Cold Spring Park Historic District
The Cold Spring 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 © 2009, The Gombach Group.
The Cold Spring Park Historic District is located north of downtown Hendersonville, Henderson County North Carolina. The Cold Spring Park Historic District is bounded by N. Main Street on the north, Maple Street on the east, Ninth Avenue East (originally Lynn Street) on the south, and Locust Street on the west. Cross streets include Highland Avenue, Algeria Street, and Laurel Street. The neighborhood is laid out in regular blocks, with the overall elevation dropping from Locust Avenue to Maple Street. Most houses are set back from the street on level lots with front lawns, but some houses are raised up above street level, especially those located along Locust Avenue. These are sited high up on a hill with stairs leading from the sidewalk up to the walkways to the houses. Houses are typically built close together in a steady rhythm of setback, lining both sides of the streets. Notable landscape features include fieldstone or cut stone retaining walls and flat field stones set into the hillsides. These features are seen in other Hendersonville neighborhoods, primarily Hyman Heights, located to the north across North Main Street from the Cold Spring Park Historic District. Outside the Cold Spring Park Historic District boundaries to the north is the National Register listed Hyman Heights/Mount Royal neighborhood (National Register 2001), to the west is a city park, to the south is an industrial area, and to the east are additional historic and modern residential areas.
The Cold Spring Park Historic District, which encompasses approximately fourteen acres, incorporates within its boundaries those concentrations of houses in the Craftsman Bungalow and Ranch styles dating from ca.1910 through 1953, all of which were built within the historically platted Cold Spring Park subdivision. The Cold Spring Park Historic District forms an intact configuration representative of Hendersonville's residential development from the boom times of the first two decades of the twentieth century, along with significant growth which occurred in the 1940s and early 1950s. The Cold Spring Park Historic District overall has retained a high degree of historic architectural integrity.
By far, the majority of the buildings in the Cold Spring Park Historic District are Craftsman Bungalow style. The Cold Spring Park Historic District consists of thirty-seven contributing buildings, one contributing structure, twenty non-contributing buildings and six non-contributing structures. Of the non-contributing resources, the majority of these are modern outbuildings, including many free-standing metal carports. There are two vacant lots in the Cold Spring Park Historic District. Non-contributing buildings are a mixture of buildings built after the period of significance and historic buildings with significant alterations such as porch enclosures or the removal of numerous key architectural features. If a building retains its historic form and detailing, but is clad in artificial siding, it is still counted as a contributing resource.
The Cold Spring Park Historic District in Hendersonville, Henderson County, North Carolina, is significant for its association with the community development of Hendersonville, North Carolina in the boom period of the 1920s and again in the late 1940s to early-1950s, providing housing for primarily middle class families. The Cold Spring Park Historic District is also a significant collection of primarily Craftsman Bungalows and Ranch houses dating from ca. 1910 to 1953.
Historic Background and Community Planning Context
According to plat records, the area of Hendersonville that later developed as Cold Spring Park was originally laid out as Wheeler Park in 1910. Howard Caldwell was noted as the sales agent on the plat, and Justice & Son C.E. were the surveyors. The subdivision apparently did not develop to any large degree and was re-platted in 1921 as Cold Spring Park. At this time, only two houses appeared on the revised plat from the earlier Wheeler Park subdivision. The developers noted on the new plat are Justice, Lee, and Rector of Hendersonville. The only difference in the two plats is that Wheeler Park had several lots which extended to the south of Ninth Avenue (Lynn Street).
On the 1922 Sanborn map, there were only ten houses built in the neighborhood. By 1926, there were a total of twenty-three houses. The neighborhood kept developing through the 1940s and 1950s, with a total of thirty-three houses completed by 1954. Of the sixty-five lots laid out, many remained vacant or were absorbed as additional acreage for the houses that were built.
