post-World War II society.
Historical Background and Community Planning and Development Context
The first fifteen years of the twentieth century brought about significant growth and change in Winston and its sister town of Salem. The development of a tobacco-based economy had begun in the Twin City during the late nineteenth century with several small companies. As the industry grew, however, it consolidated into a few large companies across the state. In Winston, tobacco production was almost entirely consolidated in the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company after the purchase of the profitable, Hanes family tobacco business in 1900. The Hanes brothers went on to establish two separate, successful textile plants with the proceeds of that sale helping to ensure a diversified economy in the city.
Though textiles, as well as furniture, were important contributors to the economy during the early twentieth century, tobacco surpassed all others in growth. In 1907, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company won a patent for their highly successful Prince Albert Smoking Tobacco and in 1913 the company began producing Camel cigarettes. Construction at the company's downtown location boomed as did employment. Other businesses in the city showed signs of prosperity as well. Wachovia National Bank and Wachovia Loan and Trust, for example, merged in 1911 to create one of the South's strongest financial institutions. The economic growth and change during the early years of the twentieth century culminated in 1913 with the merger of Winston and Salem into a single political entity.
With increased economic prosperity, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and other businesses in the city increased their employment during the 1910s and many new, smaller businesses and service industries opened their doors during this period. With the creation of new jobs, the population in Winston-Salem grew phenomenally. In 1900, the population of Winston and Salem was 13,650. This number had increased dramatically by 1910 when it stood at 22,700. Even greater increases were recorded in 1920 and 1930 when the population totals rose to 48,375 and 75,275 respectively. This trend was not unique to Winston-Salem, however. Populations in most of North Carolina's major cities doubled or tripled between 1900 and 1940. This makes Winston-Salem's place as North Carolina's largest city from 1915 through 1930 even more noteworthy.
By 1924, Winston-Salem was not only the state's largest city, it was the largest manufacturer of tobacco products in the world. Winston-Salem was also the nation's largest producer of men's underwear and the largest manufacturer of knit goods, woolen goods, and wagons in the South. The city's wealth was evidenced by the 1923-1924 federal tax roster; Winston-Salem paid more than one-half of all the federal taxes paid in North Carolina during that period.
While the Reynolds and Hanes families held a great deal of the city's wealth during the early twentieth century, Winston-Salem's burgeoning group of businessmen, administrative, and clerical workers became increasingly wealthy as well. The combination of national housing trends, increased population, and the economic capacity among the growing middle class to purchase automobiles created a boon to suburban development.
The suburban development in Winston-Salem began during the late-nineteenth century with streetcar suburbs like West End [see West End Historic District], west of downtown Winston, and Washington Park [see Washington Park Historic District], south of Salem. These successful developments continued to grow in the early twentieth century. By the second decade of the twentieth century, West End had begun to expand southwestward across Peter's Creek with the platting of the Crafton Heights development in 1910. Crafton Heights was developed by Southern Development Company and stretched from West End Boulevard to Academy Street between Peter's Creek and Sunset Drive at the eastern end of the Ardmore Historic District.
Quickly following the Crafton Heights development was the initial development of Ardmore. Begun by 1914, Ardmore was initially centered on Ardmore Avenue (now Hawthorne Road) near its intersection with Shallowford Road (now West First Street). The first three houses in the new neighborhood were located on Hawthorne Road; they belonged to Ray Johnson, W.G. Jerome, and J.S. Kuykendall. The Jerome House, built in 1914, originally stood on the northeast corner of Hawthorne and Queen Street (it has since been moved to the southeast corner). W.G. Jerome, a cousin of the prominent James Gray family, came to Winston-Salem in 1908 and helped to established the real estate firm of W.G. Jerome, Ray Johnson, and T.V. Edmunds in 1911. This company later became Banner Investment Company, which bought out Fidelity Insurance and formed the Ardmore Company around 1914. W.G. Jerome served as the company's president.
In its second wave of development, the Ardmore Company concentrated on the area near Crafton Heights and continued construction southward up the hill along Hawthorne Road. By January of 1914, Edmunds and Jerome were selling lots in the Queen/Brent Street area and by February of that same year the firm, under the name of Jerome and Johnson, announced: "We have two choice lots in Ardmore for desirable person at reasonable prices and terms to suit. Let us show you."
The success of the neighborhood, believed to have been named for the prominent Philadelphia suburb of Ardmore, was astounding. While the plat record is not complete, additional large tracts were platted in 1922: (1) at the intersection of Queen Street and Hawthorne Road; (2) east of the intersection of Hawthorne Road and Elizabeth Avenue; and (3) a smaller area at the intersection of Hawthorne Road and Fenimore Street. Just as Jerome and Johnson were among the first occupants of the initial phase of the neighborhood, both men built new houses on Elizabeth Avenue near Hawthorne Road as the neighborhood expanded. Jerome's house, located at 2002 Elizabeth Avenue, was completed in 1919 while Johnson's new abode was complete at 2032 Elizabeth Avenue by 1923. By 1925, the Ardmore Company had developed the large area west of Crafton Heights and along Hawthorne Road to Miller Street. This development is clearly seen on a city map published between 1920 and 1925. The streets east of Hawthorne Road were constructed as far south as Ardsley Street and west to Watson Avenue. West of Hawthorne Road, however, only Queen Street, Craig Street, Irving Street and Elizabeth Avenue appear along with small sections of Magnolia, Melrose, and Miller Streets.
The bulk of the land that was developed into Ardmore had once been part of two farms, owned by William Ebert and John Nading. In fact, the daughter of W.G. Jerome recalls that much of the area surrounding their new home at 2002 Elizabeth Avenue was a "daisy field."
