Reminder! Saturday, Music & Arts Festival, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Flyer for PCOC's July Jubilee, 7/26/14, 11 am-3 pm

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Wednesday evening: Architectural walking tour downtown

Historic Woolworth's buildingFrom our friends at Preservation Greensboro, a free event Wednesday evening at 7, beginning at the Green Bean, 341 South Elm Street:

Have you ever wondered why our Elm Street is considered by some to be the best-preserved “big city” main street in North Carolina? Are you curious how to determine a Richardsonian Romanesque from Neoclassical Revival?

Learn about these architectural features and more on an architectural tour of Elm Street and surrounding blocks. Led by Preservation Greensboro’s executive director, Benjamin Briggs, you will gain insights on what exactly makes our city so…cool! Tours will take a little over an hour depending on questions. Wear comfortable shoes!

  • Also this week: The ribbon-cutting at the new location of Architectural Salvage of Greensboro, 1028 Huffman Street, Saturday July 19, beginning at 9 a.m.

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We can all be happy The New York Times and Vanity Fair are writing about Raleigh’s Oakwood and not College Hill

Modern house under construction

Architect Louis Cherry’s unfinished home in Raleigh’s Oakwood historic district. The controversy over it has been covered by The New York Times and Vanity Fair. (photo from

Is this house too modern to exist? In a historic district, at least?

If it were being built across the street from you, would you rally around the credo expressed in a New York Times headline: “Don’t Like Your Neighbors’ House? Sue Them.”

The house is in Raleigh’s Oakwood historic district. After being approved by the city’s historic commission, a neighbor has gone to extraordinary lengths to block it. And, incredibly, she has gotten construction halted with the house 85 percent complete.

The controversy has drawn in The Times, last Sunday (click here), and Vanity Fair, a few months ago (click here).  It seems that only bad news attracts national news media attention. Let’s hope we never become so newsworthy.

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Time to Brag about College Hill!

Here’s our opportunity to brag about College Hill! The News and Record is asking for people to tell what they love about their neighborhood.  Please take a few minutes to contribute your thoughts.

They are looking for information to use as part of an upcoming story series about neighborhoods in Greensboro. They want to hear 1) what neighborhood you live in, 2) how long you’ve lived there and 3) what you like about it by 3 p.m. Friday, July 11th. You can email responses to with the subject line “My neighborhood.” The News and Record will feature the responses in the newspaper this weekend if they get enough.

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NC Preservation Consortium Offers Course: Preserving Historic Homes

Preserving the Historic House: Best Practices for Building Maintenance

Sponsored by the North Carolina Preservation Consortium (NCPC)
Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC
September 27, 2014, 9 AM -4 PM 

A registration form is available on the NCPC web site

Identifying and prioritizing building maintenance needs is a critical component for historic house preservation.  Protecting the building and the artifacts within can be accomplished with strategic planning.  Topics covered in this workshop include anintroduction to historic house materials as well as best practices for documentation, assessment, maintenance, and disaster planning.  Guidelines for environmental control, security, and fire suppression systems will also be addressed.  This workshop combines a morning lecture and discussion session with an afternoon field experience at a historic site for hands-on building analysis.   

Prior to starting Fearnbach History Services, Inc., a firm offering historic resource research, documentation, analysis, and management services, president and owner Heather Fearnbach served as an architectural historian for Edwards-Pitman Environmental, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and the division of Historic Sites and Properties of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.  She has worked throughout North Carolina, successfully completing historic architectural surveys and reports for transportation projects; municipal and county architectural surveys; and numerous nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, North Carolina Study List applications, local historic designation reports, and rehabilitation tax credit applications.  Ms. Fearnbach also serves as a lecturer in the Art and Design Department and the coordinator of the Historic Preservation Certificate program at Salem College.

Who Should Attend
This workshop is designed for staff and volunteers responsible for preserving historic houses and other heritage architecture; faculty and students in historic preservation, public history, museum studies, and allied fields; and historic property owners.  No prior training or experience is required.

Please contact the instructor via email at if you would like to request that a particular historic building maintenance topic or challenge related to a specific site be addressed.

