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Neighborhood Histories

Neighborhood histories will be posted at the beginning of each week prior to the upcoming run.

Run #5 – The Monuments Run

Downtown, LeBauer Park, Southside, Ole Asheboro, Downtown Greenway, East Market Street area, A&T University, Greensboro College, UNCG, and College Park

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.

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.

SkyLINK Sculpture (Church St at the Greensboro Children’s Museum)

At the corner of Church and Lindsay is the home of the Greensboro Childrens Museum. While passing the museum be sure to look for the SkyLink Sculpture. SkyLINK is a stainless steel sculpture featuring three links stacked one atop of another to form a pathway to the skies above Greensboro. The winged SpaceBIRD sculptures work together to create this foundation to the sky.

She Wouldn’t Take Off Her Boots Holocaust Memorial

This beautiful new sculpture located in LeBauer Park was dedicated by Shelly Veiner and Rachel Kizhnerman to honor their brave mothers Eva Weiner and Sofia Guralnik.

This memorial monument stands as a gift to the City of Greensboro in honor of al women and children who endured or perished in the Holocaust, and in remembrance of all victims of genocide. Here is a space to bear witness to the humanity of all peoples. – Mayor Nancy Vaughan.

Where We Met

Janet Echelman’s Where We Met is a permanent sculpture made of intricate netting that hovers above the Carolyn & Maurice LeBauer Park in Greensboro, North Carolina. The 2016 project embodies Echelman’s interest in interconnectedness with the natural world and within community. Soft interwoven fibers reveal the sky above and move with the flow of the breeze, giving form to invisible forces and serving as a reminder of human reliance on the natural world. The sculpture’s form maps the convergence of six railroad lines integral to Greensboro’s textile history that also functioned as lines of connection for the city’s diverse populations. Situated at a meeting point for these communities in the city’s downtown, Where We Met is both an iconic welcoming point and an ever-evolving reference. The sculpture will change colors through a multi-year color evolution and maintenance cycle, marking out eras of the city and the lives of its residents and creating a shared context that is both personal and communal.

Dream Machine

The Dream Machine (by Brittany Sondberg) celebrates the playful spirit and creative energy of Greensboro’s Cultural District. This piece is dedicated to the City of Greensboro and its residents by synerG Young Professionals who seek to inspire wonder, imagination, and vibrancy in the community.

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.

Greensboro Coffee Cups Collaborative 

On February 1, 1960 the sit-in movement began. This historic event was commemorated by the creation of eight bronze coffee cups. Installed throughout downtown Greensboro and dedicated on the 50th anniversary of the inspired event when four African American students were refused service when ordering coffee, each bronze sculpture is placed on a stone pedestal, featuring the quote of an outstanding figure. 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 photo below shows all 7 cup sculptures. Both the long and short route for RunTheBoro 2023 Run #5 will pass several of the cups.

The Education Cup is one of the most notable sculptures of the project. It is a bronze cup pierced by pencils, symbolizing the oppression of black students in educational institutions. This sculpture includes a quote by Booker T. Washington: “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” The sculpture was created by Gregory B. Colleton Jr. and is located next to the Central Library on North Church Street.

In the Face of Strange Fruit was created by artist Derrick Monk, inspired by the Billie Holiday song Strange Fruit. The sculpture depicts the faces of those who struggled for freedom and equality. Included is a quote by Antoine De Saint-Exupery: “He who is different from me does not impoverish me – he enriches me.” The bronze sculpture is located on the lawn of the Greensboro Cultural Center on North Davie Street.

The Cup of Freedom, located next to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Elm Street, was created by Greensboro artist Charles Jenkins. On the pedestal is a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The last cup installed for the project, it was unveiled on the 50th anniversary of the famous sit-in movement, on February 1, 2010.

Overcome, a coffee cup created by artist Rodney Bennett, is located on the Melvin Municipal Building lawn on South Greene Street. The sculpture includes a quote by Ambrose Redmoon: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

Spoons: Of his sculpture, artist Leo Morrissey has said that the cup, spoons and persons’ profiles represent the sit-in movement, the students and their collaborative spirit against injustice. Included is a quote by John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “It is in the American tradition to stand up for one’s rights – even if the new way to stand up for one’s rights is to sit down.” This stone pedestal and bronze sculpture is located outside the Carolina Theatre on South Greene Street.

The Pearl of Equity is a cup shaped like a flower with a pearl on an oyster shell. The pearl represents the civil rights struggle, the shell the status quo, and the flower symbolizes spring and rebirth. Created by Greensboro artist Timothy L. Daniel, it is located on Hamburger Square on South Elm Street. A plate on the pedestal features a quote by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

The Awake Coffee Cup, created by Kurt Gabriel, is meant to awaken the world from the deep sleep of indifference. Sculpted with large letters and a chain symbolizing bondage, it is located in front of the J. Douglas Galyon Depot on East Washington Street. The above information was obtained from Click Here. Here is a map for a walking tour of all the cups.

