NR Significance – History, 1900-1917

Between 1900 and 1917, building in the West End and the rest of Winston and Salem escalated as the towns entered an era of prosperity unequalled by any other before it. The spirit of growth was so pervasive that the motto of Winston-Salem during the early years of the 1900’s was “50 by 15” or 50,000 inhabitants by 1915. In 1900 the combined population of Winston and Salem was 13,650. By 1910 it had risen to 22,700. By 1916 it had increased to 31,155 (a 38% increase in those six years), more than any other city in North Carolina.

In 1913, “after a decisive vote of the people” Winston and Salem were officially consolidated under the name Winston-Salem. Winston-Salem’s business and industrial base continued to grow and expand, enabling the growth of the city to continue. In 1900 P.H. and J.W. Hanes sold their tobacco company to R.J. Reynolds and the brothers separately entered the textile business. P.H. Hanes began a knitting company and J.W. Hanes organized a hosiery business.

By 1916 Winston-Salem lead the South in the manufacture of knit goods. In 1913 R.J. Reynolds expanded and revolutionized its product line with the introduction of Camel cigarettes. By 1916 Winston-Salem also lead the world in the manufacture of plug tobacco. There was a $66,857,000 increase in the value of factory products between 1900 and 1918, and by 1917 Winston-Salem had the largest weekly payroll between Richmond and Atlanta. Between 1910 and 1917 the yearly average of the amount expended in the erection of new buildings in Winston-Salem exceeded $1,000,000. Prosperity reigned between 1900 and 1917 and the West End became Winston’s showplace for domestic architecture on a grandiose scale.

The majority of residents who built in the West End in the early years of the twentieth century were upper and upper middle class families who could afford to build substantial houses. The Colonial Revival style was popular throughout the country during the first half of the twentieth century and it exhibited a renewed interest in Georgian and Federal-style detailing. Among the earliest and most notable examples were the houses of William B. Taylor (160), a tobacco manufacturer, and John Coleman (110), an independent tobacconist, both of whom built high-style Colonial Revival residences around 1900.

The Neo­-Classical Revival style also was popular during the period from about 1900 to 1920. It emphasized full-height porticos with elaborate, correct columns. In addition, John W. Hanes, a hosiery manufacturer, Cicero Tise (159), a real estate entrepreneur, Carrie Rosenbacher (163), a clothing store matriarch, and others built imposing Neo-Classical Revival residences between 1903 and 1909.

Periods of Development: Combined, 67% of the structures in the West End Historic District were built between 1900 and 1917.

Distribution:Quantity:Date Range:
4%23 StructuresPrior to 1900
33%202 Structures1900-1917
34%206 Structures1918-1929
4%27 Structures1930-1945
22%131 StructuresAfter 1945


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