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East Main Street Historic District

Silvermont, 364 East Main Street, Brevard, NC, National Register, Mansion

Photo: Silvermont, 364 East Main Street, Brevard, NC; built ca. 1902 by Joseph and Elizabeth Silversteen. Mansion is owned by the county and is home to the Transylvania County Archives. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Photographed by User:Jethrohoyt (own work), 2011, [cc-by-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed November, 2012.

The East Main Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2012, The Gombach Group.

The East Main Street Historic District in Brevard, North Carolina encompasses the residential neighborhood that developed along Main Street to the south and east of downtown from the founding of the town in 1861 through the mid-twentieth century. The East Main Street Historic District's historic resources reflect the town's prosperity following the connection of a railroad line in 1895 and periods of growth in the twentieth century associated with industrial development in the county that attracted new residents to the area. The majority of resources in the district date from the first two decades of the twentieth century following the railroad connection, and a second period following World War II that demonstrates the ongoing development and popularity of the neighborhood. The East Main Street Historic District meets National Register criterion for architecture. The locally-significant district contains a wide-ranging mix of nationally popular architectural styles common to late-nineteenth and twentieth-century neighborhoods in North Carolina. The generally residential district includes six individually listed National Register properties within in its boundaries, as well as two church complexes that are important to the character of the neighborhood. The period of significance for the East Main Street Historic District begins in ca.1900 with the current form of the Lankford-Cleveland House and ends in 1959, with the continued growth and development of Brevard.

Historical Background

Although the center of government for Transylvania County, Brevard remained a small village until the arrival of the Hendersonville and Brevard Railroad in 1895, which opened the county's abundant forest resources to increased tourism, recreation, and industrialism. The influx of new people and businesses in the twentieth century created the need for new residential development, which filled in around the courthouse and small commercial center of town.[1]

Transylvania County was formed in 1861 from portions of Henderson and Jackson counties, and Brevard, the county seat, was laid out on fifty acres of land given by Alexander English, Leander Gash, and B.C. Lankford. Born in Polk County, Lankford came to Transylvania County around 1850 and established himself as a leading merchant in the area. The first meetings of county officials were held in his store located at Oak Grove. Lankford built his home around 1858, and it stood at the corner of Probart and Rice streets, just beyond the limits of the new town. As the county seat, Brevard emerged as the center of government and commerce in the late nineteenth century, but trading and industry existed primarily at the local level. Agriculture, too, remain largely at the subsistence level. Inadequate transportation hindered the county's growth in the years between its formation and the completion of the railroad, which opened the county to new commercial markets, population growth, and popular architectural styles.[2]

At the turn of the twentieth century, Brevard witnessed the first of three distinct periods of growth that impacted the appearance and character of the town. Northern entrepreneurs such as J.F. Hayes and Joseph Silversteen brought new capital into the region that directly influenced development. Hayes, a Pennsylvania industrialist and entrepreneur, purchased the bankrupt Hendersonville and Brevard Railroad in 1898, reorganized the company, and began planning to extend the line into the southwestern section of the county to serve the Toxaway and Sapphire Valley resorts in neighboring Jackson County. Hayes, who had come to the area in 1890 for his health, formed the Toxaway Company in 1895 with the purpose of building fine resorts in Transylvania and Jackson counties. The Toxaway Company erected the Fairfield Inn on Lake Fairfield, Sapphire Valley Inn on Lake Sapphire, and the Franklin Hotel in Brevard — all lavish, modern hotels. Built in 1900, the $25,000 Franklin Hotel stood within an eighty-acre park-like setting and remained the town's premier hotel for many years. Brevard also saw the construction of other hotels in the early twentieth century, including John W. McMinn's three-story Aethelwold Hotel opposite the courthouse, and a number of large private homes often took in boarders.[3]

