Uptown Suburbs Historic District

The Uptown Suburbs Historic District is significant under National Register Criterion A for community development and planning. The early-twentieth century suburbs include High Point’s first streetcar suburb, Johnson Place (1907), whose grid plan ran parallel to the streetcar line and attracted prominent business owners and upper-level managers.

The popularity of the development prompted the development of Roland Park (1912) and The Parkway (1915) on adjacent land west of Main Street. Both developments employed long blocks with few intersections, broad streets, and wide lots to attract upper-income residents.

The Sheraton Hill development (1916) to the south featured smaller lots closer to the city center attractive to middle-income residents. The Emerywood development (1922-1946) to the north was designed by Earle Sumner Draper and utilized wide, curvilinear streets with deep lots and irregular intersections to contribute to the park-like feel of the neighborhood.

In High Point, the Emerywood development is matched only by the 1926 Sherrod Park development, a middle-class neighborhood with curvilinear streets and planned greenspaces. The five platted developments within the Uptown Suburbs Historic District illustrate a shift away from city center neighborhoods to the grid-plan subdivisions bordering the streetcar line and eventually to the curvilinear suburbs common in the automobile era.

The Uptown Suburbs Historic District is also significant under National Register Criterion C for architecture, for the wide variety of architectural styles represented by the residences, apartment buildings, and churches in the district. The most prevalent styles found in the district include Transitional Queen Anne-style homes, Craftsman-style bungalows, Tudor Revival- and Colonial Revival-style houses, Period Cottages, and mid-century Minimal Traditional-style and Ranch-form houses. Less common styles employed in the district include the Prairie, Neoclassical Revival, Gothic Revival, Renaissance Revival, French Eclectic, Spanish Eclectic, Art Moderne, and Art Deco styles.

The Uptown Suburbs Historic District encompasses approximately sixty city blocks or portions thereof extending roughly from West Ray Avenue north to West Lexington Avenue and from Johnson Street west to Westchester Drive. The majority of the 540 primary contributing buildings are houses with several apartment buildings and churches present within the boundary, all erected during the period of significance from 1907 to 1963. The period of significance extends from the platting of the Johnson Place development in 1907 to 1963 when the majority of the building was complete. House construction continued at a steady pace of four to five new houses a year until 1963, after which home construction decreased significantly with only four new homes constructed from 1964 to 1975. Exceptional significance is not being claimed for 1963 as the five Colonial Revival style, Contemporary, and Ranch houses are a continuation of earlier architectural trends.

The Uptown Suburbs Historic District was listed to the National Register of Historic Places on January 9, 2013.