As industry expanded in Hendersonville in the 1920s, the need for housing close by also increased. Cold Spring Park followed this trend, doubling its number of houses between 1922 and 1926, and continuing to develop through the early 1950s. This trend mirrors the growth of the adjacent industrial area to the south of the neighborhood. In 1922, the two main industries located between Eighth and Ninth Avenues (Ninth Avenue being the southern boundary of the Cold Spring Park Historic District) included Sanitary Laundry and Dry Cleaning Company and Hendersonville Lumber Company, which had greatly expanded its operations from 1912. By 1926, Ideal Laundry and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company had been added within this same area. By the late 1940s, Hendersonville Lumber had expanded and Ideal Laundry had been replaced by the Blue Ridge Cord Company, a cord braiding operation related to the textile industry. The Coca-Cola Bottling Company was also still in operation.
According to city directories from the 1930s, the residents of the neighborhood were working class, primarily with many of them working in industrial buildings such as the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant just south of the neighborhood, or at Southern Railway, also located to the south. Some occupants worked as insurance and automobile salesmen, carpenters, and painters. There were some business owners living in the neighborhood as well, including the owners of Camp's Flowers; Justus Pharmacy; Thompson's Soda & Sandwich Shop; King Hardware Company; Anders & Rector; and Shipman's Garage. One particularly significant resident was George W. Justice, a surveyor who not only helped develop this neighborhood, but was also the surveyor for almost every recorded plat in Hendersonville in the first two decades of the twentieth century.
The layout of Cold Springs Park is a typical grid plan which was often utilized in subdividing land at the turn of the century due to its ease of layout and conformity in size of lots. Lots are generally small and level with the street, with houses and outbuildings set back from the street ten to fifteen feet. Mature deciduous and evergreen trees and concrete sidewalks line most streets.
However, while Cold Spring Park is primarily a concentration of Bungalows, it is similar in layout to the neighboring Hyman Heights/Mount Royal Historic District. Hyman Heights, like Cold Spring Park, was laid out in a grid fashion, unlike the Mount Royal portion of the Hyman Heights area and the Druid Hills Historic District to the northwest which were laid out in more curvilinear street patterns. Of these three neighborhoods, Druid Hills contains the widest variety of architectural styles and contains the most elaborate example of more high style architecture.
In contrast to the grid patterns of Cold Spring Park and Hyman Heights, the Mount Royal section which developed in 1923 is closer in design to that of Druid Hills, located to the northwest of the Hyman Heights/Mount Royal Historic District. Mount Royal follows a curvilinear street layout which followed the steep terrain of this part of the neighborhood and includes a variety of lots sizes and triangular medians at intersections. All of these design elements in the Mount Royal section were part of the more "Olmstedian" approach to land planning which gained in popularity in the early part of the twentieth century. Stone retaining walls are visible throughout the subdivision of Mount Royal, apparently there from the beginning, since many appear to pre-date some of the later ca.1950s houses. These same stone walls appear throughout the Cold Spring Historic District, indicating that the same landscape craftsmen may have been at work in both of these neighborhoods.
Early Suburban Residential Development Context
In the multiple property nomination "Historic and Architectural Properties in Hendersonville, North Carolina: A Partial Inventory," the context for early suburban residential development was not included. However, the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries in Hendersonville proved a tremendous boom time for speculative residential real estate development as it did in much of western North Carolina. The climate, the scenic beauty, and most importantly the arrival of the railroad to make the mountains much more accessible all were factors in drawing not only tourists but permanent residents to the mountains. Once the railroad arrived, nationally popular building styles and the materials to construct them became more readily available. Local brick and sawmills became even more important commercial enterprises for local businessmen. As the population of both year-round and summer residents began to grow, the need for housing became a top priority, providing new opportunities for many entrepreneurial real estate developers. As the automobile gained in popularity in the early twentieth century, additional opportunities arose for building homes further away from the core downtown area, creating true "suburbs." The west side of downtown Hendersonville developed early, with many farms being subdivided to meet the growing need for housing as the population grew. O.E. Hedge developed the west side of town including Ehringhaus Street with many English Arts and Crafts style houses.
