Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District
The Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. 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 Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District is located southeast of downtown Winston-Salem, immediately west of U.S. Hwy 52. The Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District is roughly bounded by Haled Street, Junia Avenue, and Monmouth Street on the north; Glendale Street on the east; Goldfloss and Brookline Streets on the south; and Main Street on the west. Immediately north of the district is the former village of Centerville (National Register 2008) [see Centerville Historic District, to the west is the Washington Park Historic District (National Register, 1992), and to the east is Waughtown (National Register, 2005) [see Waughtown-Belview Historic District], which is centered a few miles away. The streets of the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District are laid out in a grid with Sunnyside Avenue running northwest-southeast through the district. The grid of the Sunnyside development, located to the east and south of Sunnyside Avenue, is slightly offset to the east from true north. The grid of the Central Terrace development west of Sunnyside Avenue is slightly offset to the west from true north. Lot sizes in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District are relatively uniform with narrow street frontage and deep rear yards except for the lots in the Sunnyside development lying on Sprague and Monmonth streets and Junia Avenue where the lots are extremely narrow with individual buildings often occupying more than one lot.
Substantially residential in character, the architecture in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District represents a variety of styles and forms popular from the last quarter of the nineteenth century through the mid-1950s. While the majority of the district's buildings are single-family residential, there are also two apartment buildings and several duplexes. Supporting the residential buildings are approximately 103 garages and outbuildings associated with the residential buildings. A small number of commercial, industrial, and light industrial buildings are located within the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District as well as institutional and governmental buildings; including four churches and a fire department.
The buildings in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District represent a variety of architectural styles and forms that were popular in North Carolina during the late nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries. These include simple forms such as the one-story, side-gable, single-pile dwellings, gable ell cottages, Foursquare houses, and bungalows as well as more elaborate modes such as Craftsman Bungalows. The Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Period Cottage, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch styles are also represented. For non-residential buildings the Commercial, Mission, Gothic Revival, Neoclassical Revival and Modern styles are utilized.
Most of the properties in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District were built during the first three decades of the twentieth century peaking during the 1920s when about twenty-seven percent of the properties were constructed. About six percent of the properties were built during the late-nineteenth century through about 1910; eighteen percent of the properties between about 1910 and 1920; and roughly eight percent during the 1930s. Construction fell off significantly after 1940 and only about twelve percent of the properties date from the 1940s and 1950s while about nine percent date to the period after 1958. Of the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District's 483 properties, only fifty-eight are noncontributing.
The Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District encompasses a cohesive collection of residential buildings from the late-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century as well as several institutional, industrial, and commercial buildings from the early-to-mid-twentieth century. The level of integrity in Sunnyside and Central Terrace is very good throughout and exceptional in some areas. The majority of resources are one-story and of frame construction, although there are many two-story resources. Ornamentation on buildings within the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District includes machine-made decoration from the Late Victorian era such as sawn brackets, turned porch posts, and sawn porch balustrades. On the later bungalows, knee braces, battered porch posts, and exposed rafter tails are typical. Most of the resources originally had weatherboard or German siding. There are several brick veneer properties, but true masonry construction is rare in the district. Typical alterations include replacement siding (vinyl or asbestos shingle is common), replacement windows, and porch posts as well as the removal of ornament. These changes to individual buildings rarely make their form unrecognizable, however. Thus, the neighborhood as a whole retains much of its early twentieth century character. About half of the approximately forty-five buildings built after 1958 are outbuildings, garages, or other ancillary buildings while the rest are generally Minimal Traditional-style houses. There are also two Ranch houses built after 1958.
The Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District in southeastern Winston-Salem is locally significant for community planning and development and industry and also for architecture. The district illustrates a mixed use suburban development that included industry, associated workers' housing, and a middle-income neighborhood from the late-nineteenth and through the mid-twentieth centuries. Development was fueled by the extension of the streetcar line into the area by 1901 and the completion of the Roanoke and Southern Railroad on the eastern edge of the district in 1892. The Sunnyside development was platted in 1892 and several industries located there by 1900. H.E. Fries, a Salem industrialist and entrepreneur, was involved in platting Sunnyside. Fries also led two of the manufacturing firms, and eventually came to own the streetcar company. Additionally, Fries was part of the company that platted the Central Terrace development in 1912. Aimed at middle-income residents, Central Terrace is located immediately west of Sunnyside.
While many of the industrial buildings in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District have been destroyed, the district still retains its character as a mixed use neighborhood with a handful of industrial and commercial buildings as well as a well-preserved collection of historic houses and a strong collection of historic institutional buildings including four period revival style churches and a fire station. The broad range of architectural forms and styles found in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District were typical of the period. The earliest dwellings are located in Sunnyside and include large-scale Queen Anne and Late Victorian houses on Sprague Street where the streetcar line once ran. Later houses along Sprague Street include Craftsman Bungalows and Colonial Revival houses. Further south, near the site of the Southside Cotton Mill on Goldfloss Street are one-story side-gable single-pile and gable ell cottage workers' houses. Dispersed throughout Sunnyside are later bungalows and Minimal Traditional houses. In Central Terrace, there is a concentration of well-preserved Craftsman Bungalows along with other styles and house types typical of middle-income suburban neighborhoods like the Colonial Revival style and the Foursquare house type. The best preserved industrial building from before World War II is the c.1932 building at 2100 Glendale Street, which is typical of industrial design from the period. There are also industrial buildings in the district dating to the postwar period, notable among these are the c.1945 Southern Steel Stampings building at 216 Junia Avenue and the Modernist industrial building at 305 Junia Avenue built in 1958.