Vicks VapoRub?

New Bern, NC  has claims to Pepsi Cola, but Greensboro is the birthplace of Vicks VapoRub! On this Saturday’s RunTheBoro run you’ll run right by this historic place near Washington and Elm. After graduating from Davidson College, Richardson worked with his brother-in-law who owned Vick’s drug-manufacturing company in Selma, NC  In 1890, Richardson moved to his wife’s hometown of Greensboro, where he bought W.C. Porter’s drug store with a partner. Nothing really special about this drug store although the famous writer O. Henry worked there as a teenager. During his time as owner of the drug store, Richardson continued developing new products for his brother-in-law’s company. He patented 21 medicines, including Vick’s Magic Croup Salve in 1894. Renamed Vicks VapoRub in 1911, the remedy is still sold today. The salve in the blue jar is made of menthol, camphor, oil of eucalyptus and several other oils, blended in a base of petroleum jelly.

Get this! Not only is Richardson credited with developing Vicks VapoRub, he’s also considered to be the creator of junk mail! Yep! Richardson was one of the first to market to post office box holders without personalizing the materials. (Information from the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources)

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.

Downtown Gate Sculpture

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

During RunTheBoro Run #3, 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 . 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.

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.

Freedom Cornerstone

This fourth and final Cornerstone commission is the Freedom Cornerstone. The theme of “Freedom” is inspired by the City’s role in the Civil Rights Movement, especially the non-violent protests of the pivotal 1960 Greensboro lunch-counter sit-ins that served as a catalyst to the larger movement. Racial justice and equity have played an important role in shaping our city and defining its identity. The selected artist is asked to explore this history as well as consider what Freedom means today as they conceive of a vision for the artwork. The site for this Cornerstone is located in the southeast corner of the Downtown Greenway’s four-mile loop – at the northeast corner of the intersection of Murrow Blvd and East Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro, NC 27401, a highly visible location that has been created with the realignment of the intersection as Downtown Greenway construction is underway.

Vigilance Candle

The Downtown Greenway’s newest public art piece was installed in August 2022, as the neighborhood bench for East Greensboro. Vigilance is located at the corner of Murrow Boulevard and East Market Street. The piece features a central candle column surrounded by three triangular benches, all adorned in mosaic work with colorful ceramics and mirrors. Created by artist Theresa Arico, the sculptures also include embedded verses throughout from Amanda Gorman‘s poem The Hill We Climb.

Theresa shares that mosaic is her favorite form of creative expression because it allows the use of both new and recycled objects to create a new vision and purpose. The ability to reassign value in cast-off objects that would typically contribute to the waste stream is important to her. Reinvention and second chances are important aspects of our human story as well. Theresa’s primary focus is creating or contributing to an environment that is nourishing and healing, and she hopes her work infuses others with hope, inspiration and passion. Theresa is based in Chapel Hill, NC and is an active member of the Orange County Artists Guild.

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.

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. Click here to see photos.  We have a time lapse video of the construction of the Innovation Cornerstone.  Click here to watch the short video footage.

Minneapolis artist Randy Walker was selected to design and create the Innovation Cornerstone (NE) at the corner of Lindsay Street and Murrow Boulevard.  Randy’s work has a relationship to both textiles and innovative play.  Click to see his bio and examples of his work.

Dunleath Neighborhood Bench

The Dunleath Neighborhood bench was installed in December 2021 by Charlotte Artist Nico Amortegu. The bench is located between Summit Avenue and Chestnut Street on the Downtown Greenway. Nico was born in Bogotá, Colombia. He has lived and worked in the Southeast since arriving to the United States in 1996. Since age 15, Nico has been active in the fields of photography, design, and visual arts. A product of a large, close-knit family, Nico grew up surrounded by artists, learning carpentry, photography, interior design, and painting. Throughout his 20s, he focused on photography, traveling throughout the US to shoot for various modeling agencies, as well as surf and skate magazines. Nico resides in Charlotte, NC, with his wife and two daughters. He now focuses on painting and sculpting and woodworking with found objects.

First National Bank Field

Greensboro’s downtown stadium opened its gates to a crowd of 8,540 on April 3, 2005 with a Grasshoppers exhibition game against the then Florida Marlins. This state-of-the-art facility features a 30′ wide, open-air concourse, plentiful concession points of sale, the Grandstand outdoor sports bar, a kid-safe play park and numerous amenities.

The stadium’s seating capacity currently stands at 7,499 which includes 5,300 chair back seats, 16 luxury suites and 2 grass berm and picnic areas, though the stadium was constructed to meet Class AA standards with room for expansion beyond. In March of 2017, the stadium was renamed First National Bank Field.

