January 4, 2019

Preservation Personals: A Prairie-Style Showstopper in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

  • By: Rebecca Gale

I was built in 1908 as a Prairie-style home in the college town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Prairie style was pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright and other architects in Chicago and the Midwest, exemplified by long horizontal lines, hipped roofs, and overhanging eaves, all of which can be seen in my design. My look also integrates well with my natural setting, with my large, rustic stone chimney inside and my warmly painted exterior stucco finish.

I was built for William C. Coker, a man who became a botany professor at the nearby University of North Carolina after leading a prosperous banking career. Coker transformed six acres of swampy land on the university's campus into an arboretum, featuring many native plants and trees. My grounds also reflect his love for the natural world, with 2.8 scenic acres of gardens, oaks, and hemlocks, which have been maintained through a preservation agreement. In fact, the gardens were restored by a specialist in historic gardens.

My large diamond-paned casement windows showcase great views of this scenic setting, while my Arts and Crafts-style interior design brings some scenery indoors. Stunning woodwork has been thoughtfully preserved throughout my 4,172 square feet. Wood paneling, ceiling beams, fireplace surrounds, and trim are made from quality hardwoods like quarter-sawn oak and heart pine.

photo by: Harry Branch

Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

photo by: Harry Branch

My entry hall exhibits gorgeously preserved Arts and Crafts woodwork.

photo by: Harry Branch

The main parlor's huge stone fireplace is the definition of a statement piece.

My numerous open and enclosed porches, sun room, and outdoor terraces are wonderful spaces to relax, as is my cozy library. The kitchen has been thoughtfully modernized and features plenty of cabinetry as well as a second carved wood staircase leading to my second floor's four bedrooms. The master suite has a period bathroom with original porcelain tiles and a deep tub. Another bedroom offers the luxury of a fireplace and balcony overlooking the garden.

Click here to read my full listing!

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Rebecca Gale is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. In her spare time, you can find her visiting local museums, photographing historic buildings, or playing guitar.

Announcing the 2019 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

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