2004 Preservation Durham Home Tour: "Mayday by the Park: Forest Hills"

2004 Preservation Durham Home Tour: "Mayday by the Park: Forest Hills"


Until the early 1920s, most of the land that comprises Forest Hills belonged to a few farmers who left much of the gen- tly rolling hills as forests and meadows. Scattered along the edges of the neighborhood are a few houses that survive as reminders of the area's early history. These homes were often very small- one room deep and one story high—typical of North Carolina farms until the mid-nineteenth century. But Durham was growing rapidly with the ever-increasing demand for tobacco and textiles. Soon after the turn of the 20th century, William Gaston Vickers subdivided his farm on the north edge of Forest Hills, now known as the Morehead Hill Neighborhood. Durham began its southward expansion into the suburbs. 

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CHANGES PROMPT SUBURBANIZATION The increase in farm subdivision was being aggressively promoted nationwide by Federal government policies and the utility and banking industries across America. A glance at the newspapers of the period, including our own Durham Morning Herald, finds ads for the sale and subdivision of farm after farm, of lending companies galore offering mort- gages to homebuyers or for real estate investment. Automobile and furniture advertisements abound. The universal extent of the railroads made consumer goods available everywhere, and early magazines such as Ladies Home Journal and House Beautiful promoted suburban living and family values to women with leisure time and money to spend.

GARDEN SUBURBS The massive drive to suburbanization which took place in the early 20th century offered mainly first time homeowners modern amenities that were already standards for more expensive American homes: indoor plumbing, hot water, sewer systems, and electricity. Eclectic revival styles of architecture, very often English designs in pastoral settings near, but not in, the city attracted a new professional middle class. Although the new suburbs offered a kind of 'return to nature' for the American family through their picturesque settings, it was in no way seen as a return to the farm community out of which many new suburbanites had grown. Living in the suburbs was an important symbol of being a member of the new middle class. And, although many early suburbs were accessible by trolley car, the spreading neigh- borhoods went hand-in-hand with a mass demand for automobiles. 

FOREST HILLS IS BORN In 1925, James O. Cobb and Fuller Glass followed the trend and purchased large tracts of farmland along University Drive. They were ready to fill Durham's growing need for residential neighborhoods for the successful professionals and businessmen of the post-World War I era. The developers boasted a clubhouse, pool, and tennis courts. Durham architect George Watts Carr, Sr. laid out the streets and building lots around a nine-hole golf course in the low lying flood plain along University Drive (now Forest Hills Park). Forest Hills was to become to Durham what Riverside Drive was to New York and the Back Bay to Boston. The narrow streets wound round and about, creating a curvilinear web under a luscious green canopy of trees. It was "the choicest of residential sections—a place of quiet, rest, and beauty." 

FOREST HILLS GROWS Forest Hills quickly became one of the most desirable places to live within Durham's city limits, attracting newcomers to Durham as well as the younger generations of established Durham families. The original homeowners were archi- tects, lawyers, auto dealers, building contractors, and others making it big in the boom of the 1920s. Forest Hills is characterized by elegant homes in popular period revival styles. Colonial, Tudor, and English Cottage homes on winding streets are surrounded by great trees and spacious lawns. Some are adaptations of plans originally published in popular magazines such as Home and Garden, which promoted the new suburban life style. The homeowners who built bordering on the golf course or near it usually turned to contractors or architects to create original plans for their houses or for custom modifications to published designs. Houses set away from the golf course were more likely to be builders' houses, that is, 'spec homes,' and include smaller modern bungalows in addition to the period styles favored by Southern families.

FOREST HILLS OUT OF THE DEPRESSION Despite its early success in 1929, the New Hope Realty Company became a casualty of the Depression and filed for bankruptcy. The land that had not been sold was auctioned and the golf course and clubhouse were sold to John Sprunt Hill. Many of the early homebuyers remained in their comfortable Forest Hills homes through World War 1I and the post-war decades. After the war, Forest Hills expanded again, this time to the southeast as George Watts Carr and his sons George Watts Carr, Jr. and Robert W. Carr developed Beverly Drive between University Drive and Roxboro Road. Plans for some of these homes were also adapted from outside sources. The Singletary House at 32 Beverly (on tour) is based on plans purchased from a New York architectural firm in 1956.

FOREST HILLS TODAY Despite the emergence of University Drive as a busy arterial, Forest Hills still remains one of the more desirable neigh- borhoods in Durham. It is home to a new middle class, and the houses have been adapted and updated to accommo- date today's families. Rooms originally built for live-in servants have been converted into home offices and back stairs have been opened for easy family access to well-equipped kitchens. Newcomers as well as the younger generations of older established Durham families continue to buy homes here, where they still enjoy "the choicest of residential sec- tions - a place of quiet, rest, and beauty" promised by the developers 80 years ago. 

1010WForestHills.jpg

1010 W. FOREST HILLS BLVD. - GRIFFIN HOUSE

1010
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1940
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Construction began on this house for William Griffin and his family in 1940, although the traditional colonial architecture might suggest it was much earlier. It is, in fact, a revival piece designed by George Watts Carr. 

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Last updated

  • Thu, 06/28/2012 - 8:11am by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 54.354" N, 78° 54' 57.0096" W
US

Comments

1010
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1940
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

1010WForestHills.jpg

From the 2004 Preservation Durham home tour booklet:

Construction began on this house for William Griffin and his family in 1940, although the traditional colonial architecture might suggest it was much earlier. It is, in fact, a revival piece designed by George Watts Carr. As a type, it is imitative of the New England Georgian house that was built in this country between 1700-1780. Generally, this kind of house would include the features that you see here: end-gabled, two-story rectangular block on a low or raised basement; two rooms deep and anywhere from three to seven bays wide; and one or two chimneys toward each end, either within the walls or on the exte- rior. This was one of the two largest commissions for Carr during 1939 and 1940. The building contract for this home is reported to have been a staggering ,000! Griffin, who owned Ace Distributing (now Harris Distributing), raised his two children here, only moving in 1991 following the death of his wife Clyde. It is a house that is intended to suggest status, emulating the aristocratic country manor in the Renaissance style, albeit on a smaller scale.

