Country Park, Military Park, Old Salisbury Wagon Rd, Battle Forest, The Bluffs, Lake Jeanette Rd, Country Park Acres
Kirkwood, Old Irving Park, Latham Park, Latham Park Greenway, Idlewood
One of the first neighborhoods runners will run through on the second RunTheBoro run/walk is Kirkwood. The Kirkwood Community began as two farms that were purchased and developed on the outskirts of Greensboro in the 1920s. The Kirkpatrick farm homeplace was located at current 906 West Cornwallis and the Holt farm homeplace was located at current 2000 Dellwood Drive. The Holt Farm property was sold and developed into residential lots in the 1930s, and Kirkpatrick Farm property was developed for postwar housing in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The majority of these hundreds of houses were small and built on deep narrow lots approximately 60 years ago. A few newer streets were developed with larger houses on larger lots in the late 1950s through 1990s,At the request of the Kirkwood Garden Club in the early 1950s, the City established Kirkwood Recreational Park (which the RunTheBoro runners/walkers will pass) is part of the City’s park system. Since that time the entire surrounding neighborhood has enjoyed the recreational equipment and the Parks and Recreation Department’s summer programming.The annual Kirkwood 5K (which is a fundraiser for Backpack Beginnings) starts and finishes at Kirkwood Park.
Old Irving Park
Irving Park is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Greensboro. In 1909, John Nolen, who headed a national landscaping firm in Cambridge, Mass., created the Irving Park neighborhood. The houses and mansions border the neighborhood center piece, the Greensboro Country Club golf course, which was founded the same year as the neighborhood. When Irving Park was expanded, Robert Cridland of Philadelphia completed the job. According to the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, houses in most areas were to cost at least $5,000 (in 1912). I think they’ve increase a tad since 1912. Irving Park has remained the city’s premier neighborhood for more than 100 years. Cridland also designed the grounds of A.W. McAlister’s mansion on Country Club Drive, the still-magnificent courtyard of the Country Club Apartments (now condos) and the enormous grounds of what was from 1924 to 1990 the headquarters of Pilot Life Insurance Company in Sedgefield. Whilerunning on the Latham Park Greenway, RunTheBoro runners doing the longer route will cross over Cridland Rd.(named after Robert Cridland).In 1995, Irving Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior. That’s pretty cool!
The beautiful house below is known as the McAdoo-Sanders-Tatum House and is located at 303 Wentworth Street (both routes for RunTheBoro run/walk #2 will pass this house). It’s recognized as a Guilford County landmark property. This house may also be the oldest home in Irving Park. Construction dates (for the stately home) are not certain. Many aspects of the home put it being build around 1890, but other evidence speaks to an earlier farmhouse that may have been on this very spot. This land the home is on was purchased by Colonel Walter D. McAdoo in 1890. McAdoo was a prominent Greensboro resident who built and operated the McAdoo Hotel (built in 1870) which was located on South Elm Street. The supposed farmhouse may have been a retirement retreat for McAdoo. No one knows for sure, but the bigger home may have been constructed absorbing the farmhouse. Hard to believe that stately Irving Park was once considered rural farmland by Greensboro residents.Below the house picture you’ll see a picture of the impressive McAdoo Hotel once located at 301-311 S. Elm St. The hotel was build in the late 1800s. It was destroyed by a fire in 1915. A new hotel was planned, but an office tower (The Guilford Building ) was build in 1927 instead.
How many times have you passed the stately Irving Park Manor (shown below) while running or driving down Elm Street? Ever wondered about it’s history? Did you know it has a connection to the White House? Yep, that’s right, the White House as in Pennsylvania Ave. White House.
According to Preservation Greensboro, a young man by the name of Lorenzo Simmons Winslow had a hand in quite a bit of architecture found in several of our historic neighborhoods and downtown, including the iconic Irving Park Manor Apartments built in 1929. When the apartments opened they were exclaimed as “North Carolina’s finest” and were quite modern for the time including modern amenities such as electrical refrigerators, electrical stoves, electrical dishwashers, wiring for radios, and colored enamel bathrooms. Winslow is also responsible for many of the unique homes found in the Sunset Hills neighborhood.
During the Great Depression, the housing and building industry suffered greatly in Greensboro, and so Winslow took on government work to fill the gap. This change took tim to Washington DC where he began to work for the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the national Capital. With this position he worked on many notable structures including the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument, bridges and roadways in Washington’s Rock Creek Park. Then Winslow entered a competition for the design of a swimming pool that was to be added to the White House. The heated pool was needed so that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt could practice a regular swimming routine as therapy for his polio affliction. Winslow won the competition and Roosevelt praised Winslow’s work, stating in a letter “I have just examined the new swimming pool and dressing rooms, for which I am informed you did the architectural work. Allow me to commend you for the excellent taste you have exhibited in your selection of colors, materials, and proportions. The whole result is most harmonious and agreeable to the eye. I appreciate your efforts. Very sincerely yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt”
Winslow remained on staff with the White House for the next 20 years, supervising increasingly significant alterations to the People’s House. He became somewhat of a celebrity inside the beltline, profiled occasionally by columnists and national magazines. He gained a reputation for his partiality to tweeds, his love of the arts, his signature corncob pipe, and his ancient car. For more information on Winslow Greensboro history be sure to visit Preservation Greensboro.
Just past Irving park Manor, RunTheBoro runners (long route) will see an impressive set of white brick buildings on their left. Today, this impressive complex is known as the Country Club Condominiums, however, they began as apartments. According to Preservation Greensboro, they were erected in 1937, and were the first “garden-style” apartment complex in the city. The apartment complex was privately financed by investors Julian Price, then president of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, and Emry Green, then president of Pilot Life Insurance Company to address a community housing shortage. The George W. Kane Construction Company erected the $525,000 project that was heralded as the “largest apartment house in North Carolina” at the time, and set the stage for a new generation of apartment design in Greensboro.Below is an early picture of the Country Club Apartments. For more information on the Country Club Apartment go to Preservation Greensboro.
Latham Park Greenway
Latham Park was a gift to the people of Greensboro in 1923 by James Edwin Latham. Latham was a cotton merchant, textile manufacturer, real estate developer, hotel builder, civic leader and philanthropist…..busy man. He gave the gift “For the preservation of its natural beauty and the inspiration and enjoyment of his fellow citizens.”Latham Park Greenway winds through Latham Park parallel to North Buffalo Creek. This paved multi-use path features 20 fitness stations. The fitness trail section starts at the intersection of Wendover Avenue and Cridland Road and extends northeast to the North Elm Street trailhead. In addition, there are tennis facilities, basketball courts, and Little League baseball fields available in the park. The new Latham Skate Park is located on the greenway near Hill Street.
After running through Irving Park, Latham Park, and Idlewoodhe, the 9-Mile RunTheBoro Runners will run along Battleground Ave. At Battleground and Northwood, runners will see Havana Phil’s. Many of you probably remember this building as the home of Anton’s restaurant. According to Images of America: Greensboro Volume II Neighborhoods, by Gayle Hicks Fripp, The building was purchased in 1962 by the Anton brothers. Did you know that prior to Anton’s, the building was home to the Irving Park Delicatessen that was owned by Ernest Kahn and Ernest Katz. Fripp states that by 1950, the Irving Park Delicatessen was a one of Battlegrounds best known attractions. The delicatessen has limited inside seating and a take-out window. When the Anton brothers bought the building, the added a full restaurant in the basement of the building known at Cellar Anton’s.
If runners look to their right as they cross over Northwood, they’ll see the tall multi-story traditional First Citizens Bank building. This location was originally the home of the Janus Theatres. According to cinematreasures.org, the Janus Theatres in Greensboro North Carolina opened its doors to the public on December 20, 1968 as a twin theatre. It was the South’s most elegant theatre and it was the second twin theatre to open in North Carolina. At the time of its opening the Janus 1 & 2 was one of the first modern ultra theatres in the South between Washington and Atlanta to have full automated projection and stereophonic sound. The first films shown were “Yellow Submarine” and “Elvira Madigan”. By 1970 it expanded to four screens and by 1975 three more screens were added to expand to seven screens. By 1981, it eventually grew to eight screens and was Greensboro’s top entertainment showplace when it closed in 2000. It was demolished to make way for luxury condos and speciality shops. The shops and condos never happened and the bank was erected instead. The Janus Theatres showed many first-run blockbusters and well as smaller independent and art films, as well as special features of interest.Below is an early picture of the Janus Theatres.
Lindley Park, Sunset Hills, Brice Street Area, Friendly Homes, UNC-G
Did you know…the area was named after local businessman John Van Lindley, a Quaker whose business interests ranged from nurseries, sewer pipes, insurance to peach growing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1902, he donated 60 acres of land along Spring Garden Street for a recreation complex boasting a man-made lake, pavilion, amusement park, casino, and bowling alleys. Today, this area still exists as the park between Spring Garden Street and Walker Ave. Scroll down to see a period picture of the park entrance with one of the many Greensboro trolley cars that brought people in from “the city” to enjoy the park.Below is a map of current day Lindley Park and below are a couple early pictures of Lindley park in the era of the greensboro trolley system.
Longest Continuously Operated Grocery Store
Did you know the longest continuously operated grocery store in Greensboro is located in Lindley Park? Yep! If RunTheBoro Run #3 participants look to their right as the cross over Walker Ave (while on Elam) they’ll see the Bestway store on the right. It’s the longest continuously operated grocery store in Greensboro. The location was originally an A&P which closed in 1957, re-opening the next year as Smith’s Bi-Rite. The Bi-Rite co-op was originally established to help independent grocers compete with big chains. All the stores that formed the co-op in 1956 were independents, and R.M. Butler ended up as president of the co-op.