First National Bank Field plays host to numerous additional events each year, including the ACC Baseball Tournament in 2010 and 2012. On May 26, 2012, the University of North Carolina took on North Carolina State University in a game that broke the attendance record for a college baseball game in the state of North Carolina. The crowd of 10,229 was also the largest ever for an ACC baseball game!

Blandwood Mansion

Blandwood Mansion is a historic house museum at 447 West Washington Street in Greensboro, North Carolina. 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.[1][2] In creating the design for Blandwood, architect Alexander Jackson Davis produced a popular prototype for American house designs in the Italianate style: a central tower projecting from the main facade.[2] Saved from demolition in 1964 by preservation-minded Greensboro citizens, the house was opened as a museum in 1976 and remains open to the public today.

Warnersville (Long Route)

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. 

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.


Warnersville Benches

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.

Downtown Greenway from Gate City Blvd to Spring Garden St. (Long Route)

The structure is made of stainless steel, with parts of it coated in three additional colors.  Its appearance will change with the weather and with the time of day, and objects within the framework will rearrange themselves depending on where the viewer stands.  The structure includes seating, allowing viewers to look up into it—and it is lit at night.  Greensboro artist Frank Russell worked with students at Jones Elementary School to find or create the objects that are embedded in the stainless steel framework.  Although the Cornerstone will not be designed to give viewers a specific message, the way the imbedded objects interact with each other will allow themes to emerge.

As you continue down the Downtown Greenway you’ll come to 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. Just past the railroad underpass you’ll come to the grand Downtown Greenway arch. 

Just before reaching Spring Garden Street, you’ll encounter larger than life art replicas of furniture from the Blandwood Mansion  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

Witherspoon Art Museum (Long Route)

Founded in 1941 by Gregory Ivy, first head of the Art Department at Woman’s College (now UNCG), the Weatherspoon Art Museum has grown from a university teaching gallery to a fully professional museum that is nationally recognized for its excellent collections and dynamic exhibition program. The Museum serves a broad audience of over 32,000 visitors annually, including UNCG students, faculty and staff; the Triad communities; and visitors from across the state, region, and nation; and an additional 24,000 students who take art history classes in the building.

As you pass the museum, be sure to look to your right and you’ll see the Pastoral or Third Sculptural Symphony II by Saul Baizerman.

College Hill

Just as RunTheBoro Run #5 runners approach Spring Garden Rd via Mendenhall they’ll 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.

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.”

Guardian II (Market St near Courthouse)

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.

Run #4

Bicentennial Greenway

The Bicentennial Greenway is a 14.5 mile regional trail/greenway running through Guilford County, Greensboro, and High Point.  Developed and managed by Guilford County, approximately eight miles of the northern section runs through the City and an additional seven miles run from the Piedmont Environmental Center to Highway 68 in High Point.  Entities from the three jurisdictions are working on a plan to complete the missing segment between Greensboro and High Point.  When complete, the Bicentennial will provide an almost 20 mile greenway that connects the City of High Point to the City of Greensboro.

How do I get there?
The Bicentennial Greenway can be accessed just north of the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park parking lot on Old Battleground Road. The Bicentennial Greenway travels northwest along Old Battleground Road and then changes direction southwest through wooded open space. Cross Battleground Avenue and take the sidewalk along Drawbridge Parkway to Kernodle Middle School. Follow the trail signs across the road into the woods to its current terminus near Horse Pen Creek Road. The new sections can be accessed from Guilford Elementary School and the Leonard Recreation Center. 

From the intersection of the Bicentennial Greenway and Lake Brandt Road in Greensboro, you can connect to the A&Y Greenway leading out to Bur Mil Park. The Nat Green Trail and Palmetto Trail are also accessible from the greenway (see map below for details). Guilford Courthouse National Military Park trails are accessible from the Bicentennial Greenway with parking available on Old Battleground Road.

The Bicentennial Greenway is a multiple-use trail. Bicycles are allowed and encouraged.

For more information about Greensboro’s awesome trails and greenways click here. For a map showing all of the Greensboro area trails and greenways click here.

Run #3

Revolution Mill, Cone Mills White Oak New Town Mill Village, McAdoo Heights, Brown Town, Old Irving Park, Cone Hospital, Latham Park Greenway, Westerwood, Downtown Greenway, Downtown

Buffalo Creek

If you’ve run down Cone Blvd, you’ve seen it. If you’ve run along the Lake Daniel Greenway, you’ve crossed it. If you live in Latham Park, your house may have been flooded by it. What is “it?” North Buffalo Creek! North Buffalo Creek meanders all through Greensboro. Several of the upcoming RunTheBoro Routes will run by it and/or over it. Buffalo Presbyterian Church (Located at the corner of 16th St. and Church St.) named after the creek. The creek was named Buffalo because of the large herds of wild buffaloes that formerly ranged along its borders. No one is sure when or who named the creek. The church was founded about 50 years before the village of Greensboro was established, so many believe the creek was named by the Native Americans from this area. Hard to image a herd of buffalo roaming along Cone Blvd!