Still a generous lot by today's standards, the Griffin property originally included four platted properties. The current owners recently under- took an extensive remodeling of the house and garage in order to accommodate their modern family of six. The original garage and house have been incorporated into a larger, composite structure by capturing what had been an open breezeway between the two buildings, and converting this into the primary family entrance. This was accomplished relatively simply but to wonderful effect: the breezeway was roofed over, the stone paving retained; French doors added to the rear and front, retaining the ambient light. Also, stairs to the children's playroom over the garage have been added. The closet in the breezeway/hall was formerly the gardener's WC.

To the west and north (behind) the garage was a driveway and turnaround diminishing usable garden area. The walkway leading to the front door, which used to be a conventional narrow, straight path, has been reinvented and is the gracious, curving, terraced entrance that you find now. Both the terrace and the back yard have been extensively re-graded.

The interior of the house has also been structurally changed. The side entrance to the house was originally through a pair of double doors leading into a small square kitchen and a hallway. This is now the circulation leading from the breezeway, past the kitchen, to the rest of the house. The small downstairs bath was formerly the butler's pantry. A wall that divided the living room from the kitchen has also been removedl and doors added at the far (east) end of the house, allowing a vista the length of the entire house. The paneled den on the street (south) side, oppo- site the kitchen, as well as the dining room and the screen porch are in their original condition except for some texturizing and re-decorating.

The second floor includes an ingenious conversion of a hallway and window into a light filled laundry room. There are two, small original bathrooms placed between the four bedrooms, as was the custom. In this case it is a perfect fit; a suite for the girls and one for the boys. Using space previously allocated to a linen closet and a portion of the original master bath, a stairway was added "to give access to the converted third floor. 

The third floor is an entirely new addition, converted from a large, open attic measuring 1100 square feet. The roofline was raised, but only as high as it could be without interrupting the original profile of the house. A balcony was added on the north side off the master suite where once a roof had been. The wood floors are, intriguingly, made of bamboo. 

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1514 HERMITAGE CT.

1514
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1927
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

This Tudor Revival style house is one of a row of three similar houses on the west side of Hermitage Court, and was built around 1927 for Richard and Elizabeth Slattery, owner of Durham Building Supply. Slattery may have been providing materials for the construction of Duke University's West Campus, since similar materials and commercial building techniques are found in his house and on the campus. 

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Last updated

  • Mon, 05/13/2013 - 9:08am by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 0.7512" N, 78° 54' 55.674" W
US

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1514
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1927
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

05.12.13 (Photo by Gary Kueber)

This Tudor Revival style house is one of a row of three similar houses on the west side of Hermitage Court, and was built around 1927 for Richard and Elizabeth Slattery, owner of Durham Building Supply. Slattery may have been providing materials for the construction of Duke University's West Campus, since similar materials and commercial building techniques are found in his house and on the campus. The unusual heavily textured plaster walls and ceilings in the front rooms of the house are similar to those in the Allen Building at Duke, and when the current owners needed a new key for the front door, the lock manufacturer identified the lock as one originally sold to Duke University. 

The exterior of the house has a unique combination of colors and textures that set it apart from the Tudor houses across Homer Street. The original dark half-timbering that characterizes the Tudor style has been painted a light gray to lessen its contrast with the cream-colored stucco walls. The large Duke granite chimney and engaged porch add additional texture to the exterior and coordinate with the dark shingles on the roof. The garage on the south side of the house has red brick walls below its very steep half-timbered gable.

Inside the house, the dark-timbered Tudor look has been lightened with creamy white paint over most of the woodwork and walls. Pointed Gothic arches lead from the intimate entry hall to the formal rooms. The small dining room is on the south side of the house, and the original swinging door to the back hall remains in place. Other solid tongue and groove paneled interior doors still have their original hardware with unusual fan-shaped brass plates and faceted glass knobs. The living room extends forward beside the hall on the north side of the house and its large front windows look out over the broad lawn. The unusual molded plaster fireplace features an inlaid coat of arms. Behind the living room is a book- lined study that was originally a screened porch or sunroom. The Slatterys enclosed the study when they remodeled the house in the 1930s to add a large first floor bedroom at the back. They kept the flagstone porch floor and installed a row of small casement windows in place of the origi- nal screened openings. 

The first floor bedroom was remodeled in 2000 into a large family room with a stone fireplace and built-in cabinets installed around the large 1930s steel casement window in the north wall. The south wall between the family room and the kitchen was removed to counter height, opening up the space across the back of the house. Most of the original kitchen cabinets installed in the 1920s were left intact, and the Coppes Nappanee nameplate is still attached to the cabinet in front of the sink. Steel lined bread drawers and a pull down compartment in front of the sink are original features of the kitchen design. The stainless steel counter top around the stove is also original, a very high tech installation for the time.

French doors in the family room give access to the garden at the back of the house. Several shallow flights of brick steps connect a series of paved and landscaped terraces on the steep slope down to the driveway and Homer Street at the south side of the corner lot. Brick walls and wrought iron gates separate the levels and provide privacy for the terrace. 

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1410 BIVINS ST. - THOMAS-SORRELL HOUSE

1410
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1948-1950
/ Modified in
1960-1970
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 William and Louise Thomas, who owned and operated the Thomas Bookstore across from the Washington Duke Hotel downtown, built the house in the late 1940s. Durham auto repair magnate Donny Sorrell and his wife Fannie purchased it in 1960, and lived here until the mid-1990s. 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 05/26/2012 - 10:22pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 59' 5.7408" N, 78° 55' 10.9164" W
US

Comments

1410
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1948-1950
/ Modified in
1960-1970
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

From the 2004 Preservation Durham home tour booklet:

The Thomas - Sorrell House has undergone many changes through the years to accommodate different families and life styles, but its quiet elegance has always provided a haven in the middle of the city. William and Louise Thomas, who owned and operated the Thomas Bookstore across from the Washington Duke Hotel downtown, built the house. Durham auto repair magnate Donny Sorrell and his wife Fannie purchased it in 1960, and lived here until the mid-1990s. While Sorrell was president of Clark & Sorrell downtown, he was also chairman of the Board of the Home Savings and Loan Association, vice-president of Erwin Oil, and treasurer of Durham Gas & Oil Co. 

