Smith - DeBerry House

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Smith - DeBerry House

3831
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1956
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

Mid Century Ranch built by Ernest Wilkerson Construction Company for Albert and Harriett Smith, 1956. One level brick ranch with Colonial Revival details, louvered non fuctional shutters, recessed entry with leaded sidelights, dormers, and a central gable with semi-circular window.  House has two semi-curcular driveways and a walled courtyard on south end.

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3831
,
Durham
NC
Cross street: 
Built in
1956
Architectural style: 
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 

 

  

Although called the Smith – De Berry house in acknowledgment of the home’s original occupants, Albert and Harriett Smith, the house has been home to the DeBerry family for nearly 50 years. The Smiths sold the home in 1966 after just ten years, to Arthur and Martha DeBerry. In 1993 they in turn sold it to their son, Tad and his wife Barbara. Interestingly the property on which the house sits was originally owned and developed by Watts Norton, Arthur DeBerry’s employer and mentor at Northwestern Mutual. This area of Hope Valley, including Darby, Churchill and Somerset, is known as the Watts Norton Section. DeBerry was the third General Manager for Northwestern Mutual to live in Hope Valley, following John Darling on Exeter Way and Watts Norton Dover Road. The house is essentially original with a south end walled patio, and a semicircular front entry drive the only exterior changes since 1956. Interior changes include a mild 1970’s kitchen freshening and an attic playroom conversion. Harriett Smith, according to neighborhood lore, was an avid bridge player and entertained often. The large living room and dining room attest to her desire to be a good hostess. Heavy moldings, chair rails, and other woodwork set this house apart from its mid century contemporaries. The Smiths and the Humphries next door, split the lot between 3831 Somerset and 3835, allowing both homes to sit on an acre a piece, creating a spaciousness not typically experienced on the northern end of the street. The Smith – DeBerry House was part of the second major wave of development in Hope Valley and it is part of a significant collection of mid century ranch and period revival homes in the Watts Norton Section of the Hope Valley suburb.

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