Cone Mills
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

Did You know? There is an almost intact mill village in Greensboro? RunTheBoro Run #3 runners/walkers will get to traverse through this historic site. This little known village is tucked away between Church St, 16th Street, and Yanceyville 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

McAdoo Heights

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 because 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!


RunTheBoro Run #3 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.

Loewenstien House

Architect Edward Loewenstein moved to Greensboro in 1945, after marrying Frances Stern, the daughter of a prominent Greensboro family. He established a design practice and then partnered with Robert A. Atkinson Jr. in 1953, becoming a local leader of modernist design. Over three decades, Loewenstein and Atkinson completed 1,600 commissions, including Loewenstein’s own residence, a masterpiece of modern architecture set in a two-acre wooded suburban lot approximately three miles north of downtown Greensboro, located at 2104 Granville Road. Runners will pass the house While on Granville just before reaching W. Cornwallis. It is surrounded largely by Georgian and Colonial revival structures, some of which date from the 1920s.

The Loewenstein House exhibits many characteristics of midcentury modern design: a single-story, open floor plan that stretches out horizontally on the site; flat and low-sloped roofs; large expanses of windows; an informal relationship to the street; and connections from the inside spaces to the surrounding landscape.

Loewenstein became a significant figure in Greensboro not just for the infusion of modernism to the landscape of the city, but also because of his progressive ideas. Loewenstein taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, then known as the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina. A house designed by his class of twenty-three female interior design students in 1958 was profiled in McCalls magazine. This course for “college girls” was intended to “demonstrate actual planning, design, construction, and finishing of a home.” It was hailed as “a unique project … an educational first!” for a profession that was largely dominated by men. Loewenstein was familiar with pushing social norms. Loewenstein and Atkinson was the first white firm in Greensboro to hire African American architects and design professionals, among them William Streat (Loewenstein’s MIT classmate) and W. Edward Jenkins.

Today, the house is occupied by the architect’s daughter, Jane Loewenstein Levy. It is a private residence that is not open to the public.

The house is also home to a pretty cool sculpture garden. One sculpture is made from recovered airplane part and if you look carefully, you’ll see a giant pearl necklace sculpture!

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. While running 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 #3 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 him 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.

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.


The houses shown below are just a few examples of the types of houses long route runners will run by in the Westerwood neighborhood during RunTheBoro Run #3. 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.

Downtown Greenway (Between Guilford Ave and Market Street).

This new section of the Downtown Greenway isn’t quite finished. For now, it’s a dirt and gravel path, but in the next year or so, it will be paved, completing the 4-mile loop around Downtown. As soon as runners turn off of Guilford Ave onto the greenway, they’ll see an impressive outdoor sculpture named Carin’s Course by Thomas Sayre. The marker at the site states that “Cairn’s Course springs from a recognition of this unique place in Greensboro, both as an urban wetland and the site of the first cotton warehouse. The sculpture marks this place by stacking local stones to form vertical markers. Here, the stones were formed in earth cast molds dug into the adjacent land across the College Branch Stream. Replete with the colors, textures, and artifacts of the land, these cairns call attention to and mark the renewal of the waterway, which is also home to the surprising array of aquatic life depicted in the surrounding terrazzo stepping stones. “

Run #2

Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Great Salisbury Wagon Road, Country Park, Lake Jeanette Road area, Battle Forest

Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway

RunTheBoro Run #2 runners/walkers will run along a short 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. 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. Construction has begun extending the greenway from Markland Rd along the old railroad tracks into downtown connecting with the Downtown Greenway loop. The expected completion date is 2026.

Great Salisbury Wagon Road/Guilford County National Military Park

If you’re a runner from Greensboro, then more than likely you’ve encountered a short stretch of greenway just before the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park parking lot along Old Battleground Rd. that’s not paved with asphalt like the rest of the greenway. That entire stretch of greenway used to be gravel until several years ago when they paved the greenway. I always thought it odd that they left this 5-foot or so stretch unpaved. Well there is a reason.

This short pea gravel crossing is a part of the old Great Salisbury Wagon Road. Today this road is better known as New Garden Road. This pea gravel path actually begins near the Visitors Center further down New Garden Rd. and continues through Military park exiting the park across the street from the BP station on Lawndale where the rest of the paved E. New Garden Road picks up. RunTheBoro Run #2 runners/walkers will be traversing this historic road beginning at the pea gravel path at Old Battleground Road and heading through the center of the park exiting on the Military Park loop.