Butler eventually owned the Walker Avenue Bi-Rite with eight others in the co-op. In 1972, Butler rebranded these stores as Bestway. They were a pretty big player in Greensboro in the 1970s and early 1980s, but they apparently expanded too quickly. The beginning of the end was their purchase of a former Kroger on Battleground Avenue (it’s now EarthFare) in 1984. By 1986, the chain was bankrupt, and Butler ended up selling or liquidating all the stores except the one on Walker Avenue, which oddly enough, had the lowest sales volume but was the most profitable one of the bunch. (for more info on Bestway go to Yesweekly.com) Really in to the history of grocery stores? Go to groceteria.com
Speaking of Bestway, that area at the corner of Walker Ave and Elam Ave is known as “The Corner” and is home to some of Greensboro’s most popular and successful restaurants and pubs such as Fishbones, Emma Keys, Sticks and Stones, and Lindley Park Filling Station. Cool Fact about Emma Keys is that its current location use to be a barber shop in the 1950s. The Corner is also home to “The Corner Farmers Market.” The Corner Market is a Greensboro farmers market all about feeding people and building community. The market promotes local economic development and social connectivity by cultivating a community-run marketplace that allows customers direct interaction with local growers, makers and bakers. The market is proud to celebrate its fifth year as a true neighborhood market, located at Greensboro’s most colorful Corner! Be sure to visit the market at the corner of Walker and South Elam Avenues (2214 Walker Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27403) in the Sticks and Stones parking lot every Saturday from 8 a.m. till noon! For more info on the market click here.
First Moravian Church
After passing The Corner, the RunTheBoro Run #8 10-mile runners will Pass the First Moravian Church on S. Elam St. In the early 1900’s the Moravian Church had established congregations in Salem and Winston and in the surrounding countryside. But now came our first endeavor in another major city.
By 1906 a number of Moravians had moved to Greensboro to work and live, and they expressed “much interest” in having a Moravian church there. Percy Kerner of Kernersville and Henry Snyder of Home Church raised even more interest. They “walked the streets evening after evening” to encourage the forming of a congregation. Their efforts bore fruit, for in 1908 the Province purchased the former Grace Methodist Church on East Lee Street, and on October 5 the Greensboro Moravian Church was formally organized by Bishop Edward Rondthaler.
In 1918 the congregation started a Sunday school on West Lee Street about a mile from the church on East Lee. A year later The Wachovia Moravian , the Province’s magazine, began to call the congregation the “First Moravian Church of Greensboro.” But bright prospects of growth turned dim when it was realized that the area surrounding First Moravian was “over-churched.” The congregation stagnated, then began to dwindle. Financial difficulties arose, and PEC doubted First Moravian’s future. The congregation needed a true renewal.And that’s exactly what it got under two pastors. First Donald Conrad (1929-34) re-inspired the congregation with a number of new members. Then George Higgins (1934-41) shepherded it to a new site on Elam Avenue in western Greensboro. The property was purchased in 1937, and a “hut” was built. The “hut” was supposed to be only a temporary place of worship for the congregation, but it was more than 10 years before ground was broken for the new sanctuary. Finally on April 3, 1949, First Moravian dedicated its new church.More progress followed. Six Sunday school rooms were added in 1951. A large Christian education and fellowship building was built in 1960. The sanctuary was enlarged by about 100 seats in the 1985.
First Licensed Female Pilot in NC
Did you know that the first licensed female pilot in NC was born and grew up in the Lindley Park area? Mary Nicholson, born in 1905, lived with her family at 2400 Walker Avenue in Lindley Park. She attended Guilford College and UNCG, but she moved to Ohio without graduating. She learned to fly while in Ohio, getting her pilot’s license in 1929 before moving back home to Greensboro. In 1941, Mary, helped organize the American Women for the Air Transport Authority (ATA). In 1942 she went to England as an ATA flier. In 1943, while delivering a plane for the Royal Air Force, she died in a plane crash. She was one of 38 American women fliers to die in WWII. (information gathered from Images of America: Greensboro Volume II Neighborhoods)
Friendly Homes is a little known neighborhood nestled between Wesley Long Hospital on the west, bordered west, north and east by Buffalo Creek. The Lake Daniel Greenway borders two sides of the neighborhood. Not much is known about the development of this small hilly neighborhood, but it’s a great neighborhood to run through. The lending library pictured below is found on Candlewood Dr. in the neighborhood.
The Sunset Hills neighborhood was developed by the A.K. Moore Company, after its success buidling the Westerwood neighborhood (which you’ll run/walk through in an upcoming RunTheBoro run/walk). Sunset Hills began as a community originally not in the city limits. It originally had a few residents (such as the house described in the next paragraph built in 1895), but in 1923 the city limits were extended to North Buffalo Creek, taking in the Sunset Hills community. The promotional information for Sunset Hills boasted rolling hills and a community park. The park still exists between W. Greenway Drive and E. Greenway Drive.
Houses in the Sunset Hills Historic District represent a wide range of forms and styles typical of the late 1920s through the early 1960s. Reflecting the emerging role of the automobile during the period when Sunset Hills began its development, many properties include historic garages with most constructed of lapped wood siding, German siding, or, in a few cases, brick. The oldest dwelling in Sunset Hills is the two-story, three-bay, frame dwelling at 2702 West Market Street. According to neighborhood residents, the house was built in 1895 on the south side of West Market Street, but was moved to its present site around 1932. The presence of the late-nineteenth-century dwelling on West Market Street is a bit out of place for Sunset Hills. The neighborhood was developed primarily from the mid-1920s through the post-World War II era. The district contains architectural styles and forms typical of suburban developments of this period. This early home was at one time considered in a very rural area away from downtown.
Sunset Hills is also the neighborhood in which the Running of the Balls takes place each December with all the hanging lighted balls in trees along the course.
RunTheBoro Run #3 runners (long route) will traverse the UNCG campus. The school was established as a women’s college by legislative enactment on February 18, 1891 as the State Normal and Industrial School and opened October 5, 1892. The school provided instruction in business, domestic science, and teaching with a student body of 223 and a faculty of 15 in its first year. R. S. Pullen and R. T. Gray gave the original 10-acre site in Greensboro, N.C. where the first building was erected with state funds totaling $30,000. It is the first and only public university in North Carolina founded for the purpose of educating women. In 1949, it became the largest all-female institution in the United States.
The school has seen many names over the years, changing from the “State Normal and Industrial School” to the State Normal and Industrial College in 1896, and again in 1919 to North Carolina College for Women. In 1932, it changed to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, when it became one of the three charter institutions of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, and changed again to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro when men were first admitted to the school in 1963. It is remembered fondly by many graduates of the Woman’s College simply as “the W.C.”
Peabody Park in the heart of today’s UNCG campus is a beautiful park-like campus area, but over 100 years ago when the school was just forming, this area was an untamed area of trails and paths (see picture below).
RunTheBoro Run #3 might be tempted to pull over at Yum Yum (near the UNCG campus) for some ice cream or a hot dog. Did you know? Yum Yum Ice Cream in its first incarnation was sold from a cart beginning in 1909 in downtown Greensboro. An early Greensboro postcard features the ice cream cart in front of the Courthouse. In the 1920’s, the business was moved to a free-standing building at the corner of Forest and Spring Garden Streets. Since the location was at the western limit of the city, the owner called the business West End Ice Cream. Around that time, he introduced the ice cream flavor Yum-Yum, a flavor that is believed to have included grapes, raisins, a grain. At any rate, people began saying, “Let’s go get some of that Yum-Yum ice cream.” The name stuck and became the official name for the store.
The shop is actually an ice cream factory with the product made in a back room, the old-fashioned way with vintage 1920’s equipment. They have had the same ice-cream maker for 25+ years now. He is very picky about the source of his ingredients as well as quality and consistency. The proof is in the taste of the ice cream. Currently, they feature 18 flavors at $2.00 a scoop. The store is, perhaps, equally famous for its tasty, bright red hot dogs which start at $1.00 for a basic dog and cost $1.60 for one “all the way.” Yum Yum is surrounded on all four sides by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Westwood, Garden Hills, Guilford Hills, Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway, Lake Daniel Greenway*, Lake Daniel*
Guilford Hills, Garden Homes, Westwood
You might not know these neighborhoods’ names, but if you’ve been to the old Women’s Hospital, Earthfare, the Elks Club or Starbucks, then you’ve been been to Guilford Hills, Garden Homes and Westwood.
Guilford Hill is the area just west of Battleground Avenue and north of Green Valley Road. The northern border is David Caldwell Drive and the westernmost street is Benjamin Parkway/Bryan Boulevard. Guilford Hills is actually less than one square mile and has less than 2,000 people living in it. Many of the homes in this neighborhood were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
An older, Greensboro Daily Photo reader once shared that he used to ride horses on his friend’s farm in Guilford Hills. Can you imagine that less than 70 years ago this area was farmland?
Times certainly do change the landscape. Did you know that back in the 1920s-early 1970s there was a hatchery “Carolina Hatcheries” at 1947 Battleground Ave (corner of Battleground Ave and Cornwallis Dr.)? Yep, according to Images of America: Greensboro Volume II Neighborhoods, at the southern border of Guilford Hills neighborhood and the location of today’s (now closed) Fink Jewelers once was a hatchery.
In 1962, the picture below shows what the area near the intersection of Battleground Ave and Pisgah Church Rd looked like. If I’m not mistaken, the road in 1962 is dirt. The view is looking south down Battleground ave. Mt. Pisgah Church could be found on the left (1962 and 2020) and today, Lowes is located on the right. Between this intersection and the Cone Blvd intersection, the Garden Homes subdivision was created in the 1950s.
Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway
RunTheBoro Run #4 runners will run along a stretch of the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway.
Did you know…that this stretch of greenway is the former rail bed of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railroad? The Atlantic-Yadkin Railway’s lifespan covered 1899 to 1950, but some of the rails were laid in the 19th century as part of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway (CF & YV). The CF & YV ran from the Atlantic port of Wilmington, NC to Mount Airy. This railway transported mostly granite and at one time took travelers to visit the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Further south on the greenway there is a tunnel that runs under Cone Blvd (near RunnerDude’s Fitness). Next time you run through that tunnel take a look at the walls leading into and out of the tunnel. They’ve been crafted to look like granite blocks. There is also a mural on the interior walls of the tunnel that includes a painting of a train. Look closely at the train and you’ll notice it’s carrying granite blocks. This is all to honor the history of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railway and its importance to Greensboro.
Currently the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway begins at Markland Rd (behind the target shopping center on Lawndale) and ends about 7.5 miles north at Hwy 220 in Summerfield.
When I moved to Greensboro in 1998, I heard about Lake Daniel and the Lake Daniel Greenway, but I could never find a lake. Does one exist?