The original structure from the late 1940s consisted of a 1-1/2 story central block flanked by a porch on the south side and a small kitchen on the north. With the design expertise of architect Archie Davis, the Sorrells expanded the house in the 1960s, adding a large master bedroom, a den, and more kitchen space around the original house. The entire facade is unified by red brick facing and white trim, with front-facing gables on the newer wings echoing the small gabled and pillared portico over the front entrance.

The central entrance hall and staircase are paneled with elegant wainscoting. The formal rooms downstairs run the depth of the house and have large windows at both the front and the back. Fireplaces in the living room and dining room are original. The fireplace in the den is the focal point of a wall of built-in bookshelves and cabinets. Hardwood floors throughout the house lend warmth to the rooms, with different patterns identifying the original and added spaces.

The sun porch between the living room and the master bedroom has a fireplace on the original exterior living room wall. Walls of windows at the front and back have French doors giving access to the garden. The homeowner uses the well-lit, quiet space as a painting studio. The more contemporary design of the master bedroom includes a large bow window that creates a comfortable sitting area.

On the north side of the house, the dining room remains largely untouched, even retaining its original chandelier. However, the current home- owners have disconnected the original electric foot-operated call bell that was used by earlier homeowners to call servants to the table during meals. The Sorrells expanded the original small kitchen during the 1960s remodeling, and the current homeowners have updated the space with new cabinet hardware and lighting.

Upstairs, the three original bedrooms have dormer windows and sloping walls under the steeply pitched roof. The two smaller rooms share a connecting bathroom. Rich colors and fabrics make these comfortable guest rooms. 

The roof of the den addition at the rear of the house was originally finished as a deck, accessible by an exterior iron spiral staircase. The current homeowners had to remove the flooring to repair a leak, and decided to refinish the area with a more utilitarian and weatherproof roof. 

Tall pine trees surround the house, providing deep shade on hot summer days. The wrought iron fence that encloses the property is from Four Acres, B. N. Duke's Chapel Hill Street mansion. Mr. Sorrell installed it here after Four Acres was demolished in [1961]. The upper area of the garden behind the house features and a fishpond and a gazebo built by the current homeowner. A playhouse probably used by the Sorrell family is now used to store gardening supplies. In front of the house, the meandering brick walk offers views down a steep wooded slope to city parkland at the bottom of the hill. 

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1050 W. FOREST HILLS BLVD. - PINECREST

1050
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1928
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

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In tours

Last updated

  • Wed, 11/06/2013 - 11:49am by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 57.8892" N, 78° 55' 9.678" W
US

Comments

1050
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1928
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 
,

 

Designed by George Watts Carr and built for James Cobb, Pinecrest was purchased by the Duke family in 1934. It was, until 2012, the home of Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans. From the National Register Listing:

The Mary Duke Biddle Estate is located at 1044 and 1050 West Forest Hills Boulevard along the western edge of the fashionable early-twentieth-century Forest Hills subdivision in the City of Durham, North Carolina. It is [...] situated prominently on land that rises to a plateau above Forest Hills Park.    Comprising 8.562 of the 13.17 acres assembled during the mid 1930s and 1940s by Mrs. Biddle, the estate is an irregular parcel of land bounded by Kent Street on the west, neighboring properties on the north and south, Westwood Drive on the southeast, and Forest Hills Boulevard and Forestview Street on the east. Fences delineate roadside boundaries, and forested groves and bamboo thickets largely obscure the buildings, structures, and grounds from view.
Set back several hundred feet from Forest Hills Boulevard and Forestview Street atop an east- facing hill, “Pinecrest” the focal point of the estate, is a large and handsome Tudor Revival dwelling designed by Durham architect George Watts Carr Sr. in 1927 for Forest Hills developer James O. Cobb. From 1935 through 1958, extensive additions and interior renovations made to the dwelling for Mrs. Biddle under the direction of New York designer Karl Bock included Colonial Revival, French Eclectic, Oriental, Art Moderne, and Art Deco elements.

Bock also made plans for Mrs. Biddle’s auxiliary housing and recreational and landscaping needs. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, he designed and supervised the construction of one additional dwelling, and designed or planned for the installation of three outbuildings and nine structures that contribute to the historic character of the property.3    The Cottage (5) at 1044 West Forest Hills Boulevard, constructed in the English Cottage style, compliments the original Tudor Revival style of Pinecrest. A much smaller dwelling, it has an attached garage and was constructed near the northeast boundary of the property to accommodate servants and automobiles. A gasoline pump (6) was installed adjacent to and west of the garage. A cast iron picket fence with two ornamental gates (7) was erected along West Forest Hills Boulevard.4    Two large brick arches (2 & 3) were erected northwest and southwest of Pinecrest to mark the beginnings of footpaths that interconnect on the grounds of the estate. A picnic area with a stone fireplace and a nearby wading pool fed by streams that emerge from stone- lined grottoes (4) were created northwest of Pinecrest in a grove of trees. A recreational complex with a bathhouse (8) tennis court (9), a swimming pool (10), and a stone fireplace (11) was constructed southwest of Pinecrest near the west boundary of the estate. An extensive pergola (12), a gardener’s cottage with an attached greenhouse (13) and a storage garage (14) were added west of the dwelling along Kent Street. Ornamental shrubs, small fountains, birdbaths, and statues dot the estate though an elaborate rose garden once situated west of the house no longer exists.

Two non-contributing structures, a contemporary metal storage shed installed northeast of the storage garage (15) and an early-twentieth-century playhouse recently placed in a garden northwest of Pinecrest (16) do not distract from surrounding historic resources.