On March 15, 1781, having learned that his American counterpart General Nathaniel Greene had formed his army at Guilford Courthouse, Cornwallis advanced up the Great Salisbury Wagon Road to meet him. As he reached the 150-acre Hoskins Farm, the British general’s lead troops discovered the first American line of battle formed behind a rail fence with two pieces of cannon aimed directly down the road. To initiate his attack, Cornwallis moved his 1,800 men onto the grounds and fields of the Hoskins Farm. There he formed his lines of battle, deployed his own cannon, and prepared for the coming fight. A fierce 30-minute cannonade followed, with the British troops then advancing forward across the fields at the American militia waiting directly ahead of them. From this start, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse would accelerate into one of the key battles of the American Revolution. The Americans under Greene would badly bloody the British army and then retreat from the field in good order. Though he secured a tactical victory on the ground, Cornwallis would be forced to fall back to the coast at Wilmington in order to secure supplies and regroup. By fall he would be trapped at Yorktown and forced to surrender. The bloody battle that began on the Hoskins Farm set him on that road. 

Where the Great Salisbury Wagon Road Crosses over The Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.

Battleground Parks District Plan

Lots of big cities like New York City, Chicago, San Diego, and St. Louis contain parks with large green space, museums, and other attractions for people to enjoy. Greensboro now has that same type of park – the Battleground Parks District. Near the urban loop in the northwest region of Greensboro is a collection of significant public amenities contained in a 400- acre green space. These facilities: Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Country Park, the Greensboro Science Center, Forest Lawn Cemetery and the Atlantic and Yadkin (A&Y) Greenway represent a significant opportunity for the city and the region to create a cohesive park that offers rich historic, educational, natural and recreational opportunities for both residents and visitors. Together these facilities are known as the Battleground Parks District.

In 1887, the Guilford Battleground Company was formed. It was conceived by Judge Schenck as an organization dedicated to preserving and adorning the grounds of the Guilford Courthouse battlefield. Through the work of acquiring the battlefield land, the company laid the foundation for its eventual adoption as a national military park. In 1917, the battlefield of Guilford Courthouse, in the state of North Carolina, was declared to be a national military park. Guilford Courthouse, by this time had grown to one hundred and twenty-five acres marked with twenty-eight monuments and graves and was the first Revolutionary War battlefield preserved as a national park. Country Park, part of a large tract of land purchased in 1924 with cemetery bond funds, officially open to the public on Independence Day in 1934. Work was initiated by Mayor Paul Lindley with assistance from the Civil Works Administration and the Federal Relief Administration. The bathhouse and boardwalks sited along the lakes were the main attraction. In 1957, the Natural Science Center opened. It was called the Greensboro Junior Museum and provided a small nature center and environmental programs. In 1964 the Lewis Center Rec Center was built in Country. In 1971, Greensboro Jaycee Park, the largest athletic complex, developed by the City of Greensboro, was built. In 1973, the Country Park zoo was deeded to the Natural Science Center, Inc. In 1978, the J. Spencer Love Tennis Center at Jaycee Park was built. In 1988, the Tannenbaum Historic Park opened to the public and hosted the first anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Park visitors learned about everyday life in the backcountry of North Carolina before, during and after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. That year, the Hoskins House Historic District, located at Tannenbaum Historic Park, was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1992 the Colonial Heritage Center opened at Tannenbaum Park. In 2009, a twenty-million dollar bond for the Greensboro Science Center expansion and renovation was approved by voters. (Info gathered from the Battleground Parks District Master Plan. For more info on the the proposed Battleground Parks District, check out this N&R article and this Yes Weekly article.)

Lawndale/Lake Jeanette Road Area

One of the earliest residences in the Lawndale/Lake Jeannette Neighborhood was built in 1917, just south of the intersection of Hillsdale Road (now Lawndale Drive) and Wray Road (now Lake Jeanette Road). The parcel it stands on was originally part of a 75-acre tract purchased by S.P. Westmoreland in 1911 for $900. At that time, the land stood approximately 2 miles outside the city limits. (I’m thinking this is the older wooden house located on the south corner of Lawndale Dr and Lake Jeanette Rd.) Another early house, built in 1939, stood just north of that same intersection, in what became the neighborhood’s first subdivision in the modern sense (I don’t believe this house is still standing). The 1950s mark the advent of a number of subdivisions in the Lawndale/Lake Jeanette neighborhood, and a surge of home building in response to the post-World War II boom.

Along what today are Kirk Road, Howell Place, and Country Park Road, Tatum H. Sparger and his wife, Nina, owned a large tract of land which would become the Country Park Acres neighborhood. Phase 1 of Country Park Acres was subdivided in 1955. Phase 2 of Country Park Acres, which included the roads and lots surrounding Sparger Lake, was subdivided in 1956. Together the two subdivisions included 77 lots and the area of the lake. Many of the homes in Country Park Acres were built in the 1950’s, and Sparger placed deed restrictions on most of the lots developed during this time. Restrictions included prohibiting the keeping of animals, although pets, ‘small scale poultry raising, and ponies and saddle horses,’ were allowed.