The period of significance for the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District begins circa c.1880, the date of the earliest building in the district, and ends in 1958, the date of a contributing industrial resource. The development in Sunnyside-Central Terrace after 1958 was minimal and does not constitute exceptional significance.
Historical Development of Sunnyside-Central Terrace
The earliest settlement in the area of the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District took place in Centerville, immediately north of the district. Centerville was one of several small rural communities that developed during the second quarter of the nineteenth century as growth spilled over from the community of Waughtown, which was settled by about 1806 to the southeast, and from the older Moravian town of Salem, founded in 1766, to the north. The construction of the streetcar line through the district by 1901 and the construction of the Roanoke and Southern Railroad on the eastern edge of the district by 1892 brought about dramatic growth and transformed the area into an industrial and residential suburb.
Platted in March 1892 by J.L. Ludlow, for the Winston-Salem Land and Investment Company, Sunnyside encompassed property from Haled Street in the north to Edgewood Street (where I-40 is presently located) in the south. The western edge was Patria Street and Lomond Street, while the eastern edge was Old Lexington Road. Through the center of the neighborhood runs Sunnyside Avenue, which extends diagonally southeast from South Main Street. A smaller neighborhood, Central Terrace, was platted in 1912 between Patria, South Main, Monmouth, and Edgewood streets. Further west, across South Main Street is the affluent streetcar suburb of Washington Park (NRHD, 1992), which was platted in 1891, also for the Winston-Salem Land and Investment Company.
The Winston-Salem Land and Investment Company was incorporated in 1890 by investors from Winston, Salem, High Point, New Bern, and Goldsboro. The Winston and Salem investors were W.A. Blair, Henry Bahnson, T.J. Brown, J.H. Stockton, H.R. Starbuck, A.H. Eller, and H.E. Fries with $250,000 in capital. In October 1893, the Winston-Salem Land and Investment Company transferred the previously unsold land in the Sunnyside plat and in Washington Park to Southside Land and Investment Company for $44,400. The latter company was incorporated in September 1893 by Henry F. Bahnson, H.E. Fries, J.H. Stockton, T.J. Brown, W.A. Blair, A .H. Eller, J.L. Ludlow, and four other men, three of whom were from New Bern. The incorporation took place with $60,000 capital stock. The Southside Land and Investment Company appears in the Grantor Index selling many lots in the district between 1894 and 1902.
Henry E. Fries figures prominently in both of these land companies, and he was one of the most influential men in Winston-Salem during the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A member of the prominent Fries family of Salem, H.E. Fries's father founded a woolen mill in Salem in 1840 and the Fries family established the Arista Cotton Mill there in 1880. At his death in 1949, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that H.E. Fries "played a part in almost every major development in Winston-Salem" including holding the office of president in such concerns as the Arista Cotton Mill, the Winston-Salem Southbound Railroad, and Fries Manufacturing and Power Company. Additionally, Fries was president of the Forsyth Manufacturing Company located in Sunnyside and was an investor in the Winston-Salem Land & Investment Company, which platted Sunnyside. Fries was also an original investor in the Wachovia Development Company, which was incorporated in 1891 and platted the Wachovia Development east of Sunnyside in 1892.
The close coordination of industrial development, transportation networks, and residential development that marked the development in Winston-Salem's Southside, a name that encompasses Sunnyside, Central Terrace, Centerville, and other areas in the vicinity, was not accidental. The combination of real estate developer, streetcar investor, and industrialist as seen in H.E. Fries was a common theme among influential men across the South at the turn of the twentieth century. Undoubtedly, Fries planned for broad-based industry in the city that was made possible by the Winston-Salem Southbound Railroad and electricity provided by Fries Manufacturing and Power. The 1900 Sanborn shows Forsyth Manufacturing Company and Southside Mills, both located in Sunnyside, operating with electric and steam power. Also of note, Fries Manufacturing and Power purchased the Winston streetcar system in 1899 and extended the line into Southside and Waughtown by 1901.
Forsyth Manufacturing Company, of which Fries was president, was incorporated in 1892. R.A. Spaugh served as vice-president, treasurer, and general manager, while Henry H. Barnes was secretary and superintendent. By 1902, Fries was still company president, but H.F. Shaffner was vice president, and W.A. Blair was secretary-treasurer. The 1918 Winston-Salem: City of Industry called the plant "strictly modern in every detail." The company employed about two hundred men in 1918 in a plant that sprawled over several acres at the intersection of Sunnyside Avenue with Acadia Avenue and Junia Avenue. The earliest Forsyth Manufacturing plant, eventually known as Plant No. 1, was built on the west side of Sunnyside Avenue at the intersection with Junia Avenue by 1895. Illustrating the strong growth of the company during the first two decades of the twentieth century, by 1900 significant additions were added to Plant No. 1 and a new dry kiln and lumber shed were built at the plant. The plant complex was further expanded between 1900 and 1907 and Plant No. 2 was built on Junia Avenue east of Sunnyside Avenue by 1917.
The furniture industry grew rapidly in the city during the early twentieth century. By about 1906, there were eight furniture firms operating in the city: United States Veneer Company (veneer), Salem Parlor Furniture Company (lounges, couches, etc.), Oakland Manufacturing Company (general line of furniture), Winston Furniture Company (desks), Forsyth Chair Company (chairs and rockers), Forsyth Iron Bed Company (brass and iron bedsteads), Forsyth Furniture Company (general line of furniture), and Forsyth Manufacturing Company (chairs). Furniture was an important part of the city's diverse economy, which in 1913 included 200 separate manufactured products. By 1928, furniture manufacturing was Winston-Salem's second largest industry.
