RunTheBoro Run #8 Neighborhood History

(Hamilton Lakes, Madison Woods, Guilford College)

Hamilton Lakes

This week, RunTheBoro Run #8 will take runners through the Hamilton Lakes neighborhood. Did you know….that Hamilton Lakes once was a separate town from Greensboro? Yep! Hamilton Lakes was created by Alfred Moore Scales and his business partner Alexander Worth McAlister. Scales was an attorney and also the nephew of a Governor with the same name. He and McAlister began purchasing land north and west of Greensboro as early at 1900. Most of the land purchased was farms owned by prominent Quaker families-the Caldwells, Coffins, and Ballingers. Scales’ goal was to create a resort-like community for the growing middle and upper class in Greensboro. His efforts culminated in the creation of the Town of Hamilton Lakes which was founded in 1920 and incorporated in 1925. At the time is consisted of 1600 acres, water and sewer mains, recreational areas, and 10 miles of roads. A good portion of these roads were paved a tan-color of asphalt making Hamilton Lakes standout. Prospective homeowners were enticed with ad pitches like the following….“Out from the crowded streets of the town, far from the congestion and traffic, a beautiful village is designed to soothe the senses. Parks and lakes replace crowded corners – the songs of birds, the noise of motors and trolleys – and flowers and shrubs bloom on every side. Thousands of rose bushes grace the roadsides, and dogwood, redbud, and laurel have been planted in the work of beautification.”

In 1930, Scales opened the Hamilton Lakes Golf Course. The Great Stock Market Crash occurred in October 1929, but overbuilding in Greensboro in the years prior caused the financial panic that threw highly leveraged investors such as Scales into foreclosure with their lenders. Scales had received financing from the Sternberger brothers, Emanuel and Herman, investment partners with the Cone family and the Cone Mills Corporation. Upon foreclosure, the 4,683 acre tract of land assembled by Scales became the property of Emanuel’s daughter Blanche Sternberger Benjamin and her husband Edward Benjamin.

Benjamin was instrumental in developing residential areas closer to Greensboro by extending Market St. westward. The Sternberger name might seem familiar. Blanche Sternberger Benjamin donated a nine acre tract of land for the Sternberger Elementary School, which honors her mother, Bertha S. Sternberger.

In 1957, the Town of Hamilton Lakes was annexed into the City of Greensboro. The town’s small police force and other services were disbanded, but the community maintained its own parks and walking trails through neighborhood association dues and private contributions.

For more great information on Hamilton Lakes be sure to check out Preservation Greensboro’s website.

The earliest houses in the Town of Hamilton Lakes were erected in the neighborhood in 1926 and 1927, many designed by distinguished architects.

One of the first homes built was Hamilton Lakes creator A.W. Scales’ home. RunTheBoro Run #8 runners will run by this grand neoclassical home located at 1207 Lakewood Drive. The house was designed by architect Christopher Gadsen Sayre, at that time a resident of the city, and an accomplished architect who was among the first in the state to be licensed. The brick house overlooks Lake Hamilton and features two remarkable facades: one focused landside and the other looking lakeside.

The Scales family lost their impressive home to creditors during the Great Depression. They ended up moving in with Scales’ brother across the lake in his home known as Tar Haven. This loss may be the reason why Scales’ son Junius Irving Scales turned against Capitalism. In 1935, Junius began frequenting the Intimate Bookshop in Chapel Hill, an off campus gathering space for “intellectuals and bohemians with a clandestine Communist Party printing press in a back room. He was soon hired as a clerk in the store at the age of 16, and started attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the following year. In 1939 he joined the Communist Party and quit school to become a union organizer in the Southern textile mills. The attack on Pearl Harbor brought an end to his organizing efforts, but he returned to Chapel Hill and completed work on his bachelor’s degree after serving in the Army. He became the state Communist Party chairman in 1948, serving openly and publicly, leading to newspaper stories that alarmed his once wealthy Capitalist family.

The FBI periodically monitored him, leading to an arrest in 1954. He was not charged with any overt acts, but was indicted under the provisions of the Smith Act as a member of an organization which advocated violence.Scales lost his final appeal, Scales v. United States, in the United States Supreme Court on a 5-4 decision. He served 15 months of a six-year sentence at Lewisburg Penitentiary in Pennsylvania before President John F. Kennedy commuted his sentence on Christmas Eve, 1962. He became the only Communist Party member to serve in prison on these charges.”
For more information on Scales, be sure to check out Preservation Greensboro’s website

More beautiful views and homes that RunTheBoro Run #8 runners will enjoy running through Hamilton Lakes.
Did you know….there are two lakes in Hamilton Lakes. One is called Lake Hamilton and the other is called Lake Euphemia named for A.W. Scales’s mother.

Madison Woods

The RunTheBoro Run #8 runners running the longer route will head down Dolley Madison Rd. Did you know… Dolley Madison was born in Greensboro? Dolley, who was one of our nation’s most beloved first ladies, was born to a Quaker family in the New Garden area, now part of Greensboro. Although her family moved away from the state during her early childhood, we still claim her proudly. She is known as an accomplished hostess and also the woman who maintained the presence of mind to save a renowned portrait of George Washington when the British burned Washington, DC during the War of 1812. She is the only First Lady from NC. The Greensboro Historical Museum has a Dolley Madison Collection with some pretty cool items in it. A beautiful peach colored silk gown was the first item to form the museum’s collection. Donated in 1950 by Dolley’s great, great niece and the great granddaughter of Dolley’s youngest sister, Mary Payne Jackson, this empire style gown was passed down through the Payne family. The Dolley Madison Memorial Association purchased a collection from the estate of another descendant, Neva Kunkel, the wife of Dolley’s great-great nephew and donated it to the museum in 1963. One of the most significant collections of Dolley’s belongings known to exist in the United States, it remains a national treasure. Personal items used at the Madison’s home, Montpelier, came from descendants of James Madison in the mid 1970s providing another look at the life the Madison’s shared.

Guilford College

After leaving the Madison Woods area, RunTheBoro Run #8 runners running the longer route will head toward Guilford College.  Did you know…Guilford College was founded by Quakers and originally called New Garden Boarding School? The school opened in 1837 and was an institution intended to serve the children of the Religious Society of Friends living in and around Guilford County, N.C. New Garden Boarding School provided a “guarded” education, one in which children of Friends could be formed in an environment shaped by the Quaker testimonies. The first students at the school used the “thees” and “thous” of Quaker plain speech, dressed plainly, worshiped in the silence of the Quaker meetinghouse and were schooled in the simple truths of the Bible and the Quaker community.