So what do Horsepen Creek, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, the Francis McNairy House and a library on Lake Jeanette Rd. have in common?

Well, around the time of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Francis and Mary McNairy and his family had a two story log house (later it was covered in clapboard) near Horsepen Creek. Today the basic vicinity of the house would be somewhere near where the Bicentennial Greenway connects with Old Battleground Rd, near Horsepen Creek (the actual creek not the road.) Remember from reading above, that this was near Martinsville, a town now extinct (basically now Military Park). The couple purchased a (from Herman Husband) a tract of land on Horsepen Creek, later famous as part of the scene of the Battle of Guilford Court House during the American Revolution. North Carolina State Records show payment to one John McNairy for services rendered, but no details of his war service remain. Because of the close proximity to the battle, Nathanael Greene declared the McNairy’s house be used as a hospital after the battle. The McNairy’s had ten children between 1763 and 1786. The eldest, John, studied law in Salisbury, NC and became acquainted with Andrew Jackson. When John returned to Guilford County, Jackson came with him and lived in the McNairy home during 1787-8. And so this is how this white clapboard house that now sits downtown got its fame (it was moved to the Greensboro History Museum in 1967). RunTheBoro will pass the Francis McNairy House on one of our later downtown runs. This week, when you turn onto the Bicentennial Greenway off of Old Battleground Road, you’ll be in the general vicinity of the house’s original location.

But what about the library on Lake Jeanette Road? Well this fairly new branch library was named for Glenn McNairy, a direct descendant of a family that has lived in Guilford County for about 250 years. (Yep, you guessed it, Francis McNairy’s family.) According to a News & Record article, “The McNairy’s settled in Guilford County in the 18th century. American troops under Gen. Nathanael Greene used their home as a hospital in 1781 during the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The structure now sits outside the Greensboro Historical Museum.

In 1783, the son of family patriarch Francis McNairy became the first native-born resident to be granted a law license in Guilford County. Other McNairy family members became lawyers, doctors, teachers and school principals.

Glenn McNairy, the youngest of seven children, attended a one-room schoolhouse about a mile from the new branch library. He and older brother Walton owned and operated Tatum-Dalton Transfer and Storage, which grew from three trucks to 50. Glenn McNairy was active in the Greensboro Lions Club, Industries for the Blind, Meals-On-Wheels and the Greensboro YMCA. He died in 1998.”

Run #1

Fisher Park, Downtown, First National Bank Field, Downtown Greenway, Dunleath, East Greensboro

Apartment Life (Early 1900’s)

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 #1 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.)

Fisher Park

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, both routes will take runners through the east and west sides of Fisher Park.

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

Genesis Monument

In the east side of the park,  you’ll see the Genesis Monument. This big stone monument marks the approximate site of the center of Guilford 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 “low ground 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.

Julian Price House Hillside

Once a beautiful sprawling home, the house fell into disrepair. I discovered from Preservation Greensboro, that the original owner of the home, built in the late 1920s, was Julian Price. Originally from Virginia, Price found early employment with the railroad, which led to service as a telegraph operator and dispatcher for the Southern Railway. This position took him to Durham in 1895 and shortly thereafter to Greensboro. In Greensboro, Price accepted a position with the American Tobacco Company and in 1905 went to Greensboro Life Insurance Company. Greensboro Life joined with Jefferson Standard in 1912, and Price was elected vice-president and agency manager. He was promoted to president of the company in 1919 and served in that capacity for twenty-seven years until 1946. Price and his wife lived in the  house until their deaths and then their son and his wife continued to live in the house until  they donated it to the First Presbyterian Church in 1959. The church used the house as its Manse. Then in 1975, Sandra and Glynn Cowart bought the home from the church for $125,000.  Sandra ran her highly successful design business from the house. The property was listed as a Guilford County Landmark in 1983, but the following decade, the home fell into decay. The estate was vulnerable to being destroyed for redevelopment, but Preservation Greensboro worked with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office and Sandra to see the house gain statewide significance in order to prevent demolition. As the condition of the house deteriorated and finances grew increasing restricted, the mortgage holder auctioned the property in 2016.  The purchasers were Eric and Michael Fuko-Rizzo, who plan a complete restoration of the property. (You may have seen Eric and Michael and the Hillside home recently featured on an episode of the A&E show Hoarders). Hoarders helped clean out the house. Eric and Michael, sold much of the contents and gave the proceeds of the sale to Sandra.) They are working with Fisher Park landscape architect Chip Callaway to rejuvenate the grounds, which were taken over by invasive plants such as bamboo, ivy, poison ivy, and honeysuckle. They also coordinated their work with Preservation Greensboro and a Designer Show House Tour open to the public was held in April and May, 2018. Today in addition to being Eric and Michael’s private home, part of the house is a bed and breakfast.