The neighborhood was not destined to remain rural for long, however. In 1922, the first of several platted developments by companies other than the Ardmore Company was laid out on the west side of Miller Street at Hawthorne Road. Known as Westover Park, this development took the upper-middle class tone of Ardmore to the next level by laying out its residential development around a nine-hole golf course. The initial phase of Westover Park was platted in 1992 and was well developed by 1928. Westover Park significantly expanded in 1923 (Walker Avenue and Jefferson Avenue) and again in 1924 between Fairway Drive and Hawthorne Road. By 1928, Maplewood Avenue was well developed and construction had begun to appear on Walker Avenue and Fairway Drive. Thomas Wilson, secretary-treasurer of the Westover Realty Company, helped to initiate development in this section by building his own house at 2365 Lyndhurst Avenue about 1930. The golf course, perhaps hurt by the Depression, soon proved to be more valuable as developable land, however, and was sold to Dr. K.M. Yokeley in the 1930s. Dr. Yokeley had Westover and Parkway Drives constructed then subdivided the course in building lots. Westover Drive began to be developed by the late 1940s, but Parkway Drive was vacant until the late 1950s.
A third Ardmore-area development, this time by the Westfield Realty Company, was platted in 1923 along Elizabeth and Rosewood Avenues west of Miller Street. Westfield Avenue was added in 1928. The real estate company owned by John and C.C. Smithdeal figured prominently in the development of this section of the neighborhood. In fact, C.C. Smithdeal built his own home at 2200 Elizabeth Avenue about 1925.
Finally, development was occurring simultaneously with Westover and Westfield in the western end of the district, as well as south of Academy Street and east of Hawthorne Road. By 1928, Brantley Street was well developed and Gaston Street was in its early phase of development. Although the plats are not available for this area, its character is in keeping with the earlier Ardmore Company development to the north. South of Gaston Street, however, Watson and Madison Avenues have a different character; Watson Avenue has a landscaped median. The development of these streets, unlike development elsewhere in the neighborhood, shows a clear pattern from Gaston Street south. The houses located at the southern ends of Watson Avenue, Madison Avenue, Lockland Avenue, and Gales Avenue tend to be from the c.1940-1950 period, while bungalows and other early twentieth century house styles dominate the northern sections.
These several developments, including Crafton Heights, grew together and gradually lost their individual identities. The success of Ardmore, as the entire neighborhood is known, may be best described by its record of constructing one house per week for twenty-two years beginning in the mid-1920s. By 1928, Ardmore was densely developed from Duke Street westward to Magnolia Street.
The growth of the city of Winston-Salem was closely tied to the development in the Ardmore neighborhood. In 1919, the city boundary was extended to include parts of Ardmore and Crafton Heights with larger areas of the neighborhood being added in 1923. Sections of the neighborhood were again annexed in 1926 and 1927 (the last annexation until 1949). Thus by the late 1920s, the entire historic district was within the city limits. Furthermore, almost all of the streets in the Ardmore Historic District had been constructed in their current configuration with the exception of Parkway and Westover Drives and the southern section of Magnolia Street, all of which would be constructed after the removal of Westover Park Golf Course.
This series of annexations is representative of the significant building boom that occurred in Winston-Salem from 1915 through 1928. The first real estate development companies had been formed in the 1880s and by 1925 the city was home to seventy-three companies; the majority of which had been formed to capitalize on the residential boom. The Ardmore Company, W.G. Jerome in particular, was an early and important member of the real estate profession in the city. Jerome served as president of the North Carolina Realtors Association and as early as 1918 he was appointed by the Winston-Salem Real Estate Board as their representative at the national convention.
Ardmore and its developers are significant in the history of Winston-Salem's suburban growth. The extremely rapid development and extraordinary size of the neighborhood makes it unique in the city, but one of the most important factors in its development was the lack of streetcar service. Unlike Washington Park and West End, Ardmore was reliant upon the advent of the family automobile. Public transportation in the new neighborhood was limited to a few jitney (private bus) routes.
Ardmore is representative of the national trend of increasing automobile ownerships. Between 1900 and 1920, vehicle registrations rose nationwide from 8,000 to 8,000,000 and by 1936 the Winston-Salem streetcar system had closed. The wealth of early garages still visible in Ardmore speaks to the importance of the automobile in Ardmore's history. Elizabeth Jerome Holder recalls that most of the families moving to Ardmore owned their own car, but other oral history reports indicate that the men would often use the jitney (that stopped on Miller Street) so that their wives could have use of the family vehicle during the day. By 1962, ninety percent of the households in Ardmore owned a car, compared to less than seventy percent city-wide.
The pace of Ardmore's growth during the 1920s was aided by the construction of North Carolina Baptist Hospital at the northeastern edge of the neighborhood. The selection of Winston-Salem as the site for the hospital was made over Charlotte, Raleigh and most of the state's other major cities. The situation of the new hospital in Ardmore was likely based on several concerns such as the availability of vacant land (the site was donated by industrialists P.H. Hanes and B.F. Huntley, and others), the location of this land on the edge of a growing upper-middle class neighborhood, and the reasonable proximity of this land to downtown Winston-Salem. Planning for the hospital began in 1921 and the five-story building (demolished) near Hawthorne Road and Queen Street opened in 1923. N.C. Baptist Hospital, which held eighty-eight beds and twenty-two bassinets, struggled during its first years, perhaps hurt by its location in what was perceived to be the country, but by 1928, the Baptists were able to construct a nurses home (extant, northwest corner of Queen and Hawthorne) for the women attending the nurses' school (1923-1974). The hospital's greatest impact on Ardmore came after 1941 when the Wake Forest University (now Bowman Gray) School of Medicine was transferred to the hospital from the original Wake Forest campus. With this addition, construction and expansion at the hospital reached an unprecedented pace, particularly from the 1960s through the present.
