2012 Preservation Durham Home Tour: Forest Hills

2012 Preservation Durham Home Tour: Forest Hills


Every spring, Preservation Durham (formerly the Historic Preservation Society of Durham,) presents a home tour in one of Durham's historic neighborhoods. The 2012 tour includes seven homes in a variety of styles and vintages. The tour took place on Saturday April 28, from 10am-3pm.

Tourgoers on our 16th annual tour can explore homes in several popular styles, including Colonial and Tudor Revivals from the 1920s and Modernist houses from the 1950s. Seven homes and two gardens are included in this year's tour, all within easy walking distance of each other.

Homes on the tour include the following:

1506 Hermitage Ct.jpg

WHITE-FLOWERS HOUSE

1506
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1924
/ Modified in
1980-1990
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

Hugh Edward White, an office manager at Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, and his wife Anne Parker purchased the lots at 1506 Hermitage and constructed the grand, Colonial Revival-style house about 1924.

Comments

  • Submitted by April on Friday, April 20, 2012 - 2:24pm

    I'm so excited about the Forest Hills tour!!

  • Submitted by Buzz on Monday, December 31, 2012 - 3:21am

    Is there a date yet for a 2013 tour?
    Thanks.

  • Submitted by Charlotte Smith on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 10:17pm

    I, too, would like to know if there will be a tour of homes in Forest Hills, particularly the Dillard and Mildred Teer home. I am interested as I have worked for the Nello L. Teer Co. and when I worked at Central Carolina Bank, Dillard was a tenant in our building and I have always wanted to see the inside of his house.

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In tours

Last updated

Location

United States
35° 59' 2.7492" N, 78° 54' 55.1556" W
US

Comments

1506
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1924
/ Modified in
1980-1990
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

1506 Hermitage Ct.jpg

(photograph courtesy of Alex Maness)

From the 2012 Preservation Durham Old Home Tour booklet:

This elegant and beautiful family home has a hidden claim to fame: it was the main set for a 1990 film called ‘Once Around’ with Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter.  Ostensibly set in New England, the family’s house throughout the film actually stands here at 1506 Hermitage.  Snow (really styrofoam) was brought in to shoot the winter scenes in the middle of summer, and the movie trailer shows people dancing in the foyer and a wedding bouquet thrown from the stair landing. 

Before Hollywood came to town, this house had served a number of Durham families ably.  Hugh Edward White, an office manager at Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, and his wife Anne Parker purchased the lots at 1506 Hermitage and constructed the grand, Colonial Revival-style house about 1924.  In the 1930 census, their three children Hugh E. Jr., Sallie F., and Annie M. are listed, as well as a servant named Annie M. Sharp. 

In 1933, the Whites sold the house to Claude M. Flowers and his wife Mary Whitaker, who moved with their children from 1005 Monmouth in Trinity Park. The Flowers name has a long history in Durham, as his father Col. George Washington Flowers was a trustee at Trinity College; William Washington Flowers was chairman at Liggett & Myers - buildings on both Duke campus and the L&M factory bear the Flowers name.  Claude followed his father, graduating from Trinity in 1909, then into the tobacco industry, working first for Liggett & Myers and later founding the Flowers Brothers Leaf Tobacco Company. 

This large, two-story Colonial Revival-style building has wood siding and a slate roof.  The main house has a fanlight and leaded glass sidelights under its arched entrance porch, which has an exuberant Adam or Federal style, including fluted columns, an entablature with modillions and dentils, and an architrave with triglyphs and metopes.  The level of detail put into the classical elements of the porch, along with the artful balance of the home’s exterior elements (door, windows, downspouts) that carefully mask the fact that it is not quite symmetrical, demonstrate the mastery of the architect, which may have been Arthur Cleveland Nash.   Many grouped, nine-over-one windows light the house, and arched windows sit in each of the dormers to give light to the attic.  To the rear of the house, a 1940s garage has been recently repaired and a charming playhouse still stands - originally built by the Flowers family for their little girl Mary in the 1930s.

The interior of the house is built on a double-pile (2 rooms deep) I-plan (center hall). On the left, the formal living room features an original fireplace with fluted pilaster supports and reeded decoration, also an Adam-style detail, and bookcases that were added in connection with the filming of “Once Around.”

