Bean-Cathey House, 1905

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                                                                                             photo by Sean Meyers

This four-square home was built in 1905 as a rental home by Mary Bean, widow of a prosperous distiller. Their son, W.R. Bean, a local real estate broker, built the Bean-Ellington home at 700 South Fulton Street in 1916. By 1913, the home was moved closer to the street and turned 90 degrees to its current position. It was sold in 1914 to J.P. and Cora Cathey, the grandparents of Senator Elizabeth Dole, who lived there the rest of their lives. Dole’s mother, Mary Cathey Hanford, moved into the house when she was about 12 years old, and as an adult, lived two doors down. After the death of Mr. Cathey, his widow occupied the house and deeded the home to Robert A. Cathey, the Superintendent of High Point, Randleman, Asheboro, and Southern Railroad Company and Yadkin Railroad Company.

In the 1930s and ‘40s, the house was a triplex apartment – two downstairs and one up. A pocket door was located at the front so the families could mingle when desired. During this time there were three different kitchens so each family had their own separate living space. The first floor façade was altered when two front entrances were created to serve the apartment spaces. One of the front entrances has since been changed to look like a window with the tall wooden columns set to frame the main front door.

The home became empty and fell into disrepair in the early 1980’s. Gordon and Barbara Senter began a major restoration of the home in 2005. The original pine floors were refinished and original columns, each made from a single tree trunk, again grace the wide, welcoming front porch. The house retains its slate roof and original glass in front room windows, while salvaged and locally crafted antique corner blocks accent the windows and doorways.

Heilig-Hennessee House, 1927

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                                                              photo by Shawn Meyers

Mary Elizabeth Thompson Heilig, widow of James Daniel Heilig of 507 South Fulton Street, built this two-story brick four square house in 1927 and used it, as she would many other houses in the up and coming neighborhood, as a rental as she developed the family land. The 1935 Baldwin City Directory lists Jonathon M. Douglas, a clerk at Armour & Co., a wholesale meat packing business on East Council Street, and wife Nancy living in the home.

In 1945, Mrs. Heilig sold the house to her daughter, Mary “Elizabeth”, and son-in-law, William Edward Hennessee. Mr. Hennessee was a commercial artist and his wife, a secretary at Proctor Chemical Company. In 1955, Mr. Hennessee opened Hennessee Studio of Heraldic Art in the home until 1958 when he passed away. It is believed that Mr. Hennessee designed the seal for the City of Salisbury. Mrs. Hennessee passed away in 1976 and the home remained in the family until the mid-2000’s when it was purchase by Jane Nussman and once again used as a rental property until 2018 when it was purchase by the current owners.

Like the other nearby four-squares designed by Walter F. McCanless, this house is a box-like rectangular shape with a high hipped roof. Its symmetrical composition is balanced by a porte cochere and an open porch (now enclosed) supported by brick piers which extend from each side. The main entry, influenced by the Colonial Revival style, features narrow multi-paned sidelights and is framed by a columned portico.

Kress Plaza Condominium, c. 1910


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                                                                                                    photo by Sean Meyers

This Neo-Classical commercial building was constructed by the S.H. Kress Company in 1910 as a five and dime cent store and operated for 64 years, closing in 1974. Beginning in 1896, Samuel Kress built 260 stores in the United States, many of which were located in the southeast. Kress became known for erecting expensive structures using the finest materials while purveying “affordable, durable, and cheerful” domestic merchandise. Kress also became a major employer of women over the decades spanning the two world wars. The grandest of the Kress stores was the seven-story flagship store at the corner of 5th Avenue and 39th Street in Mahattan, which opened in 1935. Sadly it was demolished in 1980.

In 2006, the Salisbury Kress building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, was purchased by Joel Goodman of Goodman Investments of Mooresville, who began a restoration of the second floor. Five condos were completed in 2007 utilizing Historic Tax Credits. The apartments retain twelve foot ceilings, solid core, eight foot doors, and refinished original red maple flooring. The featured apartment also retains some original department store features such as transoms and the “Information Desk” window that now looks toward the master bedroom, which was formerly the store’s upstairs office. In 2011, the building was purchased by Sharp Capital Group LLC which operates its offices out of one of the ground floor retail spaces.

Fisher-Cruse House, c. 1830


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                                                                                                            photo by Sean Meyers

One of the best preserved and least altered of Rowan County’s smaller antebellum farm seats, the house was built by John Fisher in the 1830's, shortly after he acquired the property from Michael Brown. A one story frame dwelling already on the property was made into the kitchen and dining room. Fisher built the frame house, joining the two structures by a shed porch that abuts the southeast corner of the earlier dwelling.