First National Bank Field

Greensboro’s downtown stadium opened its gates to a crowd of 8,540 on April 3, 2005 with a Grasshoppers exhibition game against the then Florida Marlins. This state-of-the-art facility features a 30′ wide, open-air concourse, plentiful concession points of sale, the Grandstand outdoor sports bar, a kid-safe play park and numerous amenities.

The stadium’s seating capacity currently stands at 7,499 which includes 5,300 chair back seats, 16 luxury suites and 2 grass berm and picnic areas, though the stadium was constructed to meet Class AA standards with room for expansion beyond. In March of 2017, the stadium was renamed First National Bank Field.

First National Bank Field plays host to numerous additional events each year, including the ACC Baseball Tournament in 2010 and 2012. On May 26, 2012, the University of North Carolina took on North Carolina State University in a game that broke the attendance record for a college baseball game in the state of North Carolina. The crowd of 10,229 was also the largest ever for an ACC baseball game!

The Gateway Center

Long route runners will pass the Gateway Center at Gate City Blvd and S. Elm Street. While a number of the structures from textiles’ golden era remain, too many, sadly, have fallen to development or are unsalvageable. The GATEWAY located at the corner of Gate City Blvd and S. Elm St. is unique, its structural integrity and character essentially unchanged from when it was opened in 1919.

In 1897, A Tennessean named CC Hudson arrives in Greensboro to make his mark in the southern capital of textile manufacturing. In 1904, Hudson forms the Hudson Overall Company above Coe Brothers Grocery on South Elm Street.

In 1919, Hudson Overalls moves into the new Blue Bell factory at the corner of South Elm and Lee Streets.

In 1943, Blue Bell acquires Wrangler Jeans and launches an era of international growth. In 1986, Blue Bell merges with VF Corporation. The original factory becomes multi-use commercial space called The Old Greensborough Gateway Center. In 2016, Andy Zimmerman buys The Old Greensborough Gateway Center and started renovations to become The Gateway Building.

Hendrix Street Foot Bridge

The Fisher Park and Dunleath neighborhoods are separated by a railroad track. Never fear…..RunTheBoro runners will traverse the awesome Hendrix St. foot bridge to cross over from Church St. to the Dunleath neighborhood.

Dunleath Neighborhood

The Historic Dunleath neighborhood is located less than a mile northeast of downtown Greensboro Nestled between Church Street, Bessemer Ave. and Summit Avenue. The area holds two levels of historic district designation, both as a National Register Historic District designated in 1993 and a Locally Zoned Historic District designated in 1984. Historically, the area was home to many of Greensboro’s middle and upper class residents and this can be seen through the variety of residential architecture in the area. The majority of the neighborhood was developed in the late 19th and early 20th century and is named for the public middle school located along Cypress Street within the neighborhood. The neighborhood is also home to the World War Memorial Stadium, one of the nation’s oldest surviving minor league stadiums, and the Greensboro Farmer’s Market.

The neighborhood was originally named Aycock. The neighborhood board agreed to change the name to Dunleath. Neighborhood Board president David Horth says they put a poll out to neighborhood residents and others in the city asking them what name they wanted to see on the neighborhood and why.  He said Dunleath had the most support.  Dunleath refers to the estate of Robert Dick, considered to be the first person to settle in the neighborhood.

The neighborhood was originally named after Charles B. Aycock, North Carolina’s Governor from 1901-1905.  He was known as the state’s Education Governor, but was also an advocate for white supremacy and segregation. Guilford County Schools recently decided to change the rename of Aycock Middle School after Melvin Swann.  Swann was the district’s first deputy superintendent.  Last year, UNCG removed the name Aycock from its Auditorium and Aycock St was renamed for civil rights trailblazer Josephine Boyd.


Taking place on Saturday, June 10 (12-5pm) the Dunleath Porchfest is a unique event in which the community is invited to experience the hospitality of the Dunleath Neighborhood while enjoying the richness of performing artists in our community. Neighbors offer their porches as performance venues, and area performers offer to share their talents. Performances are held the neighborhood, and guests can stroll from house to house enjoying community goodwill in a festival-like atmosphere. This family-friendly event culminates in a single performance at Sternberger Park to conclude the event. Admission is free and all are welcome. There will be food vendors, free activities for kids, event t-shirts, and to generate even more community goodwill, we collect canned goods for a local food pantry. For more info click here.

Tar Heel Manor

Shortly after RunTheBoro run #1 runners and walkers turn onto Summit Ave, they’ll notice on their right, the beautiful Tar Heel Manor. This beautiful house has an interesting history.