Joseph Silversteen, a fellow Pennsylvanian, came to the area in 1902 and soon became one of the county's wealthiest and most influential individuals. He established the Toxaway Tanning Company, Gloucester Lumber Company, and the Rosman Tanning Extract Company and purchased over 20,000 acres of forest land from Asheville resident George Vanderbilt to supply the raw materials for his industries. Vanderbilt's extensive land holdings in the county encompassed vast amounts of forested mountains, and through his efforts the influential Biltmore School of Forestry was established in 1898 under the direction of German forester Carl A. Schenck. Brevard and Transylvania County benefited from the development of scenic mountain resorts, progressive forest conservation practices, and substantial timber and tanning industries that attracted new residents and visitors to the area.[4]

During the early twentieth century, as Brevard's reputation among tourists and summer visitors began to spread, development of the town kept pace, attracting new industries, merchants, hostelries, and professionals to serve the growing population. Brevard's population climbed from approximately 500 residents at the turn of the century to more than 1,600 by 1920. In addition to its year-round population, Brevard's population swelled during the summer with tourists and seasonal residents, which were accommodated by a number of hotels, boarding houses, and resorts. Tourism remained an important component of the county's economy, and following World War I, new attractions and accommodations emerged with the establishment of the Pisgah National Forest, youth summer camps, and tourist cabins. Beginning in the 1910s, Transylvania County became the center of youth summer camps in western North Carolina with the organization of Camp Keystone, Rockbrook Camp for Girls, Camp Carolina, and others. Brevard civil engineer Royal Morrow helped to design a number of summer camps, drawing on his experience working with the national Forest Service and love of the outdoors.[5]

New residential areas began to appear in Brevard, branching out from the main arteries of Main, Broad, and Probart streets. The Woodlawn subdivision was platted in 1926 adjacent to Franklin Park, an exclusive residential development surrounding the Franklin Hotel. Residential development also began to spread southwest from downtown onto South Caldwell Street, Maple Street, and Miner Street. The main streets of town had been paved by 1913, and in 1925 the rest of the town was paved. Growth continued to be steady to through the 1920s, but real estate, building, and business all came to a standstill when the Brevard Banking Company failed on December 15, 1930.[6]

Although Brevard was hard hit by the economic depression of the 1930s, the city's industrial sector helped residents keep their jobs even though many manufacturing plants cut operating hours. In particular, Joseph Silversteen was able to retain many of his employees during the Depression. As an indicator of how badly builders were hurt by the Depression, it was reported that only two houses were built in Brevard between 1930 and 1937. In 1934, the Western North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church formed Brevard College from two smaller institutions, Rutherford College and Weaver College, which were experiencing financial difficulties. Located on the site of the Brevard Institute, which closed in 1933, Brevard College opened as a coeducation junior college and as it has expanded, it has played an important role in the educational and cultural life of the town.[7]

Federal relief agencies stepped in during the Depression to provide additional jobs and public improvement projects that benefitted the city as a whole, including the extensive Brevard College Stone Fence and Gate (National Register, 1993), post office, country club, and numerous improvements in Pisgah National Forest. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a federal relief program aimed at putting young men to work to rehabilitate the nation's ravaged agricultural and forest lands, had the biggest impact in Transylvania County. With roughly one-third of the county designated as national forest, the CCC provided jobs to numerous local men on a variety of projects of lasting value. Royal Morrow served as superintendent of CCC work in conjunction with the Forest Service. Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway became one of the most important federally-sponsored projects begun in the 1930s, and since its completion, the scenic road has drawn countless numbers of visitors and vacationers to the area.[8]

The town's second period of definable growth was initiated in 1938 when Harry Straus, a salesman and inventor from New York, announced plans to build a paper mill on the Davidson River east of Brevard. Construction of the Ecusta Paper Mill effectively signaled the end of the Depression in Brevard and Transylvania County. Straus developed a new process for producing cigarette paper that significantly aided the tobacco industry and brought some diversity to the local economy. The plant opened with 900 employees but had grown to 3,000 employees by 1947. In 1949, Olin Industries purchased the plant and erected a cellophane plant adjacent to the paper mill. The Ecusta plant provided much needed jobs in the late 1930s and 1940s, but the country's entry into World War II continued to hinder building activities until the mid-1940s, when significant amounts of raw materials were no longer required for the war effort. A noticeable spike in residential construction followed the end of the war as soldiers returned home to resume their everyday lives.[9]