While on the Guilford College campus, RunTheBoro Run #8 runners will run along Levi Coffin Dr. Did you know…..Guilford’s campus is noted as an historical site where famed abolitionist Levi Coffin, a New Garden Quaker who grew up on the land that would become part of the boarding school a decade later, began his Underground Railroad activities. Escaped slaves came to the woods of New Garden and were aided in their flight to freedom in the North by Quakers in the New Garden community. Guilford is one of very few college campuses listed by the United States Department of the Interior as a National Historic District. The school remained open throughout the Civil War, and, with support from Friends in the North and Great Britain, gained strength during the Reconstruction era.

RunTheBoro Run #7 Neighborhood and Monument History

“Metaphor” by Ogden Deal

One of the first sculptures runners will pass is Metaphor, 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.

Veterans Memorial 

At the same intersection that the Metaphor sculpture is located, stand a Veterans Memorial 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.”

Edward R. Murrow Bust, by Ogden Deal

Every wonder why Murrow Blvd was named Murrow Blvd? Edward R. Murrow, 1908-1965, was a “pioneer in broadcast journalism and Guilford County native.”  Murrow, was the child of a local Quaker family. As a journalist, Murrow was was highly respected for his on-the-scene reporting from Europe during World War II. He’s particularly remembered for his reporting during the blitz in London during the War.  Murrow also produced a series of television news reports that contributed to the eventual political downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy. He was the director of the United States Information Agency under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.
The bust located at the Greensboro History Museum was made by Ogden Deal in 1970 (Ogden also created the Metaphor sculpture.) You’ll have to look quick and hard to see the bust. Runners will be on the left side of Lindsay St and the bust of Murrow is on the opposite corner (Lindsay / Church).

Park Ave.

Just before reaching the War Memorial Stadium, runners will travel down Park Ave. an awesome little neighborhood tucked between Summit, Lindsay, Yanceyville, and Murrow Blvd. Beautiful older homes on this street and check out the view of downtown at the end of Park Ave.

War Memorial Stadium 

After passing the Veterans Memorial, RunTheBoro Run #7 runners will head to the War Memorial Stadium on Yanceyville Rd. In 1925, the local American Legion post raised $100,000 in one week to build the stadium. It opened in 1926 in memory of soldiers who died in World War I. Due to the Greensboro trolley system in the 1920s and 1930, access to the stadium, even though it was away from town, was easy. It had one of the highest attendance for ball games of any stadium in the southeast.

Greensboro Four

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.

News & Record Bench, Greensboro

One of Greensboro’s most unusual and fascinating sculptures, the News & Record Bench consists of a bronze bench made of sheets of newspaper, magazines and boxes. The newspaper even has articles printed on it. Created by famous Greensboro artist Jim Gallucci, sculptor of many notable city monuments, it is located outside the News & Record corporate office on East Market Street.

Downtown Gate and Fountain at Southside Square

The Downtown Gate is a sculpture located in Southside. The sculpture is by Jim Gallucci who created the News & Record Bench. 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.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Bust 

The bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was installed in honor of the famous leader of the African American Civil Rights Movement in the United States, known for his non-violent methods of protest inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. Sculpted by Wilbur Lee Map, this bronze bust was unveiled in 1994, capturing the face of Dr. King in his final hour of life. The text beneath the bust, shares that King had planned to speak at Trinity AME Zion Church in Greensboro (a few blocks away from the monument) on April 4, 1968. He canceled his visit to Greensboro to remain in Memphis where he was assassinated on that day. The monument is located at the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and South Elm Street.

Nathaniel Green Statue 

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.”

Millennium Gate, Greensboro

Millennium Gate, unveiled in 2002, has become one of Greensboro’s most notable landmarks. Installed at the Municipal Office Building on West Washington Street, it was created by Jim Gallucci, a famous Greensboro artist. This bronze sculpture was inspired by the world’s greatest events, inventions and figures of the last millennium.

O. Henry’s Book

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.

Sandra Bradshaw Memorial

As runners approach the Grasshopper Ball Park  at the corner of Bellemeade St and Eugene St, if they look to their right they’ll see the Sandra Bradshaw Memorial. Sandra was a flight attendant on the United Airlines Flight 93 that crash on September 11, 2001. The monument reads, ” Loving wife and mother. Caring friend and companion. Dedicated American hero who sacrificed her life to save others. Bradshaw was 38 years old.

Guardian II 

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.

Genesis Monument

As you run along S. Park Drive, heading toward Church St., look on your left deep into the the east side of Fisher Park as you run by and  you’ll see the Genesis Monument. This big stone monument marks the approximate site of the center of the county as determined by an unknown surveyor. Despite a counterpetition from the people of Northeast Guilford most of whom were Ulster Scots (Scotch-Irish) or English-Quakers, the General Assembly granted the request of the first petition and authorized the establishing of the town of “Greensborough” named for General Nathaniel Greene, leader of the American forces in the southern campaign of the American Revolution. Because this spot (where the monument is located today) was “lowground and somewhat swampy,” the commissioners picked a more suitable higher ground centered around the crossing of what are now Elm and Market streets for the location of the town. The new courthouse was located at this intersection which became known as Courthouse Square. The village was laid out in 1808 on the 42 acres of land purchased by the commissioners for $98 from Ralph Gorrell of the Alamance Church area, a Scotch-Irish settler from Northern Ireland.

Hendrix Street Pedestrian Bridge

On a map it appears the Hendrix street easily runs parallel with Bessemer Ave., crossing over Church St. Only thing is there’s a train track in the way. No worries, there is an awesome foot bridge connecting the Historic Fisher Park Neighborhood and Historic Aycock Neighborhood. Runners learned about and experienced Fisher Park on an earlier RunTheBoro run (Scroll down to RunTheBoro Run #3). The Historic Aycock neighborhood is located less than a mile northeast of downtown Greensboro along 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 Aycock 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.

A WFMY New 2 news feature reports that Greensboro’s Historic Aycock Neighborhood will soon have a new name.  The neighborhood board agreed at a meeting in March 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 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.

Horth says they still have to go through the city council to make the name change official, but he expects a motion to do so to pass.

 VF Jeanswear

If you’ve ever driven into downtown Greensboro via N. Elm Street, one of the first large buildings you see is VF Corps Jeanswear (Wranger) building at the corner of N. Elm and Lindsay. Greensboro has long been a textile town, home to Cone Industries and Burlington Mills, VF Corporation continues this tradition and industry with Wrangler Jeans. Actually Wrangler is celebrating 7o years in Greensboro this year! VF had nicknamed Greensboro “Jeansboro” and hold and annual Jeansboro Day in October.