As discussed above, Ardmore developed as a response to the major economic boom during the late 1910s and 1920s. The tobacco-based economy produced far more than just factory worker positions and was responsible for a significant growth in Winston-Salem's middle and upper-middle class. These white-collar workers were employed as clerks at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, as small businessmen, managers, as salesmen, and insurance agents. All of these positions are well represented in the Ardmore Historic District. Corona Street, for example, was developed during the 1920s in the Crafton Heights section and was home to clerks and draftsmen at R.J. Reynolds, a meat cutter, a pharmacist, salesmen, a railroad conductor, a physician, insurance agents, and small business owners. An early phase of the Ardmore development, the 2000 block of Elizabeth Avenue, was home to managers, salesmen, railway agents, bookkeepers and clerks at R.J. Reynolds as well as W.G. Jerome, president of the Ardmore Company. On Fairway Drive, which was developed along the Westover Golf Course during the 1930s and early 1940s, residents included engineers, the Vice President of Pfaff's Inc., and the President-Treasurer of Bocock Stroud Company. In contrast, the 1800 block of Academy Street, which was developed during the 1920s and 1930s, held building contractors, salesmen, a foreman at R.J. Reynolds, two African American laborers, and a city meat inspector.
This cross-section of the neighborhood makes its social character clear. Ardmore was solidly middle class with pockets, particular along Hawthorne Road and near the Westover Park Golf Course, of upper-middle class residential development. This assessment is supported by the prices of building lots in the neighborhood. A 1920 ad by the Banner Investment Company offered lots at prices from $900 to $1750. While these prices could not be called inexpensive, they were affordable to many. In fact, W.G. Jerome's intention in his Ardmore development was to provide a new neighborhood for young families. The emphasis on families was picked up by other companies marketing speculative housing in Ardmore. Sheets Bond and Realty published an ad in 1926 that read: "Ardmore Home For Sale — Beautiful 8-room stucco house...Large lot planted with shrubbery and flowers. Located in fast-growing Ardmore. No better neighbors or more suitable location for a family can be found in the city."
Further establishing the upper-middle class character of Ardmore are oral history accounts of life during the 1910s and 1920s. These indicate that domestic help was common in the neighborhood. The W.G. Jerome family employed an African American gardener, Lee Hunt, and a cook, Ella Crawford. Mrs. Crawford earned seven dollars a week and had "toting privileges," or the right to take kitchen left-overs for her own family's use. Domestic workers worked six days a week from before breakfast until the dishes were finished after the evening meal. Servants' quarters were often incorporated into the house or garage design. The Dr. K.M. Yokeley family, for example, employed a maid who lived in an apartment in their Irving Street home. Other domestic workers walked to their Ardmore work places from small African American communities in the area. Both Elizabeth Jerome Holder and Whitfield Cobb (who grew up on Elizabeth Avenue during the early 1920s) recall that small houses occupied by African Americans dotted Hawthorne Road and Queen Street. The 1921 Sanborn map illustrates a few of these houses along with other, larger, I-house dwellings on Academy Street (then Bank Street). These dwellings pre-dated the development of Ardmore and were representative of the rural agricultural landscape that surrounded the Ebert farm and the former Nading plantation. There still exists a small row of c.1900 houses in an area at the south end of Madison Avenue known as Sidestown (not within district boundaries).
With the increased development in Ardmore during the late 1920s, the neighborhood shifted to a more typical middle-class character featuring modestly-sized dwellings and even multi-family housing. Scattered throughout the neighborhood during the late 1920s and early 1930s, except in the Westover Park and Westfield developments, were a series of duplexes and quadruplexes. These units were built for young couples and single professionals. 678 Irving Street is an excellent example of a quadruplex. Being built of brick, this two-story, hip-roof building is complete with a double-tier porch and a four-car garage to serve each of the units. Similarly, 707 Watson Avenue is one of the most architecturally refined duplexes in Ardmore and is a rare example of the Spanish Eclectic style. The incorporation of single-car garages into the projecting front porches of each duplex epitomizes the reliance on the automobile that made the neighborhood possible. Both of these examples were constructed about 1930.
Thus, before the onset of the Great Depression, Ardmore was a comfortably middle-class, white neighborhood that typified suburban development of its day. Children growing up in Ardmore enjoyed a neighborhood in the country, playing on vacant lots and the large tract of open land owned by P.H. Hanes (now the corner of Cloverdale Avenue and Miller Street). Other entertainments included hopscotch, roller skating on the neighborhood's sidewalks, and bicycling to nearby stores. Sledding on Duke and Irving Streets and Elizabeth Avenue in the winter was also a favorite pastime. Community festivities included watermelon feasts and ice cream parties. The Rogers Grocery (formerly Majors Grocery) on Irving Street was located in the basement of 2083 Elizabeth Avenue and was a favorite location for candy-buying.
Early domestic life in Ardmore featured both modern conveniences and country tranquility. The neighborhood had been constructed with indoor plumbing, city water and sewer, and electricity. Despite its location away from the city center, downtown grocery stores, such as Crawford's store on Fourth Street, delivered groceries into the neighborhood. Farmers drove through Ardmore peddling live chickens, sausage, liver pudding, and other seasonal produce. Many families used their modest building lots for garden space producing additional fruits and vegetables. Milk was delivered. Mabel Bowen who moved to Ardmore in 1923, recalled that the milkman would enter the back of the house and put the milk into your icebox. The icebox (there were no electric refrigerators until the late 1920s) was kept cool by the large blocks of ice delivered by the ice wagon. A sign hung on the kitchen door told the iceman how much to leave. Children often chased this wagon along its route picking up small chips of ice. Other services included laundry pick-up. Families without domestic help might send their wash out to Zinzendorf Laundry and have it returned, wet.
An important milestone in the development of Ardmore as a neighborhood was the establishment of its neighborhood churches. The first church in Ardmore was Ardmore Methodist Church, an outgrowth of Centenary Methodist in downtown Winston-Salem. It was organized at the home of C.C. Smithdeal (2200 Elizabeth Avenue) on October 26, 1924 with fifty-four charter members. By November of that year, the church site at 630 Hawthorne Road had been obtained and a crude shack was built on it. The site was the highest elevation within the city limits at that time and once completed on October 4, 1925, the church's steeple was the city's highest point for several years. The church was designed by local architect Hall Crews.
