Ardmore was notable as the first “commuter” residential neighborhood. It grew rapidly in the early 1920’s because of Winston’s expanding population. By then, we had become the largest city in North Carolina. Ardmore was far enough from downtown that automobiles became important for these residents. The houses are distinguished by their many garages, usually detached, single-bay often with matching architecture. Over twenty percent of the historic garages are still standing.
This Ardmore route actually goes chronologically backwards. We will enter the more recent development of the neighborhood that doesn’t qualify for its historic status and leave via its oldest–in fact the initial development of Ardmore in 1913 was just as an expansion of West End. But let’s head out.
From the West End Coffeehouse we travel west to Brookstown Avenue and turn left. (Note, however, Bernadin’s Restaurant on the right. The building is the Zeverly house, built in 1815 and was the oldest extant house in Winston when, in 1974, it was moved from Oak Street to be restored as a restuarant). We head over to Marshall Street and travel south to the Salem Greenway, right to Washington Park. Just past the dog park, we turn right out of the park to Hutton Street, then Link Road to cross over Peters Creek Parkway and enter Ardmore.
The newer brick ranch houses approach the historic region of 1920s houses as we reach Gales and zig zag back around the newer perimeter down Cherokee Lane to Bolton Street and into the streets of Knollwood Manor. Then we cross over Knollwood Road and on to Westview toward Magnolia. Now we are entering the section marketed in the 1922 as Westover Park.
Particularly interesting is that in this area we are passing through featured a nine-hole golf course in Ardmore between 1925 and 1935. This explains a nearby street named Fairway Drive which overlooked the first, second, eighth and ninth greens.
We’ll head left on Magnolia then right on Elizabeth Avenue. This takes us to Hawthorne Road. Just a block to the left is Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The center began as North Carolina Baptist Hospital constructed in 1923. From money bequeathed by tobacco executive Bowman Gray, the Wake Forest Medical School was moved from the college–then in Wake Forest, NC–to the hospital campus in 1941. Wake Forest Baptist Health is now the largest employer in Forsyth County.
Crossing over Hawthorne, we descend into the Lockland Park section and travel to Duke Street. This takes us into the oldest part of Ardmore turning into West End as we travel under the Business 40 bridge.
With a few blocks of West End, we are soon back at our starting point.