Wrangler’s parent company is VF Corporation  and it’s also headquartered in Greensboro also on N. Elm St., but further out of the downtown area in Lake Jeanette. VF Corporation was founded in 1899 as the Reading Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Company. Around 1910 it was renamed the Schuylkill Silk Manufacturing when it expanded into silk lingerie. Through a contest, “Vanity Fair” was selected as a brand name for the lingerie line. In the 1930s the company changed its name to Vanity Fair Silk Mills, Inc. In the 1940s the company droped the word “silk” due to an embargo on this material during World War II. In the 1950s the company went public and began to diversify it’s brand and product offerings. During the 1980s VF became the largest jeans maker in the world. Today it’s the maker of leading brands such as Lee, Wrangler, The North Face, Timberland, Eastpak, Nautica, Kipling, Napapijri, Reef, Magestic, For All Mankind, Lucy, Eagle Creek, Ella Moss, and Splendid. In 2014, VF‘s revenue top $12.53 billion! That deserves a WeeDoggie! Scroll down to see a timeline of Wrangler’s history.

As a part of the Jeansboro celebration, VF Corp held a contest with local high school students  who submitted ideas on how they would depict Greensboro and North Carolina landmarks. The works of art you’ll see along Elm Street come from six student winners.

More statues have been added since the initial six. They were painted by local artists, VF and Cone Denim employees, and western lifestyle artist Chance Hayes.

(Information and pictures from 1808: Greensboro’s Magazine)

RunTheBoro Run #6 Neighborhood History

(Lake Daniel, Lake Daniel Park and Greenway, Friendly Homes, First Moravian Church, Greensboro Arboretum, Starmount Forest, Guilford Hills)

Lake Daniel Neighborhood

The first thing I asked myself after I discovered the Lake Daniel Greenway a few years back, was “Where’s the Lake? I hunted and hunted but could find no lake.  Well after more digging, I discovered that there was a lake (a man-made lake) that was a reservoir for the city. Another confusion for me was that the Lake Daniel Greenway seemed to me to run along the Westerwood neighborhood, so exactly were was this Lake Daniel nieghborhood. Again after some investigation, I discovered that the Lake Daniel neighborhood is located on the opposite side of Benjamin Parkway from  the side that the greenway is loacted.  The neighborhood was build around the reservoir. Lake Daniel Neighborhood was platted in 1926 by Garland Daniel.  The lake and Garland Drive are named after him.  According to Greensboro, An Architectural Record, by Marvin A. Brown, promotional materials from the time touted Lake Daniel as “Close to the Heart of Nature and to Greensboro.”  Some homes were built in those early years, but hampered by the Great Depression, most were not built until after WWII.  The Lake Daniel Reservoir and Valve House, built in the 1920s, features architectual arches, pilasters, swags, rope-molded columns and stucco.  The first home built in the neighborhood stands at 1403 Garland Drive.

Lake Daniel Park and Greenway

It took a while for Greensboro to start incorporating parks even though the city was founded in 1808. The Great Depression also hampered park development in the city. By the 1950s, the city began developing parks such as Lindley, Lake Daniel, and Latham Parks. Many of the city parks were created around existing streams and waterways. The Lake Daniel park runs along Buffalo Creek. The park area along North Buffalo Creek, as well as a substantial portion of what is now Westerwood just to the south of our park playground, was a part of the larger residential area proposed by developer Garland Daniel as Lake Daniel Park.  Original plans for the park itself were substantial and included lakes, tennis courts, winding roads and paths. Also, both the residential area and the park development were stymied by the Great Depression and World War II, although construction in Westerwood to the south continued. This explains why many of the houses on the north edge of Westerwood, as well as those across Benjamin Parkway, are of more recent vintage. (Information from Westerwood News)

Located in Lake Daniel Park, the Lake Daniel Greenway is a paved multi-use path that stretches two miles from West Friendly Avenue to Mendenhall Street, west to east, paralleling Benjamin Parkway most of the way. Exercise stations are situated along the path for a great workout. In addition, the park offers public tennis courts, a basketball court, and a children’s playground.

Friendly Homes Neighborhood

Friendly Homes is a little known neighborhood nestled between Wesley Long Hospital on the west, bordered west, north and east by Buffalo Creek. The Lake Daniel Greenway borders two sides of the neighborhood. RunTheBoro Run #6 runners will enter the neighborhood by taking a cut-through from the Lake Daniel Greenway crossing over Buffalo Creek and accesses the neighborhood via Mimosa Dr. Not much is known about the development of this small hilly neighborhood, but it’s a great neighborhood to run through.  The lending library pictured below is found on Candlewood Dr. in the neighborhood. The 5.9 milers will run along Candlewood.

First Moravian Church

Before heading to the Arboretum, the RunTheBoro Run #6  9.7-mile runners running the 9-miler will Pass First Moravian Church on S. Elam St. In the early 1900’s the Moravian Church had established congregations in Salem and Winston and in the surrounding countryside. But now came our first endeavor in another major city.

By 1906 a number of Moravians had moved to Greensboro to work and live, and they expressed “much interest” in having a Moravian church there. Percy Kerner of Kernersville and Henry Snyder of Home Church raised even more interest. They “walked the streets evening after evening” to encourage the forming of a congregation. Their efforts bore fruit, for in 1908 the Province purchased the former Grace Methodist Church on East Lee Street, and on October 5 the Greensboro Moravian Church was formally organized by Bishop Edward Rondthaler.

In 1918 the congregation started a Sunday school on West Lee Street about a mile from the church on East Lee. A year later The Wachovia Moravian , the Province’s magazine, began to call the congregation the “First Moravian Church of Greensboro.” But bright prospects of growth turned dim when it was realized that the area surrounding First Moravian was “over-churched.” The congregation stagnated, then began to dwindle. Financial difficulties arose, and PEC doubted First Moravian’s future. The congregation needed a true renewal.

And that’s exactly what it got under two pastors. First Donald Conrad (1929-34) re-inspired the congregation with a number of new members. Then George Higgins (1934-41) shepherded it to a new site on Elam Avenue in western Greensboro. The property was purchased in 1937, and a “hut” was built. The “hut” was supposed to be only a temporary place of worship for the congregation, but it was more than 10 years before ground was broken for the new sanctuary. Finally on April 3, 1949, First Moravian dedicated its new church.

