The built environment of the West End consists primarily of residential structures and associated outbuildings, but also includes a few commercial buildings, four churches, and several miscellaneous structures. For the most part, buildings in the West End are densely arranged on narrow but deep lots with shallow front yards. Most are one-and-a-half or two-stories in height.
Throughout the West End, from the most elaborate mansion to the simplest bungalow, the quality of design and workmanship is generally excellent. While the majority of buildings are reserved in their use of exterior ornamentation, some nearly explode with richness of detail. Among the best examples are the John E. Coleman House (110) and the Charles M.Thomas House (305), both brick Colonial Revival dwellings; the G.W. Orr House (124), a frame Colonial Revival dwelling; the J. Cicero Tise House (159), a brick Neo-Classical Revival structure; the Edgar D. Vaughn House (371), a Queen Anne frame residence; and the Harry H. Davis House (314), a frame Craftsman style dwelling.
Although frame construction methods predominate, a rich variety of building materials are present. Frame buildings include weatherboarded structures like the Jacquelin P. Taylor House (74), the Rosenbacher House (163), and the P.O. Leak House (318). Wood-shingled dwellings such as the G.F. Hinshaw House (205), the Byrd-Justice House (206), and the W. B. Hawkins House (219). Mixed-material bungalows like the Hollenback-Garner House (516) and its mate, the Harry A. Cunningham House (517) are weatherboarded on the first story and wood-shingled on the upper story.
Brick and Stone
Though fewer in number, some of the most impressive dwellings in the neighborhood are brick, as exemplified by the B.J. Sheppard House (106), the John E. Coleman House (110), the Charles M. Thomas House (305), and the Rowhouses (423, 424, 425, 426) on W. Fourth Street. Many of the brick structures, such as the William B. Taylor House (160), are detailed in granite or another material. Full-fledged use of stone is found with the monumental Street Paul’s Episcopal Church (111) and Augsburg Lutheran Church (168).
Stucco and Pebbledash
Prime examples of stuccoed houses include the Taylor Houses (180, 181, 182) in the 1000 block of W. Fifth Street, the P. Huber Hanes House (336), and the Kerner E. Shore House (487). Good examples of the rougher pebbledash treatment include four back-to-back houses on West End Boulevard and Sixth Street (81, 87, 203, 204), and the Charles M. Taylor House (174) where pebbledash is used in conjunction with mock half-timbering.
Rusticated concrete block construction is also found in the West End, used primarily for outbuildings, but also for a pair of houses on Glade Street – the Aaron Cook House (342) and the Thomas Smither House (343).
Post 1945 materials
Brick veneer, asbestos shingles, aluminum siding, and vinyl siding are present in the West End, but their impact on the overall character of the district is far less than that of the rich variety of pre-1930 building materials.
National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination (1987)