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National Register Adds Seven North Carolina Historic Places

Raleigh, NC

The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is pleased to announce that seven individual properties across the state have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The following properties were reviewed by the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee and were subsequently nominated by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register for consideration for listing in the National Register.

“These historic places are part of North Carolina’s rich and diverse story, and they need our protection,” said Secretary Susi Hamilton, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “The National Register is a vital tool in the preservation of our state’s historic resources, and North Carolina has long been a leader in the nation’s preservation movement.”

The listing of a property in the National Register places no obligation or restriction on a private owner using private resources to maintain or alter the property. Over the years, various federal and state incentives have been introduced to assist private preservation initiatives, including tax credits for the rehabilitation of National Register properties. As of Jan. 1, over 3,790 historic rehabilitation projects with an estimated private investment of over $2.833 billion have been completed.

Eastern North Carolina

Caromount Mills, Inc.—Burlington Industries, Inc. Plant, Rocky Mount, Nash County, Listed 08/26/2019

The Caromount Mills, Inc.—Burlington Industries, Inc. plant is significant at the local level in the area of industry. New York-based Sidney Blumenthal and Company created Caromount Mills, Inc. in Rocky Mount in 1930 as a subsidiary company to increase its cotton-pile fabric production capacity. The plant was the first of three North Carolina operations that comprised the company’s southern division by 1954. Caromount Mills remained one of Rocky Mount’s few textile mills and largest employers for almost 30 years. Burlington Industries, Inc. a prominent North Carolina textile manufacturer, acquired a controlling interest in Sidney Blumenthal and Company in 1958 and operated the Rocky Mount plant until 1981. The contributions of these businesses to the local economy as employers, consumers of local goods and services and taxpayers, were significant. The mill comprises a series of interconnected one- and one-story-on-basement, brick, concrete, and steel manufacturing and storage buildings and additions erected from around 1930 through the 1960s. A one-story brick c. 1930 softener house, a one-story frame 1930s warehouse, a two-story brick 1940 boiler house with a 1952 addition, and a small brick 1960s guard house are freestanding. 

Central North Carolina

T. Austin and Ernestine L. Finch House, Thomasville, Davidson County, listed 08/26/2019

The T. Austin and Ernestine Lambeth Finch House, erected in 1921 and enlarged in 1938, is locally significant in the area of architecture as a remarkably intact example of the Renaissance Revival style. The dwelling’s exterior features white stuccoed walls, green Ludowici-Celadon tile hip roof, deep eaves supported by shaped rafter ends, wood casement and double-hung multipane windows and French doors, all of which exemplify the style. Finely crafted classical elements including Tuscan porch columns and Palladian library entrance surrounds contribute to the sophisticated aesthetic and Classical wooden trim distinguishes several rooms. Although similar dwellings were constructed throughout the United States in elite subdivisions developed during the 1920s and 1930s, the Finch House is unique in Thomasville, where the wealthy favored Tudor, Georgian, and Classical Revival styles. The dwelling’s expansiveness and estate-like setting are particularly notable, as most of the city’s early- to mid-20th century subdivisions contain modest bungalows, period cottages, and Minimal Traditional houses on small parcels.

Gem Theatre, Kannapolis, Cabarrus County, listed 08/26/2019

The Gem Theatre is locally significant in the areas of entertainment/recreation and architecture. It is a fine example of the Art Deco style and it follows in the tradition of late period picture palace theaters. Its purpose-built, single screen "picture palace" status is dually significant as an architectural form and as a recreational resource supporting a specific mode and period of movie theater construction. The theater was built in 1936 by Cannon Mills to provide recreational opportunities for millworkers and was partially rebuilt in 1948 following a fire. One of many amenities built in Kannapolis for Cannon Mills employees, it exemplifies the range of influence of a mill company town from employment to recreation.

Sanford Tobacco Company Redrying Plant and Warehouse, Sanford, Lee County, listed 08/27/2019

The Sanford Tobacco Company Redrying Plant and Warehouse is locally significant to the Sanford tobacco market and the broader tobacco industry in Lee County. In the early 20th century, tobacco overtook cotton as the primary cash crop in Lee County, and Sanford, the county seat, developed a strong tobacco market serving Lee and the surrounding counties. Although it moved less tobacco than its larger counterparts, the opening of the Sanford Tobacco Company’s redrying plant in 1947, the first redrying plant locally, put the Sanford tobacco market on par with important regional tobacco markets such as Durham and Winston-Salem in North Carolina and Danville in Virginia. Tobacco redrying is an important step that prevents crop losses due to mold-growth during storage. Therefore, the ability to stem, process, and redry locally-grown tobacco quickly in Sanford, was essential to the growth of the Sanford market and its ability to compete with larger markets throughout the region. Almost all locally grown tobacco was sold in Sanford auction houses and then processed at Sanford Tobacco Company, before being shipped to production sites outside of the county. The plant and warehouse expanded in 1951 and again in 1961-1965. For most of its history, with the exception of a three-year period from 1959 to 1962, Sanford Tobacco Company Redrying Plant and Warehouse was the only redrying plant serving the Sanford tobacco market. It eventually closed in 1975.

Bunyan S. and Edith W. Womble House, Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, listed 08/28/2019

The Bunyan S. and Edith W. Womble House, constructed in 1927, is locally significant for architecture due to its Classical Revival design rendered by Philadelphia-based firm Keen and Wallace. The remarkably intact residence is one of four imposing 1920s dwellings facing east toward Stratford Road in the exclusive Stratford Place subdivision platted by Philadelphia landscape architect Thomas Sears. Although abodes influenced by those on European country estates are plentiful in Winston-Salem, with Tudor, Georgian, and Classical Revival styles being the most typical throughout the city’s early- to mid-20th-century subdivisions, the Womble House is distinguished by its scale, sophisticated execution, and estate-like setting. The main block’s exterior is characterized by white stucco walls, a Ludowici-Celadon tile roof, and classical details such as a molded modillion cornice and flat-roofed east entrance portico. The formal interior spaces feature classical cornices, wainscoting, paneling, door and window surrounds, and mantels.

Western North Carolina

Carolina and Northwestern Railway Freight Depot, Lenoir, Caldwell County, listed 08/29/2019

The Carolina and Northwestern Railway Freight Station was erected in 1950 in response to the growing industrial transportation needs of manufacturers in Lenoir, Caldwell County. The property is significant not only as an excellent and intact Modernist freight station, but also for the role that it played in the substantial post-World War II growth of the furniture industry in the Piedmont community.

Taylorsville Milling Company Roller Mill, Taylorsville, Alexander County, listed 08/27/2019

Constructed in 1902, the Taylorsville Milling Company Roller Mill is locally significant as a rare and intact example of traditional roller mill design in Alexander County. The utilitarian building is one of the county’s few surviving early 20th-century grain-processing facilities that were erected when the economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture and related industries.

NOTE TO EDITORS -- all of the above images are available in a higher resolution on our Flickr site

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