My Rosedale home is a mid-century house designed by Milton Small, Jr. FAIA (1916-1992) and it is a contributing structure in the West Raleigh Historic District. The interior is simple, with lots of built-in storage and wide expanses of glass. I appreciate the open design and realize the positive ways it influences me. Looking out the windows into the woods in the back and the flowers in the front can bring peace at the end of a hectic day! The front yard garden and house are mostly hidden from the street by a tall evergreen hedge which gives me privacy and an added sense of being close to nature.
The house, built in 1953 for the Donald and Marion Anderson Family, appears modest from the front but from the back, is so stately as it stands up to the woods. There is a little path leading down to the creek where wild deciduous azaleas and pitcher plants grow nearby. When I first moved here, about 30 years ago, I loved to garden. Now, I reap the benefits of an old garden gone wild, like me, but there’s always something blooming to entertain no matter what time of year.
I have done some interior renovation to my home, but feel it’s my responsibility to maintain this historic house close to the original design and to protect it. I hope when I leave, the next residents feel the same way about it. You can see pictures of the house when brand new and read more about Milton Small at “http://www.ncmodernist.org/small.htm” (Scroll down midway.)
I have enjoyed living in University Park and working many years at NC State University. What a luxury to be able to walk to work through our neighborhood! Now I am retired and still walk a wide loop through the neighborhood for exercise, and enjoy the diversity of sites along the way: Cameron Village, the post office, the Players Retreat, the new development, the University edge, Hillsborough St. hangouts and many charming residences. Planners and designers try to emulate what we already have in our neighborhood and I am so happy to live in University Park!
(Interested in helping UPHA with the Home of the Month? We’d love to hear from you if you want to join the team – contact firstname.lastname@example.org -)
UPHA Home of the Month – 606 Chamberlain Street
Home of Dustin Smith and Burton Buffaloe
Dustin and Burton fell in love with University Park years ago, while visiting the Raleigh Rose Gardens. The eclectic and diverse neighborhood, with its many parks and urban, walkable lifestyle, suited them perfectly. In 2013, after discovering there was a lot available on Chamberlain St., they immediately jumped on it. Their builder, Concept 8, allowed Dustin and Burton creative freedom with the design.
Their home has a contemporary farmhouse look with a blend of old and new. Outwardly dark, it has a mix of styles, bright contemporary art woven with “old soul.” Throughout the house you will see “found objects” like reclaimed beams, old dressers transformed into vanities, and even a pair of 300-year-old church gates.
Dustin and Burton are currently building a courtyard between the main home and their detached garage. Dustin’s brother, Chad, with “Gardenwanted Nc,” is designing and managing the home’s landscaping and courtyard. The outdoor fireplace, also underway, is being crafted by Rick DeMartino Masonry. This outdoor space will be the heart of the home, with a dining area nestled under a large wooden pergola, now being crafted by Eric Padden.
A duplex, home of Henry Steiginga (owner) and Beth Mayberry (renter)
Beth Mayberry writes:
Wanting to escape the heat of Florida’s summers, and wishing to be closer to his grown children, Henry Steiginga purchased the 1946-era duplex at 105-107 Henderson St. in 2014. The duplex was in need of some tender loving care, to say the least. However, it had a lot of character and potential! Henry decided to take a chance on this drab old house (see “before” picture) and make it a home. He started work almost immediately, tackling plumbing and electrical issues. Essentials resolved, he replaced the HVAC units for both sides, installed new windows and roof, put up new fencing, and removed overgrown tree limbs.
Henry has done extensive landscaping in the front yard, planting beautiful crepe myrtles, figs, junipers, and others. He installed a new pebbled driveway, porch railings, and fresh new shutters painted an eye-pleasing apple green.
The changes have been noticed by neighbors in the area. Many who walk by comment to me on how good everything looks! Henry’s at his winter place in Florida, but looks forward to next summer’s projects here at his duplex home in University Park.
407 Dixie Trail
Home of Brian and Shauna Alexander
We began our time in University Park, as young college students, renting a house on Mayview Road. We grew to love this area and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in Raleigh. We bought our first home in 2004 and lived there for almost 10 years. After our first child was born, we tackled a huge kitchen renovation in that home, but as our family grew, it was time to look for another house. We knew we wanted to stay in University Park and we had always loved the inviting front porch at 407 Dixie Trail. As we entered the house, we knew this would be the perfect spot to raise our two boys. What we later discovered, is not only is this a great house, but we have wonderful neighbors. At any given moment, there are boys (and a few girls) running in and out of the house and playing back and forth between yards. We love the community and friendships we have made in University Park and look forward to many years to come.
