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greensboro an architectural record a survey of the historic and architecturally significant structures of greensboro north carolina text and photographs by marvin a brown

Greensboro : an Architectural Record : a Survey of the Historic and Architecturally Significant Structures of Greensboro, North Carolina Text and Photographs by Marvin a. Brown


Greensboro, N.C. : Preservation Greensboro, 1995. Hardcover. 447 pages : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm. Gift inscription on flyleaf and nowhere else within this copy. Binding is firm and pages are clean.

Text and Photographs by Marvin A. Brown

GREENSBORO was established by North Carolina's General Assembly in 1807-1808 at the geographic center of Guilford County, on land that lacked a river, a road, or even a house. A half-century later it was a "pleasant looking village" of tree-shaded, flower-ringed houses newly awakened to the clamor of the railroad engine and steam whistle. Rail lines streaming from the city like spokes from the hub of a wheel, coupled with the recovery that followed the Civil War and its aftermath, created a booming Piedmont powerhouse in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a city of "tasteful abodes to the businessman [and] comfortable houses to the artisan" set next to vast textile manufactories and mile upon mile of neat workers* houses.

The tranquility of Greensboro's antebellum years, and the frenetic pace of the following decades, are captured by Marvin A. Brown in Greensboro: An Architectural Record through a copiously illustrated history of the city and its architecture, maps of each of its principal neighborhoods, descriptions by neighborhood of hundreds of buildings, and more than 750 modern and historic photographs.

The buildings and neighborhoods pictured in the book range from the grand and historically significant to the modest and commonplace. They include Alexander Jackson Davis' 1844 Blandwood estate, the prototype of the Italian villa in America; Charles C. Hartmann's opulent Art Deco-style Jefferson Standard Building of 1923, once the South's tallest skyscraper; the 1927 Woolworth's Building, the site of the lunch counter sit-in that opened restaurants throughout the South to African-Americans in the early 1960s; and the mansions of Irving Park, a planned suburb unsurpassed in the state. They also include the early dwellings of the two-century-old Quaker community of New Garden in northwest Greensboro, the mill villages of the Cone brothers in northeast Greensboro, and the many gracious, intact neighborhoods in between. As the author illustrates in his text and photographs, the strength and soul of Greensboro's built environment has from the first been found in these neighborhoods, which continue to define the city and firmly establish its place in the architectural history of North Carolina.

MARVIN A. BROWN has previously written and photographed architectural histories and inventories of North Carolina's Lincoln and Granville counties. A cultural resource management consultant based in Raleigh, North Carolina, he has conducted numerous architectural historical projects throughout the eastern seaboard and California, including a comprehensive inventory of Somerset County, New Jersey. He has also nominated more than fifty individual properties and historic districts in North Carolina, New Jersey, and California to the National Register of Historic Places. Born and raised in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Mr. Brown attended Northwestern University and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Stanford University.

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