Brevard witnessed a number of important gains during the 1950s, as the community enjoyed a period of post-war prosperity. The Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation had recently opened their cellophane plant and added a tenth paper machine, which was the largest machine in operation for making the specialized lightweight papers produced at the Ecusta plant. A new county high school, rural community hospital, and several medical clinics opened in the 1950s. Citizens Telephone Company enlarged its operations, and US Highway 64 between Hendersonville was relocated and improved. The decade also saw Brevard College making significant expansions to its campus, faculty, and student body. The college spent more than one million dollars on new facilities, including dormitories, administrative offices, classrooms, a dining hall, an auditorium, and a science building. Beginning in 1957, the DuPont Company started work on a silicon plant near Cedar Mountain in the southern part of the county. As a result, Brevard's population grew by more than twenty-five percent between 1950 and 1960, to more than 4,800 residents. Of course, the summer season brought throngs of vacationers and seasonal residents, families bringing their children to summer camp, or students and concert-goers attending the Brevard Music Center, which was organized in the late 1940s.[10]

As a testament to the growing size and stability of the town's population, a substantial number of major church buildings were erected in the 1950s, including structures for the Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian congregations. Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Brevard was dedicated in 1949. In 1950, the Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church (249 E. Main Street) purchased the old Franklin Hotel for $50,000. The hotel was struggling because the second and third floors could no longer be used due to fire regulations. While the congregation raised money and planned for a new church building, services were held in the dining room of the hotel. Architect Henry Gaines of the Asheville firm Six Associates designed the new structure, and construction began in April 1956, with the demolition of the old hotel. The congregation held services in the nearby Masonic Temple, which was built in 1952, while their new building was under construction. The new building opened in December 1956. In addition to the new Brevard churches, approximately twelve rural churches were built throughout the county during the 1950s.[11]

Brevard continued a trajectory of steady growth during the 1960s and 1970s, although development appears to have peaked in the 1950s. Although many manufacturing jobs have been lost, the local economy still relies heavily on tourism, cultural activities, outdoor recreation, and forest resources. The third period of growth began in the late-twentieth century with a marked increase in resort developments and golf course communities. New developments at Lake Toxaway, Connestee Falls, Glen Cannon, and Sherwood Forest have helped to attract numerous second-home owners and retirees to the area. The last two decades of the twentieth century brought an influx of retirees to Brevard, which frequently ranks among the top retirement areas in the southeast.

Architecture Context

The East Main Street Historic District's architectural significance resides in the eclectic mix of popular and vernacular styles spanning more than a century of development in Brevard and Transylvania County. The variety of residential and church-related architecture reflects local trends and periods of growth specific to the town, as well as the influence of nationally popular styles introduced by transplants and seasonal residents to the area. The property types represented in the East Main Street Historic District include a variety of architectural styles and forms that were common in Brevard and Transylvania County from the early twentieth century through the post-World War II period.

The ca. 1858 Lankford-Cleveland House (7 Rice Street) is the earliest resource located within the district and harkens back to the early settlement of the county, although its current form dates to ca.1900, the beginning of the period of significance. Originally constructed as a saddlebag dwelling arranged around a large central chimney, the house was enlarged at the turn of the century with a gable-roof ell and tall gabled dormers to resemble Montclove, the ca.1854 home of Francis Johnstone and one of the oldest houses in Transylvania County. The Lankford-Cleveland House was never as fancy as Montclove or other antebellum houses built by wealthy South Carolinians who spent their summers in the area, but it does display quality craftsmanship and Gothic Revival and late-Victorian stylistic elements of its period. The house was enlarged again in the 1940s with the addition of a garage, but the property remains a tangible link to the formation of the town.

While the Lankford-Cleveland House originally stood on the edge of Brevard, residential development began to extend along Main Street after the turn of the century, and the property was eventually integrated into the town. The Orr-Kitchen House (6 Rice Street) was built near the Lankford-Cleveland House around 1900, in an area of East Main Street that was becoming replete with large homes, many of which were being used as boarding houses. The two-story, double-pile, hip-roof frame house has been altered over the years leaving the basic form and massing intact, although the house has been updated with the installation of vinyl siding and replacement windows similar in style to the original windows.