Salem College will host the morning session, meeting in the Single Sisters’ House Saal (second floor, south end) at 627 South Church Street in Winston-Salem.  The campus is located in a historic Moravian town.  Parking is available in designated locations in town and in Salem College’s Fine Arts Center parking lot, which is accessed from Salem Avenue.  See campus map at:  The afternoon session will be held at a historic house in Forsyth County for a hands-on building analysis.

The registration fee for this workshop is $50 for employees of NCPC member institutions and individual NCPC members, and $75 for non-members.  The $75 fee includes a year-long individual membership.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.  A registration form is available on the NCPC web site in the Events section.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
This program may be cancelled due to low registration or other causes beyond our control, such as severe weather.  In such an event, registrants will be notified and fees refunded.  Otherwise, registration fees are nonrefundable.  Substitution of staff from your institution is permitted.

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Spartan Open Pantry Seeks Food Donations

“Starving college students” is a cliché not so light-hearted when it’s real. At UNCG, 1,400 students every year are literally going hungry. Some are struggling to get by without family support; some are homeless. The good news: Help is available, thanks to the Spartan Open Pantry, which has served more than 350 individuals since its founding nearly two years ago.

The Wesley-Luther Campus Ministry oversees the SOP for those who need a little help at the end of the month and for those who rely on the pantry for complete support. Individuals and groups keep the pantry operating with gifts of their time, food and cash donations. Located in the fellowship hall of College Place United Methodist Church at 509 Tate St., the pantry distributes food every Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. (summer hours) or by appointment.

Staff at UNCG, along with community members, pitch in to help the SOP with weekly food drives. The Director, Emily Saine and volunteers pick up the food, sort it and stock the pantry. Strong support comes from UNCG’s Division of Student Affairs, College Place UMC, St. Mary’s House, UNCG’s Student Affairs Service Committee and UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service Learning.

Want to help? Along with nonperishable foods such as pasta sauce, canned potatoes, rice, cereal and cooking oil, the SOP now accepts fresh fruits, vegetables and bread. Items may be dropped off Monday or Tuesday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Associated Campus Ministries (500 Stirling St.) and during distribution hours Tuesday nights at College Place UMC, along with other locations. For a full list of these collection points – or if your group or church would like to host a special collection – please email Andrew Mails,

Wesley-Luther also provides gift cards to Food Lion and emergency meals to students between pantry distributions. Gifts to this fund may be made through The Wesley Foundation @ UNCG by including “Students in Need Fund” in the memo line of a donation check. Checks can be mailed to Wesley-Luther, ACM Center at UNCG, 500 Stirling St., Greensboro, NC 27402 or to Andrew Mails, ACM Center #206 through campus mail. To give online, please visit

Beyond monetary donations, the pantry needs volunteers to help with distribution, laundry, food collection and spearheading new food drives. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Emily Saine at

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Seeking recommendations on trades persons for new list

Graphic showing crossed hammersThe neighborhood association for years has kicked around the idea of putting together a list of recommended trades persons so we all would have a reliable reference for our inevitable and often frustrating searches for competent carpenters, plumbers, etc. Now, the neighborhood associations of all three historic districts are putting together a joint list. We need your recommendations.

Note that this list is for positive recommendations only. It’s not a vehicle to rip individuals or companies that you’ve had problems with (as gratifying as that would be).

Email your recommendations to David Arneke. The categories — and do feel free to use the “other” category, as this list is not necessarily comprehensive:

  • Bath Tub Re-glazing
  • Brick Re-pointing
  • Cabinetry/Woodworking
  • Carpentry
  • Chimney Cleaning
  • Computer Repair/Service
  • Custom Picture Framing
  • Drywall/Sheetrock
  • Electrician
  • Energy Audits
  • Exterminator
  • Fences
  • Foundation Work
  • Interior Framing
  • General Contractor/Builder
  • Gutter Work
  • Handyman
  • Home Inspector
  • HVAC (Heating , Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)
  • Landscaper/Lawn Cutting
  • Painters
  • Pet Sitters
  • Photographer
  • Plumber
  • Tile installation
  • Window Repair
  • Other

Our friends at Preservation Greensboro have offered to maintain the list once we put it together (something else we can thank them for by supporting their fine work).