More progress followed. Six Sunday school rooms were added in 1951. A large Christian education and fellowship building was built in 1960. The sanctuary was enlarged by about 100 seats in the 1985.

Greensboro Arboretum

You’ve probably seen it as you fly by on Wendover Ave, but have you had a chance to walk through the Greensboro Arboretum? RunTheBoro Run #6 9.7-mile runners will run thorugh this beautiful Greensboro treasure.

This 17-acre site features 14 plant collections, special display gardens and distinct structural features. The extensive variety of plants offers rich educational opportunities for children and adults, landscape designers, and homeowners.

The garden is open year-round. Hours vary throughout the year. Admission is free.

The Greensboro Arboretum began as a joint project of Greensboro Beautiful and the Greensboro Parks & Recreation Department to provide the community with an outstanding collection of plants for study and enjoyment. In the late 70’s, after completing Bicentennial Garden, Greensboro Beautiful was searching for another area to serve the community and attract visitors to Greensboro. The City of Greensboro offered 17 acres within Lindley Park – centrally located and easily accessible from all parts of the city by major thoroughfares. It was also the site of remnants of the Anniversary Garden, a project of the Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs in the 50’s. Greensboro Beautiful volunteer and Arboretum visionary, Irene McIver, proposed that special care be given to construct a landscape display garden which would utilize the natural topography of the site, which ranges from steep, almost cliff-like slopes to flat, meadow-like plains. She also suggested that the garden be constructed around existing wooded and open areas, and include collections of woody plants labeled for education, recreation and enjoyment of the public.

Greensboro Beautiful consulted with horticulture professors and NC State University, and contracted with Virginia Tech landscape architect and horticulture professor, Robert McDuffie, for a design and master plan. The plan involved woody ground covers, trees and shrubs to be grouped into labeled collection areas according to habit, family, color, growing conditions, and seasonal interest. Plant species selected were particularly hardy to the Piedmont Region of North Carolina. The plant material in each collection was separated by turf areas and paved walkways to allow close inspection of plants.

With the design in place and construction ready to begin, McIver began soliciting support from the community. Local businesses and nurseries were especially generous with contributions of plants and construction materials. Memorial and honor gifts were received and helped purchase trees and benches for the arboretum. City staff assumed responsibility for site preparation, installation of drainage, irrigation, planting, and maintenance. Construction began in 1986 and was completed in 1991.

In appreciation for her tireless dedication to the realization of the Greensboro Arboretum, Greensboro Beautiful named the Vine Collection in honor of Irene McIver.

The garden was formally opened to the public in 1991, and has proven to be a regional treasure – a living gallery of beauty, a learning laboratory for all ages, and a unique place for a tranquil walk. (Information gathered from Greensboro Beautiful.)

Guilford Hills

You might not know this neighborhood’s name, but if you’ve been to Women’s Hospital, Earthfare, the Elks Club or Starbucks, then you been been to Guilford Hills. Guilford Hill is the area just west of Battleground Avenue and north of Green Valley Road.  The northern border is David Caldwell Drive and the westernmost street is Benjamin Parkway/Bryan Boulevard.  Guilford Hills is actually less than one square mile and has less than 2,000 people living in it. Many of the homes in this neighborhood were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Built in 1954, the Fortune Lane home above, is no exception. It is a good example of the  homes in this neighborhood.
An older, Greensboro Daily Photo reader once shared that he used to ride horses on his friend’s farm in Guilford Hills. Can you imagine that less than 70 years ago this area was farmland?

RunTheBoro Run #5 Neighborhood History

(Downtown, Westerwood, Sunset Hills)


Much of the downtown history has been shared in the histories for Runs 1-4 for the areas in downtown for Run #5, but the purpose of this Saturday’s downtown run is to soak in some of the awesome artwork in the form of painted murals all over the downtown area and in the surrounding areas. Be sure to check out “City of Murals” article in the RunTheBoro Newsletter for Run #5.


The houses shown below are just a few examples of the types of houses you’ll run by in the Westerwood neighborhood during RunTheBoro Run #5 this Saturday. 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, for more info.

Sunset Hills

After running through Westerwood, the 9-mile runners will take in Sunset Hills which is appropriate because the developer who created Westerwood, A.K. Moore Company, created Sunset Hills after the success of Westerwood. Sunset Hills began as a community originally not in the city limits. It orignally had  a few residents (such as the house described in the next paragraph built in 1895), but in 1923 the city limits were extended to North Buffalo Creek, taking in the Sunset Hills community. The promotional information for Sunset Hills boasted rolling hills and a community park. The park still exists between W. Greenway Drive and E. Greenway Drive.

Houses in the Sunset Hills Historic District represent a wide range of forms and styles typical of the late 1920s through the early 1960s. Reflecting the emerging role of the automobile during the period when Sunset Hills began its development, many properties include historic garages with most constructed of lapped wood siding, German siding, or, in a few cases, brick. The oldest dwelling in Sunset Hills is the two-story, three-bay, frame dwelling at 2702 West Market Street. According to neighborhood residents, the house was built in 1895 on the south side of West Market Street, but was moved to its present site around 1932. The presence of the late-nineteenth-century dwelling on West Market Street is a bit out of place for Sunset Hills. The neighborhood was developed primarily from the mid-1920s through the post-World War II era. The district contains architectural styles and forms typical of suburban developments of this period. This early home was at one time considered in a very rural area away from downtown.

Sunset Hills is also the neighborhood in which the Running of the Balls takes place each December with all the hanging lighted balls in trees along the course.

Tracks Bazaar

Okay, so this isn’t a neighborhood, but it is a pretty cool new location in the southern part of downtown at the corner of Gate City Blvd and S. Eugene St.  Tracks Bazaar is a former lumber yard in Downtown Greensboro that’s been developed into an open marketplace and entertainment venue. There will be permanent tenants such as micro shops, bars and restaurants as well as brewery, incubator space, live music venue, food truck park and outdoor marketplace.

Ryan Saunders one of the owners of Tracks Bazaar is also one of the co founders for No Blank Walls which completed many of the other murals in the downtown that runners will pass on RunTheBoro Run #5.  (See the RunTheBoro Newsletter #5 for more info on No More Blank Walls and it’s work in the city.)

As a part of the official unveiling,  food truck park will be open Friday, June 2 from 6-10 PM. Be sure to check it out. Then Saturday morning, the owners are opening the gates to the Bazaar so runners can run through and enjoy all the awesome murals inside the venue. Below you can see some of the murals featured on the outside and inside of the venue.

