January 31, 2022

The Stately Historic John Knox House - Circa 1871 - For Sale

From the four corners of W. Bank Street and S. Jackson Street, the Historic West Square neighborhood emanates.  In 1857, E.J. Hale, senior editor of the Fayetteville Observer described the  'great western ward' of Salisbury as "the part of town where the best dwellings are located, a fashionable region containing beautiful lots, and all good houses."  Today, the same is true.  And at the very heart of the West Square is the stately circa 1871 John Knox House, offered for sale today by Greg Rapp with Salisbury Real Estate LLC.

Welcome to the 303 W. Bank Street and the Historic John Knox House at the corner of Bank and Jackson Streets in Salisbury, North Carolina ~ a lovingly restored Italianate Victorian with a focus on quality throughout and superior attention to detail. The owners spared no expense in returning this exquisitely detailed home to its original elegance, and the result is a museum-quality residence worthy of hosting grand occasions or displaying the most distinguished art collection. The recognizably different architectural style was introduced into Salisbury domestic building during the first decade of the post Civil-War Reconstruction Era.

The John Knox House exterior is one of the more striking in the neighborhood along prestigious West Bank Row. Rich with Italianate details, this 2-story frame home with slate L-shaped gable roof home offers beautifully carved brackets underlying the eaves and porch roof.  The rounded arched windows on the main facade as well as on the stately 1-story bay that boasts more round-arched windows, a panelled apron, and fine brackets.  Functional shutters at wavy glass windows harken back to an earlier era. Throughout the home, exceptional millwork, rounded window sashes and moldings to name a few, is of extremely high quality and in amazing condition for a home of this age.

Step inside, and you will not believe that the interior had been divided into apartments in the 1970s, but today, this iconic, sophisticated home is truly a piece of art, and again ~ it's the details that set this home apart from its peers, including the gorgeous original millwork and mantels. 12-foot ceilings downstairs and 10-foot ceilings upstairs boast exquisite deep crown moldings, and you'll find built-in cabinets, heart-of-pine wood floors, and the original wood windows. All 5 fireplaces are exceptionally oversized, surrounded by custom mantels (one in the informal parlor is believed to be original to the home). Each is handsomely outfitted with gas-coal fireplace inserts and baskets.

A long center hall with gleaming wood floors separates the truly spacious front parlor with its beautiful bay sitting area and fireplace, from a less formal parlor to the left.  The rounded windows in these rooms sport high-end custom window treatments. The formal living room parlor leads to a gracious equally formal dining room with another of the home's original fireplaces. You'll note luxury custom window treatments throughout the home.

Kitchen is a chef's dream, with Sub-Zero® refrigerator and a large center work island equipped with Thermador® luxury gas cooktop with downdraft vent, all wrapped in custom millwork and an expanse of granite counters. This architect-designed space flows freely from food preparation areas to a spacious breakfast nook, on to a cozy sitting room, and on again to a sweet office nook with built-in shelving. The wonderfully spacious breakfast nook/sunroom is banked by an array of windows that overlook the pretty brick patio, gardens, and brick walks.  You'll note the custom cabinetry, that creates a smooth line ~ hiding trash receptacles and even the refrigerator. Across the hall from the kitchen is another room that served the owners as a more formal office.

Upstairs, a large upper hall highlights more of those beautiful wood floors ~ and is large enough to be a room in its own right. Off the hallway you'll find the home's three bedrooms and the upper bath.  The Primary Suite and another bedroom across the hall features two more of the home's fireplaces.

There is no shortage of storage space at 303 W. Bank Street. Before entering the downstairs full bath, one of three, you walk through a small hall with laundry area and closet space. There is an under-staircase storage nook. The upstairs Primary Bedroom Suite features built-in shelving, sumptuous custom carpeting, a HUGE carpeted dressing room leading to the master bath with center storage island and banks of shelves and hanging space, all walled with cleverly arranged cupboards. The second upstairs bath has additional under-eave storage.

And let's talk about baths: All three full baths in the John Knox House offer heated floors! Each bathroom is beautifully tiled, with lovely glass showers. The master bath offers a large multi-jet Jacuzzi-style bathtub. A charming 1871 detail is the push out window in the upper bath that overlooks the slate roofs.

Outside the rear entrance, a stately outbuilding acts as the gateway from a spacious rear parking area to the rear entrance of the home. This slate-roofed structure encompasses what is purported to have been servants quarters (an extremely modest one-room dwelling with a tiny fireplace), an original well, and another small one-room unit. The two single room structures feature original beadboard walls and  ceilings. A brick garden shed is attached to the house.

A secluded herringbone brick patio is beautifully surrounded by a holly and camellia hedge providing complete privacy for this corner lot. A clematis bedecked arched arbor leads to the sweeping front English Gardens, resplendent with aucuba, pieris japonica, rhododendron, azalea, junipers, sedum, and ferns. A magnificent original boxwood hedge, over 100-years-old, lines the pebbled front walk from gate to the front porch, a statement landscape feature for this era. Spring bulbs line the well house.

This majestic circa 1871 West Bank Street residence is truly in the "Heart" of Salisbury’s first Historic District. The home has been featured multiple times in Historic Salisbury Foundation’s annual 'October Tour' of Historic Homes. The beautifully landscaped front yard, and a portion of the side yard, is enclosed with a custom-made picket fence supported by granite pillars. The fence runs along the old English Garden down the entire southeast side of the house. 