Three of the firms listed in 1906 were located in Sunnyside, in addition to Forsyth Manufacturing. The Forsyth Chair Company was organized by 1900 and had built a plant at the northwest corner of Sunnyside Avenue and Acadia Avenue (close to Forsyth Manufacturing). In 1902 Charles Siewers was the company's president-treasurer and Ralph Siewers was vice president-secretary. The Forsyth Iron Bed Company began about 1902 and its plant on Sunnyside Avenue, immediately south of the Forsyth Manufacturing Company plant site, is the only furniture plant remaining in Sunnyside. Forsyth Iron Bed Company officers at various times were W.A. Blair (vice president, 1902-1922), H.E. Fries (vice president, 1910-1918), H.A. Phfol (secretary, 1910-1918), Charles Siewers (president, 1902-1918), E. Mickey (secretary, 1913-1918), and R.H. Rice (secretary, 1902-1918). The first two of these men were also involved in the Forsyth Manufacturing Company while the latter two were also part of the Forsyth Chair Company.
The intense industrial activity in Sunnyside was commented upon by Winston-Salem's Moravian diarist Rev. Edward Rondthaler in 1896 when he reported the expansion of Southside Mills and opening of the "Chair Factory" [Forsyth Manufacturing]. "Other manufacturing establishments are preparing to build on the Southside," he wrote, "which in a few years will doubtless be a very busy suburb, and will contribute greatly both to the population and wealth of our Twin City." Rondthaler's assessment was accurate. He noted the construction of Southside Roller Flouring Mills (demolished) by the Spach family near their wagon works on Glendale Street in 1898. Also in 1898, Rondthaler reported that the increased production at Forsyth Manufacturing "...and the running of the cotton mills day and night through the whole twelve-month, the Southside is assuming an increasingly busy aspect."
Industrial buildings sprang up near the rail corridor, and with the construction of a westward rail spur paralleling Junia Avenue in 1914, industry flourished in the Junia Avenue/Haled/Glendale streets area. In all, nine industrial concerns were built in Sunnyside during the early twentieth century, including Southside Cotton Mills (1895), Southside Roller Mills (by 1912), Southside Lumber Co. (by 1917), Forsyth Dining Room & Furniture Co. (by 1917), C.M. Thomas & Co. Coal Yard (by 1917), Fogle Furniture Co. (by 1928), Phillips Lumber Company's Planing Mill (by 1928), and Crystal Ice Company's Plant No. 3 (by 1928).
The largest of these concerns was Southside Cotton Mills (demolished), which was associated with the Fries family's Arista Mill in Salem. The mill was built in 1895 on Goldfloss Street in the Sunnyside development. The mill grew rapidly and in 1896 a weaving department was added to accommodate 250 looms. The 1900 Sanborn shows a long one-story brick building with a carding and spinning room, picker room, and weaving room (with additional spinning and a cloth room in the basement). A four-section brick cotton warehouse faced Glendale Avenue and a rail spur came down Glendale Street curving west between the plant and the warehouse and ending behind the plant. A large reservoir pond was located south of the plant. An additional cotton warehouse was added behind the plant between 1912 and 1917. Between 1917 and 1951 the plant was greatly expanded with significant additions on both ends of the building. In 1903, Southside Mills consolidated with Arista Mills in Salem, which was also owned by the Fries family. After 1915, the principal product of the firm was chambray fabric. Both the original Arista and the Southside plants operated under the Arista name until their closure in 1970. Arista Mills built 437 Goldfloss Street in 1950 as an office. The building later housed Arista's spin-off company, a technology-based paycheck production business.
Rev. Rondthaler continued to document this booming industrial growth in the Southside area during the first quarter of the twentieth century. "The manufacturing end of the South side is assuming an activity which surprises the visitor," he wrote in 1899. "The Spach Wagon and Roller Mills are located there and the Southside Cotton Mills runs regularly both day and night. A large number of tenements are to be built to accommodate the growing number of employees."
These tenements were modestly-sized, free-standing houses constructed during the first quarter of the twentieth century in large numbers in the Sunnyside development and in a second development on the east side of the Winston-Salem Southbound tracks, the southern part of which is known as Belview. The earliest city directory references in Sunnyside are for houses on Lomond, Monmouth, Goldfloss, and Store (possibly Vargrave) streets as well as on Sunnyside Avenue. The last three of these were in the area near the mill. The 200-300 blocks of Goldfloss Street, for example, was occupied almost entirely in 1902 by Southside Mills employees. Although only a small portion of the residential area surrounding the mill is illustrated on Sanborn maps before 1917, as early as 1900 there are several one-story single-pile houses, four I-houses, and several one-story gable ell cottages surrounding the mill. There was also a one-story general store on Goldfloss Street across from the mill. The 1917 Sanborn map shows large numbers of one-story houses on Goldfloss, Devonshire, Lucille, Lomond, and Sunnyside near the mill.