Yep, there is a small man made lake or reservoir that is a part of the water system for Greensboro. It’s actually the only visible body of water in the heart of the city. It’s surrounded by a beautiful wooded area. This area is in the city park system because the people in Lake Daniel neighborhood campaigned to make it so. New regulations now require that part of the reservoir be covered so the water can be used to supplement the city water needs. The back portion of the reservoir is covered with a flat cover and the front portion is to continue to be visible from Benjamin Parkway, a heavily traveled artery into downtown. The drive/walkway around the reservoir still provides a pleasant place for the people who enjoy visiting the park.
Lake Daniel Greenway
Located in Lake Daniel Park, the Lake Daniel Greenway is a paved multi-use path that stretches two miles from West Friendly Avenue to Mendenhall Street, west to east, paralleling Benjamin Parkway most of the way. Exercise stations are situated along the path for a great workout. In addition, the park offers public tennis courts, a basketball court, and a children’s playground.
The western trailhead is located on West Friendly Avenue, just east of the Wendover Avenue overpass and adjacent to Wesley Long Community Hospital. The eastern trailhead is located at the intersection of East Lake Drive and Mendenhall Street. Parking for the greenway is available at Mimosa Drive and on East Lake Drive.
Lake Daniel Greenway provides a paved multi-use route that, when incorporated with the Latham Park Greenway, connects Friendly Shopping Center to the downtown area. Lake Daniel Park and Latham Park are linked by the Hill Street Connector Trail that incorporates sidewalk and a paved path parallel to Hill Street.
Note: The Lake Daniel Greenway Bridge at Elam Avenue and Benjamin Parkway is temporarily closed.
McAdoo Heights, Browntown, Revolution Mill Reservoir, White Oak New Town, New Irving Park
McAdoo Heights was one of the earliest residential and commercials districts of Greensboro. It was often called a “Town within a City.” It got this name becaAuse of the many businesses in the area which catered to the residents of the surrounding Cone mill villages such as White Oak New Town. McAdoo Heights was developed in the early 1900s. The area thrived through the 1930s. It provided restaurants, pharmacies, apartments, churches, hardware stores, and even a theater. The neighborhood had its own police officer and school. According to a News & Record article, some who did not live in the area, thought it to be an unsafe place because of its rowdy bars and smoky pool halls. But as the article shared, the people who lived there remember it as a close-knit community where everyone helped one another. There was a restaurant, Mashburn’s Cafe that everyone referred to as “Pop’s” that was the popular place for residents to hangout. People began to move a way in the 1960s and the theater began playing X-rated movies and decline set in. People began shopping at newly built Friendly Center in 1957 and later (1974) Four Seasons Mall. In 1983, the shops on State St when through a major renovation. Developers John Harmon and Lynn White created a village shopping district with French architecture with striped canvas awnings and brick sidewalks. The newly transformed business district was upscale and people once again began to return to McAdoo Heights. This lasted for about 20 years before merchants began to struggle in the mid to late 2000s when the economy tanked. There are still awesome shops, restaurants and businesses on State Street. You should check it out!
Did you know that the swanky Proximity Hotel and upscale restaurant Print Works on Green Valley Road were named after two of the four Cone Mills in Greensboro? In 1895, the Cone brothers constructed a denim mill on land they owned in Greensboro, North Carolina. Since the plant was near its supply of raw materials, the cotton fields of the South, the Cones named their new factory the Proximity Cotton Mill, and set up a holding company for this plant and the others in which they held an interest called the Proximity Manufacturing Company. In 1896, the first lengths of fabric rolled off the big looms at Proximity. Ceasar Cone felt that denim, a sturdy fabric for use in work clothes, would be in constant demand as the United States expanded and industrialized.
In 1899, the Cones opened Revolution Mills, a modern facility to weave soft cotton flannel. In 1902, a second denim plant was under construction. Called White Oak, it was named for the enormous tree that grew on its site. With ten different warehouses for cotton and its own power plant, the mill began turning out indigo blue denim by 1905. A fourth mill, the Proximity Print Works, was built in 1912. It was designed to “finish” or print cotton with multiple colors, creating a type of cotton product new to the South. The Cones built 5 mill villages for the workers to live in.
Mill villages were company-owned towns, built from scratch by textile mills to house their factory workers and their families. In the early 1900s, Cone Mills Inc. built five villages (Proximity, Revolution, White Oak, White Oak New Town, East White Oak) to serve its Greensboro factories. RunTheBoro Run #5 will run/walk through White Oak New Town which was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1992 These villages included churches, schools, ball fields, community centers, and company stores. Thousands of workers and their families made their lives in these “towns within a town” until the company began selling the houses (sometimes to workers) in the late 1940s. Check out the great History Timeline at the Revolution Mill website.
White Oak New Town Village
White Oak “New Town”Did You know? There is an almost intact mill villlage in Greensboro? During the first mile of RunTheBoro Run #5 runners/walkers will get to run through this historic site. Tucked away on the other side of Church St. Across from Ceasar Cone Elementary School is the White Oak “New Town” mill village. The village was listed on the National Register of Historic Place in 1992 . The White Oak New Town Historic District is exceptionally intact. All of the one hundred hollow-tile walled, one- and two-story, stuccoed houses built there by the Cone family’s Proximity Manufacturing Company about 1920 survive. Sixty-four car sheds, erected by the company in the late 1920s, continue to bracket the alleys that parallel the district’s regular grid of streets. All of these buildings contribute to the integrity of the White Oak New Town Historic District. Only three small, frame, one-story classroom buildings (erected at 2507 and 2509 Hubbard Street and 2504 Cypress Street), removed after the 1935 construction of the Ceasar Cone Public School just west of the district, are no longer extant. The houses still stand on the same small lots in the same relationship to the car sheds, streets, alleys, and each other as they always have. All but two are still stuccoed and their exteriors have been little altered. For more info on the village go to http://www.livingplaces.com/…/White_Oak_New_Town_Historic_D…
Life in the Mill Village
What was life really like in these towns within a town? From what I’ve read, work in the mills was hard and dangerous. The workers didn’t get paid much and the goods sold to them in the village stores were overpriced. If a worker lost his job, he lost his house. It was a hard life. But one thing, I found underlying all the stories I read was that there was a strong sense of community and support among the villagers. Below are links to audio clips of people who lived in the Cone Mill Towns sharing their memories about life in the Mill Town. When I did the RunTheBoro Run #5 test run through the White Oak “New Town” area I could hear these people (sharing below) in my head and see them standing on the stoop or sitting on the porch.
Listen to Helen Thornbro talk about the teenage club above the company store. Click Here
Listen to Brenda Zeigler talks about visiting the drug store on Thursday nights while waiting for the boys to get out of the Boy Scouts meetings across the street. Click Here
Somewhere on 16th Street, Larky Johnson’s grandfather used to decorate for Christmas. Click below to hear Larky describe the unique decoration he used. Click Here
Listen to Leroy Paris tell a
great story about the White Oak Mill whistle blowing at the wrong time. Click Here
Listen to Kenneth Brady discuss the significance of baseball in the Revolution village. Click Here
Buffalo Lake and Lake Jeanette
Did you know….Buffalo Lake and Lake Jeanette are the creation of Cone Mills Corp. RunTheBoro Run #5 runners will run by Buffalo Lake. Lake Jeanette is further north up N. Elm St. Cone still owns both lakes, after selling land along their shores for expensive residential neighborhoods, such as New Irving Park and Northern Shores. Cone built 100-acre Buffalo in the 1920s and 260-acre Jeanette in 1943 to supply drinking and manufacturing water to the company’s once large cluster of factories and mill villages. Village houses eventually hooked on to city water, but Cone factories continued to draw water from Buffalo, Jeanette and several smaller ponds. Cone has since closed Proximity and Revolution mills and Proximity Print Works operation. In December 2017, the last remaining operational plant (White Oak) was closed after being in operation for 112 years! As long as White Oak was in operation, Cone needed Buffalo Lake and Lake Jeanette.The plant drew 1.5 million gallons daily from Buffalo. Jeanette, connected by underground pipes to Buffalo, serves as a backup and keeps Buffalo’s water level from falling. I’m not sure what happens to the ownership of the lakes now that the last mill has closed.
According to an article in the News & Record, “For the first
time since the late 1800s, Greensboro workers will no longer make a product
under the name Cone, one of the city’s indelible founding families. White Oak,
once the world’s largest denim plant at 1.6 million square feet with 2,500
workers at its peak, has been hailed in recent years as an innovative survivor
in an economy that has been brutal for the textile industry, using its vintage
looms to make denim in small batches for high-fashion jeans. ” Cone
Denim was founded in 1891 by brothers Moses and Ceasar Cone under the name Cone
Mills. The White Oak Plant opened in 1905. To view some great vintage photos of
White Oak and it’s workers click here.
White Oak was the plant that put the jeans in “Jeansboro.” Did you know Cone denim was part of the jacket and jeans outfits Ralph Lauren designed for the U.S. Olympics team in 2016.
There were also other lakes created and used by Cone Mills. At one point in the early years of the mill, the White Oak Mill had a lake in front of the plant. That lake is no longer there, but you can see where is used be in the attached picture. There was also another lake across Church St. from the White Oak New Town mill village which was located directly in front of Page High school. Buffalo Lake is still behind Page, but when Page was first opened in 1958, there was a lake in front. I believe this is where Page got its mascot “The Pirates” from, because it was almost like Page was located on an island. Even today there is a wooded area in front of the school with picnic tables called “Treasure Island.” See the attached picture of Page High school. At some point the lake was filled in and houses and condos now reside there. I’m not sure if this lake was used for recreation, or drinking water for the mill village or by the factory.
I’m not sure when the lake was drained, but in 1973 the lake was no longer there and construction began on the Watergate Apartments. Don’t recall any Watergate Apartments in front of Page High School? That’s because Watergate was a short lived name for the development. The development was to be located across the street from Browntown. They were pitched as “luxury two & three bedroom apartments with the latest extravagant features designed to combine Southern charm and condominium living.” However residents of Browntown were none to happy about an apartment complex moving next door. Add on top of that what was happening in another apartment building named “Watergate” in Washington DC in the early 70s (Remember Nixon?), that just added fuel to the fire. Interestingly enough, the developer of the newly proposed apartments was Brown Realty who was the developer of the houses in the Bronwtown neighborhood. So, to make everyone feel at ease, the apartments became condominiums, and the name was changed from “Watergate” to “Fountain Manor Condominiums.” A decorative fountain with a reflecting pool was added to the complex.