407 Dixie Trail was built in 1922. There have been approximately 3 families that lived in this house since the 1920’s. When we closed on the home, we were given several photographs from a descendent who had previously occupied the house. Looking at the long-ago pictures and the recent ones, you can compare the features of the living room and the front door then and now.
(The boy by the front door in the old photo is identified as Percy L. “Skip” Bostick, III. In the photo of the elegant couple in front of the fireplace, the gent in black tie is identified as “Warren Barfield, soloist.” No identification, alas, for the gowned young woman.)
1011 Parker Street
Home of Vincent and Sarah Chung
Built in 2014, 1011 Parker Street is a new addition to the University Park neighborhood. Vincent’s a native North Carolinian and Sarah’s originally from Rochester, New York. We met as longtime residents of Chicago, Illinois.
Vincent lived in the University Park neighborhood while attending NC State; after returning for a visit, Sarah fell in love with its tree-lined streets, walking proximity to Cameron Village, and beautiful architecture.
We purchased the property from Vivian Irving: civil rights activist, Raleigh Hall of Famer, and owner of the historic Irving-Swain Press. With a deteriorating foundation, plans to build upon the existing home proved fruitless. For our new construction, we wanted a craftsman bungalow to match the block and preserve the aesthetic integrity of 1011 Parker Street’s previous incarnation.
For our home, Architect Jody Brown craftily adapted a modern bungalow design he created for a Durham infill project. Rusty Caudill of Caudill Design Group meticulously executed the plan, and creatively realized many of the finishing touches. Caudill showcased the house in the 2014 Wake County Parade of Homes, so perhaps you’ve already seen it up close.
We’re excited to be part of the community and to meet our new neighbors!
405 Dixie Trail was built in 1999. The lot that it sits on was originally the side yard of its neighboring house, 401 Dixie Trail. The owners of 401 divided the lot, built 405, and moved into this new home. The two houses still share a brick-and-iron fence that dates to 1930.
We purchased the house in May of 2014. Although new to Dixie Trail, we had lived in the neighborhood for seven years on Mayview Rd., where we renovated our first house. When our family grew, and it was time to look for another house, we knew we wanted to stay in University Park. Since 405 Dixie Trail is not as old as many of the homes in University Park, we have not had to tackle any major renovations the way we did in our previous house. We are slowly changing a few things like hardware, and paint colors, to make it our own. One of the first changes was painting the front door a bright acqua!
The previous owners at one time had a beautiful yard, with lots of flowers and roses. When we purchased the house it had been empty for some time, and the lack of care had taken its toll on the landscaping. This past year we have started replanting shrubs and seeding grass in the back yard. It is certainly a work in progress.
One of the things we like most about our home is the great neighbors we have. We love the eclectic nature of the neighborhood, and its prime location to shopping and restaurants, as well as the neighborhood schools. We can usually step outside and find kids playing, neighbors chatting on front porches, and passers-by stopping to say hello.
I don’t know much about the history of this house other than it was built in 1940 by J. Y. Phelps and I am the ninth owner since that time. The longest ownership was by Carlyne Clayton and wife from 1946 to 1985. The first picture shows the house in 1995 when it was owned by Pamela Tyler. I purchased this house from Jon and Mara Buxbaum in July 2009 as they were building another home in University Park (where they still reside).
I’m an NC native and was moving back to the Raleigh area having lived in Boston, Dallas and New York since graduating from Meredith College many years ago. Simply put, it was time to come home. There was no doubt University Park was my ultimate destination – my brother and sister-in-law are also UP residents, I love the diversity of this neighborhood, and I wanted to be able to walk to shopping and restaurants. I was visiting from New York one weekend and decided on a whim to walk through the house, and I immediately knew this was where I wanted to live. The company I worked for at that time was reluctant to let me work remotely, but persistence and determination won out and I moved without having their final blessing! Like I said, I knew this was the house and neighborhood for me!