In addition to simple frame houses, East Main Street also saw the construction of finely detailed, high-style houses like the William Breese Jr. House (315 E. Main Street) and the Wyke House at the turn of the century. The Breese House, an imposing two-story Neoclassical Revival-style dwelling punctuated by a monumental portico, was constructed for Breese's mother-in-law in 1902, although he and his wife lived in the house following its construction. The two-story, Colonial Revival style Wyke House, which stood further out at 600 E. Main Street, was built around 1905. Constructed of brick with a broad wraparound porch, the house was built with two front entrances and Mrs. Wyke took in boarders.

The luxurious Franklin Hotel stood at the northwestern end of East Main Street — on the site of the present-day Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church — and influenced the early character of the neighborhood. The Toxaway Company, which built and operated the hotel, began selling lots surrounding the hotel as part of an exclusive development known as Franklin Park. Lots in Franklin Park were limited to a single dwelling with no stables, cribs, barns, tenement houses, shops, warehouses, or granaries permitted. In addition to the Breese and White houses, which were both built on Franklin Park lots, Charles E. Orr and his brothers purchased a lot adjacent to the Franklin Hotel from the Toxaway Company in 1902. In 1926, Orr erected an imposing two-story, Tudor Revival style stone house on the lot. The gray granite for the house came from William Breese's Mill Cove quarry, as did the stone for St. Philip's Episcopal Church (256 E. Main Street), which was under construction across the street at the same time.

In the 1910s Joseph Silversteen began expanding his business interests beyond the town of Rosman and into Brevard, and the family ultimately decided to relocate to Brevard. Silvermont (364 E. Main Street), completed in 1917 on the southwest side of East Main Street, was one of the most ambitious private residences constructed in western North Carolina outside of Asheville. The two-and-a-half-story, thirty-three-room, Colonial Revival style mansion occupied a park-like setting and brought a tremendous aura of style and affluence to the East Main Street neighborhood. Concurrent to Silvermont's planning and construction, several other modest, but stylish dwellings were being built along East Main Street, including houses covered with pebbledash stucco and Craftsman-influenced residences.

The use of pebbledash, which appears on approximately thirty houses around the county, reflects the influence of Biltmore Estate (National Historic Landmark, 1963) and its prolific supervising architect Richard Sharp Smith, who established an important regional practice in Asheville in the late 1890s. Smith designed a few buildings in Brevard, but his vocabulary of pebbledash and brick, hip-roof cottage forms, and English architectural models spread throughout the region in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The ca.1910 Paxton-Kizer House (538 E. Main Street) and 1914 Santa and Evelyn Nicholson House (553 E. Main Street) demonstrate the application of pebbledash with brick accents on vernacular Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style cottages to create stylish residences. B.E. Paxton built the Paxton-Kizer House, possibly as a spec house, and later purchased it at auction after the owners fell behind on their mortgage. Paxton appears to have built several houses on nearby Park Avenue and may have built others along East Main Street as well. The Galloway-Radford House (33 Deacon Lane), built around 1910 at the southern end of East Main Street, also applies these materials to a more elaborate two-story, multi-gable roof structure. When Thomas Galloway built the house it was located on the outskirts of town, commanding a view of the agricultural and river bottom land to the south. The Radfords, like many in the area with large private dwellings, took in boarders during their time as owners of the house.

The Craftsman style fit well within the environment of Brevard, and examples of the style incorporated the abundant local natural materials into their construction. The 1914 Carrier-Plummer House (660 E. Main Street) is a good example of the style with a wood and stone exterior, overhanging eaves supported on purlin brackets, and sophisticated interior woodwork and detailing. Next door, the Royal and Louise Morrow House (630 E. Main Street), built in 1915, epitomizes the Craftsman style. The one-and-a-half story stone Morrow House was built according to plans published in Gustav Stickley's The Craftsman magazine, which popularized and disseminated across the country. The ca.1923 house at 130 Greenville Highway is the common type of one-story front-gable Craftsman Bungalow that was built throughout the region, with German siding, overhanging eaves, large porches, and four-over-one windows.