The mural above is the work of artist Jesus Benitez. Jesus is from Mexico City. His artwork is inspired by travels and exploration of Japanese culture. Many of the images on the wall at Gate City were inspired by photographs he took during his travels.
More Murals inside the venue:
Below is a birds eye view of the venue:

RunTheBoro Run #4 Neighborhood History

(Battleground Parks District,  Great Salisbury Wagon Road, Guilford County National Military Park, Lawndale/Lake Jeanette Area Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway)

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 will now have that same type of park – the Battleground Parks District. Near the proposed 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 Natural 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 will be 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. (There’s more on Military Park below.)  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. Ini 2009 a twenty-million dollar bond for the Natural 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.)

This Memorial Day Weekend, as the RunTheBoro Runners run through Country Park they will pass the Guilford County Veteran’s Memorial. The Guilford County Veterans Memorial is an approximately one-acre memorial dedicated to the Guilford County, North Carolina, veterans of our nation’s foreign wars. The Guilford County Veterans Memorial was dedicated on September 14, 2002, and the website was originally launched on Veterans’ Day, 2003.

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.
Did you know..… that this 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 New Garden Road picks up. RunTheBoro Run #8 runners will be running this historic road beginning on the Old Battleground side and exiting it at Lawndale side.

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. (For more great info click here.) 

If you’ve every walked or run around Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, one thing you may have wondered, is “Where is the courthouse?” You can stop wondering…there isn’t one. There was once a courthouse. It was build in 1775 near the Great Salisbury Wagon Road (which is the path running through the middle of the park). In 1781 the county seat of Guilford served as the hub of a small farming community of about 50 English, Scots-Irish, and nearby Quakers. At the courthouse settlers registered deeds, settled legal disputes, and were mustered into the militia. There were believed to be about five other buildings on the site too including a jail, and a tavern. The community began its decline in 1808 when the county seat was moved six miles south (to Greensboro).” The courthouse and surrounding infrastructure were eventually torn down and never rebuilt. The pictures below show the general area of Military Park (the grassy lawn area behind the rest room building about halfway around the paved loop around the park) where the courthouse was believed to have been built.

Between the Great Salisbury Wagon Road and the Visitors Center at Military park is a short path with several monuments. One such monument is in memory of Mrs. Kerenhappuch Norman Turner. Eight members of her family fought in the Guilford Courthouse battle – her son and seven grandsons – and her son received very serious wounds. When word of this reached her, she rode on horseback to the battlefield from her home in Virginia. Placing her son James Jr. in a log cabin on the battlefield in a crude bed on the floor, Kerenhappuch secured tubs in which she bored holes. These tubs she suspended from the rafters and filled them with cool water from the ‘Bloody Run’ which flows nearby. The constant dripping of water on the ghastly wounds lowered his fever and saved her son’s life. She also nursed other soldiers who were wounded during the battle. A monument was erected in her honor at the Guilford Court House National Military Park and was dedicated on July 4, 1902.  It is believed that this was the first monument ever erected to a Revolutionary War heroine.  For more information on Turner, click here.

Ever wonder why the road you cross on the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway beside Rice Toyota is called Martinsville Road? I always assumed that the road went to Martinsville, VA. Silly me.  After a little digging, I discovered that Martinsville was the predecessor to Greensboro. Way, way back, the first “court house” in the newly formed Guilford county was the home of Robert Lindsay, by the banks of the Deep River in the southwest section of the county. To finance the construction of a more permanent public building, a poll tax of two shillings was levied on each taxable person for a period of three years. In 1774, land was purchased for the court house site, and the new county seat was named Guilford Court House. The following year, Alexander Martin and Thomas Henderson bought 100 acres of land adjacent to the court house site, and this development, called Martinsville, became the county seat.

In 1779, the southern portion of Guilford County was taken to form Randolph County, and six years later the northern part was cut off to create Rockingham County, leaving Guilford County with its present dimensions.

During the years that followed, Martinsville experienced surprisingly little growth. Part of this was attributed to the fact that the county seat was no longer located in the center of the county, and there was an increasing demand for the establishment of a new seat of government. In 1808, it was determined that the center of the county lay six miles from Martinsville, “in the middle of a duck pond in a brush thicket,” in  guess where….you should know this from the RunTheBoro Run #2 history…..yep, present-day Fisher Park. Since marshlands were hardly suitable for a new county seat, a site six blocks to the south was chosen and named Greensboro, in honor of Major General Nathanael Greene, Revolutionary War hero and commander of the colonial troops at the Battle of Guilford Court House. So Martinsville Rd is what’s left of what lead to Martinsville which is now Military park. (For more information click here.)

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.  (For more information on the early development of this area click here.)

So what do Horsepen Creek, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, the Francis McNairy House and a library on Lake Jeanette 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 the Bicentennial Greenway connect 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 from Herman Husband a tract 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).

But what about the library on Lake Jeanette Road? Well this 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 McNairys 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.”

Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway

Did you know…that this stretch of greenway is the former rail bed of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railroad? The Atlantic-Yadkin Railway’s lifespan covered 1899 to 1950, but some of the rails were laid in the 19th century as part of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway (CF & YV). The CF & YV ran from the Atlantic port of Wilmington, NC to Mount Airy. This railway transported mostly granite and at one time took travelers to visit the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Further south on the greenway there is a tunnel that runs under Cone Blvd (near RunnerDude’s Fitness). Next time you run through that tunnel take a look at the walls leading into and out of the tunnel. They’ve been crafted to look like granite blocks. There is also a mural on the interior walls of the tunnel that includes a painting of a train. Look closely at the train and you’ll notice it’s carrying granite blocks. This is all to honor the history of the Atlantic & Yadkin Railway and its importance to Greensboro.
Currenlty the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway ends at Hwy 220, but plans are to extend the greenway north eventually leading to Stokesdale. Now that will be a long run!