To the right of the entry, the dining room retains its original painted wallpaper with a chinoiserie bird scene.  Before leaving the dining room, take a moment to examine the housing for the radiator built into the wall.  These fixtures still supply heat to the house. Beyond the dining room is the kitchen, which includes the cabinets which originally were part of the butler’s pantry and breakfast nook.  The kitchen was last remodeled immediately after the movie production wrapped, using the rental fees; another remodel is coming this summer.    While you are in the kitchen note the landing for the narrow service stair.  It joins the main stairway at its turning so that the servants’ use of the main stair would be invisible to family and guests on the first floor.  The original servants’ bath and the laundry have now been converted into a guests’ bath and powder room.

Upstairs, there are four spacious bedrooms and three baths.  The two original bathrooms divide the pairs of bedrooms.  Each of these contains much of its original 1920s tilework and fixtures – note the rounded end of the corner tub.  The third bathroom is located in what was traditionally referred to as a sewing room or trunk room.  Behind the bedroom on the northwest corner of the house is an original sleeping porch.  A similar porch was added on the northeast corner when the kitchen below was updated and enlarged in the 1980s.  The narrow stair ascending from the second floor hallway leads to the attic which once contained quarters for one or more servants.  There is a lovely, tiny clawfoot tub tucked into one of the front dormers.  Over the years, sensitive updates have been made throughout, but the house remains remarkably intact and definitely well-loved.

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/sites/default/files/images/u12/1523%20Hermitage.jpg1523_Hermitage_Ct_foursquare-sears-alhambra_0.jpg

ROBERT A. FETZER HOUSE

1523
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1930
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

Kitty Moses and Ken Soo’s Spanish Colonial Revival home at 1523 Hermitage Court sits in the middle of a wonderfully designed yard and garden. This is due to careful choices and expert planning that have transformed this half acre property into one of Forest Hill’s most interesting and beautiful landscapes.

Comments

  • Submitted by April on Friday, April 20, 2012 - 2:24pm

    I'm so excited about the Forest Hills tour!!

  • Submitted by Buzz on Monday, December 31, 2012 - 3:21am

    Is there a date yet for a 2013 tour?
    Thanks.

  • Submitted by Charlotte Smith on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 10:17pm

    I, too, would like to know if there will be a tour of homes in Forest Hills, particularly the Dillard and Mildred Teer home. I am interested as I have worked for the Nello L. Teer Co. and when I worked at Central Carolina Bank, Dillard was a tenant in our building and I have always wanted to see the inside of his house.

Add new comment

In tours

Last updated

Location

United States
35° 58' 56.3088" N, 78° 54' 53.1072" W
US

Comments

1523
,
Durham
NC
Built in
1930
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
National Register: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

(photograph courtesy Alex Maness)

Below in italics from the 2012 Preservation Durham Old Home Tour booklet:

Kitty Moses and Ken Soo’s Spanish Colonial Revival home at 1523 Hermitage Court sits in the middle of a wonderfully designed yard and garden. This is due to careful choices and expert planning that have transformed this half acre property into one of Forest Hills' most interesting and beautiful landscapes. The house – built in 1930 – is a Sears “Alhambra”, nationally one the most popular Sears kit homes. The Alhambra was designed on a basic Foursquare layout with Mission-style detail like curved parapets, stuccoed exterior, and iron railings. Because the house was built in 1930, it is not surprising that there are a few respectful giants casting shade over this address. A Southern magnolia, eastern red cedar, and post oak serve as anchors just as they were imagined to do 80 or so years ago when they were planted. However, the real delights on this home’s outside tour come in more recent and medium sizes.

Twelve years ago, Kitty and Ken enlisted landscape designer Sally Pagilai in reimagining their property after their major renovation project flattened and churned up a shady side yard. After adding several smart plant choices to this area just off the “porchlet,” the next phase of their garden planning began. An old driveway extension and carport/pergola was scrapped. In its place came a beautiful stone patio and mudstone walk to carry visitors around the front of the house. In between the stones are well-suited and low maintenance groundcovers such as: ajuga, moneywort, and dwarf mondo grass.

Sally helped create the perfect divide between the house and the public sidewalk without forgetting or overplaying the lawn.  A modest and gorgeous greensward of turf sets off the “bird garden” which buffers the front and east sides of the house with a smart combination of service berries, abelias, arborvitaes, cherry laurels, and several ‘Tardiva’ hydrangeas. In working with Sally, Ken humbly asked for a single fig tree and room for blueberry bushes. But rather than banish them to an edibles-only bed, he decided to plant them out f