Rev. Ernest H. Norwood (1868-1953), a Presbyterian minister and carpenter, reportedly assisted Silversteen with the design and construction of Silvermont. Born in England, Norwood settled in Florida after immigrating to the United States in 1886. He moved to Brevard in 1912, where he served as pastor of Brevard Presbyterian Church from 1913 to 1914, and built a house on Probart Street. According to plans bearing his name, Norwood designed (and likely built) the finely detailed one-and-a-half-story Craftsman style house for Rev. C.D. Chapman that stands across Main Street from Silvermont. Covered with wood shingles and accented by river rock foundations, chimneys, and landscaping elements, the 1917 Chapman House (431 E. Main Street) embodies the comfortable sophistication of Craftsman houses. Rev. Chapman retired to this house upon its completion after serving as rector of St. Philip's since 1896.[12]

The rapid development of East Main Street in the first two decades of the twentieth century surprisingly slowed in the 1920s, when many other areas of the county and region experienced tremendous growth. The few buildings in the East Main Street Historic District constructed in the 1920s, however, rank among the finer structures in town. In addition to Charles Orr's Tudor Revival style stone house, built in 1926, St. Philip's Episcopal Church began constructing a new English Gothic-style stone church across Main Street at the same time. Designed by Charlotte architect Louis H. Asbury, St. Philip's took two years to complete and replaced an earlier church building destroyed by fire in 1925. Also in 1926, prominent local businessman James Bromfield built a rambling one-story, Colonial Revival-style stone house set well back from East Main Street on a lot between St. Philip's and Silvermont. The quality materials and Federal Revival-style details of the Bromfield House conveyed the importance of its owners. In the 1960s, the long private driveway became Woodside Drive and portions of the property were sold as building lots for five houses.

The Bromfield House (60 Woodside Drive) and St. Philip's Episcopal Church (256 E. Main Street), along with the other houses in the district built of stone masonry, reflected both the growing affluence of Brevard and Transylvania County in the early and mid-twentieth century and the popularity of this native building material, which was plentiful throughout the county. Initially limited to high-income clients in the 1910s and 1920s, stone masonry eventually became available to a wider population across the county. The large number of stone houses, churches, public buildings, and other structures, as well as the sophistication of the masonry work, set Transylvania County apart as one of the most important locations of twentieth century stone buildings in North Carolina.[13]

Much of the impressive stone work in Brevard is attributed to a group of skilled masons working from the 1920s through the 1950s. The best known of these masons were the Wright brothers — William Benjamin Franklin "Doc" Wright (1879-1936), James Robert Wright (1895-1959), and Joseph Few "Joe" Wright — who came to Brevard from Hendersonville around 1919. Three other brothers remained in Hendersonville, and all six of the Wright brothers had learned the trade from their father, James Wright. The one-armed black stonemason Fred Mills (1892-1981) learned the craft from the Wrights and worked for them in the 1920s and 1930s. Mills also went on to work individually and in partnership with another black stonemason, Avery Benjamin.[14]

East Main Street, like the rest of Brevard, saw construction come to a virtual halt during the Depression. Construction on the house at 617 East Main Street, which was designed before 1930, was suspended for over a decade, and not surprisingly the one-story, side-gable brick house was finished with only modest embellishment. The opening of the Ecusta Paper Mill in 1938 initiated a second-wave of growth and development in Brevard, which was seen most profoundly in the period following World War II. As part of the slow economic recovery that began before the war, Max and Claire Brombacher of Florida purchased land in 1939 at the far south end of East Main Street and commenced work on a one-story, Rustic Revival style stone summer house (768 E. Main Street) with the Wright brothers serving as stonemasons. Completed in 1940, stonework for the house resembles the rough, natural look of the Grove Park Inn (NR, 1973) in Asheville, which Claire Brombacher wished to emulate.