The interior follows a two-room plan with an enclosed stair to the attic and features vernacular Greek Revival woodwork, original window glass, and unpainted, heart pine walls. The house was extensively restored by the homeowners who have furnished it with an impressive collection of antiques, southern country furniture, and accessories.

The homestead was last on Tour in 1990 when restoration was not yet complete. A log cabin (now guest house), moved from the Concord area and reassembled on-site, sits in the location of an original log cabin that was a spring house used for storage. The granite pillars on which the cabin sits are original to the old cabin. Additions since 1990 include a log outbuilding in 1992 used as a workshop, an arbor in 2003 on the site of the original outdoor kitchen, which burned down prior to the Civil War, and a dog trot barn in 2004, which was moved from the Shenandoah Valley and sits about 50 feet from the original barn destroyed in the 1960s.

Rufus G. Hunt House, c. 1928

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                                                                                                         Photo by Sean Meyers

This granite block house was constructed in 1928 for Rufus and Miriam Harris Hunt by the E.W. Wagoner Construction Company, later Wagoner Construction Company. Mrs. Hunt’s family, the Harrises, owned the Harris Granite Quarries Company, whose quarries at the time included the Balfour Pink Granite Quarry near Gold Hill in eastern Rowan County. Mr. Hunt was the business manager for the quarry where the stone for the house was procured. The Tudor Eclectic home has a façade dominated by a steep front-facing gable and a steeply pitched roof. The home’s pink and gray granite is laid in an irregular pattern of small, large, vertical and horizontal blocks. The construction of the house caused a minor stir in the neighborhood when it was thought not to “fit in” with the surrounding homes.

Look for French doors and a large symmetrical gray granite fireplace and mantle. The home was last on tour in 2011 and the current owners acquired it in 2017. Their love of color and eclectic style, a combination of modern, vintage, and antique furniture and art are displayed throughout the home.

Slater-Miller-Martin House, c. 1850


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                                                                               photo by Sean Meyers

This one-story, Greek Revival home was built c. 1850 with Victorian additions in the 1890s. Architectural features include 6/6 sash windows with large original rectangular panes cased with molded, mitered trim, a symmetrical form with gabled roof, three bays wide and one bay deep, with a gabled addition to the rear. A low hipped veranda was added in the Victorian style with a slightly projecting, pedimented gable over the entry with turned posts and wrought iron balustrade.

The most famous owner of the home was Ben Martin, photographer for Time and Life Magazines, among others. He inherited the home from his aunt and uncle, William and Whilhelmina Miller. Mr. Miller worked for Miller Brokerage Company Fruit Produce on North Lee Street and his wife was employed by Rowan Memorial Hospital as a medical records librarian. Mr. Martin was born in Salisbury in 1930 and began his photographic endeavors at age eight when he received his first camera and later as a staff photographer for the Salisbury Post at age 15.

Mr. Martin captured some of history’s most iconic images, including Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march, President John F. Kennedy’s funeral, the Japanese pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbor during the 40th anniversary of Hiroshima, and many other historical figures and happenings throughout the world over a thirty-three-year period. Mr. Martin passed away in 2016, and the present owners acquired the home in 2017 and have completed a full restoration.

O.O. Rufty General Store Building, 1922


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                                                                    photo by Sean Meyers

Oliver Oscho Rufty opened his store at 112 South Main Street around 1917 and named it “O.O. Rufty’s General Store.” In 1922 the store was moved to its present location on East Innes Street. He ran the store until 1931 when he sold it to the Houser Brothers of Winston-Salem and continued to manage it until 1933 when he repurchased it. Ten of his twelve children survived into adulthood and were involved in the business from an early age.  In 1952, Mr. Rufty retired and transferred ownership to his five sons as a partnership. Other expansions of the business included Rufty’s Garden Shop, Piedmont Garden Supply, Double O. Imports, and Southeastern Plumbing Supply.

In December 2002, The Rufty family sold the building to Bette Pollock and Stanley Williamson who opened Okey Dokey and Co. General Store. In 2015, the building suffered a devastating fire and Okey Dokey was never reopened. The building stood vacant for years until it was purchased by the current owners who began a full-scale restoration in 2018. The 12,400 square foot building was repurposed into a multi-use project and currently houses one retail space, six apartments, and 30 climate controlled storage spaces in the expansive basement.