Pinecrest, The Cottage, the gardener’s cottage and greenhouse, the gardener’s garage, the swimming pool, the bathhouse, and the tennis court are listed on the National Register as contributing within the Forest Hills Historic District (NR 2005).

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1022Westwood.jpg

1022 WESTWOOD DR.

1022
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1930
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Architect Archie Royal Davis designed 1022 Westwood Drive for Florence and Virgil Ashbaugh in 1939. Mr. Ashbaugh was the President for Durham Dairy Products located directly behind Duke Memorial Methodist Church. This was a most popular stopping place for all of Durhamites, especially the Sunday school pupils from just across the street. 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Tue, 06/26/2012 - 3:05pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 53.004" N, 78° 55' 10.47" W
US

Comments

1022
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1930
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
,
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

1022Westwood.jpg

From the 2004 Preservation Durham home tour booklet:

Architect Archie Royal Davis designed 1022 Westwood Drive for Florence and Virgil Ashbaugh in 1939. Mr. Ashbaugh was the President for Durham Dairy Products located directly behind Duke Memorial Methodist Church. This was a most popular stopping place for all of Durhamites, especially the Sunday school pupils from just across the street. Architect Davis worked within the terms of a specific architectural vocabulary that allow his buildings to be classified into two essential groups, Williamsburg Style and Eclectic Style. This house is representative of his eclectic style.

Within this category there are certain features that Davis used repeatedly. A primary defining element among these is the Elizabethan-style second story that extends over the ground floor level, called a jetty. There were several original functions of the jetty dating back to the 16th century, including that it maximized floor space while minimizing the footprint, the basis for property tax values at that time. It also provided protection for the second story as well as pedestrians walking below. In the American colonies, the jetty also had a military purpose. Houses with jetties have come to be known as "garrison colonials." None of these applications would, of course, apply to this twentieth century home, and so the use of this overhang must be considered an aesthetic decision to create historical ref- erences and visual interest in the facade by breaking up its simple form and shifting elements onto different planes. Jetties have become a common feature on suburban houses today, and one has to credit Mr. Davis with creative foresight in using them to enliven and ground his designs in history. The pendant knobs that hang on the underside of the jetty are another distinctive Davis feature borrowed from Elizabethan architecture.

This house represents a fresh take on history by Davis. The essential massing and profile of this building, and the scale and simple rectangular form of the main house produce a very different order of things. The gable end roofs and the secondary shed-roofed structure, that runs the length of the eaves at the level of the second floor on the front faade (called a pent), invoke the plain farm faades of the 18th century American colonies. The three implied bays show a concern for symmetry. Combined with the steep pitch of the roof, the rectangular transom over the front door, and the engaged dormers, the bays reflect 18th century architecture from Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia. The contrast created by the steeply pitched garage roof which terminates in uneven legs, suggests that Davis wanted to create the look of an historical house which would, in reality, have been built over time and reflected different architectural periods. There are two final Archie Davis features to be mentioned: the inclusion of the bay window on the front facade and the use of the wide clapboard, eight to twelve inches in height and mitered at the corners. 

The interior floor plan is entirely traditional. As one enters into the main foyer, there is a living room on the left that leads to the original screened porch, two rooms to the right, the dining room and kitchen, and a study center rear. The porch is as you would have found it in 1940, including its original tiled floor. The kitchen has undergone two significant remodels in 1993 and 2000. During the first of these updates the laundry room was moved from the basement to a former closet space in the kitchen, the large, intru- sive, and very old-fashioned hood vent was removed and replaced with an invisible one, and a wet bar was added in a former pantry. French doors have replaced solid doors and a tile floor has replaced linoleum.

The wainscoting in the dining room and stairway is a recent addition, but appropriate. The fireplace and bookcases in the I iving room are original. The fireplace is in the Adams-style, adding still another period to the eclecticism of this house. The decorative gem of the downstairs is the mirrored dressing table in the powder room - a must see. Upstairs, the bathrooms are original, as is the layout of all of the rooms. 

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17Oak.jpg

17 OAK DR. - WEBB-FULLER-HOBGOOD HOUSE

17
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1925
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Forest Hills archItect George Watts Carr designed this house and #15 next door for his own family and they are two of the oldest houses on Oak Drive. 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 06/28/2012 - 8:13am by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 45.4404" N, 78° 54' 58.6296" W
US

Comments

17
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1925
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

17Oak.jpg

Forest Hills archItect George Watts Carr designed this house and #15 next door for his own family and they are two of the oldest houses on Oak Drive. Carr and his wife lived at #15 and #17 was the home of his wife's sister Gertrude and her husband Frank Webb. The house was purchased early on by Jones and Mattye Fuller. He was a partner in one of Durham's earliest law firms, Fuller, Reade and Fuller. Sam and Ava Hobgood bought the house in 1962. He was a tobacconist, working for the Imperial Tobacco Company and Mrs. Hobgood was a beloved teacher at George Watts and Lakewood Elementary Schools. She lived here after her husband's death until 1998, when the current owner purchased the house.

The house is a classic example of the Colonial Revival style with its symmetrical five bay main block, high-pitched roof, and shuttered windows. A small arch-roofed porch leads to the front door, which is surmounted by an elegant fanlight, typical of the Colonial Revival. The exterior retains most of its original appearance, except for the carport added on the southwest corner and the porch on the east side of the house, which was open before the Hobgoods enclosed it to create a sunroom.

The interior space is open and flows comfortably from one large, airy room to the next. The floor plan is one often used by Carr, with a central entrance hall flanked by formal living and dining rooms and a den behind. Original woodwork includes fireplace mantels, crown molding with dentil decoration, the stair banister, and windows and doors. 

The current owner has updated the inrerior of the house for modern living with bright, light colors accented with white trim. The original hardwood floors, once hidden by wall-to-wall carpet, have been uncovered and refinished. Newly added chair rails in the dining room and built-in bookcases in the downstairs den and upstairs bedrooms blend well with the original woodwork. The three bathrooms in the house have been updated except for the tile floors, which are original. The Hobgoods first updated the kitchen in the 1960s, combining the original kitchen and butler's pantry to create a large modern space. The current owner has again updated it to 21st century standards with modern appliances and lighting.