The house itself was in amazing condition, definitely move-in ready without requiring any repairs. Jon and Mara had taken excellent care of the house and had already undertaken a major renovation by adding a second story for the master suite.
Because of this, I could focus attention on the outside, so over the first few years I tackled the front and back yards.
Ken Brooks (another UP resident) from Brookscapes created the overall design and installed a pavestone patio, retaining walls, drainage, new front steps and railings, as well as completely new landscaping. I am thrilled with my backyard oasis!
Last year I finally tackled an indoor project, renovating the kitchen and den, which included new flooring, appliances, cabinets, lighting and countertops. We also as turned what was the breakfast room into a butler’s pantry for much needed additional storage.
This house is a wonderful combination of old character and modern touches that represent the charm of University Park. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
306 Brooks Avenue,
home of Donna Carver and Dave Close
Our Home – “The Moore House”
Our home, situated at 306 Brooks Avenue, was built in 1928 by George and Nellie Moore. Mr. Moore was a steel worker at Raleigh Iron Works Co. located at the corner of Hargett and West Streets. Raleigh Iron Works produced a number of products, one being boilers. Our home has a working boiler, albeit not the original one, that we use to generate steam for the radiators. For us the boiler is an integral part of our lives (winter only) and is a source of warmth and wonder. In 1965, Mrs. Moore was joined in residence by the Russell Herman family and they shared the house at 306 until 1982. Neighborhood residents recall that the Hermans’ had five children and they all enjoyed running through the house playing tag and hide and seek.
Robert and Fair Wright took ownership of the house in 1982. They renovated the house; improving plaster, updating electrical, and adding central air conditioning. Robert designed and built the two car garage in 1991, including a studio above where he conducted his architectural business. The Wrights raised a daughter at 306, and she showed us the house when we first looked at it in 1996. She did not want her mother to sell the property, but if it had to be sold she wanted a family to live in her childhood home. We fell in love with the house and moved in on Halloween 1996, bringing two children with us. Soon after, we had our third child and the house once again became a wonderful place for watching and hearing children run and play.
Our first order of business upon moving in was to update the plumbing, one of those costly projects that provide no visible evidence of improvement. With dogs and children, we decided to fence the front yard, and had our “black cemetery fence” installed. The fence was a visible testament to our improvement of the property, but it did not keep dogs or toddlers in the yard. This predicament forced us to invest in a lot of chicken wire which we strung along the wrought iron fence, rendering it less than stately.
We replaced the side porch in 2014 and restored it to the style of the original home. We have done very few other projects but plan to redesign and transform the kitchen this summer.
This home is about the neighborhood. Our children grew up here, going to FAO, Martin and Broughton. We often referred to the house as “Camp Brooks,” as the boys often had friends running about. We have made lasting friendships here, we have seen neighbors come and go and for the most part they enhanced our lives. Older people such as Margaret Massey, Isabella Cannon and Gina Zweigart walked by the front fence often, and became a part of our children’s lives. When we moved to 306 our block was largely inhabited by widows, women who were a part of the history of University Park. Many of their homes are rentals now, but there is evidence of young families moving into the area, so that we can continue to hear the laughter of children.
Isabelle Bowen Henderson House and Gardens
at 213 Oberlin Road
Home of Russ Stephenson and Ellen Longino
Isabelle Bowen Henderson was my great-aunt. When she passed away in 1969, she left the property to my grandmother, Phyllis Riley, who gave it to me when she moved to Georgia to live with my mother. Between the mid-1970s and now, Ellen and I have lived in each of the three residences on the grounds. Over the years, we’ve reconstructed two of the three outbuildings and fully renovated the other outbuilding and the three dwellings, including an addition to the main house.
The secluded 1.2 acre enclave of dwellings, outbuildings and gardens at 213 Oberlin Road are the physical record of Isabelle’s life and work (May 23, 1899 – May 19, 1969). She was the eldest of six daughters of North Carolina State College Treasurer A. F. Bowen, whose home stood at the end of Ferndell Lane. After studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Isabelle worked in Massachusetts where she (and the rest of the nation) became enthralled by Rockefeller’s reconstruction of Colonial Williamsburg.