The Sunnyside neighborhood developed as an unusual mix of industrial areas, workers' housing, middle income suburban neighborhood, as well as a few homes for affluent families. As noted above, the workers' housing tended to be concentrated in the vicinity of Southside Mills, while the choice building lots on Sprague Street, East, which carried the streetcar line, were built with a few large, high-style houses. One of these is the circa 1900 Queen Anne style house at 333 Sprague Street and the ornate Hillcrest at 450 Sprague Street. The latter was the Queen Anne-style home of the S.J. Nissen family. Nissen, the son of wagon works founder John Phillip Nissen, founded his own spring-wagon company in 1898 and built this house in 1911. Nearby, around 1925, Charles Creech and his wife Katherine Spach Creech built a large, Colonial Revival-style dwelling. Creech, along with his wife's father, operated the Spach Wagon Works (located at the northeastern edge of Sunnyside), which they converted into Unique Furniture Makers in 1920 to save the declining company.
These affluent homeowners were not the norm along Sprague Street by the 1920s, nor in any other part of the historic district. Most people worked in the city's major factories or in sales and or the trades. For example, in 1925, the large Queen Anne at 333 Sprague Street was home to Pleasant Martin, a foreman at Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, and during the 1930s the 300 block of Sprague Street, E., was home to an inspector at P.H. Hanes Knitting, a car operator at Southern Public Utilities, a furniture salesman, and other middle-income residents.
South of Sprague Street, the housing stock of Sunnyside is less grand and was home to a variety of residents. Stone cutters, city firemen, clerks, and bookkeepers lived in the 300 block of Devonshire Street in the 1930s. Less affluent families lived in the 300 block of Goldfloss Street in 1930 including three employees of Arista Mills (which owned Southside Mills by this time), a shoe repairman, a painter, and two employees of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
It was these middle-income residents who fueled the significant growth in the district during the 1920s. Houses, primarily bungalows, were built in large numbers on Devonshire, Monmouth, Lomond, Sprague, and Patria Streets during the 1920s. Of the twenty-three houses in the 2400 block of Patria Street, for example, fourteen were built during the 1920s. Residents in these homes in 1930 included a credit manager at Gray & Creech, a watchmaker at W.T. Vogler & Son, a foreman at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Laundry, a manager at Greensboro Life Insurance, a timekeeper, a City employee, an insurance agent, a salesman, a clerk, a carpenter, and a brakeman at Southern Railways.
The Central Terrace development was platted in 1912 on a relatively small tract of land between Sunnyside and Washington Park to the west by H.E. Fries and W.A. Lemly, trustees. These two men, along with W.A. Wright formed the Central Terrace Company, which was incorporated on June 3, 1918, with $50,000 in capital. The Central Terrace Company is listed as a grantor in Forsyth County deed books from 1918 through 1927. By the latter date, the neighborhood was largely built out.
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, along with the Fries family and other Salem industrialists, 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 boom to suburban development. The growth of Winston-Salem was achieved in part by the annexation of developed, outlying areas, including large portions of Southside, including Centerville, and Waughtown that were annexed in 1923.
Central Terrace was part of this trend of suburbanization apparently being marketed to middle-income citizens. The first block of Sprague Street West, and the first two blocks of Sprague Street East, were home in 1925 to an assistant manager at Bell & Company, a brick layer, an assistant secretary-treasurer at American Bond and Mortgage Company, an inspector at P.H. Hanes Knitting Company, secretary-treasurer of the Land Exchange Company, a musician at Auditorium Theater, a foreman at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and a traveling salesman. Similarly, the first two blocks of Devonshire Street were inhabited by a bank teller, three employees of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a grocer, a salesman, a bookkeeper, a railroad agent, a lawyer, and a machinist in 1930. Reflecting the means of its residents, Central Terrace holds a higher concentration of large architecturally sophisticated dwellings than does Sunnyside.
Unlike Sunnyside, Central Terrace was entirely residential except for one church and two small corner stores: the circa 1925 Central Terrace Pay and Tote located at 201 Devonshire Street East, and Jones Grocery built about 1935 at 2123 South Main Street. Central Terrace, and likely many sections of Sunnyside as well, were served by traveling merchants every Saturday morning. This pattern was typical of Winston-Salem's suburban neighborhoods. During the 1940s, two men traveled regularly through Central Terrace; one selling country hams and the other selling produce from his farm. Milk was also delivered door-to-door.
Supporting the new residents moving into Sunnyside and Central Terrace during the early twentieth century, was a wave of institutional development beginning with the 1911-12 construction of Trinity Moravian Church's sanctuary at 220 Sprague Street East. This congregation began as a mission church known as Centerville Moravian, but moved to this location perhaps in part because of the increased prestige of the streetcar suburb of Sunnyside. Reverend Rondthaler extolled the new location in 1911: "The new Trinity Church is situated on the car line on a beautiful slope of the hill beyond the chair factory..." He went on to describe the "substantial building of red brick with cement trimmings and beautiful square tower." The building was designed to seat three hundred and had Sunday School classrooms in the basement that Rondthaler says would accommodate 250 people. A rear frame "structure" housed a pastor's room and love feast kitchen. The interior of the sanctuary featured "natural wood finish," electric lights, and a stained glass window memorializing Emma Vogler. The building was officially opened on May 12, 1912 and the congregation reorganized themselves on July 14, 1912.
The congregation of Trinity Moravian grew to reach more than 200 members in 1917. In 1926, Reverend Rondthaler reported the church making what he termed "a new beginning in Church organization" with the formation of new congregations at Pine Chapel on Goldfloss Street and New Eden further south. Both of these congregations were led by a layman, Brother James Crouch. The Pine Chapel Moravian Church was constructed in 1928 replacing an earlier wooden sanctuary built between 1900 and 1907 in the triangle of land between Goldfloss, Vargrave, and Sunnyside (which no longer cuts through). A wing on the original church housed a public school in 1912. The close proximity of Pine Chapel to Trinity Moravian suggests both an intensely growing congregation and a desire to have a separate church for the community surrounding the mill. The dichotomy of middle-income suburban neighborhood and lower-income mill workers housing found in the historic district was clearly demarcated during the historic period. A resident who moved into his home on Stockton Street in 1940, recalled Lomond Street was the dividing line between the two areas.