The hallway leading from the front hall to the kitchen has a wall of doors leading to a small bathroom, the basement, a closet, and back stairs to the second floor. This small, enclosed staircase near the kitchen was designed for the use of servants, a common part of life in middle class American households in the early 20th century.The current owner has had the door to the back stairs removed for easier access by her modern family, but another remnant of an earlier lifestyle remains in, now inoperable, electric servant call buttons set into doorframes throughout the house.

Upstairs, the floor plan duplicates the first floor. The master bedroom and a bedroom now used as a study both have fireplaces. The mantels are some- what simpler in design than those in the living room and den below, a typical feature of traditional house styles in which the second floor was usually less ornate that the formal rooms on the main floor, with simpler decoration and lower ceilings. 

The house's large windows offer views over the lawn and large terraced garden at the back of the house, generously planted with bulbs by Mrs. Hobgood. The current owner purchased the lot behind the house to extend the property all the way down the hill to University Drive. Local tradition holds that the Fitzgerald family laid the brick steps leading from the back door to the rear terrace. The Fitzgeralds were well known African-American birckmakers famous for their work on brick tobacco warehouses in downtown Durham. Another original feature of the landscape is the stone footpath and steps linking this house with #15, which one can imagine was used by Mrs. Webb to exchange visits with her sister Mrs. Carr who lived next door. 

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106Forestwood.jpg

106 FORESTWOOD DR. - TAYLOR HOUSE

Durham
NC
Built in
1928
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

106 Forestwood Drive was built in 1928. It appears in the city directory as an address occupied by Mr. R. Thurman Taylor and his wife Rosa in 1929. Mr. Taylor, who worked primarily as a sales representative for several companies during his professional life, continued to reside here with his family for many years. 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sat, 05/26/2012 - 11:36pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 35.3928" N, 78° 55' 0.3864" W
US

Comments

Durham
NC
Built in
1928
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

106Forestwood.jpg

106 Forestwood Drive was built in 1928. It appears in the city directory as an address occupied by Mr. R. Thurman Taylor and his wife Rosa in 1929. Mr. Taylor, who worked primarily as a sales representative for several companies during his professional life, continued to reside here with his family for many years. R. Thurman, Jr. appears in the directory in 1930 so we know that Mr. and Mrs. Taylor had at least one child. 

We do not currently know who the architect of this home was, but its internal plan conforms to a traditional "side-passage plan". This is a layout that became popular in North Carolina in the nineteenth century. It comprises a passage along one side of a house (in this case the east side) and two rooms on the other (the sitting/living room and dining room). The first room off the hall is the sitting room. One can tell from the shallow depth of the fireplace in this room that it was originally intended for a coal-burning fire. (Gas logs were installed in the 1980s). A second chimney at the far (southern) end of the house was almost certainly intended to vent a coal or wood-fired stove. 

While the interior plan of this house is traditional in all respects, there are a few features that demonstrate an infiltration of more modern, as well as, eclectic trends. The 'eyebrow' profile of the front porch on the north (street) facade suggests a prolonged bungalow roof sloped over a doorway in a hooded motif or, perhaps, a thatched cottage, more than a house of these proportions and scale. The end gable follows the outline of a flattened gambrel roof with projecting eaves, suggesting a farmhouse influence. The west side of the house invokes a Prairie-style vocabulary through the use of a projecting flat-roofed porch supported on heavy, straightened columns, and a long, horizontally organized window arrangement. While not a clerestory window, from the interior these windows are placed sufficiently high in the dining room wall that they allow both privacy and light at the same time making a distinct period statement. 

At one time, the dining room must have been very dark, notwithstanding the windows just described, due to a wall that separated the dining room from a back hallway. Therefore, originally there was only the one set of windows into the dining room. One can see where the wall used to be because of the differently shaped windows on the west wall, each belonging to different spaces. There was also a solid panel swinging dining room door that formed the egress to the back hall. This is now the sliding blue door between the master bath and laundry room upstairs.

The current owners have extended the footprint of the southern end of the house by 125 square feet. On the ground floor there is a sunroom and rear vestibule leading onto the kitchen. Over this there is the laundry room back-to-back with the master bath. A view of a 19th century barn and the tip of an old Forest Hills farmhouse may be seen from the sunroom and the new bath, capturing an extraordinary snapshot of Forest Hills before it was developed. 

The two front bedrooms on the north (street side) of the house, originally the master bedroom with an adjoining box room (nursery or sewing room) and an intermediate bedroom, are, essen- tially, in their original configuration. 

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204FORESTWOOD.JPG

204 FORESTWOOD DR. - HARWARD HOUSE

204
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1925-1932
/ Modified in
1999
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

The history of 204 Forestwood is one of the more complex of the houses on this tour. Not only has the house undergone a number of renovations, but also the date of its original construction and its orientation on the lot are also somewhat mysterious. 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Sun, 05/27/2012 - 12:21am by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 35.2524" N, 78° 54' 53.6976" W
US

Comments

204
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1925-1932
/ Modified in
1999
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

204FORESTWOOD.JPG

From the 2004 Preservation Durham home tour booklet:

The history of 204 Forestwood is one of the more complex of the houses on this tour. Not only has the house undergone a number of renovations, but also the date of its original construction and its orientation on the lot are also somewhat mysterious.

The current owners have lived here for seventeen years (since ca.1987). The first, or two of the earliest, known owner/occupants were an attorney named Harvey Harward and his wife Gertrude. Both Mr. Harward and the house appear in the city directory in 1932 for the first time. However, oral history tells us that the house was built in 1921. The difference of eleven years may be accounted for in various ways. The development of Forest Hills itself was not underway until 1925, so from this standpoint the house would have been built between 1925-1932. Generally speaking, very little construction took place in Durham between 1929-1932 because of the depression, making a likely time frame for construction sometime between 1925-1928. Using the architecture as a guide, one might give it a date closer to 1925 than 1928 because of its more classical Georgian form.