Thanks for your help with this. Our combined experience will be a tremendous resource.

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Highlights of College Hill’s Spring 2014 home-sale season … plus the real (corrected!) price paid for 912 Spring Garden St.

107 s mendenhall st.

107 South Mendenhall is getting a new life with new owners and an extensive renovation.

Highlights of the spring real estate season in College Hill:

912 Spring Garden Street
A correction: The sale price of 912 Spring Garden Street actually was $185,000, not $135,000, as we previously discussed on the blog. The sales price was misreported to the Guilford County Tax Department by the law firm that handled the closing. Which answers the very puzzling question of why the house sold so quickly (the asking price was $190,000). Now the question is how does the Tax Department overlook a $50,000 mistake like that? I’ve asked; getting a straight answer takes more time than I’ve been able to put into it lately, but I think I’ll keep trying.

Single-family/owner-occupied home sales
Three houses were sold, and two went for prices that made their neighbors very happy. 817 Rankin Place, an infill house built in 2005, sold for a very impressive $354,000 ($154/sqft) after being on the market just two months. The asking price was $375,000. The 2005 price was $250,000, so the sale represents a 42 percent increase in value in nine years.

924 Carr Street was on the market for almost a year but still sold for $230,000 ($136/sqft). The original asking price in May 2013 was laughably high — $315,000 for a 1,700-square foot house. The house had last sold for $180,000 in 2004. The property appreciated 29 percent in 10 years.

The third sale was 107 South Mendenhall, bought out of foreclosure after Allman Beamon’s death. The price is unavailable; it had been on the market for $144,000. The new owners are doing extensive interior renovations before moving in. The house is a gem, built in 1922 and one of the few brick houses built during the original build-out of College Hill.

Not all sellers were so fortunate. 213 South Mendenhall was taken off the market on July 1 after being listed with an agent for seven months (it had been for sale by owner for many months before that). Its last listed price was $277,900.

924 Carr Street
Sold: $230,000, April 2014
3 beds
2 baths
1,694 sqft
Price/sqft: $136

817 Rankin Place
Sold: $354,000, April 2014
3 beds
4 baths
2,295 sqft
Price/sqft: $154

107 South Mendenhall Street
Sold: April 30, price unknown
6 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
2,538 sqft

Condos and townhouses

626 Walker Avenue, Unit A
Sold: $133,500, May 2014
3 beds
2 baths
1,152 sqft
Price/sqft: $116

100 Wafco Lane, Unit H
Sold: $103,500, May 2014
2 beds
2 baths
1,000 sqft
Price/sqft: $104

626 Walker Avenue, Unit B
Sold: $130,000, February 2014
2 beds
2 baths
1,152 sqft
Price/sqft: $113

Rental properties

130 South Tate Street
Sold: $220,000, May 2014
3 bedrooms
2.0 bathrooms
2,292 square feet
Price/sqft: $96

912 Spring Garden Street
Sold: $185,000, May 2014
5 beds
3 baths
2,386 sqft
Price/sqft: $77

924 Walker Avenue
Sold: $137,000, May 2014
4 beds
2 baths
1,760 sqft
Price/sqft: $78

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University General Store closed for renovation

Exterior shot of University General Store

The small orange “CLOSED” sign on the door of the University General Store is temporary. Renovations are under way, though even when the door is open, it’s hard to see what’s being done. The plywood floor is gone; the freezers and shelves are still in the same places. Newspapers cover the windows and doors, so don’t bother to try to peek in. There’s no indication how long the work will take or when the store will reopen.

Posted in Businesses, Mendenhall Street, Neighborhood Changes | Comments Off

Pre-holiday note: Garbage collection is on Thursday this week

Friday is a city holiday, so garbage collection in College Hill is on Thursday this week. Just garbage this time. It’s not a recycling week. Independence Day is the last Friday holiday of the year, so this is the last opportunity in 2014 for you to wheel your garbage out to the curb a day earlier than usual and then — let’s admit it — congratulate yourself on being smarter, more aware and more in command of your life than most neighborhood residents.

2014 recycling schedule

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