NR Significance – History, 1918-1929

The years between 1918 and 1929 continued Winston-Salem’s phenomenal growth, and the West End, as a premier neighborhood, continued to reflect the city’s booming economy. In 1919 P.H. Hanes donated a large tract of land (designated as “lawn” on Ludlow’s 1890 West End plat) on the northwestern edge of the West End neighborhood which became Hanes Park (276) with its beautifully landscaped stone entrance with flowerbeds and an avenue of maple trees.

By 1920 Winston-Salem’s population had swelled to 48,395, making it the largest city in the state, a distinction it held until 1930. In 1920 the city stood second only to Baltimore in a Federal index of industrial Southern cities, and by 1924 it was the world’s largest producer of men’s knit underwear, the South’s largest producer of knit goods, and its largest producer of wagons. In 1923-24 Winston-Salem paid more than one-half of all federal taxes paid in North Carolina. By 1928 the value of building permits issued attained a peak of $8,531,028. In the years between 1918 and 1929 the West End neighborhood filled in with an assortment of later Colonial Revival-style homes, Craftsman style residences, fashionable apartment buildings and a few churches.

The West End continued to attract upper and upper middle class Winston-Salem families as residents through the 1920s. A few examples included Robert S. and Ida Galloway (380), Mrs. Bessie Gray Plumly (381) and Charles M. Thomas (305), all of whom built large Colonial Revival style residences in the neighborhood around 1920. Robert S. Galloway was the president of Smith-Phillips Lumber Company, and his wife was the former Ida Miller, daughter of Frank Miller, one of the early real estate entrepreneurs in the city. Bessie Gray Plumly, the widow of Charles E. Plumly, was also the daughter of James A. Gray, one of the most prominent businessmen in Winston-Salem. Charles M. Thomas was the proprietor of C.M. Thomas Company, president of American Oil Company and secretary of the Orinoco Sand Company. In addition to these outstanding examples of the Colonial Revival style, the Craftsman style of architecture also was well represented in the West End through the 1920s. One of the best examples of the style was constructed by Ray B. and Bertha Leinbach Diehl in 1926 on Manly Street (210). Diehl was an accountant and Bertha was the sister of Clarence Leinbach, vice-president of Wachovia Bank. The house is dramatically sited on a steep incline with granite steps leading up to the granite front porch.

With the addition of fashionable apartment buildings in the late 1920s, including the Summit Apartments (120), Gray Court Apartments (86, 428, 429), and the Gladstone Apartments (301), the West End no longer was exclusively a single-family residential neighborhood. In 1925 George Coan, Jr., president of the Morris Plan Industrial Bank, purchased property on Summit Street on which to build the Summit Apartments. The late nineteenth century Liipfert House (222) which had stood on the property was moved down the hill behind it to Jersey Avenue. In 1928 Charles F. Benbow purchased the circa 1883 Eugene E. Gray House at the corner of Fifth and Broad Streets and built the Gray Apartments on the site. Gray lived in the house until at least 1925. The Gray Court Apartments is the largest such complex in the West End. Also around 1929 the Gladstone Apartments were built on the corner of Brookstown and Jersey Avenues.

In addition to apartment buildings, the late 1920s saw the rise of several impressive churches in the West End. The neighborhood already included churches such as West End Methodist on the southwest corner of Fourth and Brookstown and Street Leo’s Catholic on the northwest corner of Fourth and Brookstown, but in the late 1920’s several congregations moved from the central business area to build substantial new structures in the West End. These included Street Paul’s Episcopal (111), Augsburg Lutheran (168), the Friends Meeting House (83), and the First Church of Christ, Scientist (293).

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