RunTheBoro Run #5 runners will turn off of W. Cornwallis Dr. into a little known neighborhood called Browntown. The Browntown neighborhood is located at North Elm at Cone Boulevard and backs up to Kirkwood and Irving Park.* This part of town is called Browntown because it was developed by the Brown Corporation- in the 1950’s. Although built at the same time as the other houses in the neighborhood, this house shown has more of a modern take on the 1950s style.
New Irving Park
The area where New Irving Park is located today, I believe used to be undeveloped woods owned by the Cone brothers. I believe it was sold and the present day New Irving Park development begin in the 1960s.
One of my runners, Kara French, is as curious about neighborhood history as I am, and she shared the info below with me today that provides even more background on New Irving park.”I asked my dad, (who is a walking encyclopedia of G’boro housing history in the time frame of 1970-1995) about New Irving Park and yes you were right that the Cone Brothers owned all the land. A big chunk was sold to Brown Realty Co who developed and built most of the houses in the late 60’s-mid 80’s. Interestingly, at that point, the Cones decided to try their own hand at land development and formed Cornwallis Corp. Cornwallis opened the door to smaller builders by selling building lots through a lottery type system. I’ve always been curious about a big chunk on the northwest side that was owned by a family named Tannenbaum. It remained woods for like 40 years and was finally sold in recent years for gigantic houses (The Noles of Irving Park). The land had a “haunted house” and old stone swimming pool.”
Did you know that one of the most famous science fiction authors of our time, Orson Scott Card, lives in New Irving Park! Card is the author of the popular Ender’s Game series of books (you may have seen the movie with Harrison Ford). Below is a picture of Card’s home in New Irving Park.
Downtown Greensboro, Westerwood, UNCG, Glenwood, College Hill, Greensboro College, Downtown Greenway, and Warnersville
The theater opened in 1927; at that time, it was the largest, finest movie theatre in the Carolinas, with seating for 2200 people. It was the first public building in the state with air conditioning. At the time, a theater-goer could enjoy a film, popcorn and soda for 20 cents. Laurel and Hardy films were popular fare in those days. An organ provided music. And in 1928, the Carolina Theatre became the first NC motion picture theatre with a sound system. Until that time, Greensboro residents had, by necessity, contented themselves with silent films. For more infor on this historic building go to http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/index.aspx?page=1017
The houses shown below are just a few examples of the types of houses you’ll run by in the Westerwood neighborhood during RunTheBoro Run #6. Westerwood is centrally located between downtown Greensboro, UNCG and Friendly Shopping Center.
When it was built in the early 20th century, the neighborhood was one of Greensboro’s first planned communities. A 2001 study by the City of Greensboro’s Department of Housing and Community Development concluded that “Westerwood may be one of the better examples of an early, planned community for middle-income groups in North Carolina.” And that “as one of Greensboro’s earliest neighborhoods, Westerwood is a treasure. … Because of its traditional design, shady streets, proximity to thoroughfares, public transportation, parks, the downtown, colleges, schools, churches, and neighborhood shopping centers, Westerwood may well be the most ‘livable’ neighborhood in the city.”
Go to www.westerwoodneighborhood.com, for more info.
During RunTheBoro Run #6, the longer-route runners/walkers will travel down Grove St. in the Glenwood neighborhood. Did you know….during the early 1900s, Grove St. was an important hub of commercial and social activity. Several small grocery stores operated in Glenwood from the early 1910s up to the 1960s, most owned and operated by Glenwood residents. During the 1920s, new brick commercial buildings were built in the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Glenwood Avenue to house such businesses as a grocery store, drug store, barber shop, dry cleaners, butcher shop and cafe. New brick commercial buildings were also being built along the 1300 block of Grove Street. The largest commercial building to be built on Grove Street was the two-story brick building located at 1311 Grove Street. This building housed a grocery store downstairs with apartments above the store. With these and other amenities, Grove Street quickly became an important hub of commercial and social activity.
Did you know…..that in the late 1890s the area that now makes up Glenwood was away from the city and mostly farmland? Development of Glenwood began around 1906. The Carolina Real Estate & Investment Company began construction of the first 50 homes in the area using innovative methods for the time. Home buyers actually selected their home from a catalog of floor plans, then all the lumber arrived at the construction site pre-cut and ready to assemble. An interesting note about the Carolina Real Estate & Investment Company involved them offering the State of North Carolina 25 acres of free land in Glenwood, in order to entice relocation of the state capital from Raleigh to Greensboro – the state respectfully declined this offer.
Like any older middle class neighborhood, there are some houses that need some tender love and care, but as I ran through Glenwood, I discovered some of the most beautiful cottage style homes on Glenwood Ave, Marion St., Lexington Ave. and Haywood St. Here are a few of my favorites.
For more info on Glenwood check out the Greater Glenwood Neighborhood Association.
Grove Street People’s Market
Glenwood has a hidden treasure…the Grove Street People’s Market. Explore what local Greensboro vendors have to offer at the Grove Street People’s Market this summer. Every Thursday, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., you can purchase handmade crafts, locally grown produce and listen to live music. The Grove Street People’s Market is free and open to the public.
Greensboro’s Early Mass Transit System
Did you know…that in the early 1900s, Greensboro had quite an impressive streetcar system? The first street cars were pulled by horses or mules. There was a single track that ran down Elm St. in the 1890s. By the early 1900s, with the dawn of electricity, the horse drawn trolleys began to be replaced by electric trolleys. In 1902, Greensboro had 7 miles of track with 10 street cars and three routes. This was exciting for Greensboro residents, because it meant more tracks, more mobility, and more destinations. One such destination was to see the the minor league baseball team, the Greensboro Patriots who played at the ball park on Summit Ave. Street cars also took residents west to Lindley Park which at the time was a recreation area. Tracks also went north to the Cone Mill Villages which gave mill workers more access to the downtown area. By 1910, the city’s population grew to over 10,000. The number of streetcars increased to 20 with 15 miles of track going to neighborhoods like Glenwood (which RunTheBoro run #6 long route runners will explore), Piedmont Heights, College Park, Fisher Park, and Summit Avenue. in 1920, the Greensboro trolley system had 2.1 million passengers!
Electric street cars remained the primary mode of transportation through the early 1930s. In 1934, the White Oak and Glenwood lines converted to electric trackless trolleys. These trolleys had rubber tires and were powered by overhead electric lines. You can see these overhead lines in some of the pictures below. Eventually the trolleys were replaced by gasoline powered buses. The last trolley stopped its route in 1956. Some have noted that the decline of some of the neighborhoods began once the trolley service ended.
Just after turning onto South Mendenhall St. RunTheBoro Run #6 runners/walkers will pass by one of the oldest surviving fire stations in Greensboro. Old Station 5 located at 549 South Mendenhall Street was built circa 1897. The 2,670 square-foot two-story station originally housed a horse-drawn hose wagon. Located in College Hill, the historic engine house presently serves as a grocery store. Located between downtown Greensboro and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, College Hill is one of Greensboro’s earliest neighborhoods. Some of the best examples of late Victorian architecture in Greensboro can be found here. Although its history can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century, College Hill reflects life in Greensboro during the early twentieth century. There are examples of early homes and apartment buildings, churches, grocery stores, a drugstore, a mill, and two firehouses, one that dates back to 1890. Historic Greensboro College is situated within the neighborhood’s boundaries. RunTheBoro Run #6 runners/walkers will pass by parts of Greensboro College on the back-half of the run.
The first college to open its doors within the town of Greensboro was the woman’s college, Greensboro Female College. The school occupied a 25-acre campus near the heart of the city within what would become the College Hill Historic District. The institution had its origin in 1833, when the Greensboro Female College was organized as an institution for local children. It was the intent of the Rev. Peter Doub that the institution grow to serve women.[
Through the Methodist Church, a charter was secured in 1838, an event which makes the college one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in the United States. The college became coeducational in the late 1950s.The cornerstone of the first building was laid in 1843, and in 1846 the institution opened its doors to students. Young women came from many southern states to become the first classes of the new president, the Rev. Solomon Lea, and his faculty. Use the links below for more info on Greensboro College.https://www.greensboro.edu/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensboro_College
One of the newest stretches of greenway, the Downtown Greenway, runs from Spring Gardent St. to Martin Luther King, Jr Dr. It’s absolutely beautiful! RunTheBoro Run #6 (long route) runners/walkers will access this greenway at Spring Garden St. Shortly after hopping on the greenway, they’ll encounter larger than life art replicas of furniture from the Blandwood Mansion (which runners will pass later in their run) created by artists Benjamin Kastner and Toby Keeton. The public art seating area reflects it’s proximity to Greensboro’s Blandwood mansion, and estate once owned by Governor John Motley Morehead, governor of NC in the late 1800’s, as well as to its location near “Foundation Place” a historic building that originally housed the executive offices of the Cone Export and Commission Company. Turn of the century furniture, including a traditional Victorian style settee and a more unusual “Tobacco Chair” found in nearby Blandwood Mansion, was used as inspiration for the creation of of this piece.
Continuing down the greenway, runners/walkers will come upon an underpass beneath the still active Norfolk Southern Railroad. With the consent of the North Carolina Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railroad, a collaborative art project was conceptualized for the passageway, and in 2010 partial funding was awarded to the Greenway for the creation of this project. In the pictures below, you can see what the underpass looked like prior to revitalization
After exiting the underpass, runners will come upon one of the four Downtown Greenway Cornerstones. In celebration of the unique qualities of The Gate City, Greensboro, NC, and its citizens, the Greenway includes four major pieces of public art that recognize the four pillars that make Greensboro’s character unique. These four pieces of art will recognize Greensboro’s heritage and also look ahead to its future.