Soon after the construction of Ardmore Methodist Church, Ardmore Baptist (known as Tabernacle Baptist until 1938) was founded in October of 1927. Many of the original members, and the first pastor (P.C. James) had come from Brown Memorial Church. James had not been ordained into the Southern Baptist ministry causing the official church conference not to recognize Tabernacle Baptist. It was not until 1930, after James resigned, that the church joined the Pilot Mountain Association. The second minister, Reverend C.F. Rogers served until 1934.
Following the Methodists and Baptists, Ardmore Moravian Church was constructed in 1931 at 536 Hawthorne Road near Ardmore Methodist Church. The church, an outgrowth of Calvary Moravian Church began with meetings in 1921. The fledgling congregation erected a bungalow in Ardmore for use as its church in 1923 and the church was officially organized in 1924. The first service in the present building, which was designed by Northup and O'Brien, was held in March of 1932 although the official dedication did not occur until 1940. Two final churches in Ardmore were the United Congregational Christian Church, which was built about 1933 on Academy Street (this building is currently a residence) and the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church also built a modest structure at the corner of Melrose and Queen Streets about 1941.
Another significant institution in Ardmore was Ardmore School (closed in 1984). Prior to the opening of this school, Ardmore children had attended West End School on Broad Street. Ardmore School, designed by Northup and O'Brien, was constructed on approximately four acres at the corner of Miller Street and Elgin Street. It housed grades one through five in nine classrooms (a total of twenty-five classrooms after a 1955 addition). The school building opened on September 16, 1929, with W.B. Owen serving as principal (he was also principal of West End and Wiley Schools). Ardmore School had approximately 300 students during its first year. By 1935, Miss Ethel Dalton, one of the county's few female principals, was in charge of the school where students were taught through fourth grade. During the 1940s, the school expanded to include grades five through seventh. Nancy Sue Davis Gatlin, who attended the school from 1940 through 1943, recalled that the school offered a variety of programs including violin lessons. The building itself, which included an auditorium, was an important focal point in the community. The city recreation department used the school's basement recreation room and playground for summer programs and the school library, which had an exterior entry, was open during the summer as well. On a more somber note, the school responded to World War II via several initiatives. It was the location of the local black-out siren and war-effort programs such as the purchase of Defense Stamps and the collection of scrap metal (through the Junior Commando program) were promoted.
The school lent an even greater desirability to the neighborhood as seen in a 1929 advertisement by Smithdeal Realty: "School Time! Home for Sale or Trade. Near New Ardmore school. Live near this new modern school so your children will not have long distance to travel, crossing dangerous streets."
By 1935, Ardmore was home to hundreds of families, several small grocery stores, four churches, an elementary school, and a major hospital and nursing school. The amenities of the neighborhood were completed by the construction of Miller Park by the Works Progress Administration in 1942. The large park features Rustic-style shelters and bridges. The park was dedicated on July 4, 1942 and was built on land donated by Clint Miller and the city. Longtime residents of the neighborhood recall plays and music in the park's amphitheater and during the 1940s a jukebox was installed for dancing and roller skating on weekends. An additional, smaller park, Lockland Park, was created in a deep ravine near a small stream at the corner of Lockland Avenue and Elizabeth Avenue. This park has similar rustic shelters and stonework. Lockland Park was also constructed by the WPA before 1935.
The Depression years were a time of irony in Ardmore; homes were lost and homes were built. In fact, one of Ardmore's founders, W.G. Jerome lost much of his financial wherewithal and was forced to sell his Elizabeth Avenue home. Jerome moved to Greensboro in 1938 where he became head of the North Carolina Federal Housing Underwriters. Other real estate companies, like Smithdeal Realty, managed to survive the Depression. Many families lost their homes or clung to them narrowly. Reports of real estate companies allowing pay-when-you-can terms to some new homeowners are mixed with other reports that the neighborhood was referred to as "mortgage hill." In fact, a large number of houses were completed in 1930 immediately after the crash. Construction did dwindle considerably from 1931 through 1935, but by the late 1930s, a number of new houses were being constructed in Ardmore. These included the Minimal Traditional house built about 1938 at 2022 Academy Street for shipping clerk Harold Lewis; the ornate Period Cottage at 2231 Elizabeth Avenue completed circa 1937 for Samuel Katzin, owner of Katzin Brothers Confectioners; and the one-story Colonial Revival house at 1616 Elizabeth Avenue belonging to W. Alf West, a clerk at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
This upturn in construction during the Recovery Era foreshadowed the major resurgence that the neighborhood would see after 1940. The combination of the need for post-war housing, the expansion at North Carolina Baptist Hospital after the Bowman Gray Medical School arrived in 1941, and the continued availability of vacant lots in Ardmore as well as the large tracts of open land to the south and west of the neighborhood created a situation for growth that rivaled the neighborhood's initial development.
While nearly every section of the neighborhood has significant post-1940 development a few sections were sparsely developed prior to World War II. Bellview Street, the 2300-2400 blocks of Queen Street, and Knollwood Street all have concentrations of circa 1945-1950 housing. Cloverdale Avenue, west of the intersection with Melrose Street, is the site of a major apartment complex, Cloverdale Apartments. Constructed and still owned by Wilson-Covington Construction Company, the first section of apartments (on the north side of Cloverdale Avenue) were platted in 1947 and were completed by 1949. Although Ardmore native Dora Hanks recalls that many wondered "how they would ever be able to rent all of them," the enormous complex appealed to medical students, senior citizens, and young professionals who all saw Ardmore as a desirable place to live. An equally large development, known as Ardmore Terrace, was platted and built in 1949 on the south side of Cloverdale Avenue. Residents in 1949 included Ralph and Hetty Dixon, the Director of Finance at city hall; Carl Fare, assistant manager at Haverty Furniture; Ruby Truell, a heart station technician at North Carolina Baptist Hospital; and James and Nancy Flynn, a waiter at Flynn's Lunch. Following the success of Cloverdale Apartments and Ardmore Terrace, a similar, smaller apartment complex, Miller Park Circle Apartments, was platted in 1951 across from Miller Park.