Andrew Murphy House, c. 1854

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Built circa 1854 by wealth merchant Andrew Murphy for his bride, this handsome two-story frame, Greek Revival structure features two generous porticoes with Tuscan columns providing an inviting sheltered view of their historic surroundings. The original two lots encompassed approximately one-half of the block, extending from the corner of South Jackson and West Bank Streets south to West Horah Street. The builder’s youngest of ten children, Walter “Pete” Murphy, inherited the property. He was a well-known veteran legislator who served during 19 sessions of the state House of Representatives where he was elected two times to the speakership. His son, Spencer Murphy, eventually inherited the house and was editor of the Salisbury Post for 28 years. The home then passed to his daughter, Mary Marshal Murphy Murdoch who in turn passed it on to her daughter, Katherine DeBerry Murdoch. The house remained in the same family for five generations until 2015 when it was purchased by the current owners who have completed an extensive restoration and renovation of the house.

Original features include double entry doors with beveled glass and surrounds, six fireplaces with original mantels, French doors, glass transoms, wide-planked heart of pine floors, and several rooms with wooden walls and 6” beaded board ceilings.

132 Flats, 1919


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                                                            photo by Sean Meyers                                                                                                                                                                 photo by Sean Meyers

132 Flats is a one-story brick building constructed in 1919 on the corner of E. Innes and N. Lee Streets.   Historically occupied by auto related businesses in the early part of the century, the building has been transformed into four luxury residential flats.  With design aesthetics paying homage to its historic past, 132 Flats incorporates modern conveniences in a highly efficient structure promoting a sustainable urban lifestyle.

Originally, the building was constructed to house the Motor Sales and Service Company with a capacity of 150 cars.  Later the building went on to house several automobile dealerships including Salisbury Motor Company, which is still operating as a family owned business in Salisbury today.  The building once housed a Buick showroom on the main floor and an auto repair shop in the basement. 

Occupied by Haden’s Economy Auto Store in 1941, when rubber was scarce due to WWII, the building was mostly destroyed by a fire caused by a tire recapping accident.  Everything except the Lee Street façade was destroyed in the fire.  Around that time, the rear section of the building was demolished.  After a period of vacancy, the building was restored, and by 1944 was occupied by Ketner’s Grocery, followed by Winn Dixie in 1960. For the next several decades, the building housed various downtown businesses, notably Senator Elizabeth Dole’s campaign office in 1999 and later the Salisbury Visitor Center.

The project highlights the opportunities in downtown Salisbury to promote sustainable urban development while protecting historic structures and meeting housing demands.  With its location in the urban core of Salisbury and its proximity to public services and community amenities, this was an ideal structure for an urban-reuse project.  These criteria were conducive to 132 Flats being the first project in downtown Salisbury to pursue certification under the National Green Building Standard.

Josephus W. Hall House, 1820


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                                                                                               photo by Sean Meyers

Salisbury’s landmark residence was originally an 1820 two-story Federal style double-pile (two-rooms deep) frame house used by the girl’s department of Salisbury Academy. The original Salisbury Academy closed after five years of operation, and the building was sold. Ms. Rebecca Troy and her half-brother, Maxwell Chambers, lived in the house for fourteen years, until her marriage to Judge David Caldwell. It was then sold to the Sheriff of Davie County, N. S. A. Chaffin, who used the property for rental income.

In 1859, Dr. Josephus Hall (1805-1873) purchased the property from Sheriff Chaffin and added a two-story front porch with cast iron oak leaf and acorn ornamental openwork, a gateway arch, and square-edged clapboard. The ironwork was ordered from St. Louis, where Dr. Hall lived for some time, while helping to establish several medical schools. Salisbury blacksmith, Peter Frerck, installed the ironwork for Dr. Hall, which cost one hundred and seventeen dollars. The front windows were also lengthened. During the Civil War, Dr. Hall served as hospital surgeon and surgeon in charge at the Salisbury Confederate Prison.

Between 1890 and 1910, the attic was enlarged with a high-hipped roof and dormers. Historic Salisbury Foundation purchased the home and contents in 1972 from the Hall family, which had continuously occupied the residence for 113 years. A two-room detached kitchen, staffed before emancipation by enslaved persons, was carefully restored over a three-year period and opened to the public in 2006.

Spacious grounds contain an herb garden and antique rose garden, as well as many old-growth trees and shrubs. The cannon on the front lawn once guarded the Salisbury Confederate Prison. The site is open for guided tours on weekends from March through December, and features special exhibits, guest speakers and programs.

In Summer 2019, the movie “The 24th” was filmed in various locations around Salisbury, including the Hall House. The film was directed by Kevin Willmott, Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, along with Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, and David Rabinowitz. The Hall House will also celebrate its 200th anniversary in May 2020.

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Historic Salisbury Foundation - Celebrating 46 Years of Preservation

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Historic Salisbury Foundation, founded in 1972, is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and revitalize the historic fabric of Salisbury and Rowan County.