- Motion – motion/education (southwest corner)
- Tradition – history (northwest corner)
- Innovation – industry/textiles (northeast corner)
- Freedom – civil rights (southeast corner-still to come)
The Warnersville Community. Warnersville is the oldest historically African American Community in Greensboro. In 1865, Yardley Warner, a Philadelphia Quaker, sold 35.5 acres of land to recently emancipated slaves who yearned for independence and home ownership. From it’s beginning, the community was started as a planned effort to promote black independence and self-help, and to sustain community pride. Warner hired Harmon Unthank, an ex-slave with a keen business savvy, to divide the property into lots and sell it. Unfortunately much of the buildings and architecture of the Warnersville Community was lost during the 1960 “urban renewal” when many were taken down making room for public housing. Below are pictures from a thriving Warnersville.
The sitting area you see pictured below is the first of 12 neighborhood benches to be commissioned for the Downtown Greenway. The design reflects input from residents of the Warnersville neighborhood who attended a series of meetings held by the artist, Gary Gresko. Warnersville was once known as Five Points, and so the number 5 is repeated in his work The five words (Triumph, Endurance, Hope, Strength, Faith) etched into the back of each chair were chosen by the residence to describe the essence of their neighborhood and its history.
Below is a short documentary exploring the lingering impact of a mid-20th century urban renewal program on the residents of Warnersville, the historic African-American neighborhood in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is told through the memories of James Griffin, who was raised in the community and became a leader in preserving it’s heritage.
Click on the link below to hear memories from Warnersville residents. (from the Greensboro History Museum)
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Downtown Greenway, Southside, Ole Asheboro, Bennett College, A & T State University, Cumberland, Dunleath, Fisher Park
International Civil Rights Museum
The building, built for Woolworth’s, opened in 1929. Like many other Greensboro buildings, it was designed by Charles C. Hartmann. It combines Art Deco, an elaborate style popular in that period, with classical elements. Notice the granite urns used as decoration along the roof line. This building gained international fame as the site of the February 1, 1960 sit-ins. On this date, four freshmen from nearby North Carolina A & T University, frustrated by the fact that African- Americans were allowed to shop in the Woolworth’s store but not to sit at its lunch counter, politely came into the store, sat at the counter, and asked to be served. Other students, including some from predominantly white colleges, joined the four young men (Ezell Blair Jr, now Jibreel Khazan; Franklin McCain; Joseph McNeil; and David Richmond). Today the building is the home of the the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.
February One Place
This street running beside the Civil Rights Museum, honors the date of the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in in 1960.
Millennium Gate, Greensboro (Greene St/ Feb One Pl)
Millennium Gate, unveiled in 2002, has become one of Greensboro’s most notable landmarks. Installed at the Municipal Office Building on West Washington Street, it was created by Jim Gallucci, a famous Greensboro artist. This bronze sculpture was inspired by the world’s greatest events, inventions and figures of the last millennium.
Nathaniel Green Statue (McGee St/Greene St)
Nathanael Greene was a legendary major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, and the person after whom the city was named. In an earlier RunTheBoro Run, runners ran along the historic Great Salisbury Wagon Road which is the road Greene travel to Guilford Courthouse for the infamous battle with the British.
This life-size bronze statue was created by artist Jim Barnhill and installed at the roundabout of Greene and West McGee Streets in 2008. A plate on the pedestal features a quote by Marquis de Lafayette: “In the very name Greene are remembered all the virtues and talents which can illustrate the patriot, the statesman, and the military leader.”
9/11 Monument (Elm St and Martin Luther King Jr Drive
This impressive monument to 9/11 was created by Greensboro Sculptor Jim Gallucci. The monument is made from steel beams recovered from the rubble of Twin Towers.
The Southside neighborhood has some of the best examples of still intact late 19th and 20th century architecture. This uniqueness helped ensure its listing in 1991 on the National Register of Historic Places as the South Greensboro Historic District. In 1996 the Greensboro City Council approved a bond package that included funding for the redevelopment of the neighborhood and an intensive community planning process followed. Sidewalks, period street lights, and other amenities add to the turn-of-the century look and feel. New construction such as townhouses, apartments, and commercial buildings have been built designed to fit into the look and feel of the original structures. Southside is also home to the famous Dame’s Chicken & Waffles Restaurant.
Downtown Gate Sculpture and Fountain at Southside Square
The Downtown Gate is a sculpture located in Southside. The sculpture is by Jim Gallucci who created the News & Record Bench (relocated to LeBauer Park). The Downtown Gate depicts Elm Street during the late 1950s. It’s hard to see clearly in the photo below, but the sculpture depicts part of the Jefferson building and 1950 model cars parked along Elm Street.
Ole Asheboro Park
Ole Asheboro Park is located at the corner of Arlington St and E Gate City Blvd. It contains several works of public art. “The Act” is a bright yellow and red two piece work prominently displayed at Ole Asheboro Park. It was created by Stephen J. Fischer, a world-renowned bronze sculpture artist.
Martin Luther King Jr. Monument and the Dignity Monument
The city took down the Martin Luther King, Jr. bust of the sculpture for repairs, but it’s back and better than ever. It now sits on the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Bragg Street in Greensboro. To the right of the bust on the other side of the greenway you’ll see the Dignity Monument honoring a long list of human rights activists who have lived in and visited the city.
During RunTheBoro Run #7, runners will run by one of the oldest still-standing firehouse, the G.D.F. Hose Company No. 4 in the Ole Asheboro neighborhood. This firehouse was built in 1905. It was an active firehouse until 1960. Currently its being used as the New Zion Missionary Baptist Community Enrichment Center. Originally, the firehouse used a horse-drawn wagon. In 1964, the station was moved to Gorrell St. This new station was the first firehouse was Greensboro’s first firehouse with African-American firefighters. The department was integrated in 1967. Interesting side note….notice the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company building beside the Firehouse in the picture from 1910-1930. Better known as the A&P Grocery Store, this was one of the first A&P stores built in Greensboro. The first opened at 326 South Elm in 1910. By 1930, A&P had twelve stores in Greensboro, seven of them downtown and five in streetcar strips and “outlying” areas such as Glenwood, College Hill, Warnersville, and the Asheboro Street neighborhood (all areas covered in RunTheBoro runs). That’s why I have the picture dated 1910-1930, more than likely the Asheboro store was built during that time. Not sure what happened to the building. It no longer stands beside Firehouse No.4 as you see in the current-day picture.
Formerly called Southeast Greensboro, The Ole Asheboro Street Neighborhood is one of several small communities including the Asheboro Square, Arlington Park and Gorrell St neighborhoods. Together these neighborhoods have worked together to advocate for community development efforts to improve the quality of life in this area. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., was originally named Asheboro Street because the road went all the way to Asheboro, NC. Home to more than 1,000 families, Ole Asheboro is one of the City’s most ambitious neighborhood efforts. Designated in 1979 as part of an even larger revitalization effort encompassing the Arlington Park and Vance areas, Ole Asheboro has seen considerable progress. Some of these efforts include more than 200 homes rehabilitated, 130 dilapidated structures removed, more than 94 new homes built, including the Asheboro Square development, 13 historic homes rehabilitated and sold, and the Caldwell School renovated into Nettie Coad Apartments.
Did you know….that in the early 1900s, the Ole Asheboro neighborhood was one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Greensboro. It rivaled Irving Park. After World War II families began moving to other areas of Greensboro. Many properties were just left vacant and most of the other properties were purchased by absentee landowners and used as rental properties. But the remaining residents have worked hard to reclaim their neighborhood. In the late 70’s the Old Asheboro Neighborhood Association was formed and they’ve steadily been working to revitalize the area. One person instrumental in this revitalization was Nettie Coad “Mama Nettie.” She passed in 2012, but her legacy will live on. The old David Coldwell School which has been renovated into apartments now called the “Nettie L. Coad Apartments.”
Bennett College is a private four-year historically black liberal arts college for women. It was founded in 1873 as a school to educate freedmen and train both men and women as teachers. Originally coed, in 1926 it became a four-year women’s college. It is one of two historically black colleges that enroll only women. It served roughly 470 undergraduate students at the time.
In 1873, Bennett College had its beginning in the unplastered basement of the Warnersville Methodist Episcopal Church (now known as St. Matthew’s Methodist Church). Seventy young men and women started elementary and secondary level studies. In 1874 the Freedmen’s Aid Society took over the school which remained under its auspices for 50 years.
Within five years of 1873, a group of emancipated slaves purchased the present site for the school. College level courses and permanent facilities were added. In 1926, The Women’s Home Missionary Society joined with the Board of Education of the church to make Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C., formerly co-educational, a college for women.
Richardson Memorial Hospital (W. Washington/S. Benbow)
(From News & Record article written by Cathy Gant-Hill)
Before 1927, black children who were born in Greensboro came into the world at home, most often with the help of midwives. Many of their mothers had received no prenatal treatment, and few, if any, received postpartum care.
That’s because most hospitals of the day, and their accompanying clinics, would not admit black patients. Only six hospital beds in the entire city were available to black people, and those were in the basement of the old St. Leo’s Hospital.That changed May 4, 1927, when L. Richardson Memorial Hospital opened at Benbow Road and Washington Street. Originally called the Greensboro Negro Hospital Association, the hospital was started by an integrated group of men.
Leading them was legendary black educator Charles Moore. Moore and others launched a city-wide public campaign for $100,000 to build the hospital located on the corner of E Washington and S Benbow Rd. By the time he started the hospital campaign in the 1920s, Moore was already in his 70s. Educated, persuasive and adroit at dealing with people, Moore helped secure half of the $100,000 donation from one source: the family of white businessman Lunsford Richardson, founder of the Vick Chemical Company (Remember Vicks VapoRub?).
The Richardson family donated $50,000 for initial construction of the hospital, and would donate thousands more during the years. In 1934, the hospital’s trustees changed the name of the institution to honor the Richardson family’s contributions.
A Nursing School was established in 1929 at the hospital and graduated its first class of five nurses in October 1930. In 1932, the hospital was one of only three African American hospitals in the entire United States to be accorded a grade A by the American College of Surgeons. By the time of the school’s closing in 1954, 152 nurses had graduated from the program, and five of the six African American doctors that had practiced in Greensboro had had their internship and residency at the hospital. (UNCG Digital Collections)
Today, L. Richardson Hospital Apartments, the 32-apartment facility is intended for residents 55 or older.