However, if this house were constructed in 1921, it would be one of the oldest houses in Forest Hills and would, in fact, pre-date Forest Hills, the "settlement beyond Needmore on University Boulevard" as it was then described in the directory. However, the way the house is situated on the lot, in line with the road and the other homes on the street, suggests that it was not there before the road was built and the other lots were platted. Its positioning, not unlike a Charleston Single House with the main entrance on the side, suggests a more likely scenario where the Georgian design of the house would not fit any other way. 

All of the siding is new, adding to the difficulty in dating the home because important details have been lost. 

The north end of the house (street-facing) originally comprised a screened porch. The porch was expanded and glazed, and a second floor master bedroom and bath were added on the second level. Over this, a full bath on the third floor was added for the chi ldren. On the southern end of the building (garden-side) is a recent, three-story addition yielding a modern conservatory on the ground floor adjoining the kitchen/dining room, a study on the second level, and an open plan children's bedroom on the third floor.

A number of significant structural changes have been made to the interior of this home in order to open-up and unify the many small spaces that were here. In the dining room a bank of traditional small windows have been replaced with French doors. The butler's pantry that was paral- lel to the ground floor stairs was completely removed to open up the main floor and kitchen. A wall between the kitchen and dining room was also taken out.  

In the living room on either side of the fireplace are two original doors leading to the former screened porch. The doors provide symmetry, scale and elegance and offer a counterpoint to the windows at the opposite (southern) end of the house. The stairs from the ground floor to the second floor, which were originally boxed in, culminate in a beautifully detailed semi-circular balustrade. Over this was a minor, enclosed stair- way to the third floor, now removed. The second floor originally included three small bedrooms and two baths, both of which have been completely made over. A new closet has been added to the middle bedroom, plus the study and a new stairway leading to the converted attic space, now the children's adjoining bedrooms. 

The original driveway had been situated perilously close to the house, providing another argument for the house being built on a pre-sized lot. The original driveway now enjoys a second incarnation as the entrance walkway and garden. The swimming pool and landscaping that you see in the garden represent the third, most recent phase of improvements. 

Charles S Allen and his family lived in the house during the early 40s and possibly the late 30s. He was a prominent businessman who owned the Allen Insurance Agency, was president of Citizens National Bank of Durham, Durham Bond & Mortgage Co, and Durham Sports Enterprise as well as Vice President of City Investment Co. all at the same time. Henry Stoever, ]r., a manager at American Tobacco and his wife Garetta lived there in the 50s and Dr. Herbert Sieker, who is a retired professor at Duke Medical Center and his wife, Dorothy, lived there in the 60s and purchased additional land from the neighbor on the east to expand the gardens. 

 

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32Beverly.JPG

32 BEVERLY DR.

32
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1957
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

This house was built for the Dr. William and May Singletary family in 1957 and they remained here until 1996. This and a number of other houses on Beverly Drive represent a departure from the classical revival style houses that dominate the Durham suburbs.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Fri, 12/14/2012 - 8:33pm by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 30.828" N, 78° 54' 44.3124" W
US

Comments

32
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1957
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
,
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

32Beverly.JPG

From the 2004 Preservation Durham home tour booklet:

This house was built for the Dr. William and May Singletary family in 1957 and they remained here until 1996. This and a number of other houses on Beverly Drive represent a departure from the classical revival style houses that dominate the Durham suburbs. At the same time it signifies the introduction of mainstream, contemporary architecture of the 1960s. A shift that the architecture school at North Carolina State University had been wanting for some time. The Singletaty's purchased the plans for this house from a Jamaica, New York company, 'Architectural Plan Service, Inc.' Samuel Paul was the architect and Birmingham Construction was the contractor. It was built according to the plans with very few, and only minor, changes. No alterations were made to its footprint, massing or profile.

The fact that it was built from 'off-the peg' plans would intimate that the 'look' of this house had become mainstream. Indeed, to the contemporary eye, a glance at it would suggest little of architectural importance. However, if one places it in the context of housing developments dominated by George Watts Carr and Archie Royal Davis, as is much of Forest Hills, then its presence becomes a more significant architectural statement. As one can see from a look up and down Beverly Drive, there was a new consensus view about what was appropriate architecture for the times. This represents a major shift for Durham.

The house itself is an interesting mixture of details. Certain Prairie School features in modified form have made their way into its design: it has a long, relatively low-slung silhouette; the pitch of its roof is slight; it is made of an extra long {although not thinner} brick veneer than was the norm locally. Also the ground floor plan is open, although the interior does not have the central fireplace core typical of Prairie homes, nor does it have the characteristic window types. In addition, there is a flat roof over the living and dining room {this is hidden from the front view of the house, virtually no ornamental detail, moldings, where they exist, are small and simple, and windows are metal. Other modern amenities have been added as well: a family room has been introduced; and the laundty 'room' has been brought up from the basement and condensed into a work station adjacent to the kitchen for efficiency and ease of use. Accordion doors have been installed in order to create a choice of uses for the living/dining room and the two adjoining bedrooms upstairs. The garage, which appears in the plans, was converted into a family room before it ever saw an automobile. Likewise, the screened porch, which appears on the plans as a covered patio, was adapted to the South.

All of these details show an attention to function, comfort and modernity, but then certain details incongruously remain. The fireplace in the living room belongs to a Watts Carr or Davis house; the rear of the house is much more modern and inter- esting than the front, and the entire design is much more modern on the interior than the exterior would ever betray. This suggests hesitancy on the part of the architect to present a design too modern for the mass market. Hence, the 'super- modern' façade is snuck in through the rear! 

The Singletary House is a comfortable and elegant house and the kitchen must have been a model of its time. Lighter than many 1950s and 1960s kitchens, the two original General Motors ovens are miraculously still there. There is a generous stairway and copious closet space (for example, the front hall is lined with closets; there is one in each bedroom, two in the laundry, two in the master bedroom and three more in hallways), all suggesting a modern mindset and a post-war accumulation of 'stuff'.