The home occupies the southwest corner, across the street at the northwest corner is the circa 1820 Dr. Josephus Hall House, now a museum property of the Historic Salisbury Foundation.  To the southeast is the impressive circa 1902 MacKenzie-Grimes House, an eclectic Queen Anne with an engaged tower with spherical dome, and at the southwest corner, the pre-Civil War Murphy House, circa 1854 Greek Revival home.  A canopy of mature trees shades the sidewalks in this beautiful historic neighborhood, and this elegant 4-corners is truly the heart of the district.

High-end mechanicals in this 3,520 square-foot home include a Rinnai tankless water heater, a Generac natural gas-powered generator, and dual level gas HVAC units. The home offers newer electrical system, plumbing, HVAC, and newer appliances. A foundation doorway at the rear of the home leads to a small basement wrapped with vapor barrier. A large attic is accessed via a pull-down staircase in the upper hall. And when details matter:  Even the ladder ends are felt-wrapped to prevent scarring of these glimmering wood floors.  The home offers generous off-street parking to the rear, perfect for guests when entertaining. The West Square Historic District falls under City of Salisbury's Historic Preservation Commission purview, and a Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) must be approved for any exterior changes.

The John Knox House is located just one block from Salisbury's newest jewel: The Bell Tower Green ~ the city's new $13-million center-city park and greenspace.  In just 3 blocks, you find yourself in the vibrant historic downtown, with unique boutique shopping, over 20 restaurants, two microbreweries, community theatre, museums, and art galleries.  Salisbury, North Carolina is approximately equidistant between the metro-areas of Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem, and boasts a historic Amtrak Station at the Salisbury Depot. The area is serviced by a small local airport, and Interstate-85 is within easy access to most of the city.

Realtor® Greg Rapp
with Salisbury Real Estate LLC is considered the area's premier agent for historic homes, and the historic John Knox House has a much bigger story to tell than fits the pages of this entry. This impeccable vintage home really must be seen to truly appreciate its grandeur and attention to detail.  One of the finest homes in downtown Salisbury, North Carolina, 303 W. Bank Street offers the best of many possible worlds. Beyond the walls, the home has been extensively renovated and modernized, but without losing the period character and original features. The slate roof and standing-seam metal porch  roofs of the exterior have been meticulously maintained. For those who value properties of historical significance and love classic period details, such as hardwood floors, high ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows ~ this is the ultimate opportunity. 
Make an appointment with Greg Rapp for your exclusive showing: 704.213.6846

303 W. Bank Street
Salisbury NC 28144

Greg Rapp 

Salisbury Real Estate LLC 
704 213 6846 Mobile 

January 20, 2022

Stately Circa 1838 Greek Revival Home - Sold by Greg Rapp | Salisbury Real Estate


The stately brick home known as The Torrence House is on The National Register of Historic Places and is one of the centerpiece properties in Salisbury's West Square Historic District.  And thanks to Greg Rapp with Salisbury Real Estate LLC, it is now the property of a new owner!

This impressive Pre-Civil War 3-story home at
428 W. Bank Street is built in the Greek Revival style with additional Italianate elements. The home's front portion dates from 1838 with rear additions created in 1899.

Can you picture it? Women dressed in layers upon layers of full skirts, petticoats, and bonnets; men in waistcoats ~ and the wooden paddle-wheel steamship
SS Great Western accomplished the first transatlantic voyage entirely dependent on steam. Local transportation was accomplished by walking, riding a horse, or riding in a wagon or horse-drawn carriage. For those rare occasions when people traveled longer distances, people still walked or used a horse, typically traveling no more than 20 or 30 miles per day. Most roads were just wagon ruts, which limited wagons to about the speed of a walker — roughly three miles per hour. There were a few stagecoach lines between some major cities that traveled about 50 miles per day depending on the quality of the roads, but they were expensive. The only organized travel was by sailing ships that carried passengers and freight over planned routes on the Great Lakes, between cities on the East Coast, and between America and Europe. A one-way trip to Europe when the original owners were at 428 E. Bank Street commonly took six to 10 weeks, depending on winds and storms. If this house could talk ~ the stories it would share!

The home overlooks the West Square neighborhood from atop its partially above grade basement and its elevated lot. Of note is the marvelous front veranda that spans the entire width of the house. Wood floors and gorgeous wood trim gleam throughout this elegant 5-bedroom/3.5-bath home. The Torrence House offers all the things one might expect in a grand home of this era: dramatic foyer, grand staircase, expansive formal parlors, dining rooms, and library, and a large kitchen that leads to a screened back porch overlooking a jewel of a private rear garden patio. Fireplaces?  Of course! This gorgeous home offers six fireplaces: two in the basement, two on the ground floor, and two bedroom fireplaces!

Beautiful historic downtown Salisbury and the new Bell Tower Green center-city are just blocks away. Salisbury's vibrant downtown is home to three live theatre troupes, a public library, nationally accredited art gallery, and a plethora of restaurants, nightlife, and specialty shops. 

Realtor®/Broker Greg Rapp
is considered the Salisbury/Rowan area's premier real estate agent when it comes to marketing historic and vintage properties. With the widest reach for both sellers and purchasers, his record in the historic market is both consistent and award-winning. Selling your vintage property? Looking to purchase a home with a history (and the quality and character only older homes possess)? Greg Rapp is the agent to work with.  704.213.6846 is the number to call.

428 W Bank Street
Salisbury, NC 28144

Greg Rapp 

Salisbury Real Estate LLC 
704 213 6846 Mobile