After years of work, High Point has a publication dedicated to the architectural history of the city. In efforts of transparency and full-disclosure, I am its author. I will receive no financial benefit in the sale of the book.
The publication entitled “The Architecture of High Point, North Carolina” hit shelves in High Point last week. Books are available for purchase at the High Point Historical Museum (1859 East Lexington Avenue), the North Carolina Room (3rd Floor) of the High Point Public Library (901 North Main Street), City Hall at the Mall (Oak Hollow Mall, Lower Level), High Point City Hall, 211 South Hamilton Street), the Doll & Miniature Museum (101 West Green Drive), and Barnes and Noble Booksellers at Oak Hollow Mall. The book costs $49.99, and proceeds are returned to the High Point Historic Preservation Commission to invest in city preservation activities such as educational materials and programs.
The 263-page publication includes a comprehensive architectural history of the development of the city, coupled with an inventory of 202 individual sites; a glossary of architectural terms; end notes; works cites; and an index. The book is illustrated with documentary photos of city structures both extant and extinct, early maps, floor plans, and hundreds of contemporary images of historic sites. Twenty four color plates depict historic structures in High Point in which color plays a key factor in their design. The cover design features the newly renovated Briles House at 1103 North Main Street, the home of High Point’s Junior League (image, upper right).
With a lack of a comprehensive survey, High Point has been an unsung hero in North Carolina’s architectural history. The book reveals historic buildings in High Point that few are aware of, such as the impressive and sprawling Three Musketeer’s Estate in Emerywood designed by Winston-Salem architect Luther Lashmit and decorated by New York firm W. & J. Sloane (image, lower right). As I state in the preface:
Reflecting the city’s growth and influence is an architectural inventory epitomizing High Point’s increasing civic pride and cultural sophistication. Since the city’s early settlement, hotels and merchant-houses presented fashionable façades to visitors and discerning shoppers. Later, wealthy industrialists had ambitious houses and churches erected in popular styles that illustrated the growing town’s sense of style. Finally, civic projects such as schools and parks utilized modern designs that spoke to High Point’s progressive spirit and quickening pace. By the middle of the twentieth century, High Point had an impressive collection of architecture representing nearly every popular style since the city was founded, including designs by nationally recognized architects and planners.
I hope the book will make the case for increased awareness and protection of High Point’s remarkable architectural legacy. This legacy is a gift of past citizens, and need not be recklessly squandered by well-meaning developers, promoters, and planners. If cultivated, High Point will find that’s its architectural legacy is a tangible and enjoyable asset that newer communities in our region will never attain. In addition, investment in historic resources is an expenditure that will never be relocated to foreign shores, and serves to strengthen the city’s tax base and quality of life for all citizens.
With this publication, High Point joins 32 municipalities and 38 counties in North Carolina with published architectural surveys. Locally, the Guilford County architectural survey was published in 1970, and Greensboro’s survey was published in 1995. Other cities, such as Charlotte, have not yet published an architectural survey. Way to go High Point and happy 2008 Historic Preservation Month!