The third church located within the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District is the Central Terrace United Methodist Church at 3 Devonshire Street East. Established with fifty-six members in 1901 as Southside Methodist Episcopal Church, this congregation, like that of Southside Baptist Church and Trinity Moravian Church initially met in the Centerville School auditorium. Their first sanctuary was completed on Sprague Street at Dacian Street in 1902 and served until the larger facility was built on Devonshire Street at Stockton Street in 1924-1925. The church grew from 167 members in 1925 to 357 by 1928 and peaked at 906 members in 1954.
The largest church in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District is Southside Baptist Church, completed in 1925 at 401 Sprague Street East. The Southside Baptist congregation began meeting in the Centerville School auditorium in 1892. The church was a mission church of the New Friendship Baptist Church in Davidson County. The congregation's first sanctuary was built in the 300 block of Monmouth Street in 1896-1899. The church had a membership of 900 in 1962.
Another important institutional building is Fire Station No. 5, built on Devonshire Street around 1920. It is one of only two existing historic fire stations in Winston-Salem. The other (its twin) is located in East Winston on Dunleith Avenue. Fireman S.T. Ervin retired in 1968 after working twenty-two years at Fire Station No. 5. At the time of his retirement, fourteen men worked at the station in two shifts. Fire Station No. 5 was closed in 1974 and moved to Palmer Lane.
The four neighborhood churches served many people living in the district and played an active role in community life. The activity of these churches among the neighborhood residents regardless of their church membership is illustrated by Reverend Douglas Wright of Trinity Moravian Church, who during the 1940s, grew watermelons on his Davidson County farm and gave tickets to all the neighborhood children to enjoy the annual church watermelon feast. Reverend Norwood Green of Pine Chapel Moravian Church was also involved in neighborhood activities. Schools were also important institutions in the community. Children attended South Park Elementary School located south of the historic district. Older students attended Gray High School in Centerville. Footpaths from Central Terrace, the workers housing area near Southside Mills, and other sections of the district converged at end of Patria Street where a footbridge crossed Fogle Creek and a path led southward across a farm to the elementary school. The creek was known as "Blue Dye Branch" because of dyes being dumped from the mill.
The employment patterns in the district followed those found throughout the city with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco becoming a dominant employer during the 1940s and 1950s. Following national trends, the automobile also became the primary mode for the transport of people and the streetcar ceased operation in 1936, its route taken over by the more flexible bus operated by the former streetcar company, Duke Power. In fact, the bus was an important part of life in the historic district taking workers downtown to Reynolds and elsewhere for employment. During the 1940s, the South Main-Stockton Street bus stopped at each corner on Stockton Street in Central Terrace then turned onto South Main Street at Sprague Street to continue its journey downtown.
By the 1940s and 1950s, Southside Mills (now part of Arista Mills) was still a thriving industry, but the furniture industry was declining in importance to the district. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company was utilizing the former Forsyth Chair Company plant and Butler Enterprises, toy wholesalers, occupied the Forsyth Iron Bed Company building. Forsyth Manufacturing joined a trend of consolidation among the city's furniture companies merging with Forsyth Dining Room Furniture Company and the Forsyth Chair Company to create Forsyth Furniture Lines around 1922. The Depression forced the closure of several Winston-Salem furniture plants, including Forsyth Furniture Lines, which closed between 1931 and 1933. Several others closed temporarily, reopening in the mid-1930s. Question Manufacturing, a furniture manufacturer, occupied the entire former Forsyth Manufacturing Company complex until about 1945 and Winston Manufacturing, another furniture company occupied Plant No. 1 in 1951. Southern Steel Stamping Company occupied Plant No. 2 (demolished) from 1947 until about 1969 when the property fell vacant.
The 1950 Census reported 26,678 people living in "Southside," which included the area around Centerville, Sunnyside-Central Terrace and Waughtown as well as some areas outside the city limits. By 1960, this same area had grown thirty-seven percent, more than the city or county. A 1962 article in the Twin City Sentinel characterized the area as predominantly homeowners including industrial workers, store clerks, bank tellers, carpenters, plumbers, and mechanics. In Central Terrace, this pattern is clearly seen in the 2400 and 2500 blocks of Stockton Street where a meat-cutter at Horn's Grocery, two dispatchers for Southern Railways, an employee at Quality Oil Company, an employee at Western Electric, a building contractor, a nurse, two department foreman at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and an employee at Parkview Garage lived in 1950. "Most of the families who made a lot of money there," the Sentinel went on to report, "have either died out or moved to another part of town. Yet a business survey shows Southside to be above average in family income." Epitomizing the end of Sunnyside's affluent ambitions, Hillcrest was converted into a rooming house after S.J. Nissen's death in 1943.