RunTheBoro Run #3 Neighborhood History

(Fisher Park,  Downtown, Southside )

Bessemer Ave. Bridge

You’ve probably driven over it, but do you know the history behind the Bessemer Ave. Bridge? Early in this Saturday’s RunTheBoro run #3, runners will cross over this beautiful structure. The bridge looks old but it’s actually a fairly new bridge painstakingly created to replace a previous bridge that was in disrepair. According to a News & Record article from 1997, the bridge had a price tag of $1 million dollars from federal and municipal governments. (About 80% was paid by the federal government.) The original Bessemer bridge was built in the mid-1920s. The Southern Railway hired the New York City architectural firm of Fellheimers and Wagner to design a new passenger station for Greensboro on East Washington Street and bridges that would separate trains from cars at Davie Street, Bessemer Avenue and 16th Street. The original bridge lasted for 69 years. The city had plans to replace it with a generic industrial type bridge, but soon learned that an architectural historian had recommended the bridge to the National Register of Historic Places. So in the end, the original bridge was replaced with a new bridge that’s as close to the original as possible. A great decision.

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 N. Park Dr. which runs between Church St. and Elm St in Fisher Park, you’ll see the beauty and nature of Fisher Park on one side  and beautiful architecture of the older homes along the other side of the street. This Saturday as you run along N. Park Drive, heading toward Church St., look on your right deep into the the east side of Fisher Park as you run by and  you’ll see the Genesis Monument. This big stone monument marks the approximate site of the center of the county as determined by an unknown surveyor. Despite a counterpetition from the people of Northeast Guilford most of whom were Ulster Scots (Scotch-Irish) or English-Quakers, the General Assembly granted the request of the first petition and authorized the establishing of the town of “Greensborough” named for General Nathaniel Greene, leader of the American forces in the southern campaign of the American Revolution. Because this spot (where the monument is located today) was “lowground and somewhat swampy,” the commissioners picked a more suitable higher ground centered around the crossing of what are now Elm and Market streets for the location of the town. The new courthouse was located at this intersection which became known as Courthouse Square. The village was laid out in 1808 on the 42 acres of land purchased by the commissioners for $98 from Ralph Gorrell of the Alamance Church area, a Scotch-Irish settler from Northern Ireland.

On the back half of this Saturday’s RunTheBoro run, runners will run around the west side of Fisher Park along Fisher Park Circle. A unique feature in west side of Fisher Park is “The King’s Chair.” It was designed and built by master stone mason, Andrew Leopold Schlosser (1863-1943). The chair was donated to the park by Schlosser’s grandson, Norman L. Schlosser and family in 2014. Andrew Schlosser brought his masonry skills from Europe in 1900 and contributed to the Fisher Park Community with walls, bridges, and homes of stone.

Another landmark you’ll pass along the western side of Fisher Park is the stately mansion known as 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 are coordinating their work with Preservation Greensboro to open Hillside as a Designer Show House in 2018.

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

Apartment Life in Turn-of the Century (20th) Fisher Park

Many think of apartments as a fairly new concept, but Greensboro sported multi-story apartment buildings as early as the  1920s.  Thanks to a central trolley line (more on the trolley’s in an upcoming RunTheBoro) and convenient urban location, in the early 1900‟s the Fisher Park neighborhood offered more apartments than any Greensboro neighborhood.  RunTheBoro run #3 will take runners by three such complexes. The first complex runners will pass is located on the corner of E. Bessemer Ave. and Magnolia St. This 3-building complex (The Vance, Fairfax, and Shirley) was built in 1925. Some of the original features still exist such as  exterior iceboxes.  Three-story trash chutes are still used by residents today. An article in a 1925 edition of the Greensboro Daily Record, states that “the builders have taken care to install every feature that will delight the housewife’s heart. Every apartment has a built-in refrigerator, gas stove, kitchen cabinet , and hot and cold water, day and night. Janitor service will also be furnished. In one detail the owners are sure to make a hit with the housewife. They have put in window shades. Everyone who knows women is cognizant of the fact that they do detest the business of having to buy window shades and put them up.” The front apartments rented for $60 and the rear for $50 per month (this included gas, heat, hot and cold water, and janitor service.)

The “Dolley Madison” apartment building on Elm Street is another grand apartment building in Fisher Park. According to an 2011 edition of the Fisher Parker newsletter, the Dolly Madison Apartments  featured Mediterranean Revival style architecture, four-stories with a flat roof fringed by green terra cotta tiles. All three entrances were and still are decorated with a magnificent green glass canopy. Interior stairwells lead to twenty four apartments. Each apartment offered a large living room, a hall leading to one or two bedrooms and a single bathroom, and a kitchen at the rear with access to exterior stairs and an extensive covered parking garage. Two-bedroom units on the east and west of the building also offered a dining room. An early semi-circular driveway allowed tenants to drive up to the entrances, facilitating grocery delivery and gentlemen‟s courtesies under the boughs of old magnolia trees. According to an article in the Sunday, August 23, 1925 edition of the Greensboro Daily Record, the building was build in 1925 shortly after the Bessemer Ave apartments and originally was red brick (the brick is now painted a cream color). Now condominiums, the Daily Record describes the building as having 24 apartments of 3, 4, and 5 rooms. It listed C.C. Pierce of Norfolk, VA as the owner in 1925.

Another grand apartment complex runners will pass is Cannon Court on N. Elm. According to Preservation Greensboro, Cannon Court was constructed in 1926. The building featured six different unit plans spread over three floors and ranged in size from single-room studio apartments to larger two-room units with two-and-a-half baths. Preservation Greensboro lists some of the original occupants as have professions such as traveling salesman, salesman, hotel clerk, furniture salesman, department store buyer, building manager, Vice President of Pomona Terra Cotta Company among others. Often today, when a new development springs up in a residential area, local residents will protest or fight the development. It was no different back in the 1920s.  Cannon Court did not get quick approval. Preservation Greensboro reports that the surrounding blocks of North Elm Street had already developed with large single family homes by the 1920s, and neighbors opposed the multi-family intrusion. Former mayor Claude Kiser claimed an apartment house would “damage the handsomely developed property [along Elm St.].” Local ophthalmologist, R.C Bernau stated, “if you permit apartment houses to be erected there, in 20 years you will have nothing but apartment houses and in 30 years you will have slums.” Others supported the project and construction began in 1926.