As Nellie and John C. Clapp’s family grew prosperous, the couple purchased a prominent lot on stylish Summit Avenue in which to erect their home around 1904. The original form of the house included a simple pyramidal roofline embellished with four dormer windows on each elevation. Within a few years, the house was greatly altered in at least two ways. First, a refashioned façade incorporated a gambrel roofline topped by an elliptical window. Secondly, an earlier house possibly dating to the mid 1800s was relocated and attached to the rear of the house, adding a substantial amount of square feet. The original kitchen was converted into a study, and the kitchen was reinstated to the added wing. This might have been done to accommodate the extended Clapp family that included their son Ernest, the Clerk of the Guilford County Supreme Court, his wife Kate and their son Ernest, Jr.

The house remained unchanged through the Great Depression, when it was purchased by Charles D. Kellenberger for his daughter Ruth Kellenberger Shea and her two children in 1938. Ruth’s husband Frank Shea died of acute appendicitis in 1926. The large house accommodated Ruth Shea and her sons, and also allowed her to rent rooms to travelers when she established the house as an inn named “Tar Heel Manor”.

The house was well suited for use as an inn, being situated on the main highway, known as the Seminole Trail that linked Virginia and points north to Florida. Shea converted the house into 16 guest rooms by subdividing the original large rooms, each with its own radiator, sink, closet, and a suite of simple furnishings. Ruth was an accomplished woman in her own right, as a prolific writer on travel and tourism, as well as living abroad and making moves that documented trips to exotic places such as the Amazon River in Brazil. She passed away around 1997 and the old house was sold from her estate to current owner Mindy Zachary in 1999. Zachary immediately commenced a major restoration of the house that lasted through February 2011 that returned subdivided rooms to their original size, and created dramatic new spaces in portions of the rear wing that experienced heavy deterioration and neglect. Mechanical systems have been replaced, bathrooms reconstructed, and windows retained and repaired to make them energy efficient. (Source: Preservation Greensboro)

Tar Heel Manor

East Greensboro

Did you know the very first McDonalds in NC was built in East Greensboro? Yep! One of Greensboro Many Claims to fame. On September 30, 1959, the first McDonald’s Restaurant in North Carolina opened at 1101 Summit Avenue in East Greensboro. RunTheBoro Run #1 runners and walkers will pass this location on their run. 60 years later, there is still a McDonalds at that location (albeit a more modern Version.)

Did you know that Greensboro was home to a World War II Military Base? Sure was! On March 1, 1943, the U. S. Army Air Force opened a training base near the intersection of Summit and East Bessemer avenues in Greensboro. At 652 acres in size, it was the largest base in America located within the boundaries of a city. Placing the soldiers within walking distance to Greensboro businesses, Basic Training Camp Number 10 boosted the economy and the morale of trainees. The base operated in this capacity for fifteen months, during which time about 87,000 men and women prepared for the Air Force.

By May 1944, the Air Force had reached its projected capacity and the base became part of the Army Air Force Personnel Distribution Command. The Greensboro facility became the primary eastern Overseas Replacement Depot (O.R.D.), where soldiers were prepared and processed for overseas duty. In February 1945, the site’s responsibilities were altered again. At that time it took on added duties as Redistribution Station Number 5. In that role, it placed about 31,000 troops in the Far East as fighting shifted. Just after V-J Day, in September 1945, the station began processing personnel for separation from duty. Thus, during its period of service, the Greensboro depot provided services ranging over the full cycle of military duties. Over 330,000 troops were processed in or out of service or redistributed to another location through the center.

As many as 40,000 soldiers were stationed at the Greensboro facility at any given time. The base was comprised of 964 buildings, including five hundred barracks, fourteen mess halls, fifty-five recreation rooms, four movie theaters, ten PXs, five chapels, three libraries, and an equal number of gymnasia, and one large base hospital. Headquartered at the hospital were a newspaper and a radio station, both geared toward entertaining the troops in the Convalescent Training Program. The Greensboro base was closed September 15, 1946, and declared surplus eight days later.

There is a historical marker on Wendover that marks the approximate center of the base.

(Raleigh) News and Observer, January 24, 1994;
Greensboro News & Record, April 14, 2003; 
“Greensboro ORD: Its Past and Present,” contemporary report from the base on file in Research Branch, North Carolina Office of Archives and History

Did you know that Greensboro’s first drive and park shopping center comprised of multiple stores was built on a section of where the WW II military base stood? Yep! While on Summit, just before runners reach Bessemer Ave., they’ll see  a shopping center on their right. In 1950, Summit Shopping Center opened in the area that had been a World War two army base. This was Greensboro’s first (and NC’s second) center-based shopping area with a new concept of parking your car and walking to numerous stores in one complex. Friendly Center did not open until 1957.

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