The historic core of Ardmore was substantially built out by the mid-1950s, but the neighborhood continued to expand vigorously to the west and especially to the south to Silas Creek Parkway during the late 1950s and 1960s. A profile of the neighborhood at this time indicated that two-thirds of the neighborhood's residents were employed in professional or clerical jobs and the median family income was about $7,500, compared to $5,549 city-wide. Additionally, one-quarter held college degrees compared to one-eighth city-wide. This middle-class character continues today. Fostering the quiet, residential atmosphere are two organizations: the Ardmore Civic Club, which was formed in 1947 and the Ardmore Neighborhood Association, which developed in the late 1970s and 1980s, both still exist. Although once thought of as the "wilds of Ardmore," the neighborhood is now part of Winston-Salem's center-city. Achieving a delicate balance between residential character, institutional development, and commercial activity, Ardmore is still among the most desirable neighborhoods in Winston-Salem. Its longevity, virtually without decline, is the final unique feature in a neighborhood that continues to play a defining role in Winston-Salem's development.
In response to the large, complex, formal, and ornate Victorian-era house, reformers and architects began to advocate a new architecture that would encourage a more "natural" lifestyle in early twentieth century America. Widespread by World War I, the movement featured a "simple, efficient, neat, and natural" house where the living room replaced formal parlors and built-in furniture increased efficiency. Other innovations included "sanitary" or "scientific" kitchens and sun or sleeping porches to provide the fresh air and a connection to nature.
Stylistically, American architecture during this period was shaped by both the Arts and Crafts Movement, personified in the United States by Gustav Stickley and the Greene Brothers, and nationalism, which began as a new interest in American history after the 1876 Centennial.
The simple, unpretentious bungalow form with stylized expression of the construction methods and the use of materials in their "natural" or rustic form epitomized the ideals put forward by Stickley's The Craftsman magazine, which ran from 1901-1916, and other publications. While only wealthy North Carolinians had the luxury of architect-designed dwellings intended for "modern, natural, healthy living," the design of the bungalow made possible the transition to simpler, mass-produced dwellings for citizens in almost any social stratus. The bungalow's wide eaves, low-pitched roof, and deep (often engaged) porch created an image of comfort and security while facilitating a connection with the outdoors. In North Carolina, the bungalow's wide eaves and deep porches were well-attuned to the warm climate and even resembled earlier coastal cottages. Furthermore, the ease and economy with which the basic bungalow could be built provided an opportunity for flexibility in size and stylistic elaboration in order to accommodate a wide variety of income levels.
This feature of the bungalow fit neatly with the national popularization of architecture that was occurring during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Although there are certainly architect-designed houses in Ardmore, the vast majority were probably built from designs in plan books, catalogues, or magazines, and some may even have been mail-order houses. Factory-cut houses, available through the mail from Sears, Alladin and other companies, became very popular during the 1920s. During 1930, Sears alone sold nearly 50,000 homes. The popularity of these houses from mail order companies and traditional plan books helped to disperse the designs. Thus, the modest bungalow, cottage, and Foursquare homes with wide-ranging stylistic motifs became the new suburban standard in America. A quick perusal of Houses by Mail: a Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company by Stevenson and Jandl, finds many designs that are reminiscent of Ardmore houses. The "Walton," for example, is a bungalow produced from 1921 through 1929 and has the front-gable form with front-gable, wraparound porch that is very common in Ardmore.
In fact, the bungalow is the most common pre-1940 house type in the Ardmore Historic District. Most often having Craftsman stylistic details, these houses are found in a range of sizes and levels of expression. The G.W. Jerome House at 2002 Elizabeth Avenue (c.1919) and the Lewis Chambers House 2116 Queen Street (c.1926) are two of the most architecturally refined examples in Ardmore, while the James Tierney House 1201 Hawthorne Road (c.1940) and the D.C. and Isla Kirby House 237 Lockland Avenue (c.1923), though more modest in scale, exhibit one of the tenets of Craftsman architecture — the use of natural materials. The river rock and rough stone foundations and porch ornamentation on these two dwellings reinforces their connection with nature in the midst of a busy suburban neighborhood. More numerous are bungalows like the circa 1929 R. Claude Leinbach House located at 1823 Elizabeth Avenue that illustrates the front-gable roof/side-gable porch configuration that was extremely popular across Winston-Salem during the mid and late 1920s. Similarly the circa 1927 Randolph and Ethel Wilmoth House at 803 Gales Avenue, which illustrates the side-gable, one-and-a-half-story form with gabled dormer and shed-roof porch, is representative of a second popular form. It is also important to note that bungalows were built over a long time span in Ardmore. By the mid-1930s, however, their architectural detailing had been significantly reduced. There are several, hip-roof, brick examples such as the Andrew and Alice Gaskins House located at 1035 Miller Street and built about 1936. This house has a hip roof as well as a hip-roof entry porch. It is ornamented by a basket weave watertable.
There are very few identical houses in Ardmore and almost no identical bungalows. In fact the styles of roofs (jerkinhead, front and side gable, and hip), the combination of ornament (battered posts, dormers, decorative shingles, and half-timbering), and the variety of porch types (engaged, wraparound, side-gable, shed, and front-gable) allow for virtually infinite combinations particularly when the choice of exterior materials (stucco, brick, shingles, German siding, and weatherboard) is factored in.