RunTheBoro Run #3 includes the heart of the downtown area. Runners will pass many older impressive structures. Below are just a few of the interesting and notable structures you’ll pass on the run.
1. Carolina Theater: The theater opened in 1927; at that time, it was the largest, finest movie theatre in the Carolinas, with seating for 2200 people. It was the first public building in the state with air conditioning. At the time, a theater-goer could enjoy a film, popcorn and soda for 20 cents. Laurel and Hardy films were popular fare in those days. An organ provided music. And in 1928, the Carolina Theatre became the first NC motion picture theatre with a sound system. Until that time, Greensboro residents had, by necessity, contented themselves with silent films.For more infor on this historic building go to
2. American Exchange National Bank Builing: Built in 1920, the American Exchange National Bank Building was Greensboro’s first “skyscraper”. But the bank failed during the Great Depression and the building was sold and remodeled for office use. During its heyday the Southeastern Building was home to some of the city’s most successful businesses.
3. Kress Building: Hard to believe that his ornate architectural landmark would have opened its doors in 1930 when the country was deep in the Depression. And to top that off, it was a five and ten cent store!  However, the S. H. Kress Company believed in selling inexpensive items in elegant buildings. It had an unusual form of early air conditioning. A chiller made ice during the night, when power rates were lowest. The ice was used to cool salt brine water, which was pumped to the air handlers during the day. For more information on this historic building go to
4. The Jefferson Building: In 1923 people came from miles around to gaze at this new marvel that stood 17 stories high, the tallest and largest office building in the South. Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company President Julian Price, impressed by the work of New York architect Charles C. Hartmann, required that Hartmann, if given the job, move to Greensboro. He accepted the offer and became the city’s leading architect. The final cost of construction was $2.5 million, and the building was paid for on its opening day. For more info on this historic building go to

5. Woolworth Building: 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.
6. February One Place: This street running beside the Civil Rights Museum, honors the date of the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in in 1960.


This Saturday’s RunTheBoro run #3 includes a hidden treasure know as the Southside neighborhood. This neighborhood has some of the best examples of still intact late 19th and 20th century architecture. This uniqueness helped ensure its listing in 1991 on the National Register of Historic Places as the South Greensboro Historic District. In 1996 the Greensboro City Council approved a bond package that included funding for the redevelopment of the neighborhood and an intensive community planning process followed. Sidewalks, period street lights, and other amenities add to the turn-of-the century look and feel. New construction such as townhouses, apartments, and commercial buildings have been built designed to fit into the look and feel of the original structures. Southside is also home to the famous Dame’s Chicken & Waffles Restaurant (sorry runners they don’t open until 10:00am on Saturday).

Vicks VapoRub?

New Bern, NC  has claims to Pepsi Cola, but Greensboro is the birthplace of Vicks VapoRub! On this Saturday’s RunTheBororun 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)

Nooks and Crannies

A unique feature of downtown is what businesses have done with various alleys throughout the city. Some alleys contain businesses, such as restaurants, a bakery, salons. Other small alleys have been turned into gardens both plant and sculpture, even a water fall! So, while running, be sure to look between the buildings, you might be surprised what you find!

RunTheBoro Run #2 Neighborhood History

(Downtown, The Downtown Greenway, College Hill, Lindley Park)

Downtown Greenway

One of the newest stretches of greenway, the Downtown Greenway, runs from S. Eugene St. to Spring Garden. Runners will hop on this greenway pretty early in Run #2.  What a hidden gem! It’s absolutely beautiful! RunTheBoro Run #2 will access this greenway on S. Eugene St. The wide paved greenway winds it’s way to the off ramp from Freeman Mill Rd. to Gate City Blvd. Doesn’t sound like a pretty area, but it really is. This area is known as 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.

The sitting area you see pictured  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.

After passing the 5 Chairs art work on the first stretch of the Downtown Greenway on RunTheBoro Run #2, runners will come upon the grande entrance to the Downtown Greenway where it crosses over W. Gate City Blvd. The entrance is a beautiful piece of art and very impressive. As you pass by or through the entrance, you’ll follow the greenway down 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.

After crossing through the greenway entrance at Gate City Blvd and passing under the the beautiful railroad underpass, RunTheBoro Run #2 runners will head toward Spring Garden Rd. Just before reaching Spring Garden, they’ll encounter larger than life art replicas of furniture from the Blandwood Mansion (which runners will pass later in their run) created by artists Benjamin Kastner and Toby Keeton. The public art seating area reflects it’s proximity to Greensboro’s Blandwood mansion, and estate once owned by Governor John Motley Morehead, governor of NC in the late 1800’s, as well as to its location near “Foundation Place” a historic building that originally housed the executive offices of the Cone Export and Commission Company. Turn of the century furniture, including a traditional Victorian style settee and a more unusual “Tobacco Chair” found in nearby Blandwood Mansion, was used as inspiration for the creation of of this piece.

College Hill

After the Downtown Greenway, RunTheBoro Run #2 runners will hop on Spring Garden and head toward UNCG, but before getting there, they’ll take a little detour through part of the historic College Hill neighborhood. Just after turning onto South Mendenhall St. they’ll 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 #2 runners will pass by parts of Greensboro College on the back-half of their run.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

After running through some of College Hill, RunTheBoro Run #2 runners will run by the beautiful campus of UNCG. The school was established as a women’s college by legislative enactment on February 18, 1891 as the State Normal and Industrial School and opened October 5, 1892. The school provided instruction in business, domestic science, and teaching with a student body of 223 and a faculty of 15 in its first year. R. S. Pullen and R. T. Gray gave the original 10-acre site in Greensboro, N.C. where the first building was erected with state funds totaling $30,000. It is the first and only public university in North Carolina founded for the purpose of educating women. In 1949, it became the largest all-female institution in the United States.

The school has seen many names over the years, changing from the “State Normal and Industrial School” to the State Normal and Industrial College in 1896, and again in 1919 to North Carolina College for Women. In 1932, it changed to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, when it became one of the three charter institutions of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, and changed again to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro when men were first admitted to the school in 1963. It is remembered fondly by many graduates of the Woman’s College simply as “the W.C.”

It’s a good thing RunTheBoro Run #2 is early in the morning, because I’m sure some of the runners (myself included) would be tempted to pull over at Yum Yum (near the UNCG campus) for some ice cream or a hot dog. Did you know? Yum Yum Ice Cream in its first incarnation was sold from a cart beginning in 1909 in downtown Greensboro. An early Greensboro postcard features the ice cream cart in front of the Courthouse. In the 1920’s, the business was moved to a free-standing building at the corner of Forest and Spring Garden Streets. Since the location was at the western limit of the city, the owner called the business West End Ice Cream. Around that time, he introduced the ice cream flavor Yum-Yum, a flavor that is believed to have included grapes, raisins, a grain. At any rate, people began saying, “Let’s go get some of that Yum-Yum ice cream.” The name stuck and became the official name for the store.