NC A & T University
Since 1891, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T) has maintained a tradition of excellence in education and continues to thrive as it sustains its rich history. A&T was established as a “mechanical college” for the “Colored Race” under the Second Morrill Act, passed by the United States Congress on August 30, 1890. The First Morrill Act, passed in 1862 and also known as the Land Grant College Act, ceded land to each state to establish institutions of higher learning to educate people primarily in agriculture, home economics and mechanical arts. A&T and the other 1890 land-grant institutions were created by the Second Morrill Act, which expanded the system of land-grant colleges and universities to include an historically black institution in those states where segregation denied minorities’ access to the land-grant institution established by the First Morrill Act.
So as not to forfeit federal money for A. and M. College (now North Carolina State University), the North Carolina General Assembly created a college for its black citizens as an annex of Shaw University in Raleigh. On March 9, 1891, the General Assembly established A. and M. College for the Colored Race and sought a permanent home. The board of trustees, whose members performed the duties of the president, made it known that they were looking for a permanent site for the college. Six North Carolina cities, including Greensboro, made a bid for A. and M. The trustees selected Greensboro based on a proposal promising 14 acres of land and $11,000 in cash to be used for building and organizing the A. and M. College. Today, N.C. A&T is a public land-grant university that is ranked by the Carnegie Classification System as “doctoral/research university.” It is located in Greensboro on over 200 beautiful acres and has an enrollment of over 12,000 students and workforce of over 1,900 employees. (NC A&T University Historical Statement)
Below is a picture of the original administration building. It was built with the help of students. Some made brick for the building on the property in exchange for tuition. The following picture shows the impressive campus today.
Deese Clock Tower (Bluford St on NC A&T’s Campus)
A & T’s Deese Clock Tower is a new addition, dedicated in 2017. Named for Willie A. Deese an dhis wife Carol Chalmers Deese. Deese earned his Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina A & T in 1977. He is a retired executive vice president and president of Merck Manufacturing Division, where he oversaw a network of more than 55 manufacturing and distribution sites for Merck’s global operations.
February One Monument (University Circle on NC A&T’s Campus)
On February 1, 1960 four African American students were refused service when ordering coffee at Woolworths on Elm St. The students were asked to leave by the store manager, but the students remained until closing time.
The next day, over twenty black students from surrounding schools including Bennett College, a college for black women in Greensboro, also joined. News reporters began covering the sit-in on day two. By day three the sit-in numbers grew to over 60 people. By day three, over 300 people participated and the sit-in expanded to the lunch counter at Greensboro’s Kress store. As the sit-ins continued, tensions grew in Greensboro. Students began boycotting stores with segregated lunch counters. Sales at the boycotted stores dropped by a third, leading their owners to finally stop their segregation policies
Considered the birth of the American Civil Rights Movement, the Greensboro Four are commemorated by this monument created by A&T art professor James Barnhill. Located at North Carolina A&T State University, this ten foot bronze statue was unveiled on February 1, 2002, depicting the Greensboro Four: David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr. and Joseph McNeil. A&T is a beautiful campus and I have to tell you, as I walked up to the the Greensboro Four it really made a statement to me. It’s a very powerful monument to visit in person.
War Memorial Stadium (Yanceyville Rd)
In 1925, the local American Legion post raised $100,000 in one week to build the stadium. It opened in 1926 in memory of soldiers who died in World War I. Due to the Greensboro trolley system in the 1920s and 1930, access to the stadium, even though it was away from town, was easy. It had one of the highest attendance for ball games of any stadium in the southeast.
The Dunleath Historic District has a rich history. Below is a glimps of its history from the Dunleath Historic District website. For more indepth info be sure to check out their site by clicking here.
Before Europeans came to Guilford County, it was inhabited by members of the Occaneechi and other Siouan tribes.
The earliest recorded settlement of the area of the current neighborhood was a tract of farmland and woods owned by the Robert P. Dick family. A map of the area on file with N.C. State University shows that the area of the Dick family’s property probably included nearly all of the area that is now within the present boundaries of the Dunleath neighborhood.
In 1857, Robert and his wife Mary Eloise Adams Dick decided to build a mansion that they called “Dunleath” (see below about variations on the spelling of the name), located on the western side of the property, facing what is now Church Street. Here is a description of the property, recorded after 1933, on file with N.C. State University.
The Dunleath mansion survived until the late 1960s, and was considered to be a haunted house by children living in the neighborhood at that time (Source: John Hammer, personal communication, Sept. 2016). Eventually it fell into disrepair and was demolished, although some of the stone masonry from it can still be found in the woods behind the Dunleath Community Garden. Some decorative ironwork from the mansion is also on display in the last gallery of the Voices of a City exhibit at the Greensboro History Museum (Dunleath ironwork is visible in the first two slides of the slideshow).
In 1984, neighborhood residents decided to participate in the City’s new historic district program. They had already formed a neighborhood association, and the neighbors at that time decided to name the local historic district, and their neighborhood association, after Aycock School. The City Council agreed, and the Charles B. Aycock Historic District, and the Charles B. Aycock Neighborhood Association were born.
In 2014, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro began thinking about changing the name of its Aycock Auditorium as the public became more aware of Aycock’s support of white supremacy. Other institutions in the state had already removed Aycock’s name from public buildings, and in 2016, UNCG decided to do the same. In 2017, the Guilford County School Board followed suit and voted to change the name of Aycock Middle School to Melvin C. Swann Middle School. This change precipitated a neighborhood-wide discussion of what to call our neighborhood.
After a thorough public process led by the neighborhood Board of Directors and facilitated by the City of Greensboro, on March 27, 2017, neighborhood residents voted overwhelmingly to change the name of our local historic district and neighborhood association to Dunleath. This change was later approved unanimously by the Greensboro City Council.
Dowtown Greenway “Innovation” Cornerstone
Woven Works Park at Innovation Cornerstone is the third of four cornerstones on the Downtown Greenway and is located at the corner of East Lindsay Street and Murrow Blvd. Construction began in May 2016 and the cornerstone was dedicated on September 24, 2016 from 3-4 pm prior to the 7th Annual Run 4 the Greenway which was held at Cumberland Park adjacent to the cornerstone. There are several different elements of play on the site. To watch a time lapse video of the construction of the Innovation Cornerstone Click here. Pictured below is the Revolution Cone scupture at the park. Before weaving fabric, one must have yarn. Like a tall spindle in the process of winding yarns together, Revolution Cone is accessed by following a spiral path as it winds its way through the 101 steel cables that anchor the structure to the site. At the base of the sculpture, a revolving carousel bench offers a continually changing view of the park and the city beyond, where one can also imagine being inside a spool of thread.
Veterans Memorial (E. Lindsay / Summit Ave)
The Veterans Memorial was built in 2014. As reported in a News & Recored article, 632 men and women who died in World War II and wars since, are memorialized at the downtown Veterans Memorial on plaques that once lined the walls of the old War Memorial Auditorium, which was part of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex but was demolished to make way for a 600-space parking lot.
The new downtown memorial plaza was built for about $90,000 and with the advice of veterans. It was designed with 3,000 bricks saved from the demolition of War Memorial Auditorium. The heart of it are the names — and a sign that reads in part: “Dedicated in 1959 to the memory of the men and women of Greensboro who gave their lives in the wars of our country.”
“Metaphor” by Ogden Deal (E. Lindsay / Summit Ave)
Located in the same plaza as the Veterans Memorial is Metaphor scuplure, a famous work by artist Ogden Deal, is a twelve foot steel statue of a human figure stretching out its hands to the sky. Standing for nearly forty years, the statue is sponsored by the Greensboro Youth Council and installed on Youth Square at the intersection of Summit Avenue, East Lindsay Street and Church Street.
O. Henry’s Book (N. Elm St / Bellemeade St
Located at 301 N. Elm Street, O. Henry’s Book is a huge 7 x 14 ft. tribute to the famous writer William Sydney Porter (better known as O Henry) who was born and lived much of his short life in Greenboro.. The Gift of the Magi and The Ransom of Red Chief are the two stories depicted on its pages. Across from O. Henry’s Book is a life-size statue of O. Henry and his dog “Pete” The works were created by artist Maria J. Kirby-Smith and unveiled in 1985. A historical marker is located on Market St. between N. Edgeworth and N. Eugene marking the approximate birthplace of O. Henry.
Today, roads like Wendover and Battleground are the arteries of the city, pumping commuters to and from work. They’re vital to the life of the city, but the little capillaries like N. Park Dr., Bessemer, and McGee St. are the heart of the community. Tucked away in the capillaries of the city you’ll find culture, beauty, and the city’s history. Running along S Park and N. Park Dr. which runs between Elm St. and Church St in Fisher Park, you’ll see the beauty and nature of Fisher Park in between the two streets. This Saturday as you run along S. Park Drive, heading toward Church St., look on your left deep into the the east side of Fisher Park as you run by and you’ll see the Genesis Monument. This big stone monument marks the approximate site of the center of the county as determined by an unknown surveyor. Despite a counterpetition from the people of Northeast Guilford most of whom were Ulster Scots (Scotch-Irish) or English-Quakers, the General Assembly granted the request of the first petition and authorized the establishing of the town of “Greensborough” named for General Nathaniel Greene, leader of the American forces in the southern campaign of the American Revolution. Because this spot (where the monument is located today) was “lowground and somewhat swampy,” the commissioners picked a more suitable higher ground centered around the crossing of what are now Elm and Market streets for the location of the town. The new courthouse was located at this intersection which became known as Courthouse Square. The village was laid out in 1808 on the 42 acres of land purchased by the commissioners for $98 from Ralph Gorrell of the Alamance Church area, a Scotch-Irish settler from Northern Ireland.
West Fisher Park is located on the western side of North Elm Street.
Did You Know? Fisher Park is named for Captain Basil John Fisher, a Scotsman and Captain in the British Army, who immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Asheboro, NC, Randolph County with hopes of making a fortune in gold-mining. That being unsuccessful, Fisher began purchasing real estate, including some wooded land immediately north of the small town of Greensboro. The area, then known as “Lindsay’s Woods” was used as a littered dumping ground by city residents … quite humble beginnings.