Although bungalows make up a large part of the housing stock in Ardmore, the American Foursquare house was also built in sizeable numbers throughout the neighborhood. Marketed as an extremely efficient and economical design, the Foursquare was built intensely in North Carolina during the mid-1910s until the early 1920s. This house type was easy and inexpensive to build for a larger family who needed more space than the small two or three bedroom bungalow. The Foursquare developed during the early twentieth century from the cube-like form that was the base for popular Queen Anne-influenced houses replete with bays and towers. The "simplifying influence of the Prairie School," in addition to the overall shift in fashion towards simpler houses, were brought together in the Foursquare. The two-story, cube-like house has a two- or three-bay facade with a deep, attached front porch. The house could be easily adapted to a variety of styles. The use of the Foursquare form in Colonial Revival style houses is discussed below, but Foursquare houses were also commonly ornamented with Craftsman stylistic motifs. A good example is the circa 1926 Jesse Taylor House at 417 Corona Street illustrates the use of Craftsman influences such as weatherboard sheathing on the lower level and wood shingles on the upper level. Many more Foursquares have little stylistic ornamentation at all, such as the W.M. Beard House (c.1924) at 2034 Elizabeth Avenue. This house, an excellent example of the Foursquare houses in Ardmore, relies on mitered-corner weatherboards, a pediment at the porch entry, and multi-light door and sidelights to make its facade distinctive. Foursquares can be found throughout Ardmore, particularly in the areas platted by the Ardmore Company (the c.1929 Lonnie Holbrook House at 1712 Elizabeth Avenue and Clyde and Bessie Burton House at 603 Lockland Avenue built c.1927 are excellent examples).
The Colonial Revival style grew in popularity after the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and became increasingly academic, where historic examples were faithfully followed. The popularity of the style was increased by the growing sense of loss of American identity after the turn of the twentieth century. Increasing immigration in the North and industrialization and racial tensions in the South led Americans to crave stability and familiarity. The Colonial Revival style represented "the moral tone of restraint and sound judgement," and played on Southern notions of Anglo-Saxon heritage found in the idealized antebellum civilization. Thus, Colonial Revival soon became the preferred design mode of North Carolina's well-to-do.
Though Ardmore does not contain the large, Georgian Revival mansions typical of the state's wealthiest neighborhoods (Charlotte's Myers Park, Raleigh's Hayes Barton, and Buena Vista in Winston-Salem), the neighborhood is replete with more modest Colonial Revival residences reflecting its upper-middle and middle class stature. In keeping with the upscale character of Hawthorne Road, many of the best Colonial Revival houses are on this street. The J.H. Fletcher House at 427 Hawthorne Road (c.1926), for example, features wood shingle sheathing, nine-over-nine windows, Tuscan columns, and a fanlight over the entrance. Other examples include an excellent example at 418 Duke Street (Nathaniel Blackwood House, c.1923) as well as fine interpretations at 2371 Elizabeth Avenue (c.1929) and 1944 Brantley Street (William and Virginia Pollard House, c.1926). It should also be noted that Ardmore contains an unusually large collection of bungalows with clear Colonial Revival stylistic motifs. The circa 1930 Spiro and Mattie Crello House at 2410 Rosewood Avenue is a representative example with side-facing jerkinhead roof and front-gable entry porch with arched opening and Tuscan columns. Another common variation of the Colonial Revival is the use of the hip-roof, cube-like Foursquare form with Colonial Revival ornamentation. The George Steifel House (704 Hawthorne Road, c.1930) is an excellent, brick example with twelve-over-one windows, modillions at the eaves, and a solider course watertable. The hip-roof entry porch features a roof balustrade and paired, Tuscan columns. The side porch, which is found on so many Colonial Revival houses also has a roof balustrade. One and a half story Colonial Revival examples are also evident in Ardmore. The Morrill House (c.1942, 2458 Maplewood Avenue) is a representative example.
The Dutch Colonial Revival style, another popular interpretation of the Colonial Revival style, is particularly common in Ardmore. The defining feature of this variation is its use of a gambrel roof with a wide, shed-roof dormer on the second level. Most often found along Hawthorne Road and in the Westfield and Westover Park developments, Ardmore Dutch Colonial Revival houses tend to be quite large and often feature contrasting upper and lower level exterior materials. The J. Grady and Avas Nail House built circa 1930 at 2234 Rosewood Avenue is an excellent example as is the circa 1922 J.C. Graham House at 637 Hawthorne Road.
Nationalistic architecture took on another form in addition to American colonial models. Anglophilic fashions were common among the well-to-do and many Americans traced their heritage to England making English medieval architecture ripe with meaning. Thus, after World War I the Tudor Revival style grew be a major influence in American architecture. Most often expressed on a modest scale in the many examples of Period (English) Cottage in Ardmore, there are a few larger dwellings that warrant to be described as Tudor Revival in style. The Jerome House (c.1915) at 403 Hawthorne Road is the best, earliest, and most ornate example. The H. Kapp Ogburn House at 917 Hawthorne Road (c.1930) is also well-executed and exhibits many of the details seen throughout the neighborhood like turned-baluster screens at the entry, the use of stucco, often with half-timbering, steeply pitched gables, particularly at the entry, and casement windows. The S.R. Warner House (631 Miller Street, c.1929) is also a good example with a stuccoed exterior, steeply-pitched, front-gable projection, gabled wall dormer, and eyebrow arch over the entry. The circa 1928 Utley House at 2039 Academy Street represents a more typical dwelling with a front-facing jerkinhead roof above a one and a half story facade. This form, sometimes executed as an asymmetrical gable is very common in Ardmore. Tudor Revival houses are typically found on or near Hawthorne Road. The two-story house has a steeply pitched, side gable, asymmetrical roof, eight-light, wooden casement windows, a recessed entry porch, and half-timbering in gable.
Although rare, Spanish models (Spanish Colonial, Mission, and Spanish Eclectic styles) are found in Ardmore as well. These styles, clearly defined by the use of stucco, tile roofs, and details such as arches and arcades, crenellated parapets, and decorative tiles, spread eastward from California and the Southwest after the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego in 1915 and grew in popularity by evoking "the lush life of California or Florida." The largest such house in Ardmore is found at the J. Robert Hankins House, built c.1920 at 402 Corona Street, and is an extremely interesting example carrying subtle Craftsman-style details as well. Another example is the duplex found at 707 Watson Avenue (c.1930). The integration of garages for each unit is especially noteworthy in this design. The fine Spanish Eclectic Howard Lee House at 900 Hawthorne Road (c.1932) is one of the few houses in Ardmore where the architect, Hall Crews in this instance, is known.
