10/18/07 — Historic home set to make national debut

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Historic home set to make national debut

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on October 18, 2007 1:55 PM

A Goldsboro historic home will soon get national exposure -- as will the city as a whole.

This Old House magazine will feature the Molly Smith Thompson House at 111 N. Virginia St., while Our State magazine will tell Goldsboro's story.

The Molly Smith Thompson House was chosen in part because it is one of the structures that has not undergone any repair work, editor Keith Pandolfi said in an interview this week.

Every month, Pandolfi writes a column that runs on the back page of the magazine called "Save This Old House." The column explains why that particular house is worth saving.

His call in December will be for the Goldsboro house, which is more than 100 years old. The house was built in 1901 and had been owned by the same woman from 1912 through the 1960s -- Molly Smith Thompson.

Pandolfi said the magazine staff regularly looks to North Carolina for ideas since it has a very active historical house preservation program -- Preservation North Carolina (PNC).

The Molly Smith Thompson House is one of the properties that PNC recently purchased and will sell with protective covenants and rehabilitation agreements to people who are interested in restoring the houses to their original grandeur in a timely manner.

The city of Goldsboro, the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. and Self-Help Credit Union are partnering with PNC to revitalize the downtown neighborhood.

And when Pandolfi saw so many listings of houses in Goldsboro involved with preservation, he wanted to see what the big deal was about.

He found one in the downtown area that he thought was perfect for the last issue of the year.

"We're very impressed with Goldsboro because there's a lot of preservation activity going on there," he said.

Pandolfi sees the renovation and growth that Goldsboro is experiencing, and said he feels the historic houses will help the town return to a prominent place again.

"Goldsboro has had some tough times, but I think it is emerging from those tough times," he said.

But why the Molly Smith Thompson House?

"The architecture is great. It is a really beautiful Victorian house. It has got some amazing Queen Anne details. We love that," Pandolfi said.

The house still has many original details that have survived throughout the years.

It has even been through a small fire and much renovation to try to make it into a boarding house, but through it all, there are still remnants of original porch spindles, turned balustrade and a first floor bay window.

Another factor that Pandolfi loves is the price. The house is for sale for $19,000.

"We try to look at houses under $100,000, and this one is great for the price," he said.

In his column, he will tell his readers that "this house is definitely not past help."

He tries to convey that it is the history and the stories behind it that add a little something extra to the wood and nail core.

"What we love is great architecture and great stories, and this house has both," he said.

Goldsboro will also be featured in the January issue of "Our State" magazine as a "Tarheel Town."

The article is a monthly one that focuses on cities in North Carolina.

Assistant Editor Andrea Griffith said the article serves two purposes -- to make the citizens of that "town" proud and to allow them and others outside of the area to learn about the history and the character of the city. Many people, she said, use the articles to plan trips or weekend get-aways.

Ms. Griffith said the magazine staff looks for vibrant places that have active citizens who are proud of where they live, and Goldsboro fit the bill.

"Goldsboro has never been featured, and we thought that with everything happening that it was a good time to feature it," she said.