The neighborhood traces it’s beginnings to 1902 when Captain Fisher donated 28 acres of his land holdings for development of a “suburb” of Greensboro. In exchange, the city paid $5 and agreed to build a “driveway” within the donated land. This “driveway” became our signature public streets, Fisher Park Circle, North Park Drive, and South Park Drive. Land lying within that space became a public park, Fisher Park. (Information obtained from www.firsherparknc.org)
Apartment Life in Turn-of the Century (20th) Fisher Park
RunTheBoro runners/walkers (long route) will pass Cannon Court Apartments located at N. Elm and Hendrix St. According to Preservation Greensboro, Cannon Court was constructed in 1926. The building featured six different unit plans spread over three floors and ranged in size from single-room studio apartments to larger two-room units with two-and-a-half baths. Preservation Greensboro lists some of the original occupants as have professions such as traveling salesman, salesman, hotel clerk, furniture salesman, department store buyer, building manager, Vice President of Pomona Terra Cotta Company among others. Often today, when a new development springs up in a residential area, local residents will protest or fight the development. It was no different back in the 1920s. Cannon Court did not get quick approval. Preservation Greensboro reports that the surrounding blocks of North Elm Street had already developed with large single family homes by the 1920s, and neighbors opposed the multi-family intrusion. Former mayor Claude Kiser claimed an apartment house would “damage the handsomely developed property [along Elm St.].” Local ophthalmologist, R.C Bernau stated, “if you permit apartment houses to be erected there, in 20 years you will have nothing but apartment houses and in 30 years you will have slums.” Others supported the project and construction began in 1926.
Many think of apartments as a fairly new concept, but Greensboro sported multi-story apartment buildings as early as the 1920s. Thanks to a central trolley line (more on the trolley’s in an upcoming RunTheBoro) and convenient urban location, in the early 1900‟s the Fisher Park neighborhood offered more apartments than any Greensboro neighborhood. RunTheBoro run #3 will take runners by three such complexes. The first complex runners will pass is located on the corner of E. Bessemer Ave. and Magnolia St. This 3-building complex (The Vance, Fairfax, and Shirley) was built in 1925. Some of the original features still exist such as exterior iceboxes. Three-story trash chutes are still used by residents today. An article in a 1925 edition of the Greensboro Daily Record, states that “the builders have taken care to install every feature that will delight the housewife’s heart. Every apartment has a built-in refrigerator, gas stove, kitchen cabinet , and hot and cold water, day and night. Janitor service will also be furnished. In one detail the owners are sure to make a hit with the housewife. They have put in window shades. Everyone who knows women is cognizant of the fact that they do detest the business of having to buy window shades and put them up.” The front apartments rented for $60 and the rear for $50 per month (this included gas, heat, hot and cold water, and janitor service.)
DownTown Greenway Tradition Cornerstone-“The Meeting Place”
The “Tradition Cornerstone”, the second of four major cornerstones is one of the four anchors for the four-mile Greenway and is located on the corner of West Smith and Prescott Streets in downtown Greensboro.
Fabrication of the cornerstone called Meeting Place began over the summer of 2013 and was installed in April 2014. Jim Gallucci, a local sculptor, worked with Harries and Héder to create the metal work that’s a part of the Tradition Cornerstone and Ian Gamble from Elsewhere Artists Collaborative created the benches and tables in Meeting Place.
The first Public Orchard in Greensboro was planted at the Tradition Cornerstone on March 1 & 2, 2014. The design and installation was led by Dr. Charlie Headington, Permaculture teacher and practitioner of over 25 years. The orchard consists of 17 fruit trees, 30 shrubs and over 1000 understory plantings. Click here for pictures of all the native plants and trees located at Meeting Place and stop by to explore the Edible Orchard located at the corner of Prescott and West Smith Streets. Members and friends of the Greensboro Permaculture Guild assisted in the planting, using only Permaculture practices. The Public Orchard and native North Carolina plantings by New Garden Nursery will serve the citizens of Greensboro for years to come. Click here to find out more about permaculture gardening.
Below is a map of the complete Downtown Greenway. The areas in red are currently under construction. For a News and Record article on the completion of the Downtown Greenway click here.
Acropolis Greek Restaurant
Restaurants often come and go, but the Acropolis Greek Restaurant has been in downtown Greensboro since 1967! Did you know that it originally was not a Greek restaurant?
Gus and Ellen Contogiannis moved to Greensboro from Latrobe, PA in the 1960’s. In 1967 they opened the Acropolis Restaurant, serving a menu full of a variety of Southern-style and “home cooked” meals. They served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Despite easily establishing their business and having a loyal clientele base, they dreamed of changing the menu to Greek food to reflect the name they gave the restaurant. Over time they received a lot of requests to cater Greek food and slowly slipped some Greek dishes onto the menu. Then in 1980, Ellen and Jimmy made a bold move. The restaurant closed briefly in early 1980 for remodeling and everyone was busy also designing a new menu. Then in April 1980 the doors reopened and they displayed a Greek menu featuring recipes that had been passed down through many generations and reflected a full service Greek restaurant. The décor had been updated and made you feel like you might be in Greece. However they kept some of their most popular “American “dishes and the lunch specials that so many in Greensboro had come to expect. Their decision to renovate and change the menu reflected their dedication to stay in the downtown area and show their support of downtown rather than relocate at a time when many businesses were doing so. As these changes occurred, their son, Jimmy Contogiannis, came on board to continue the family tradition.
Over the years Ellen and Jimmy continued to develop and revise menu options as well as update the look of the restaurant. Old favorites have been kept and new dishes have been offered. Most of the original artwork remains but more have been added. We expanded our services to include catering of both Greek and non-Greek foods in the restaurant as well as off premises. A private dining room has been added to allow meetings, private parties, receptions and special celebrations. Over the years the restaurant has been awarded yearly “Best Greek” titles. Greensboro has embraced Greek cuisine as we had imagined. With the rejuvenation of downtown Greensboro over the past 10 years, we know that our decision to stay was correct. Now we look to periodically update the menu, changing offerings and enjoying the popularity of foods reflecting the Mediterranean diet, as our society becomes more health conscious. The restaurant menu offers “lighter side” options as well as full dinners, bar specials and daily lunch and dinner specials. Options to purchase Greek deli items such as feta cheese, olives, hummus, stuffed grape leaves and many others will be offered for sale soon. Wi-Fi is available for customer use. But most importantly, we have resisted the temptation to purchase commercially available Greek products and serve them like some of the “Greek fast food” style restaurants that have opened over the past 5-10 years. You will still find authentic Greek dishes prepared from the finest and freshest ingredients, homemade and taking pride in preparing food that is healthy and delicious – that distinguishes us from the rest!
RunTheBoro Run #7 long route runners/walkers will pass Blandwood Mansion. Did you know…was originally built as a four room Federal style farmhouse in 1795, it was home to two-term North Carolina governor John Motley Morehead (1841-1844) under whose ownership it was transformed into its present appearance. It is believed to be the oldest extant example of the Italian Villa Style of architecture in the United States, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988. Blandwood is the oldest building on original foundations in the city of Greensboro (1795). Originally located within a rural context, it is a remarkable survivor of urban development as the city grew around the house.
Guardian II Sculpture
Guardian II is a huge metal sculpture which its creator (Billy Lee) deems “appropriate” for Greensboro. “As its title implies, Guardian II’s posture, stature and presence is like a keeper/guardian of the city,” Lee said. The Guardian II is located on Market Street in front of the Guilford County Courthouse.
Pearl of Equity Cup
Greensboro has 8 coffee-cup sculptures to honor the Greensboro Sit-ins. The art project was a collaborative effort between The United Arts Council, The International Civil Rights Center and Museum, and Action Greensboro’s synerG Group. Each sculpture has a quote that demonstrates the courage of the four men who sat at the Woolworth lunch counter in 1960, starting the sit in’s.
The cup photographed above, called ‘Pearl of Equality’ by Timothy Daniel, is located on Hamburger Square near Natty Greene’s. You can enlarge the photo to read the Margaret Mead quote. We want to share Daniel’s quote about the meaning behind his sculpture. “The idea of the sharp, stony oyster guarding its precious treasure came to me almost immediately to symbolize the whole ‘Eye on the Prize’ feeling on the civil rights struggle. The oyster’s shell would represent the old status quo, and the flesh and pearl would represent the wonderful bounty awaiting those persistent enough to seek it.”
Here is a map for a walking tour of all the cups. It is also the reference for the quote. Pearl of Equality is #3 on the walking tour. The photo was taken last spring, so, if you head down to see it, the trees are not yet budding!
Info from Greensboro Daily Photo.https://www.wral.com/lifestyles/travel/video/10676542/
Madison Woods, Hamilton Lakes, Starmount Forest*, Guilford College,
The RunTheBoro Run #8 runners/walkers will pass by Dolley Madison Rd and into the Maddison Woods neighborhood. Did you know Dolley Madison was born in Greensboro?
Dolley, who was one of our nation’s most beloved first ladies, was born to a Quaker family in the New Garden area, now part of Greensboro. Her home and birthplace once stood at the location of 5505 W. Friendly Ave. Today that is the location of the After Hours Veterinary Hospital (see picture below). In 1930 the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a stone marker marking the location (see picture below). I don’t believe that marker is still there, but it’s cool to know where Dolley was born.
Although her family moved away from the state during her early childhood, we still claim her proudly. She is known as an accomplished hostess and also the woman who maintained the presence of mind to save a renowned portrait of George Washington when the British burned Washington, DC during the War of 1812. She is the only First Lady from NC. The Greensboro Historical Museum has a Dolley Madison Collection with some pretty cool items in it. A beautiful peach colored silk gown was the first item to form the museum’s collection. Donated in 1950 by Dolley’s great, great niece and the great granddaughter of Dolley’s youngest sister, Mary Payne Jackson, this empire style gown was passed down through the Payne family. The Dolley Madison Memorial Association purchased a collection from the estate of another descendant, Neva Kunkel, the wife of Dolley’s great-great nephew and donated it to the museum in 1963. One of the most significant collections of Dolley’s belongings known to exist in the United States, it remains a national treasure. Personal items used at the Madison’s home, Montpelier, came from descendants of James Madison in the mid 1970s providing another look at the life the Madison’s shared.