Following World War II, residential architecture in Brevard followed national trends with an increased demand for housing as veterans returned from service and sought to purchase homes through the GI Bill. In this new era of home-ownership families often found comfort in the traditional domestic imagery of Period Cottages and the Colonial Revival style or desired new planning ideas and modern stylistic elements. Period Cottages encompass a range of modest house types typically influenced by the Tudor Revival style and English Cottages without a strong affinity for any particular style. The style became popular in the 1920s, was disseminated through house plan catalogs, and remained popular through the 1940s. Period Cottages typically present a combination of elements including one-and-a-half stories; medium to steeply pitched multi-gable roofs, sometimes with clipped gables; asymmetrical plans; over-scaled or facade chimneys; and tall, narrow window groups, frequently casements. Stucco, half-timbering, and patterned brickwork are common decorative elements of Period Cottages. The Brittain House at 542 East Main Street is a one-story brick Period Cottage built ca.1928 and features a side-gable roof with clipped gable ends, facade chimney, and a asymmetrical front-gable bay with an inset, arched entrance best depicts the style within the district.

The Minimal Traditional style evolved in the late 1930s and became very popular in the post-war period. As the name suggests, the style combined established residential forms (frequently derived from Colonial or Tudor Revival models) with a modern preference for only minimal ornamentation. Minimal Traditional style houses are typically one story with an asymmetrical facade, front-facing gable, small covered or inset porch, and frequently a large multi-pane window or bay window. Side gable or hip roofs with shallow or no eaves is also a common characteristic. As an eclectic style, a variety of siding materials, simple window patterns, porch posts, and an occasional dentil cornice comprise the limited palate. Earlier examples of the style typically display a higher quality of craftsmanship and detail than ones constructed following World War II.

The first examples of the style along East Main Street date to the late 1940s, and the majority of Minimal Traditional houses within the district were built along East Main Street Extension (south of the intersection with Greenville Highway) in the 1950s, reflecting the outward push of residential development from downtown Brevard. The Kelley-Truesdail House at 683 East Main Street dates to ca.1950 and is one of the best examples of the style. The one-story, side-gable, brick house features a front-gable bay with curved bay window, dentil cornice, decorative iron porch posts, diamond-pane window sash, side porch, and garage bay located in the basement. The Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church Manse, built in 1951, presents a bold front-facing gable containing a bay window, inset side wings, and a restrained off-center entrance.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the simplified traditional forms of the Minimal Traditional style were succeeded by the Ranch house, whose low-pitched roof and open floor plan appealed to a modern lifestyle. The Ranch-style house originated in California in the 1930s, but as it was disseminated around the country it was adapted (often as an extension of the Minimal Traditional style) to provide functional one-level living with privacy for all family members at a relatively low cost. The typical Ranch style house is a one-story, hip or gable roof dwelling with a low horizontal orientation, presenting a much larger facade to the street than earlier house types. With minimal applied ornament, Ranch houses derive their visual distinction from asymmetrical facades, attached garages, sliding glass doors, and picture windows.

The Ranch style, with only five examples, was not as popular in the East Main Street neighborhood as elsewhere in Brevard, but a few good examples are found within the district. The house at 533 East Main Street, built around 1950, features a low side-gable roof, screened side porch, and wood siding that helps the structure blend in with its wooded lot. Three one-story brick Ranch houses built in the mid-1960s on Woodside Drive are more typical examples of the style with asymmetrical facades, brick veneer, broad hip and side-gable roofs with deep eaves, picture windows, and, in the case of 3 Woodside Drive, an attached two-car garage.

One of the most significant building projects on East Main Street in the 1950s was the construction of the new Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church in 1956. The congregation purchased the old Franklin Hotel in 1950, holding services in the hotel's dining room until a new church was erected. The church hired Asheville architect Henry Gaines of the firm Six Associates to design the building, which featured clean modern lines and massing with a combination of cast-concrete embellishments and classical door surrounds. Gaines was brought back in 1965 to design rear additions to the building. Despite the sprawling rear wings, the scale of the church does not overpower its residential neighbors.

Brevard's tremendous post-war growth continued into the early 1960s, spurred in part by the construction of the DuPont plant near Cedar Mountain. Brevard and Transylvania County have recently witnessed a third period of growth that began in the late 1970s with new development for seasonal residents and retirees, outdoor recreation, and cultural activities. Following the death of Joseph Silversteen's last surviving daughter, Silvermont was deeded to the county in 1973 for use as a public park and recreation facility. Despite the addition of basketball and tennis courts to the property, the preservation of Silvermont has given the East Main Street neighborhood a sense of stability in the late twentieth century and helped to maintain the neighborhood's persistent character into a new century.

