NR Description – Colonial Revival

One of the two most widely represented architectural styles in the West End is the Colonial Revival, popular throughout the first quarter of the twentieth century when the West End experienced its greatest period of building activity. Interpreting the architectural forms and details of the American colonial period, this traditional style was used for seemingly countless buildings in the West End and ranged from the richly ornamental to the chastely simple.

At the top end of the spectrum are the 1902 John E. Coleman House (110) and the 1920 Charles M. Thomas House (305). Both are large two-story brick dwellings. The Coleman House is one of the most sophisticated houses of its period in Winston-Salem. The symmetrically designed house has pedimented cross gables and dormers, a garland frieze, dark brick lintels and corner quoins which contrast with the light brick body of the house, a Palladian window, and a wrap-around Ionic porch with a balustraded upper deck. The interior contains an incredibly rich collection of details such as a paneled closed string stair, a paneled wainscot and paneled ceiling in the hall, sliding pocket doors, multiple Colonial Revival mantels, and both leaded and beveled glass and jeweled glass. The Thomas House exhibits the typical Colonial Revival symmetry in its five-bay facade and is distinguished by Flemish bond brickwork, a chaste Federal Revival entrance, a balustraded terrace, a Palladian window, and on the interior, a Doric colonade, molded cornices, and delicate Federal Revival mantels, among other details.

The William B. Taylor House (160), designed by the architectural firm of Blauvelt and Gates, is a more simple yet boldly monumental example of the style. The severely formal two-story brick house features symmetry of design, granite trim, a slightly projecting pedimented center bay, and a Palladian window. One of the most handsome of the many examples of the style is the Robert S. Galloway House (380), designed in 1918 by prominent local architect Willard C. Northup. With is white stuccoed walls and green tile roof, the two-story house suggests the influence of Charles Barton Keen’s design for Reynolda House. The Galloway House is detailed with blind arches over the first story windows, a modilliioned cornice, and matching front, side, and rear porches with Tuscan columns, a full entablature with triglyph and metope frieze, and a balustraded upper deck. The interior is designed with a variety of Federal Revival details.

Next door, the two-story brick Bess Gray Plumly House (381) is another good example of the Colonial Revival, with a symmetrical five-bay facade, pedimented dormers, a modillioned cornice, and a Doric entrance porch. On a slightly smaller scale, the ca. 1915 G.W. Orr House (124) is one of the most correctly detailed Colonial Revival houses in the neighborhood. The two-story wood shingle house has among its features a symmetrical five-bay facade with pedimented dormers, a dentiled and modillioned cornice, a Palladian window, and a Doric entrance porch with a pedimented entablature and a barrel-vaulted, coffered ceiling.

The Colonial Revival was treated in a variety of ways in the West End, and one of the most popular was the form that utilized as its primary feature the gambrel roof. Examples such as the ca. 1917 Stockton-Tatum House (373) designed by C. Gilbert Humphreys, the ca. 1915 Fletcher-Blackwell House (126), and the ca. 1922 Jones-Heath House (457) used the side gambrel roof, while other houses such as the 1905 Joseph E. Alexander House (359) and the 1911 Roberts-Leman House (530) used the cross gambrel roof. Stucco and wood shingles, often in combination, as well as weatherboard siding were popular building materials for these houses.

While there were many elaborate examples of the Colonial Revival style in the West End, there were even more examples that were correct but simple. The 1912 Gregg House (388), with its hipped roof, hipped dormers, and wrap-around porch with Tuscan posts and slightly projecting central entrance bay is one good example. Another is the Matton-Carmichael House (211), designed in 1922 by architect Harold Macklin. This two-story wood shingled house has a three-bay facade, a gable roof with a gable end chimney, and a one-story front porch with plain Tuscan posts.
Other building types were designed in the Colonial Revival style, Prime examples are the 1927 Friends Meeting House (83) and the 1924 First Church of Christ, Scientist (293). Designed by the firm of Northup and O’Brien, the Friends church exhibits a Federal Revival Classicism with its pedimented two-story Doric portico which enframes three double-leaf entrances with fanlight transoms. Round­ arched windows line the sides of the church. The Christian Science church is a much smaller building which also expresses a chaste Federal Revival Classicism. It has a pedimented facade and a pedimented entrance porch, and is encircled by fifteen-over­ fifteen sash 1qindows with round-arched, keystoned lintels.

Apartment buildings erected in the 1920’s also chose a simple version of the style for their design, as exemplified by the Summit Apartments (120). This handsome three-story brick building has a Classical entrance, a balcony with a round-arched sash window, other windows with keystoned lintels, and a parapeted cornice.

National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination (1987)