This week, RunTheBoro Run #8 will take runners through the Hamilton Lakes neighborhood. Did you know….that Hamilton Lakes once was a separate town from Greensboro? Yep! Hamilton Lakes was created by Alfred Moore Scales and his business partner Alexander Worth McAlister. Scales was an attorney and also the nephew of a Governor with the same name. He and McAlister began purchasing land north and west of Greensboro as early at 1900. Most of the land purchased was farms owned by prominent Quaker families-the Caldwells, Coffins, and Ballingers. Scales’ goal was to create a resort-like community for the growing middle and upper class in Greensboro. His efforts culminated in the creation of the Town of Hamilton Lakes which was founded in 1920 and incorporated in 1925. At the time is consisted of 1600 acres, water and sewer mains, recreational areas, and 10 miles of roads. A good portion of these roads were paved a tan-color of asphalt making Hamilton Lakes standout. Prospective homeowners were enticed with ad pitches like the following….“Out from the crowded streets of the town, far from the congestion and traffic, a beautiful village is designed to soothe the senses. Parks and lakes replace crowded corners – the songs of birds, the noise of motors and trolleys – and flowers and shrubs bloom on every side. Thousands of rose bushes grace the roadsides, and dogwood, redbud, and laurel have been planted in the work of beautification.”
In 1930, Scales opened the Hamilton Lakes Golf Course. The Great Stock Market Crash occurred in October 1929, but overbuilding in Greensboro in the years prior caused the financial panic that threw highly leveraged investors such as Scales into foreclosure with their lenders. Scales had received financing from the Sternberger brothers, Emanuel and Herman, investment partners with the Cone family and the Cone Mills Corporation. Upon foreclosure, the 4,683 acre tract of land assembled by Scales became the property of Emanuel’s daughter Blanche Sternberger Benjamin and her husband Edward Benjamin.
Benjamin was instrumental in developing residential areas closer to Greensboro by extending Market St. westward. The Sternberger name might seem familiar. Blanche Sternberger Benjamin donated a nine acre tract of land for the Sternberger Elementary School, which honors her mother, Bertha S. Sternberger.
In 1957, the Town of Hamilton Lakes was annexed into the City of Greensboro. The town’s small police force and other services were disbanded, but the community maintained its own parks and walking trails through neighborhood association dues and private contributions.
For more great information on Hamilton Lakes be sure to check out Preservation Greensboro’s website.
The earliest houses in the Town of Hamilton Lakes were erected in the neighborhood in 1926 and 1927, many designed by distinguished architects.
One of the first homes built was Hamilton Lakes creator A.W. Scales’ home. RunTheBoro Run #8 runners will run by this grand neoclassical home located at 1207 Lakewood Drive. The house was designed by architect Christopher Gadsen Sayre, at that time a resident of the city, and an accomplished architect who was among the first in the state to be licensed. The brick house overlooks Lake Hamilton and features two remarkable facades: one focused landside and the other looking lakeside.
The Scales family lost their impressive home to creditors during the Great Depression. They ended up moving in with Scales’ brother across the lake in his home known as Tar Haven. This loss may be the reason why Scales’ son Junius Irving Scales turned against Capitalism. In 1935, Junius began frequenting the Intimate Bookshop in Chapel Hill, an off campus gathering space for “intellectuals and bohemians with a clandestine Communist Party printing press in a back room. He was soon hired as a clerk in the store at the age of 16, and started attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the following year. In 1939 he joined the Communist Party and quit school to become a union organizer in the Southern textile mills. The attack on Pearl Harbor brought an end to his organizing efforts, but he returned to Chapel Hill and completed work on his bachelor’s degree after serving in the Army. He became the state Communist Party chairman in 1948, serving openly and publicly, leading to newspaper stories that alarmed his once wealthy Capitalist family.
The FBI periodically monitored him, leading to an arrest in 1954. He was not charged with any overt acts, but was indicted under the provisions of the Smith Act as a member of an organization which advocated violence.Scales lost his final appeal, Scales v. United States, in the United States Supreme Court on a 5-4 decision. He served 15 months of a six-year sentence at Lewisburg Penitentiary in Pennsylvania before President John F. Kennedy commuted his sentence on Christmas Eve, 1962. He became the only Communist Party member to serve in prison on these charges.”
For more information on Scales, be sure to check out Preservation Greensboro’s website
Did you know….there are two lakes in Hamilton Lakes. One is called Lake Hamilton and the other is called Lake Euphemia named for A.W. Scales’s mother. Below are more beautiful views and homes that RunTheBoro Run #8 runners/walkers will enjoy while exploring Hamilton Lakes.
RunTheBoro Runners/walkers (long route) will explore Starmount Forest. Starmount Forest was platted in the mid-1920s as part of the Hamilton Lakes subdivision. The neighborhood was cut from the eastern part of Hamilton Lakes by local developers Edward and Blanche Sternberger Benjamin in 1927. Building began in earnest after the close of World War II and includes the Starmount Country Club, a focal point of both Starmount Forest and Hamilton Lakes subdivisions.
Starmount Forest developed quickly in the years following World War II, resulting in homogeneity of style, form and detail. The housing of Starmount Forest is mostly brick, well detailed, yet modest in size. The majority of dwellings are one or one and one-half story “Cape Cod” form houses. Two-story dwellings are concentrated on Madison Avenue, which transverses the neighborhood from east to west. The predominant style is Minimal Traditional, defined as side-gable or gable-and-wing dwellings with Colonial Revival details such as door surrounds with broken pediments and pilasters, six-over-six or eight-over-eight windows with shutters, dormers, and Chippendale balustrades. As one travels north toward West Friendly Avenue, ranches and split-level houses are interspersed with the predominant Minimal Traditional dwellings. The details of these 1950s and 60s-era houses display a preference for the Colonial Revival. (Infor obtained from Greesnboro’s Historic Homes)
RunTheBoro Run #8 runners/walkers will get to run/walk through the beautiful Guilford College campus. Did you know…Guilford College was founded by Quakers and originally called New Garden Boarding School? The school opened in 1837 and was an institution intended to serve the children of the Religious Society of Friends living in and around Guilford County, N.C. New Garden Boarding School provided a “guarded” education, one in which children of Friends could be formed in an environment shaped by the Quaker testimonies. The first students at the school used the “thees” and “thous” of Quaker plain speech, dressed plainly, worshiped in the silence of the Quaker meetinghouse and were schooled in the simple truths of the Bible and the Quaker community.
Entering the campus, runners and walkers will head down Levi Coffin Dr. The road is named after famed abolitionist Levi Coffin, a New Garden Quaker who grew up on the land that would become part of the boarding school a decade later. This location is where Coffin began his Underground Railroad activities. Escaped slaves came to the woods of New Garden and were aided in their flight to freedom in the North by Quakers in the New Garden community. Guilford is one of very few college campuses listed by the United States Department of the Interior as a National Historic District. The school remained open throughout the Civil War, and, with support from Friends in the North and Great Britain, gained strength during the Reconstruction era.
The City of Murals Run
Midtown, Downtown, East Market Street Area, Dunleath, Lake Daniel Greenway, Lake Daniel
One of the things I love about running downtown Greensboro and the surrounding neighborhoods is how art is being incorporated into nooks and crannies all over the city. Once blank walls, barren alleys, and drab industrial areas are becoming vibrant spaces to enjoy and appreciate. There are remnants of murals from days gone by on downtown buildings and those are cool in a nostalgic kind of way, but this new art I’ve encountered on my runs is vibrant, whimsical, intriguing, thought provoking, and often just fun.
RunTheBoro Run #9 will take runners by many of the murals I’ve encountered on my runs. This week’s route won’t be able to include all of the murals the city has to offer, since our route is about 10.5 miles long, but you’ll get a good taste (longer route includes at least 86 murals). In my research for this article, I discovered that there are several organizations in Greensboro whose passion is creating murals for the downtown Greensboro area. Examples of their artwork can be found inside and outside community centers, parks, tunnels, underpasses, places of worship, and businesses throughout the city.
The Greensboro Mural Project
The Greensboro Mural Project is one such organization creating outside art for the city. In 2011, Alyzza May and Katrina Siladi were doing some work together in the Edibel Schoolyard at the Greensboro Children’s Museum on Church Street in downtown Greensboro. While working they discovered they both were interested in murals. Not really an interest, they both had a passion for murals. Both were fans of projects such as the Beehive Collective in Maine and the work of Judy Baca, both who worked creating massive murals tackling current social issues. Alyzza and Katrina decided a similar thing could happen in Greensboro using murals in public space to to help bring the community together.
Soon after, the pair working with the Greensboro’s Children’s Museum, decided to involve the community in creating a mural for the retaining wall of the Edible Schoolyard which borders Lindsay St and Church St. The two artists surveyed close to 300 people asking, “What would make Greensboro a healthier city?” The responses they collected were used by lead muralist Kathleen Kennedy, a local artist who had produced murals for Guilford College and Wesley Long Hospital. In 2011 the mural shown below was created. It truly is an amazing piece. It’s so lifelike. The way the live tree is incorporated into the artwork is amazing.
Alyzza and Katrina were initially unsure if they wanted to pursue the idea beyond the first mural, but community response prompted them to keep going.
Kotis Street Art
Another group creating art in the city is Kotis Street Art founded by real estate developer Marty Kotis. Kotis gained a greater appreciation for street art through his travels including Urban Spree in Berlin, Upfest in Bristol, and Shoreditch in London. His initial efforts included artwork for restaurant concept interiors and exteriors starting in 2010, then led to work with local artists and curators who were seeking walls, and by 2017 he was curating and recruiting international artists.
Kotis Street Art has been actively incorporating art into its projects since 2010, but ramped up its street art efforts mid 2017. Kotis Street Art now has over 100 installations gracing our curated walls.
For a pdf of all the murals included in the City of Murals Run, Click Here.
Have you noticed the small “Midtown” signs along the Battleground corridor into downtown? From Cornwallis Rd to Benjamin Parkway is a fast growing area now known as Midtown. RunTheBoro Run #9 will start at Pembroke Rd and Battleground the northern tip of Midtown. Red Cinema is at the heart of Midtown. A condominium and hotel development is in the planning stages which will incorporate the theater and new downtown greenway which will run through Midtown.