The platting and development of Druid Hills, Hyman Heights, Mount Royal, and Cold Spring Park on the north side of town was no exception to this frenzy of speculative development. Hundreds of land areas were subdivided in the city and immediately to the north of town. Often, the initial purchasers of the lots from the developers were not the builders of the houses, but small investors who bought lots for purposes of a quick resale to those who later did in fact build the first homes. The goal for many was to "...sell at a profit before the next payment was due..." A few of these subdivisions developed as platted, but others, especially those that began in the late 1920s after the economic bust, often only had roads laid out, but no houses built until after World War II or later.
One of the earliest of these planned subdivisions was Oakland Park (1890) developed by Mayor V.L. Hyman, son of John D. and Ellen Patton Hyman. The Columbia Park Land and Development Company, incorporated by H.S. Anderson, S.F. Wren, J.W. Streetman, and R.F. Burton, developed Columbia Park (1907-1908) which was planned as a large resort community. Some of it developed, but a large portion of the undeveloped land was later turned into Lenox Park in 1942 (Lenox Park Historic District, National Register 2002). (Columbia Park was contemporary with the development of Hyman Heights (1905), but was located to the southwest of the downtown area). Some of the other major subdivisions platted included Sunset Heights (1908); Hillside Park (1910); Annex Park (1913) Kanuga Lake (1913); the M.C. Toms Subdivision (1914); Lenox Park (1918); Dade-Olina Park (1923); Pine View Terrace (1923); Druid Hills (1923, Druid Hills Historic District, National Register 2000); Mount Royal (1923, Hyman Heights/Mount Royal Historic District, National Register 2001); Toms-Hill Park (1924); Laurel Park (1924-1927, one of the largest land developments to the west of downtown; Floralina (1925); Hollywoods (1925); Osceola Lake Park (1925); Forest Hills (1925; Chestnut Hill 1926); Central Park (1926); and Greater Druid Hills (1926). By 1924, Hendersonville had eighty-nine real estate offices and 800 brokers. The 1926 population of the town was 10,000 with over 40,000 annual visitors who came to enjoy the mountain scenery, summer homes, and resorts which were prevalent all over western North Carolina. Many Florida investors owned property in Hendersonville and as Florida began to see a major economic decline beginning in 1925, the speculative development and economy in Hendersonville also began a rapid decline beginning in 1926. Most speculative land development stopped through most of the 1930s due to the Great Depression, but in 1933, the Hendersonville Country Club and golf course was developed on land that had originally been part of the Laurel Park subdivision, which never fully developed. Subdivisions were again platted and developed after World War II, when the town experienced a small building boom due to a further increase in population. Post World War II housing was also built as infill in older subdivisions. Subdivisions were developed into the 1950s and 1960s, but never again did the number of subdivisions exceed what happened in Hendersonville in the first two decades of the twentieth century.
Of the above subdivision plats examined in courthouse records which developed on the north side of town, it appears that only, Mount Royal, Hyman Heights, Druid Hills, and Cold Spring Park fully developed as suburban neighborhoods, with the majority of homes built in the 1920s. Thirteen other neighborhoods from the same time period never developed at all. Several had roads constructed as shown on their plats, but only a handful of houses built from the 1920s. Most of the building of homes in these neighborhoods did not occur until the 1960s or later. Only Laurel Heights (1926), south of downtown, off the east side of Highway 25 south, experienced some development of simple bungalows dating from the 1920s to the 1930s.
Development in Hendersonville, as in the rest of western North Carolina, slowed considerably in the 1930s due to the Great Depression. Courthouse plat records for the county indicate there were only a handful of subdivisions platted in the 1930s, with most of these being in the mid to latter part of the decade. However, in the latter part of the 1940s (post World War II) and on into the mid-1950s, Hendersonville experienced a second boom in development. Henderson County plat records indicate there were at least twenty new subdivisions platted in the 1940s and another twenty or so into the mid-1950s. It is not known how many of these actually developed, but most of them were located further out from the center of town since most of the closer neighborhoods had developed by this time. Due to the need for housing and the economic incentives (e.g. the GI Bill) after World War II, many vacant lots in the older subdivisions were infilled with newer housing so that the neighborhoods developed in the 1910s and 1920s often have several buildings within their boundaries dating from the late 1940s to 1950s. Cold Spring Park follows this pattern, as there were several vacant lots available in the earlier platted subdivision.