It is unfortunate, but the lack of building permits from the period, makes the discovery of the architects and contractors active in Ardmore difficult. It can only be assumed that there are other architect-designed houses in the neighborhood and this seems especially likely for the earliest houses along Hawthorne Road. Hall Crews, a local architect, was also responsible for the Colonial Revival design of Ardmore Methodist Church (1925). Similarly, Northup and O'Brien, perhaps the city's preeminent architecture firm during the early twentieth century, completed the design for Ardmore School (1929), which features bas-relief Art Deco motifs and for the traditional design of Ardmore Moravian Church (1931). Hall Crews (1895-1966) was a native of Forsyth County. After studying in New York, he returned to Winston-Salem in 1923. Willard Northup (1882- 1942) was a Michigan native who was educated in Pennsylvania. He was joined in his Winston-Salem firm by Leet O'Brien (1891-1963), a native of Winston-Salem in 1913 and the two became partners in 1925.
Lacking attributions to local architects, it is prudent to understand the sources for the national architectural trends that certainly influences Ardmore's architecture. For example, the Small House Architect's Service Bureau based in Minneapolis had added, by the 1920s, an additional aspect to the national trend for a "natural" house. Offering architect-designed plans for "small houses," or houses with six rooms or less, the nonprofit organization fostered the idea of quality in a modest home and worked to raise the public awareness of the benefit of professional design. Periodicals like The Small House, books and even national magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens offered information on house design, decoration, and gardening to the owners of modest dwellings. It can not be ascertained if any of the Ardmore Historic District house designs came from the Bureau, but it is clear that the small house movement was an important factor in the homes built in the neighborhood. Both the Cape Cod and Period Cottage houses illustrate how stylistic motifs, either Tudor or Colonial, can be applied to a small house with aesthetically pleasing results.
The English-inspired version of the Period Cottage, sometimes referred to as an English Cottage, was a common house type in Ardmore. Models for these small houses are found in a variety of sources including the small house movement, mail-order catalogs, and plan books. Unlike Tudor Revival houses, Period Cottages are found throughout Ardmore, though they are less common in the Crafton Heights vicinity and more common in the Westfield and Westover Park areas. Two excellent examples, one at 2380 Fairway Drive (Hubert Tucker House, c.1937) and the other at 2079 Queen Street (W. Clyde and Edna Kirkman House, c.1938), feature the typical round-head door, steeply pitched front gable, and prominent chimney located on the front facade made picturesque through the use of tile, clinker brick, or stone.
Most of the Period Cottages in Ardmore do not display this degree of fairytale-like detailing, however. A more typical example is found at 1825 Brantley Street (Lansing Womble House, c.1940). This one-and-a-half story, side-gable, brick house has a front-gable projection and a front-gable entry pavilion with short sidelights and a facade chimney tucked at its side. The Carl T. Charles House at 800 Brent Street (c.1938) is similar but features stuccoed gable ends, a recessed entry with arched opening, an arcaded, engaged side porch and a facade chimney with decorative brickwork. While these examples were less than two stories in height, it is common in Ardmore to find two-story examples. The Henry and Lillian Barham House, circa 1929, at 2233 Rosewood Avenue is representative of the two-story Period Cottages. It features a wide, shed-roof dormer, wood shingle siding, steeply-pitched gable-roof entry pavilion, and a pediment and pilasters at the entry. Another good two-story example is the Carl Pfaff House (2416 Maplewood Avenue, c.1930).
As can be noted from the construction dates, Period Cottages continued to be built in Ardmore throughout the 1930s and into the post-war period. Thus, their range of stylistic interpretation shifted and by the 1940s it was more common to find Period Cottages with boxier, Cape Cod-style massing. Further, the intermingling of English Cottage and Colonial Revival motifs, such as in the Barham House above, became increasingly common. A representative example of this variation is found in the Frank and Eleanor Blackmore House at 2416 Rosewood Avenue (c.1939). This one-and-a-half-story house features gable-roof dormers and massing that is reminiscent of a Cape Cod style house. Yet, it has a front-gable entry pavilion with an arched hood on knee braces above the entry and small, leaded-glass sidelights with a facade chimney at the entry's corner. The Robert and Mary Voss House at 712 Bellview Street, built about 1941, is a one-story, side gable house with a modest front-gable projection and asbestos shingle siding. Here there is relatively little ornamentation except a massive facade chimney at the entry.
In addition to Period Cottages, Cape Cod-style houses were a dominant architectural form in Ardmore during the World War II era. The Cape Cod house form is closely related to Colonial Revival style houses. Yet it is set apart by its more modest massing, typically one or one-and-a-half stories in height and at least two rooms deep, the use of a symmetrical facade with central entry, and scaled-back application of classical stylistic motifs. An excellent example is the Samuel and Delia Greer House at 851 Bellview Street. Built about 1950, this one-and-a-half-story, side-gable house has gable-roof dormers, German siding, six-over-six, double-hung sash, and a broken pediment and pilasters at entry. The G. Clayton Hill House at 1616 Elizabeth Avenue (c.1936) is a brick example with similar massing; the entry porch here is a front-gable with classical columns. The house also features a side porch.
Cape Cod-style houses are especially interesting because they were heavily influenced and promoted by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in addition to being featured by plan books and mail-order catalogs. In some ways, the FHA's work can be thought of as the codification of the small house movement. The search for the ideal small house took on new meaning during the Depression years of the 1930s and a standard "minimum house" was introduced in 1936. "House A" of this series is a simple Cape Cod house and the publication of the minimum house helped to foster proliferation of Cape Cod houses across the country.