The movement of the population to new suburban developments further away from the city core during the 1970s and 1980s brought about demographic changes in Sunnyside-Central Terrace. In response to these changes, the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association was formed about 1976. Today the neighborhood is an diverse mix of ethnicity and income levels that in some ways is an incarnation of the historic diversity of the area. The Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District's historic character of middle-class suburban neighborhood, industrial workers' housing, and industrial area, is an important key to our understanding of the varied suburban development that occurred in southeastern Winston-Salem at the turn of the twentieth century. The neighborhood is rich in institutional buildings and these help to bring the portrait of life in this area into focus. Although several important industrial buildings have been destroyed and the southern edge of the district was negatively impacted by the construction of I-40, the remaining buildings in the district maintain a high level of integrity.
The Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District maintains a large well-preserved collection of residential buildings from its period of development. The predominance of the resources in the district represent the architecture of Winston-Salem's late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century moderate-income citizens. A mix of industrial workers' housing and suburban bungalows mark the district as having a diverse architectural collection.
The earliest houses in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District are located in the Sunnyside section and date from the late-nineteenth century. The prestigious location of these dwellings on the (former) streetcar route helps explain their relatively large size and high level of architectural detail. The earliest is probably 328 Sprague Street East, built c.1880. This two-story house features an irregular footprint formed by a projecting gabled ell. The house has subtle Queen Anne and Eastlake motifs, particularly seen in the use of machine-made ornament such as a highly decorative bargeboard and turned posts with sawn scroll brackets supporting the wraparound porch. Queen Anne houses are not common in the district; there are three Queen Anne houses and seven houses with strong Queen Anne stylistic elements. Hillcrest, built in 1911 at 450 Sprague Street East, is a large, high-style Queen Anne house with classical influences. A more typical Queen Anne-style house is found at 2400 Lomond Street. This two-story house features a complex hip roof, a wraparound porch with sawn brackets and turned posts, and curving bargeboard with bulls-eye motif. The two-story Queen Anne houses are the largest and most ornate dwellings in Sunnyside. They are concentrated on Sprague Street East, Sunnyside Avenue, and Lomond Street near Sprague.
Simpler one and two-story houses from the early twentieth century are much more common in the district and are particularly numerous as industrial workers' housing in the Sunnyside section. Like worker's housing found across North Carolina, these houses were uncomplicated in form, were usually of frame construction, and tended to have simply adorned, hip-roof porches. Rear ells or shed additions were common. The most ornate of these houses display Queen Anne or Eastlake-inspired sawn brackets, sawn or turned balustrades, and turned porch posts. The largest of these houses are the ten I-houses in the district. Representatives are the twin I-houses at 221 and 225 Sprague Street East. These simple dwellings date to circa 1900 and have had some modifications, but originally featured pressed tin shingle roofs, four-over-four windows, and turned porch posts. The forms exhibited by the turn-of-the-century workers' dwellings are overwhelmingly modestly-scaled one-story dwellings, however. Within the district, these are almost evenly divided between two major types: the gable ell cottage and the one-story, single-pile dwelling. There are thirty-five gable ell cottages and about twenty one-story side-gable single-pile houses. A representative example of a gable ell cottage is located at 2407 Patria Street, circa 1915. It features a hip-roof porch with Tuscan columns, two-over-two windows, and vinyl replacement siding. Gable ell cottages are concentrated on Monmouth Street. 323 Monmouth Street is a representative example with Queen Anne stylistic influences such as the polygonal bay and turned posts. Similarly, 307 Monmouth Street has a hip-roof porch supported by turned posts with sawn brackets. Both 307 and 323 Monmouth Street date from around 1900. There are six nearly identical gable ell cottages from about 1915 in the 2400 block of Lucille Street near the site of the Southside Mill complex. Most of these houses have been altered with enclosed porches. Representative of the one-story side-gable single pile houses in Sunnyside is 301 Goldfloss Street, circa 1900. It features a hip-roof porch and turned posts. This house was located across the street from the site of Southside Mills. More ornate is the tri-gable cottage at 345 Devonshire Street East. Built circa 1915, this house has decorative shingles in the gabled end, a diamond attic vent, and Tuscan columns.
Slightly larger in scale, pyramidal cottages and Queen Anne cottages are found in the district as both unadorned workers' housing as well as with a higher level of stylistic detail and ornamentation. The Queen Anne cottages, with high hip roofs and front-gable projections, illustrate the complexity that a modestly-sized house could obtain. There are about fourteen examples of Queen Anne cottages within the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District. These houses are often located on Devonshire, Monmouth, Sprague, and Patria streets. Although some examples have little ornament, most feature either Queen Anne stylistic motifs or modest Colonial Revival references. The c.1910 house at 327 Monmouth Street has weatherboard siding, a front-gable projection, decorative wood shingles, and a hip-roof porch supported by turned posts with sawn brackets and spindle work. The house at 334 Sprague Street East, dates from about 1910 as well and has a gabled dormer, decorative wood shingles in the gable ends, and decorative hexagonal light transoms over the single-light sash windows. The porch is carried by Tuscan columns.
The development of Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District included the large-scale upper-income dwellings on Sprague Street as well as very modest workers' housing during its earliest period. By the late 1910s, the area established itself as a middle-income suburban neighborhood. This shift coincided with a marked architectural change as the bungalow came to the forefront of stylish design, especially when constructed in platted suburban developments like Central Terrace (1912). There are 144 bungalows in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District and seventy-seven are Craftsman Bungalows. The 2400 block of Stockton Street, for example contains fifteen houses of which seven are Craftsman-style Bungalows and three others are in the bungalow form. The largest and most architecturally refined bungalows are found in the Central Terrace section of the district. In fact, the collection of bungalows in Central Terrace is among the best preserved in Winston-Salem. The number of bungalows retaining their original siding is unusually high. A good example is at 2112 South Main Street. This one-and-a-half-story side-gable bungalow features a steeply-pitched roof, recessed porch, and weatherboard siding. At 124 Sprague Street East, the c.1920 bungalow has weatherboard siding and wood shingled dormer and gable ends. Both of these bungalows date from c.1920-c.1925.