In contrast to the Hyman Heights and Druid Hills Historic Districts, Cold Spring Park Historic District is a much smaller district in terms of numbers of properties. The Cold Spring Park Historic District consists primarily of Craftsman Bungalow buildings, although the earliest building in the neighborhood is a simple L-plan cottage dating from ca.1910 when Wheeler Park first developed and pre-dating the later re-platting of the area into Cold Spring Park. The other districts noted here contain examples of late Queen Anne, Gothic Revival, Shingle, Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival, Georgian Revival, and Italian Renaissance Revival, as well as later structures from the 1940s and 1950s, including some excellent examples of the Ranch style. Cold Spring Park is significant as being a neighborhood with smaller houses that provided housing for the middle classes, unlike the other 1920s neighborhoods on the north side of town which included many more high style houses for wealthier owners. The proximity of Cold Spring Park to the adjacent industrial areas to the south of the neighborhood provided housing for many of the employees of these businesses within walking distance, supporting this idea.
The Craftsman Bungalows built in Cold Spring Park vary in terms of how much they are in keeping with the high style use of the style. Craftsman Bungalows, commonly built nationally from 1905 to 1930, typically are one to one-and-one-half stories, with either front or side-gable roofs, with porches often including details such as tapered posts on piers, solid balustrades, and an irregular floor plan. They made use of natural materials such as brick and stone, and Cold Spring Park is no exception to this stylistic feature. Particularly notable, bungalows include the house at 1024 Highland Avenue (ca.1925), with its battered posts on brick piers, German siding, projecting purlins, exposed rafter ends, and vertical four-over-one windows; the house at 1015 Highland Avenue (ca.1925) also with battered posts on capped brick piers, German siding, capped brick cheek walls flanking the central steps, diamond-pane windows, and a diamond-pane front door; and the George W. Justice House (1033 Highland Avenue, ca.1925) with its one-and-one-half story massing, dormers, exposed rafter ends, German siding, six-over-six and eight-over-eight windows, and French doors opening onto the porch.
The Ranch style, popular from ca.1935 to 1975, typically was one story in height with a side-gable or hip-roof, and a long, linear floor plan. Often there was an attached garage wing or a garage beneath the house. Windows could be picture, multi-light, or double-hung. Most often there was an entry stoop or recessed entry. There are several good examples of this style in the neighborhood, with the best of these being the William E. Jamison House (1023 Highland Avenue, 1950) with its long, low massing, garage wing, original asbestos siding, and multi-light casement and picture windows.
Overall, the Cold Spring Park Historic District retains a high degree of architectural integrity. Architectural changes within the Cold Spring Park Historic Districtt have included primarily the enclosing of porches, addition of artificial siding, and replacement of windows. Of the non-contributing buildings, only two of the six noted have had significant changes. The remaining are those that are outside the period of significance.
Bishir, Catherine W., Michael A. Southern, and Jennifer F. Martin. A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999.
Bowers, Sybil. "Druid Hills Historic District." National Register of Historic Places nomination, August 8, 2000.
Bowers, Sybil. "Hyman Heights/Mount Royal Historic District." National Register of Historic Places nomination, February 16, 2001.
Fain, James T., Jr. A Partial History of Henderson County, New York: Anno Press, 1980.
Hendersonville City Directories 1926-1957.
Henderson County Plat Records.
Mattson, Alexander and Associates, Inc., "History and Architecture of Hendersonville, North Carolina." December 16, 1996.
McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.
Sanborn Map Company. Hendersonville, North Carolina. 1922, 1926, 1949, and 1954.
"The Summer of 1925," Times-News, 15 January 1976.
†Nomination form prepared by: Sybil H. Argintar, Preservation Planning Consultant, Southeastern Preservation Services, Cold Spring Park Historic District, nomination document, 2007, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.