The FHA's focus on economical construction joined with the emphasis on large-scale housing to produce multi-unit housing complexes to serve war-effort workers during the early 1940s. After the war, the possibility of mass-production home-building came to fruition with developers such as William Levitt. The critical housing shortage in the post-war period lent itself to a new, efficiently built house that could be constructed in large numbers. Referred to as Minimal Traditional houses, these houses tend to be one or one-and-a-half-stories, with significantly reduced ornamentation, scale, and floor space. Some display very modest Colonial Revival details and in Ardmore the limited use Period Cottage motifs such as facade chimneys are especially common.
Minimal Traditional houses are found throughout Ardmore as in-fill on vacant lots. There are also several areas in Ardmore where Minimal Traditional houses are concentrated due the later period of development on these streets. Bellview Street is an excellent example as is Knollwood Street. In fact, several houses in the 800 block of Bellview Street illustrate some of the variety that is encompassed by the Minimal Traditional form. The M.R. Bergschneider House at 836 Bellview Street (c.1952) represents one of the most common Minimal Traditional forms in Ardmore. This very simple one story, side gable house has asbestos shingle siding and is ornamented only by a large picture window with sidelights, a metal awning at the central entry, and scalloped trim at the cornice. The Robert and Ruby Fowler House (c.1942, 817 Bellview Street) illustrates another common Ardmore Minimal Traditional form, the one-and-a-half-story, front gable house with the flush eaves. This house has asbestos shingle siding, six-over-six, double-hung sash, a gable-roof projection and a cat-slide, hip-roof porch. The J.D. Deal House at 810 Bellview Street (c.1951) is a one-story, side-gable house like 836 Bellview Street, but it features a stepped roof line. Brick examples of the Minimal Traditional house are also found throughout Ardmore, as are houses that combine asbestos shingle siding, aluminum siding, weatherboard, or replacement vinyl siding with masonry details. A good example is the Robert Boone House at 413 Brent Street. Built about 1942, this one-story house has aluminum siding, a cross-gable roof and a small projecting gable in the main front gable. The house is ornamented only by a stone entry surround with voussoirs and keystone over the door. Similarly, the Burton House at 1823 Grace Street is one and a half stories with vinyl siding and a brick entry pavilion. The house also features a battered, brick, facade chimney with white brick accents and recessed, arched panel.
Along with the Minimal Traditional, one final architectural style began to appear in Ardmore by the early 1950s. The Ranch style, which would come to fruition in the southern section of Ardmore (outside the district boundary) during the late 1950s, is found as infill throughout the neighborhood and is particularly common in association with Minimal Traditional examples such as on Bellview Street and particularly on the later-developed Parkway Drive. Many of Ardmore's Ranch houses have an appearance similar to Minimal Traditional houses like 836 Bellview Street, but are differentiated by their longer, lower massing. While the majority of Ranch houses in the Ardmore Historic District fall outside of the period of significance there are some contributing examples. The Stonestreet House at 655 Hawthorne Road (c.1953) is representative. This one-story, side-gable, brick house features a modest gable-roof entry pavilion and facade chimney. It is its low profile and horizontal emphasis that places it in the Ranch style. While this simple Ranch house is typical of the Ardmore Historic District, there are two houses that have more distinct architecture. Located at 448 Sunset Drive, the T.J. Swing House (c.1953) is constructed of stone and is one story with a double-gable roof, metal, three-light casement windows with transoms, and a shed porch with parapet above. The Robah Peddycord House at 2425 Westfield Avenue (c.1954) has stone veneer and a hip roof with a hip roof, projection at each end (one is garage). Ornamentation includes a round window.
Although the use of the Modernist style with Ranch houses was common during the 1950s and 1960s, there are no examples in Ardmore. There are, however, two houses that have distinct, modern architecture that is notable. Although built at different periods and with different architectural intentions, both of these houses call to attention the shift in housing ideals. The St. John's Lutheran Church parsonage (835 Hawthorne Road), which stands at the corner of Miller Street and Hawthorne Road is an excellent, early, and rare example of the International Style in Winston-Salem. The International Style offered a strictly unornamented dwelling that was focused on its function rather than stylistic interpretations or national buildings trends. Built in 1938, the parsonage was designed by the sister (name unknown) of the church pastor, Rev. Richard Meibohm. The two-story, flat-roof, stucco house has a one-story entry pavilion, metal casement corner and picture windows, and a stone chimney.
The second house, located at 2546 Westover Drive, was designed and built by local architect Lamar Northup, the son of Willard Northup, in 1953. This small, simple Modernist dwelling reflects the high-style ideal of its time; namely the use of modern materials, a private connection with nature, and suppression of unnecessary ornamentation. Northup was educated at several universities including a stint at Illinois Institute of Technology, where the architecture department was under the directorship of Modernist master, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. This house closely resembles those made famous in North Carolina by Raleigh architect George Matsumoto. The box-like design has a flat roof and uses its below-street level site to advantage with a bridge from the street and a double-height rear elevation. The front elevation is divided into stucco panels that are separated by vertical, Oriental-influenced wood members. The naturalistic setting and glass rear elevation are indicative of the Modernist idea of bringing nature indoors. These unusual architectural examples only serve to enrich the architectural palette in Ardmore.
Primarily houses, garages and apartments with a few institutional and commercial buildings, Ardmore's architecture illustrates the shift in social thought, technology, and architectural design over a period of nearly fifty years. In so doing, the neighborhood's collection is an important representation of middle and upper-middle income residential architecture in Winston-Salem during the period of significance. While none of Ardmore's architecture can be thought of as unique to the neighborhood, the Ardmore Historic District, due in part to its large size, does provide an unusually broad palette. When compared with nearby neighborhoods such as West Salem and Washington Park, Ardmore's architecture stands out as a recognizable group. The district's architectural character was created as a function of a relatively narrow period of development where housing starts remained unusually steady throughout the development. Finally, as Winston-Salem's first automobile suburb and as the city's largest early twentieth century suburb, the Ardmore Historic District holds an important piece of the city's history. Expressed architecturally in the many garages and in the important influences of national building trends from the "natural" bungalow to the small, affordable, quickly-built house.
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