The East Main Street neighborhood derives much of its character from the mix of architectural styles, grand and modest house sizes, and strong linear layout. East Main Street was one of Brevard's early residential streets and its stately houses, prominent churches, and established vegetation convey a sense of authority and stability that comes with its established and continued residential function. It is bordered to the west and southwest by modern residential development generally comprised of Ranch and Split-level houses dating from the 1960s and 1970s. This later subdivision separates East Main Street from the Maple Street area, which along with Johnson Street, Minor Street, and Turnpike Road, shares some similarities with East Main Street neighborhood, particularly its strong linear layout and mix of large and small houses. The Maple Street area, however, is more definable as a Bungalow neighborhood, with that as the dominant house type. Early subdivisions laid out in the 1910s and 1920s to the east and northeast of East Main Street, adjoining the park-like grounds of the Franklin Hotel, lack the strong overall character of East Main Street. These residential sections of Franklin Street, Woodlawn Avenue, and Park Avenue contain a similar mix of twentieth century architectural styles, although on a much more modest scale. The area around Park and Parkview avenues is defined by modest bungalows and period cottages on small lots typically of 1920s development. The consistency of scale and refinement in the surrounding areas contrasts sharply with East Main Street, where a variety of architectural scale and styles resides comfortably within their spacious and wooded surroundings.


  1. Deborah J. Thompson and Davyd Foard Hood, Historic and Architectural Resources of Transylvania County, North Carolina, including the incorporated towns of Brevard and Rosman, ca.1820-1941 (Multiple Property Documentation Form, National Register of Historic Places, 1993), E-20-23.
  2. Transylvania County Heritage Book Committee, Transylvania County Heritage, North Carolina, 1995, 3rd printing (Brevard, NC: Don Mills, Inc. and the Transylvania County Heritage Book Committee, 2003), 1 and 105. Laura A.W. Phillips and Deborah Thompson, Transylvania: The Architectural History of a Mountain County (Brevard, NC: The Transylvania County Joint Historic Preservation Commission, 1998), 17-22.
  3. Phillips and Thompson, 31-38.
  4. Ibid., 39-45.
  5. Ibid., 68-73. Sybil Bowers, "Main Street Historic District" National Register Nomination, 2002, Survey and Planning Branch, Historic Preservation Section, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh.
  6. Anna Holiday, "Study of Brevard Community," 1937 (Report in clippings files, North Carolina Collection, Transylvania County Public Library, Brevard), 1-3.
  7. Phillips and Thompson, 67-68.
  8. Ibid., 73-77.
  9. Ibid., 117-119.
  10. Transylvania County Centennial, 1861-1961, Historic Souvenir Program (North Carolina Collection, Transylvania County Public Library, Brevard), n.p. Phillips and Thompson, 87-90.
  11. Transylvania County Centennial. Ormand, 60-68.
  12. Ormand, 48-49.
  13. Phillips and Thompson, 79-84. Thompson and Hood, F 78-85.
  14. Phillips and Thompson, 79-80.


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Transylvania County Centennial, 1861-1961. Historic souvenir program. Transylvania County Public Library, Brevard, NC.

Transylvania County Heritage Book Committee. Transylvania County Heritage, North Carolina, 1995. Third printing. Brevard, NC: Don Mills, Inc. and the Transylvania County Heritage Book Committee, 2003. Transylvania County Register of Deeds Office, Transylvania County Courthouse, Brevard, NC.

The Transylvania Times, Centennial Edition (July 18, 1968).

Vertical files. North Carolina Collection, Transylvania County Public Library, Brevard, NC.

† Clay Griffith, Acme Preservation Services, LLC, East Main Street Historic District, Transylvania County, NC, nomination document, 2009, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Other neighborhoods named
Main Street Historic District

East Main Street Historic District Map

Street Names
Deacon Street • Main Street East • Rice Street • Route 276 • St Philips Lane • Woodside Drive

**Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. You should independently verify any information you use for decision making.
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