05/27/10 — Virginia Street home sold; couple begin restoration

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Virginia Street home sold; couple begin restoration

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 27, 2010 1:46 PM

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Troy Herring

Amy Bauer, a native of Savannah, Ga., goes through different styles of wallpaper that will go in the old D.W. Davis house in downtown Goldsboro as a small part of the renovation of the historic house.

Moments after a local contractor took out one of the walls inside the historic D.W. Davis House, Amy Bauer peered around a corner and smiled.

"Yay," she said, looking down at the debris left covering much of the first floor of her new home on Virginia Street. "My husband is going to be so happy."

For the Bauers, that moment represented the latest milestone in a project that will likely take more than two years to complete -- a historic restoration Mrs. Bauer has wanted to be a part of since leaving her childhood home in Savannah, Ga.

"We were always going to do an old home," Mrs. Bauer said Tuesday. "It was just a matter of when."

So last month -- after a search that saw them looking at properties from Boston to South Carolina -- the Bauers purchased the "understated" home they plan to retire in.

"Coming from the Los Angeles-area ... Goldsboro is a great transition town," she said, adding that it has all the amenities a family might need without the big city feel. "It's this charming old place."

And the downtown area, particularly the Paramount Theatre and mom-and-pop restaurants, added to the draw -- Mrs. Bauer's husband, Jay, however, is more excited about the promise of a revamped Union Station.

"He really liked that," she said.

And he, like his wife, liked the idea of being a part of the revitalization movement they saw unfolding in Goldsboro.

"We're just getting this thing started," Mrs. Bauer said, referencing the several other homes on Virginia Street currently being marketed by Preservation North Carolina and the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. "In the end, this is going to be a great block. The more neighbors, the better."


Making her way through the first floor, Mrs. Bauer stops and points out several large windows.

"When you walk into this house, it's got a lot of light to it," she said. "So that's going to be nice."

But her favorite features are located upstairs.

Like the sleeping porch, the "perfect" room for her grandchildren to sleep in during holiday visits.

"And there are some beautiful fireplaces up there, too," she said. "It's just great. There are so many possibilities. And all this, when you think about it, is in a middle-management house. This isn't a fancy Victorian."

Visitors, though, might disagree once it's completed.

New plumbing and electrical systems will be installed, the master bedroom and kitchen modernized and the front porch rebuilt.

And this once-vacant, aging home will, again, have life.

"It's going to take some time, but we're on our way," Mrs. Bauer said. "Yeah. We're on our way."