Craftsman-style bungalows are prevalent in Central Terrace and 14 Devonshire Street East is typical. This one-and-a-half-story bungalow built about 1925 has weatherboard siding, shingled dormer, original windows, exposed rafter tails, knee braces, and battered posts on brick piers. Another example, the one-story hip-roof bungalow built about 1920 at 113 Sprague Street East features weatherboard siding, wood shingles in the gable ends, and paneled battered columns supporting the gabled porch. While the details found on the bungalows in Central Terrace are not unusual, the level of detail is very high. The one-story front-gable circa 1925 house at 18 Monmouth Street, for example, has wood shingle siding and a weatherboard skirt. The house features an engaged porch supported by stuccoed piers, knee braces, and exposed rafter tails.
Bungalows tend to be smaller in scale, simpler in design, and less concentrated in the Sunnyside section of the district. The bungalows within this section are most often found on streets such as Devonshire, Sprague, and Monmouth, north of the site of Southside Mill on Goldfloss Street. The circa 1925 front-gable bungalow at 409 Devonshire Street East, is a representative example with a front-gable projection, hip-roof porch supported by battered posts on brick piers, six-over-one Craftsman-style double-hung sash, and vinyl siding. The one-story front-gable bungalow at 326 Junia Avenue was built about 1925 and is even simpler in design with a hip-roof porch supported by square posts, knee braces, and exposed rafter tails. Front and side-gable bungalows are most common, although there are some hip-roof examples such as 2424 Lomond Street. This circa 1920 house has a hip-roof dormer, wide eaves, exposed rafter tails and wood shingle siding.
Craftsman Bungalows are less frequent in Sunnyside, but an intact example is located at 313 Devonshire Street East. This circa 1920 house features weatherboard siding, shingled gabled end, knee braces, and square posts on brick piers. The one-story front-gable Craftsman Bungalow at 331 Monmouth Street dates from circa 1925 and is also well-preserved with weatherboard siding, front-gable porch, and knee braces. The circa 1925 house at 406 Sprague Street East, is typical of Sunnyside. It is one-story with a front-gable roof, a wraparound recessed porch supported by battered columns on brick piers, Craftsman-style windows, and vinyl siding.
The bungalows in the district were usually occupied by persons in the middle-income range and they represented the extreme popularity of the bungalow. A simple, neat, and efficient dwelling, bungalows could be ornamented at a wide range of levels that allowed financial flexibility. In North Carolina, suburban developments were filled with every sort of variation of this popular house and the bungalows built in Sunnyside and Central Terrace were clearly a part of this trend with examples similar to those found throughout Winston-Salem in Ardmore, Waughtown, West Salem, and Washington Park. .
In addition to bungalows, the district has several other styles from the early twentieth century including Colonial Revival, Period Cottage, and Foursquare. There are only three examples of Period Cottages although several houses have Period Cottage influences and there are only four examples of Foursquares. There are fourteen Colonial Revival houses in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District, however, including two Dutch Colonial Revival. Houses in this style are most often found in Central Terrace although a few large well-preserved examples exist on Sprague Street East, as well. The location of the Colonial Revival houses in the higher income sections of the neighborhood illustrates the style's strong association with well-to-do by the 1920s. Representative of the Central Terrace Colonial Revival houses is 8 Devonshire Street East. Built about 1935, the two-story side-gable brick house illustrates a popular Colonial Revival house form from the period ornamented with a gabled entry featuring a barrel vault supported by slim Tuscan columns. A blind fanlight and sidelights mark the entry. There are also several hip-roof Colonial Revival houses such as 2117 South Main Street, which dates to about 1920. This house is sheathed in weatherboards and has a front-gable porch supported by paired fluted columns. It features a wide cornice board. The Dutch Colonial Revival house at 424 Sprague Street East is particularly well-detailed featuring a roof balustrade at the entry porch, fluted columns, and modillions.
Colonial Revival style houses were also occasionally built after 1945 in the district. The two-story side-gable house at 300 Sprague Street East is a good example having asbestos shingle siding and a second floor that projects over the first. In addition to these Colonial Revival houses, there are also five Cape Cod-style houses within the district. The Pine Chapel Moravian Church Parsonage is probably the largest and best articulated. Built about 1945, this one-and-a-half-story brick-veneer house has a front gable entry pavilion, facade chimney with diamond motif, and gabled dormers.
Dotted throughout Sunnyside and Central Terrace are about forty-three examples of Minimal Traditional-style houses. The significance of the Minimal Traditional houses in Sunnyside and Central Terrace lies in their ability to illustrate the final phase of single-family residential development in the neighborhood. These houses are found scattered throughout the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District as infill construction and in some cases as replacements to earlier dwellings. The surge of construction in the neighborhood was clearly part of the postwar building boom experienced in the city, but its scale was limited by the geographical constraints of little remaining vacant land. A representative Minimal Traditional house is located at 2415 Patria Street. Built around 1945, this one-story, side gable house has asbestos shingle siding and a brick front-gable projection. The front-gable projection is a typical feature of the district's Minimal Traditional houses. The circa 1953 house at 125 Monmouth Street is similar with vinyl siding and eight-over-eight windows as well as a picture window flanked by four-over-four sash. 126 Sprague Street East (c.1945) has flush eaves, which are typical of the style. One-and-a-half-story examples are uncommon, but 2512 Stockton Street (c.1950) is an intact example featuring metal casement windows with transoms, a gable-roof hood at the entry; an aluminum awning, and asbestos shingle siding.