The current owners have left the original master bath, the original Formica in the kitchen, and the cooking appliances. Although interior colors have changed, its scheme is appropriate. The kitchen offers a rare opportunity to see a state of the art post- WW Il kitchen intact. In the past two years the current owners have regraded and re-configured the back yard, and built the exterior brick screen that connects the house and family terrace to the new carport. 

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40 Beverly Dr.jpg

Stewart and Jane Alexander Jr Residence

40
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1958
/ Modified in
2000
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

The Stewart and Jane Alexander house was built by Jane Alexander's brother from Tennessee. This ranch brick house has a 2-story center block, slab floor, a flat roof, a recessed entrance, and a 1-story left side wing. In 2000, the house was sold to and renovated by Douglas "Casey" Herbert and Kathleen Bennett. The original architect is unknown, but Carrboro architect Giles Blunden designed replacement casement windows and a latticework brick wall that screens the original carport at the left side.

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 04/12/2012 - 12:08am by VF

Location

United States
35° 58' 29.3196" N, 78° 54' 43.182" W
US

Comments

40
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1958
/ Modified in
2000
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

 

The Stewart and Jane Alexander Jr. Residence. This ranch brick house has a 2-story center block, slab floor, a flat roof, a recessed entrance, and a 1-story left side wing.  In 2000 the house was sold to and renovated by Douglas "Casey" Herbert and Kathleen Bennett.  Carrboro architect Giles Blunden designed replacement casement windows and a latticework brick wall that screens the original carport at the left side. 

40 Beverly Dr.jpg

(photograph courtesy of Alex Maness)

From the 2012 Preservation Durham Old Home Tour booklet:

This house is a definitive example of post-World War II modernism.  It was built in 1958 for Stewart and Jane Cowan Alexander.  Stewart, the son of Parks Alexander, had grown up in Forest Hills, at 24 Oak Drive.  The Alexanders were partners in the Durham-based Alexander Ford car dealership, and the family lived here until 2001.

The Cowan Corporation, which was owned by Jane Alexander's family, designed and built the house, which exhibits many characteristics that define the post-war style: a long, low profile with simple geometric shapes and clean lines.  The ground floor is faced with red brick, which contrasts with the gray siding on the smaller second floor (original exterior siding color was Aqua - typical of 1950’s modern design tastes).  The roof of the ground floor sharply divides the two stories, extending the horizontal line to the east where it covers a carport designed to hold four vehicles.  Narrow rows of windows, a flat roof and the long, low profile of the chimney further accentuate the sharp horizontal lines.

The interior of the main floor was designed as one large open space, with a variety of materials and various floor levels defining the entrance, living room and dining room.  The entire lower level was originally painted aqua, featuring white carpet and aqua & white checkered linoleum floors surrounding the fireplace. The current homeowners worked with Chapel Hill Architect Giles Blunden in updating and integrating new materials, colors and textures into the original design.  Just inside the front door, the original floating staircase of natural wood divides the more formal areas of the house from family areas.  The current homeowners were required by modern safety codes to replace a too-low planter at the edge of the original stair landing.  To keep the space as open as possible, they installed a short length of wall integrating the large double-sided fireplace between the living room and the family room at the west side of the house, and added a transparent wall enhancing privacy from the front door.  Molded dark gray concrete tiles (by Chapel Hill Sculptor Andy Fleishman) now cover the original white brick fireplace and concrete terrace.  The large plate glass windows on the west side of the house are similar to those used in commercial construction in the 1950s, when the Alexanders also built a new automobile showroom.

Upstairs are four bedrooms.  The original dark paneled narrow hallway was widened to create an alcove entrance to the two central bedrooms and skylights were added above stairs for natural light.  The current homeowners also expanded the master suite by removing a wall to include a secondary bedroom as a sitting/hobby area.  The large master bathroom was remodeled with new steel sinks, glass and wood designed by the homeowner.  Off the master bedroom a small deck and French doors were added that lead from the bedroom onto the flat roof terrace extending over the carport.

As the upstairs bathrooms were updated, the homeowners decided to recycle original 1950s Robin’s Egg blue fixtures from the master bath and installed them in a new powder room on the first floor, once again integrating the old with the new in this house. 

The gardens around the house have been extensively re-landscaped by the current homeowners to open up the house to its surroundings.  They removed holly trees that had almost completely hidden the house from the street.  The huge magnolia tree in the front yard was limbed up to create space for a mixture of plantings and walkways.  French doors from the family room lead out to a paved terrace defined by brick planters.  Sculptures by Virginia artist Jack Chaffee create an oasis between the house and the woods that separate it from busy S. Roxboro Street.

One final note of historic interest: the 1950’s wood and canvas double-sided lamp on the round, metal table in the downstairs living area was owned by the original homeowners and was a gift to the current owners from a neighbor.

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503 Compton Pl.jpg

ALLAN H. GILBERT HOUSE

503
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1930
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

Allan Gilbert and his wife, Mary, commissioned this quaint Tudor Revival style from George Watts Carr, Sr, because they wanted a similar house to the one they had occupied with their sons Everett and Creighton when they lived in Austria.  Gilbert taught English at Duke for many years, was an avid art and antique collector and was considered a true “Renaissance” man. He and his second wife, Beverly, lived in the house until the early 1990s.  The current homeowners are the third family to live in the house.

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In tours

Last updated

Location

United States
35° 58' 44.832" N, 78° 54' 37.6668" W
US

Comments

503
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1930
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

503 Compton Pl.jpg

(photograph courtesy of Alex Maness)

From the 2012 Preservation Durham Old Home Tour booklet:

Allan Gilbert and his wife, Mary, commissioned this quaint Tudor Revival style from George Watts Carr, Sr, because they wanted a similar house to the one they had occupied with their sons Everett and Creighton when they lived in Austria.  Gilbert taught English at Duke for many years, was an avid art and antique collector and was considered a true “Renaissance” man. He and his second wife, Beverly, lived in the house until the early 1990s.  The current homeowners are the third family to live in the house.