The shop is actually an ice cream factory with the product made in a back room, the old-fashioned way with vintage 1920’s equipment. They have had the same ice-cream maker for 25+ years now. He is very picky about the source of his ingredients as well as quality and consistency. The proof is in the taste of the ice cream. Currently, they feature 18 flavors at $2.00 a scoop. The store is, perhaps, equally famous for its tasty, bright red hot dogs which start at $1.00 for a basic dog and cost $1.60 for one “all the way.” Yum Yum is surrounded on all four sides by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Lindley Park

Continuing down Spring Garden, RunTheBoro Run #2 runners running the 9-mile route will make their way to the Lindley Park Neighborhood. Did you know…the area was named after local businessman John Van Lindley, a Quaker whose business interests ranged from nurseries, sewer pipes, insurance to peach growing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1902, he donated 60 acres of land along Spring Garden Street for a recreation complex boasting a man-made lake and amusement park. Today, this area still exists as the park between Spring Garden Street and Walker Avenue and the City’s Arboretum.

When the lake and amusement park closed in 1917, the City hired Earle Sumner Draper to design a planned neighborhood development and what followed was the Lindley Park neighborhood. Many original design elements still remain, such as the stone column entryways and tree-lined streets.

Wafco Mills

Heading back into the downtown area, RunTheBoro #2 runners will pass this  historic industrial property which was constructed for the milling enterprise North, Watson and Company. The earliest component of the complex is three stories tall, constructed of timber and covered in wood clapboards in 1893. Subsequent phases added in 1907 and 1912 were of brick construction and increasingly elaborate in design. The 1912 phase is the most elaborate, featuring segmental arched windows, brick corbels, and a handsome stepped parapet gable. The mill produced a variety of flour, cornmeal and feeds and operated under the same family management for more than four generations. The complex was abandoned in 1972, leaving its future in doubt until developers proposed converting the buildings to residential use in 1984. Architects Glave Newman Anderson of Richmond, VA preserved charming features and materials including exposed brick walls and structural timbers.

Blandwood Mansion

Turning onto Washington Street off of Edgewood, RunTheBoro Run #2 runners will see the Blandwood Mansion on their right. Did you know…was originally built as a four room Federal style farmhouse in 1795, it was home to two-term North Carolina governor John Motley Morehead (1841-1844) under whose ownership it was transformed into its present appearance. It is believed to be the oldest extant example of the Italian Villa Style of architecture in the United States, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988. Blandwood is the oldest building on original foundations in the city of Greensboro (1795). Originally located within a rural context, it is a remarkable survivor of urban development as the city grew around the house.

Lyndon Street Townhouses, 205 Collaborative, and The Depot

One of the coolest finds I made on my RunTheBoro Run #2 test run was a couple of buildings on a less traveled road, S. Lyndon St, which is situation between E. Market St. and E. Washington st. just below The Depot. As soon as I turned the corner onto Lyndon, I saw the row of townhouses (pictured bottom right) and thought, wow, those are pretty cool. I probably would have never seen them had I gone on this run. I couldn’t find too much about them other than that they were built about 1905, and is a two-story, three bay, brick structure with Colonial Revival and Queen Anne style design elements. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

The other cool find was the 205 Collaborative. It’s located beside the Lyndon Street Townhouses. The 205 Collaborative is a family of artists working together to create an environment of positive energy, mutual support, and inspiration. Our 30 studio spaces house artists in all arenas. We are painters, sculptors, metal smiths, wood workers, writers, actors, photographers, music producers, film makers, graphic designers, potters, jewelry makers, stone workers…

The top picture is The Depot. This historical landmark is a hub of activity for incoming and outgoing buses and commuter trains. This Neoclassical building, designed by a New York firm specializing in train stations, replaced the earlier depot at 400 S. Elm Street. When built in 1927, it was the biggest, most elaborate station ever built in North Carolina. This larger station was necessary because about 90 trains a day passed through Greensboro! Its Ionic portico can be seen for some distance down Church Street.

Did you know why Greensboro is called “The Gate City”? Guilford County boomed with the arrival of the North Carolina Railroad in 1856. High Point and Greensboro were connected to Durham, Raleigh and Morehead City to the east, and to Charlotte, Columbia, and Charleston to the south. Other rail lines followed linking Greensboro to Winston-Salem, Mt Airy, Fayetteville, and Danville VA. In fact, Greensboro’s connectivity was so impressive that the city was nicknamed “Gate City” in recognition of its hub position for statewide rail service.

Biltmore Hotel

Last, but not least, runners in the RunTheBoro Run #2 9-mile route will pass the Biltmore Hotel. Did you know the history of this building actually begins with textile tycoons Caesar and Moses Cone. The brothers needed an office building. In 1899, they bought a 5 acres plot of land in downtown Greensboro on West Washington Street between Elm Street and Ashe Street. It was here, in 1903, that they built a three story office building that was said to be “in every way up-to-date and well appointed.” They added an elevator in 1920; it was the first electric unmanned elevators in the city of Greensboro. They used this building for twenty-one years before moving to a bigger office space around the corner in 1924.

RunTheBoro Run #1 Neighborhood History

(Kirkwood, Irving Park, Latham Park Greenway)


Did You Know?
One of the first neighborhoods runners will run through on the first RunTheBoro run is Kirkwood. The Kirkwood Community began as two farms that were purchased and developed on the outskirts of Greensboro in the 1920s. The Kirkpatrick farm homeplace was located at current 906 West Cornwallis and the Holt farm homeplace was located at current 2000 Dellwood Drive. The Holt Farm property was sold and developed into residential lots in the 1930s, and Kirkpatrick Farm property was developed for postwar housing in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The majority of these hundreds of houses were small and built on deep narrow lots approximately 60 years ago. A few newer streets were developed with larger houses on larger lots in the late 1950s through 1990s,

At the request of the Kirkwood Garden Club in the early 1950s, the City established Kirkwood Recreational Park (which the RunTheBoro runners will pass on the run) as part of the City’s park system. Since that time the entire surrounding neighborhood has enjoyed the recreational equipment and the Parks and Recreation Department’s summer programming.

The annual Kirkwood 5K  (which is a fundraiser for Backpack Beginnings) starts and finishes at Kirkwood Park. 

Irving Park

Did you know?
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. It 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. RunTheBoro runners will run along a short portion of Cridland Rd.(named after Robert Cridland) just before hopping on the Latham Park Greenway.

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 above is known as the McAdoo-Sanders-Tatum House and is located at 303 Wentworth Street. 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.

For more information on this historical home check out Preservation Greensboro.

Latham Park Greenway

Did you know?
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. And a new skateboarding park is under construction near where the greenway crosses Hill St.