Rocky Mount, NC – Preservation At Work – The Restoration of Historic Homes

Downtown Concord’s North Union Street Historic District.

I couldn’t resist writing a blog piece about the Milas B. Leslie House. Preservation North Carolina (PNC) featured the house and provided the description. When you study these ‘before and after’ photographs, I hope you find them fascinating too. Once there were raggedy windows and missing porch posts, faded details. After restoration, I am captivated by the architecture and stories the house must hold. The restorations I find and share on the Main Street Blog are an attempt to capture your hearts and imaginations when considering Rocky Mount’s inventory of historic homes that need restoring.

While the original date of the house is uncertain, the house appears on the 1882 Gray’s New Map of Concord Cabarrus County by G. W. Gray & Son of Philadelphia. It was moved in the early 1900’s to make room for a second family residence. Milas Leslie was a carriage maker and his son, John, worked for Charles A. Cannon and founded the Cannon Sales Company in New York City, the sales arm of the original Cannon Mills Company.

Peter Kaplan included the Milas B. Leslie House in his Historic Architecture of Cabarrus County North Carolina and felt its features distinguished it from most of its Queen Anne contemporaries in Concord. He described the boldly projecting slanting bay as the home’s focal point. Paired Tuscan columns, rising from paneled bases, support a wraparound porch. An elliptical stained glass window adorns the center of the bay’s second story. The bay is crowned by an unusual clipped gable roof with flared eves, supported by a curved bracket.

The flared eves project over the bay’s cut-away corners and rest on a pair of scroll-like brackets. Kaplan also notes the flared hip roof and unusually broad eaves. The Milas B. Leslie House has seven fireplaces with original mantels with metal firebox covers, transoms over several interior doors and a variety of windows: diamond, oval, square, rectangular and stained glass. The house is thought to be an example of the earliest form of pattern house mass production balloon framing.

When PNC began working with the house in 2004, it had been divided into apartments and needed extensive improvements to be returned to a single-family residence. In 2005 we found sympathetic buyers who rehabilitated the house back to its original single-family residence.

North Union Street Historic District is a national historic district located at Concord, Cabarrus County, North Carolina. The district encompasses 150 contributing buildings in a predominantly residential section of Concord. The area developed after 1870 and includes notable examples of Greek Revival and Late Victorian style architecture.

This post is dedicated to the organization, Preservation North Carolina. They continually lead the way within the state to educate, help and champion the world of preservation, restoration and repurposing. They are responsible for countless saves of North Carolina architecture. The information in this blog post is typical of PNC’s valuable contribution.

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