The lower elevations of the house are covered with applied half-timbering while the second story of the two-story hip-roofed wing is sheathed in weatherboards. Authentic mortise and tenon construction enframes the large casement windows on the west gable end. A tall, brick chimney with terra cotta chimney pots rises on the front of the house next to the engaged entrance porch. The basement story, which includes a garage under the back of the house, is built of brick.

The house's unusual floor plan revolves around a two-story high living room. The ceiling is so high that the outer portions of it slant under the pitched roof. The copper chandelier is original. Original wood paneling lines the walls. Matching paneling is superimposed on the standard interior doors, which almost disappear when they are closed. A huge fireplace of red brick dominates the north wall. Casement windows in the west wall open over a window seat set between original massive bookshelves. On the south side of the house, the living room opens into a large screened porch. Because of the steep slope of the land, the porch is high above ground level and tall trees shelter its view.

The dining room and kitchen are small compared to the living room. The current homeowners removed a wall to open up the space and installed natural wood cabinets in the kitchen to match original corner cabinets in the dining room. The door to the pantry was found in the basement and reinstalled complete with its original turquoise paint. Another touch of color is provided by the blue and gold accents in the Arts & Crafts style tile backsplash over the sink and counters. The dining table is original – handmade for the house by Professor Gilbert’s son – and was returned to the homeowners by neighbors who had purchased it at the Gilbert estate sale.

A narrow stairway leads from the front entry upstairs to a balcony overlooking the living room through a pointed Gothic arch. Doors with Arts & Crafts style paneling lead to two bedrooms on the landing. The rooms have shallow dormer windows and round coves under the eaves on the outside walls above crown molding.

The current homeowners have developed several garden areas around the house, one of which includes a tree house – for adults – built around the trunk of a huge white oak tree. Constructed of wood salvaged from a barn on Cole Mill Road, this lofty retreat features a screened porch, a solar shower, and a small sink. A formal rose garden contains raised beds constructed of stone, as well as fountains and paved paths. At the west side of the property, the ground rises sharply to an Arts & Crafts style garden that one can access with a set of steps constructed from salvaged Durham City curbstones. And, to top it all off, this historic home also features a chicken yard!

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410EForestHills.JPG

410 E. FOREST HILLS BLVD. - BUGG-MCBRYDE-NASHOLD HOUSE

410
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1926
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

George Watts Carr designed this house for Mr. & Mrs. Everett Bugg during the earliest phase of the Forest Hills development. Bugg owned and managed the Malbourne Hotel that was located on the site of the current Durham County Judicial Center on Main Street. 

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In tours

Last updated

  • Thu, 06/28/2012 - 8:17am by gary

Location

United States
35° 58' 44.5656" N, 78° 54' 41.8284" W
US

Comments

410
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1926
Architect/Designers: 
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

410EForestHills.JPG

George Watts Carr designed this house for Mr. & Mrs. Everett Bugg during the earliest phase of the Forest Hills development. Bugg owned and managed the Malbourne Hotel that was located on the site of the current Durham County Judicial Center on Main Street. During the 40s and 50s, Angus and Priscilla McBryde raised their family in the house. McBryde was a prominent pediatri- cian in Durham. He and his wife honored HPSD by serving as co-presidents of the Society in 1982-83. The Blaine Nashold family purchased the house in 1962, when Dr. Nashold came to Durham to serve on staff at Duke Hospital. Raising four children, they lived here for over forty years. Both the McBrydes and N asholds were charter members of HPSD. 

With its vantage point on a hill overlooking Forest Hills Park (originally the golf course), this house has one of the nicest locations in the neighborhood. Carr's design for the exterior of the house is an adaptation of the classic Colonial Revival style he used so often in Forest Hills. The front is asymmetrical with two large gables, one extending down over a porch to the main story and one punctuated with one of the house's three huge stone chimneys. Neighborhood lore has it that the chimneys are built of "Duke" granite, material quarried in Hillsborough for Duke University's West Campus. The flagstone terrace that runs the width of the front of the house is also an unusual feature. 

Another unusual material on this house is the green tile on the roof. Carr recognized that the weight of the tiles required a main roof beam of steel to support it, and the roof remains in good condition today. After a small back porch was destroyed during a recent winter storm, the current homeowners salvaged original tiles from its roof to have a reserve supply for repairs of the main roof. Inside the house, Carr used a classic floor plan with formal living and dining rooms flanking a central hall and a den at the back. Wainscoting in the hall, raised panels on the walls of the for- mal rooms, and French doors between the rooms add touches of elegance. The stone chimney on the front of the house vents the living room's large fireplace. Beyond the living room is a south- facing sunroom that the current owners have enclosed to allow year-round use.

On the north side of the house, the dining room features a built-in corner china cabinet. Under the carpet is a reminder of middle-class life in Forest Hills earlier in the 20th century: a now- inoperative foot-activated electric button to call servants to the table during meals. Beyond the dining room is a small breakfast room, perhaps once an open porch, which opens into the newly renovated kitchen. The current homeowners have incorporated the original butler's pantry into the expanded kitchen space and have opened the narrow back stairs designed for use by domestic servants to provide easy access by tHeir active family.

From the front entrance hall, an elegant arched doorway leads to a comfortable den. The fireplace here is vented by another "Duke" stone chimney on the back of the house. The fireplace mantel, original ceiling-high built-in bookcases, and doors and windows are painted white in contrast to the warm brown leather-look faux finish on the walls. 

The tree-shaded grounds surrounding the house are not large, but the view from the front terrace extends past the lawn and across the park on the other side of E. Forest Hills Blvd. At the rear, the 2004 homeowners have installed a large flagstone patio that is accessible from both the sunroom and the den. A stone staircase ascends the hill beyond the driveway that runs past the rear of the house. Although the top of the stairs seems to end at a giant oak tree, they must have originally created an easy path to the house next door. Another reminder of the close community formed in Forest Hills. 

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