November 18, 2013

Across the Pond Bed & Breakfast ~ In the c. 1919 Stokes-Snider House ~ Coming Soon!

The greenest building is the one already built. Renovation, not new construction, will fuel growth over the next 20 years as more people discover that preservation is "the ultimate recycling." Preservation awareness tops a list of goals for many in the Salisbury North Carolina area who realize the wealth of historic homes and buildings that exist here. The rising popularity of sustainable development could boost their efforts.

Greg Rapp, of Wallace Realty, one of Rowan County’s most enthusiastic and knowledgeable supporter of historic structures, says, “It would be great if people to understood the importance of historic structures today, and that preservation and sustainability are often one and the same. It seems like we've become a disposable society, discarding everything . . . including our wonderful old homes and buildings. Preserving and reusing those structures can maximize the use of existing materials and infrastructure, as well as reduce waste, not to mention preserve the historic character of a neighborhood or town. Additionally, it’s usually cheaper to rehabilitate an old building rather than construct a new one . . . you are nearly always better off using what you’ve got in an older structure that was built with higher quality materials and construction methods. There is a reason these buildings are still intact today!"



And so the story begins of the Doctor Stokes-Arnold Snider House, c. 1919, the nearly 5000 square-foot home at 324 N. Fulton Street in the Ellis Street Graded School Historic District, a Colonial-Revival style home with abundant architectural features that include dentil molding, French doors, pocket doors, leaded glass, oak flooring, built-ins, and several fireplaces.


One of Salisbury’s finest houses, the Stokes-Snider home, a classic Colonial-Revival built by a surgeon whose family lived in for 59 years, was graciously donated to the Historic Salisbury Foundation by the prominent Snider family. Located in an historic district, the 4,700 square foot home is light and bright with large windows and a commanding site. A large Ionic-columned entrance porch, dentil cornice molding, and pedimented dormer characterize this two-and-a-half story Colonial Revival-style frame house. Four leaded glass double doors open from the living room and library to a large enclosed porch. Master suite has its own living room. There is a long full stairway from the ground floor up to the expansive attic. The house was in excellent move-in condition, ready for sympathetic preservationists to enjoy immediately. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The c. 1919 Stokes-Snider House is one of Salisbury’s finest homes. Originally home to Dr. J. Ernest Stokes, one of the South’s eminent surgeons, the property still features his former medical office, most recently used as a potting shed. Dr. John Whitehead invited Stokes to Salisbury in 1899, and together they championed the Whitehead-Stokes Sanitorium, which grew over the years to a 60-bed hospital at the corner of North Fulton and Liberty streets, a block away from the house.
The Historic Salisbury Foundation made renovations in their efforts to sell this large, prominent home to the right buyer. The Foundation refinished the quarter-sawn oak floors throughout the first floor. They repainted and repaired much of the outside of the home, trimmed back shrubs, and gave it the curb appeal critical to selling any home or building. The Historic Salisbury Foundation hosted two weekend events at the Stokes-Snider House, in hopes of attracting a buyer. About 170 people attended a cocktail party fundraiser, and close to 70 people browsed during a Sunday open house. Several volunteers using furnishings from local businesses staged the house, which was vacant and had been donated to the Foundation. Yet, the 4,700-square-foot home remained vacant and on the market…for several years.

Salisbury Realtor® Greg Rapp, with his enthusiasm and general knowledge and love of older homes, was dedicated to finding the right buyer for this important property. When Andy and Mary Walker of the Pittsburgh area, and originally from Great Britain, found Greg through his online presence in the real estate market, he was pretty sure he had found the match Historic Salisbury had been waiting for. Andy and Mary’s dream was to open a Bed & Breakfast in a large historic or antique home, and they contacted Greg through his online real estate presence to look at the inventory of fine, large, historic homes available in the Salisbury area….


Greg Rapp guided the Walker’s through their purchase of the Stokes-Snider House in June 2013, and they moved to Salisbury NC to began the massive upfit to the historic home. Working with Central Piedmont Builders (www.cpbuilders.com) with approval from the Historic Salisbury Foundation, they began the work in earnest to mold circa 1919 bedrooms into guest suites with full baths, install new high-end HVAC with multiple zones throughout the house, and to renovate the outdated kitchen. Andy and Mary rented the home across the street from the Stokes-Snider house, The Woodson House (also for sale - contact Wallace Realty) while they managed the restoration and upfit. Withing just 5 months, in November 2013, the Walkers moved into the Stokes-Snider House to get ready to open their Bed & Breakfast ~ Across the Pond ~ at 324 N Fulton Street. Plans are well under way to open Across the Pond Bed & Breakfast, named in honor of the Walker's British heritage, for business in early 2014.

Mary and Andy shared their experience in their search for the perfect bed & breakfast option:

"Our experience with Greg Rapp was excellent from the first day we visited Salisbury. We were interested in finding an historic home and found very useful information through Greg's listings on www.oldhouses.com . Greg is passionate about preserving and restoring historic homes and was able to show us a variety of these homes that were on the market. He was also a great resource in answering the many questions we had about the town of Salisbury and always responded to phone calls, emails, and texts in a timely fashion. Once we found the house we wanted, he was instrumental in guiding us through the important steps of making an offer, negotiating the final price, and helping us through the final stages to our closing. He was very sensitive to our time-frame and showed great professionalism and care during the closing process. Greg has a great personality and continues to help us now we have relocated from out of state. We highly recommend Greg Rapp to anyone looking for a home in Salisbury and feel confident that we made the right choice in using him and Wallace Realty."

The neoclassical revival home at 324 N. Fulton St. that sat waiting for that special buyer, boasting special features in each room:
  • pocket doors in the parlor, hidden for years until the Historic Salisbury Foundation pulled up the carpet, allowing them to roll out;
  • a small nook off the dining room flooded with sunlight, (stories passed down through the community relay that the doctor’s wife would sit here with a view of the front walk, and would alert the doctor when a patient was approaching);
  • the massive attic with not one, not two, but three cedar-lined closets;
  • and the large, airy kitchen, complete with pantry and farmhouse sink.. .
 . . . .found its new purpose, thanks to Realtor® Greg Rapp, Andy and Mary Walker, and Across the Pond Bed & Breakfast.


In preserving and reusing this historic structure, Across the Pond demonstrates how sustainable development combined with sensitive restoration is the ultimate recycling. Welcome to Salisbury, North Carolina, Across the Pond Bed & Breakfast!