The Warmth and Magnificence of Given House
04 Feb 2020
The 1929 Greek Revival is a 91-year-old architectural gem
By Elizabeth Sugg » Photos by Edgar Allan Photography
“This house was a place to begin again, a place for the kids to have their roots.”
“You can breathe in this house,” shares the owner of Given House, a 1929 Georgian Revival home built on Lot 207 of James Walker Tufts’ reinvention of the land that became the Village of Pinehurst in 1895.
Designed by architect Francis Y. Joannes of New York, and meticulously built by contractor Reinecke & Dixon, the stately two-story house features Flemish bond brickwork, a slate-covered hipped roof with segmental-arched dormers, massive paneled chimneys and a five-bay facade that make the descriptive phrase “curb appeal” a massive understatement.
Built for Mr. and Mrs. John L. Given for whom the Given Memorial Library was named, the McCaskill Road house remained in the same family until 1989 when the current owner had the chance to look at it but it got snapped up before she had the chance to make an offer. In 2003 the Georgian Revival came back on the market again, and she was ready.
“I can’t fully explain my oneness with this house. I just knew it would be ‘home’ for me (she had been recently divorced) and my children. The house speaks for itself – the craftsmanship, the history. It has detail but not too much – it’s not too ornate. I could have lived here without any furniture!” she adds with a laugh.
However, a special gift of furnishings did come. Her mother’s brother owned Colella’s Gallery in Syracuse, New York, and had acquired quite a collection of antiques and fine art. When he died he had no heirs so his estate was divided among the family, and treasures such as the numerous Hudson River Valley-era paintings that adorn the walls in addition to chests, side tables, a lowboy and statues came to her in a serendipitous wave of fortune. And the fine art and furniture have the backdrop of a handsome, crafted home to shine.
Georgian Revival houses are known for their symmetry and proportion from the outside in, a style of Renaissance architecture that became fine-tuned and popular in England from 1714 to 1830 when all the monarchs who ruled were named George, thus inspiring the name. Usually built of brick or stone, they often feature central hallways, and at Given House, that connecting passageway running the width of the home is exceptional. Wide-planked pine floors stretch the length of the open, nine-foot ceiling hallway, gleaming in their natural beauty creating warmth in the dynamic space. As you gaze around, taking in the Greek Revival crown molding, note that the four doorways off the hallway each have a different door casing featuring contrasting fluting and repeating ornaments, all with a wide head top casing, also called a butted top casing. The archway just off the vestibule to the house is flanked by two pilasters, another nod to this classic Georgian-style home.
Yet warmth permeates the grandeur of this 91-year-old gem and much of it is because of the owner’s affinity with her late uncle. For example, in the living room are two brass andirons that as a 10- or 11-year-old she cleaned and scrubbed off a thick soot after a terrible fire at her uncle’s gallery, a soft smile appearing as she shares the story of her toiling to get them spotless. The large sunporch that is the width of the house has an expansive view of the side yard, and what sets off the space are two tall cloisonné roosters that have the color and whimsey that relax the space.
The den features dark wormy chestnut paneling and a handsome fireplace with a view and a doorway out to the backyard pool. Note the bowed windows along the rear wall. Family pictures, children’s artwork and treasures fill the built-in bookcases. What catches the eye is the painting of the harness racers, another passion of the owner’s late uncle, who spent a lot of time among his trotters. Although from upper state New York, the pastimes in common with the Sandhills that intertwine his life with his niece’s current life in this southern town has meant so much.
This gracious house will be open for the first time on April 18th during the 72nd Southern Pines Garden Club Home & Garden Tour. One of the oldest home tours in the state, this remarkable house captures the yesteryear of early Pinehurst.
SOUTHERN PINES GARDEN CLUB HOME & GARDEN TOUR
April 18, 2020 10am to 4pm
The tour showcases six elegant home interiors featuring creative fresh flower arrangements and some of the area’s loveliest gardens. Your beautiful day in the Sandhills will take you to Southern Pines, the Village of Pinehurst and horse country for a true taste of all this unique area has to offer. The tour begins at the historic Campbell House in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of the tour. Online ticket sales begin February 1, 2020. southernpinesgardenclub.com.