The Revival

 THE GEORGE C. EICHHORN HOUSE

Marked by stucco, half-timbering, and a tall front chimney, this cross-gabled house is larger and more ornate than most of its neighborhood Tudor Revival-style contemporaries. Purchasing agent Eichhorn resided here in the late 1920s.

“Greensboro: An Architectural Record” by Marvin A. Brown

Mr. Eichhorn was an employee of the City of Greensboro in the Traffic and Purchasing Departments, holding City Clerk/Treasurer positions, and as an executive at Vick Chemical Company. Frustrated by city congestion, local records indicate Eichhorn bought 20 acres of land in the suburbs and built this lovely home in what became known as Latham Park.

Front outside_in progress

In 1782, before the proper settlement of Greensboro, a description of the area was written by J. Hector St.John DeCrevecoeur:

No spot of earth can be more beautiful; it is composed of gentle hills, of easy declivities, excellent lowlands, accompanied by different brooks which traverse this settlement. I never saw a soil that rewards men so early for their labours and disbursements. . . . It is perhaps the most pleasing, the most bewitching country which the continent affords.

A view of the new window from the 1st floor office.
A view of the new window from the 1st floor office.

At the taking of the first local census in 1829, Greensboro had nine taxable commercial enterprises: five stores, three retail liquor shops, and the services of a stud horse. The streets were lined from one side to the other with trees, and the houses so shaded and covered that you cannot see them till your walk brings you in front of them.

In the 1890s, the Cone brothers established large-scale textile plants, changing Greensboro from a village to a city within a decade. By 1900, Greensboro was considered a center of the Southern textile industry, with factories producing denim, flannel, and overalls. Wealth and population continued to expand as other notable industries became established in the city, including Vicks Chemical Co. (famous for VapoRub and NyQuil), Carolina Steel Corporation, and Pomona Terra Cotta Works.

On February 1, 1960, four black college students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College sat down at an all-white Woolworth’s lunch counter, and refused to leave after they were denied service. Hundreds of others soon joined in this sit-in, which lasted several months. Such protests quickly spread across the South, ultimately leading to the desegregation of Woolworth’s and other chains.

The old and new exterior color scheme.
The old and new exterior color scheme.

Greensboro is among the gently rolling hills of North Carolina’s Piedmont and is situated midway between the state’s Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains to the west and the Atlantic beaches and Outer Banks to the east. It remains a major textile headquarters for brands such as Wrangler, Lee, The North Face, and Nautica. Neighboring High Point, known as the “Furniture Capitol of the World,” has also had a major impact on Greensboro’s financial economy, as well as my own.

Some of the house's most impressive features: the classic Tudor Revival exterior, the family room, and the central stairway.... all in progress.
The classic Tudor Revival exterior, family room, and the central stairway…. all in progress.

The first night spent in our lovely old home was 12 days ago with no internet, no TV and for the first two nights, no hot water. The 90+ degree days that we have avoided for the past decade gathered as a welcoming committee for our first week of residence. Ivy, overgrown and uncontrollable, once again fills my life – only this time it nurtures blood-sucking mosquitoes in its dark underbelly.

Inside the doors of this home, however, you will see we have uncovered a gem. Lovingly restored, it faces a brand, new life – a revival of sorts, indeed.

Meanwhile, there is more furniture to move (and buy), boxes to unpack, and a garden of ivy to control before this story ends.

Sources: 

Greensboro: An Architectural Record: A Survey of the Historic and Architecturally Significant Structures of Greensboro, North Carolina | Preservation Greensboro Inc (June 1995)

Wikipedia: Greensboro, North Carolina

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