Isabelle returned to Raleigh in 1937 and set about designing her own Williamsburg enclave at 213 Oberlin Road, adjacent to the Bowen homestead. Drawing on her mother’s love of gardening and her own Arts & Crafts art education, Isabelle synthesized Colonial architectural forms with English garden designs and American folk craft traditions. The National Register of Historic Places describes her work as “a composition of a resited turn-of-the-century house and auxiliary buildings constructed primarily in the 1930’s, integrated into a landscape of display and working gardens, and disposed around a large shaded brick terrace from which bricked and bordered walks lead outward to the gardens. The arrangement of buildings, fences, walks, and plant materials creates a calculated informality while maintaining a palpable hierarchy of evocative spaces, views, and processions”.
In 1938 her front garden was first opened to the public and the same year, a full page article in the News & Observer was devoted to her growing prominence as a portrait painter. Ben Forest Williams, the first curator of the N. C. Museum of Art has estimated that she produced over one thousand portraits throughout the Eastern United States. Her works are included in the permanent collection of the N. C. Museum of Art and in the State Supreme Court Building in Raleigh.
In 1942 Isabelle’s front room was featured in House and Garden Magazine. The fireplace wall features her reproduction of a 1770 map of the Carolina Colonies. The flanking bookcases include the Bowen and Henderson libraries, and craft pottery from her Jugtown collection. Isabelle supported the revitalization of Jugtown Pottery and led efforts to assemble the first Jugtown Pottery collection presented to the State of North Carolina.
In 1951, Isabelle Henderson won the National Horticultural Award, the highest award given by the National Council of State Garden Clubs, for her “permanent and creative contribution to horticulture”. Henderson hybridized and maintained 600 varieties of Iris and 527 varieties of Hemerocallis, and wrote articles for many horticultural publications, including The Garden Journal of the New York Botanical Garden . She traded letters and plants with National Book Award winner Lewis Mumford and internationally renowned Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Her home and gardens were visited by Carl Sandburg and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Isabelle left the property to her sister, Phyllis Riley at a time when cities across the nation were constructing expressways through older neighborhoods to accommodate the rising tide of suburban commuters. In 1972 the City of Raleigh proposed the North-South Expressway through the middle of Oakwood. Citizens defeated the project in 1974. At about the same time, the Pullen heirs sued the City to stop a similar north-south, five-lane arterial, proposed to widen Oberlin Road from Glenwood Avenue to Western Boulevard through Pullen Park. Just north of Pullen Park, the City unsuccessfully condemned the Henderson House and Gardens twice over the next five years in hopes of resurrecting the west side arterial. Fast forward 40 years and the historic neighborhoods of Oakwood, Cameron Park and University Park are thriving. Oberlin Road is not a suburban 5-lane arterial dominated by gas stations, parking lots and fast food drive-throughs. Instead, the human-scaled network of tree-lined streets around Cameron Village define an authentic, walkable urbanism that makes it one of the most desirable places to live in Raleigh.
In conjunction with being named April’s Home of the Month by the University Park Homeowners Association, Ellen and I are excited to hold an Open House of my great-aunt Isabelle Bowen Henderson’s home and gardens. Please join us on Sunday, April 19th from 1pm until 5pm to explore and enjoy a unique and historic Raleigh landmark in University Park.
Note: parking on-site is reserved for guests with limited mobility. Other guests are encouraged to walk or bike to the property, or to park across Oberlin Road on Park Drive.
For many years 2818 Fowler Ave saw tenants come and go. Used primarily as a college rental due to the walkability to NCSU, this once proud cottage became increasing “worn”. Today if you drive by 2818 Fowler you would not recognize it as being the same structure.
A wonderful investor who believed in the “good bones” of the house took on the project. During the course of this project he encountered more than one surprise! Undeterred, the finished product speaks for itself. It is now occupied by a lovely young couple, Elizabeth and Chad Temples (and family), who really did not even know University Park was “so cool” in their words.
They look forward to walking their children to school at Fred Olds, becoming involved in the community, and making this fabulous “new” old cottage their forever home. If you see them out on their deck stop by and introduce yourself! They are super people!
Below are a few pictures of the before and after. Be prepared for a shock. It is amazing what a positive attitude, a checkbook and a few hammers can do!
Front Facade Before
Front Facade After
Family Room Before
Family Room After
Master Bath Before
Master Bath After
An amazing transformation huh? Hopefully these photos will inspire others to make University Park the finest collection of mid-century cottages ITB…without tearing them down.