There are a number of support buildings associated with the district's houses. These outbuildings are most often garages, but also include storage sheds, workshops, and secondary dwellings. Typical is the circa 1935 garage at 120 Brookline Street. This one-story two-bay building is sheathed with German siding and has exposed rafter tails. Another well-preserved example is at 424 Devonshire Street East. Built about 1925, this one-story front-gable garage has weatherboard sheathing, exposed rafter tails, and a single bay with clipped corner entry. Concrete block, vinyl siding, and metal sheathing are common materials for the district's outbuildings and garages.
The institutional architecture in Sunnyside and Central Terrace includes four well-preserved churches and a rare example of a historic fire station in Winston-Salem. Two of the churches, Trinity Moravian Church and Southside Baptist Church feature Gothic Revival architecture, each executed in a different manner. The double-towered Southside Baptist Church, built in 1925 at 401 Sprague Street East, is massive and bold displaying a towered basilica appearance. A large rosette window, Gothic windows in the towers, and cast concrete banding and accents enliven the facade. The architecture of the 1911 Trinity Moravian Church is more modest with a single entry tower at the northeast corner. The tower barely surmounts the roof height and is subtly buttressed on its corners. The restrained facade is ornamented with triple Gothic arch windows, and cast stone detailing. The use of the Gothic Revival style in a Moravian church is unusual in Winston-Salem. Pine Chapel Moravian Church, built in 1928, displays the popular local trend of modeling new churches on the architecture of the Federal-style Home Moravian Church built in 1800 at Salem. The arched hood at the entry, simple facade treatment, and cupola (here executed with open wood cross bracing) are typical interpretations of Home Moravian's design. Central Terrace Methodist Church is a traditional, Neoclassical Revival design with a double-height classical portico carried by Ionic columns. The church is well-detailed and features cast stone keystones over the arched windows as well as cast stone springblocks. There are also brick quoins, a soldier course at the cornice, and a brick watertable. The belfry has a hexagonal base with a pointed spire, Tuscan-style columns, and blind fanlight. Much less ornate than the churches, Fire Station No. 5 (c.1920), is a simple, brick building ornamented only by soldier and header course details and a cast stone cornice.
Reflecting the early history of the Sunnyside development as an industrial suburb, there are several industrial buildings remaining in the district. These are generally found in the area around Junia Avenue, Haled Street, Sunnyside Avenue, and Glendale Street. The earliest extant industrial building in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District is the Forsyth Iron Bed company plant at 2100 Sunnyside Avenue. Built about 1900, the one-story front-gable L-plan building has a brick facade that is not original; the rest of the building is sheathed in rolled asphalt siding and rests on a brick pier foundation. The c.1932 building at 2100 Glendale Street has a brick two-story front section with gable roof behind a stepped parapet. Extending to the west is a long rear section built of rock-faced concrete block with metal windows and a gable roof. At a smaller scale, is Southern Steel Stampings built about 1945 at 216 Junia Avenue. This two-story front-gable building is constructed of concrete blocks with tripled nine-light metal windows. The building has garage bay entries at each end. Two properties, 415 and 435 Junia Avenue (from c.1940 and c.1925, respectively) are related to a petroleum distribution plant. 435 is a tiny, front-gable office building with weatherboard siding and 415 has two gabled warehouse buildings clad in corrugated metal. The 1950 building built by Arista at 437 Goldfloss Street survives intact. The building probably housed the mill's offices originally. Later the building housed the technology-based business begun as a spin-off of Arista Mills, which owned Southside Cotton Mills once located across the street. The two-story and one-story Modernist building is sheathed in brick and wood and has fixed windows. The building is currently used by Carter G. Woodson School.
There are only six commercial buildings located in the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District. Three of these are small corner stores, two of which have lost their architectural integrity. 201 Devonshire Street East, built about 1925, is a small, one-story side-gable brick building has small gabled dormers and a vinyl-enclosed storefront. 2123 South Main Street, is a one-story brick building with a hip roof and a large side addition. Relatively intact is the one-story side-gable concrete block building at 409 Goldfloss Street. It dates to about 1957 and has a brick-veneer facade. Although it is currently used as a dwelling, the c.1935 store at 240 Junia Avenue has a good level of integrity. This one-story building has an unusual form with a double front gable and is sheathed in German siding. At 2207 Sunnyside Avenue is Crotts Service Station (c.1935) a well-preserved Mission-style building with tile roof. City directories show that a store was located at 409 Goldfloss Street, across from Southside Mills, since at least 1930. The current building was built about 1957 and is a one-story side-gable concrete block building with a brick-veneer facade. The c.1945 Farmers Cooperative Exchange located at 432 Haled Street was once a feed and farm machinery business. The gable-roof metal-sheathed building is in two sections. Each have loading docks, denoting the original use, covered by shed roofs. The two sections of the building were original separate buildings that are joined by a modern structure.
The architecture of Sunnyside and Central Terrace illustrates the varied development within the neighborhood. While the geographic area of the district is not large, it contained both an industrial workers' neighborhood and fashionable suburban housing. The architecture in Sunnyside-Central Terrace highlights the economic diversity of the property owners, an important part of the Sunnyside-Central Terrace Historic District's historic character.
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