Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Where We Live: A new look for a historically significant neighborhood

Where We Live: A weekly look at the homes in the Cape Fear Region

WILMINGTON — A couple of months ago, Port City Daily took a look inside one of the original “linthead” cottages in the historically significant Spofford Mills neighborhood, located in the midtown area of the Port City. These homes were initially built for the employees of this old textile mill, which was essentially a city in itself.

1226 Hill St. is the first new home constructed on this street in 100 years. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)
1226 Hill St. is the first new home constructed on this street in 100 years. (Port City Daily photo / CORY MANNION)

As the City of Wilmington grew, these homes have been passed down through the mill families, or have been purchased by people interested in living in the eclectic community that has sprung out of the past.

Travis Beatty is one of the individuals who moved to the area for the sense of community. After renovating one of the original cottages, which he now lives in, he set his sites on a lot at the very end of the street, where a cottage had fallen into complete disrepair.

Beatty purchased the lot, tore down the dilapidated home, and began construction on the first new house to be built in the Spofford Mills neighborhood in over 100 years.

Now complete, this week’s Where We Live takes you inside this new home, located at 1226 Hill St. The two-story luxury home was built to be energy efficient, as well as a tribute to the history of the area.

A tribute to the past

"Having the front porch on my house is the thing I love most about it," Beatty said. "You get to interact with your neighbors, and it becomes a real neighborhood. Everybody loves half acre lots, and that's great, but you end up not knowing who your neighbors are." (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)
“Having the front porch on my house is the thing I love most about it,” Beatty said. “You get to interact with your neighbors, and it becomes a real neighborhood. Everybody loves half acre lots, and that’s great, but you end up not knowing who your neighbors are.” (Port City Daily photo / CORY MANNION)

Knowing the dedication his neighbors have for maintaining their historic homes, Beatty decided to model this new house after his own.

“This is the first new home built on this street in 100 years,” Beatty said. “I really wanted to try to adhere to the sort of design of the homes in the neighborhood, I didn’t want to go too crazy with it.”

Although one of only two, two-story residences in the neighborhood, the house still shares the appearance of the cottages along the street.

“The house that was here was just dilapidated,” Beatty said. “They (the neighbors) were kind of hesitant on what we were doing. But, after they saw the project and the plans for it, and considering what we had here before, they trusted me, and knew I was going to do it right.”

On the street side of the home, the house looks strikingly similar to others in the surrounding area. Painted white with light blue accents, the “Charleston style” house fits into historic community.

On the street side of the home, the house looks strikingly similar to others in the surrounding area. Painted white with light blue accents, the "Charleston style" house fits right in to historic community. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)
On the street side of the home, the house looks strikingly similar to others in the surrounding area. Painted white with light blue accents, the “Charleston style” house fits right in to historic community. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)

The home features a “double front porch,” which, according to Beatty is the best part of the house.

“Having the front porch on my house is the thing I love most about it,” Beatty said. “You get to interact with your neighbors, and it becomes a real neighborhood. Everybody loves half acre lots, and that’s great, but you end up not knowing who your neighbors are.

“I know every single one of my neighbors, we all look out for each other, and that was the main aspect I wanted to showcase with this home,” he continued. “I wanted a front porch, and once I got to working on it, I wanted the double front porch. It just makes it so attractive.”

To make this home fit in with its centennial neighbors, Beatty built it close to the street, with a very minimal front yard.

Out back, it keeps to character, with a tall, fenced-in piece of property, opening up into a roomy back yard. Beatty says it’s perfect for entertaining.

The yard also features a private entrance to the Cross City Trail, offering ease of access to downtown or the beach by bike.

An energy efficient home

Beatty designed the home to be energy efficient, with the latest features to keep the home’s occupants comfortable.

The tankless water heater runs off of a propane system, which only activates when you run hot water. Beatty says this helps make the home extremely energy efficient. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)
The tankless water heater runs off of a natural gas system, which only activates when you run hot water. Beatty says this helps make the home extremely energy efficient. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)

“We decided to go a little bit green with it, its got extra insulation, and we went with a tankless hot water heater, which is really super efficient,” Beatty said.

The home is also built on a massive concrete slab, keeping its foundation secure and retaining the desired climate of the homeowners, without racking up a massive electric bill.

Although he says he went a little out character with the size of the home, being slightly more than twice the size of the rest of the neighborhood at 1,850-sq. ft., the houses hides itself well.

The three bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom house features nine foot ceilings and hardwood floors throughout, managing to make it feel cozy despite the size, Beatty noted.

The downstairs features an open “shotgun” style floor plan, allowing a person to easily go from the back porch, to the dining room, to the kitchen, into the living room, and out onto the front porch.

The kitchen is centrally located, and has a large bar area built into the marble counter tops.

“I wanted it to feel open, with a similar style kitchen to my own,” Beatty said. “I spend a lot of time entertaining, you know, hanging out, going back and forth.

“That’s one of the things I love about an open concept like this, it really flows back and forth,” he said. “You can have a bunch of people in here doing different things, but you still have plenty of space for everyone to interact.”

The home features ample storage space, with plenty of closets designed to hold bicycles, surfboards, or beach gear.

All three of the home’s bedrooms are upstairs, with the master bedroom opening up on to the second story front porch.

The master bath features a massive shower, with a “rain style” shower head suspended from the ceiling, and another normal shower head on the wall. The shower itself is encased in glass and tile, and offers a view out the window into the canopy of the neighborhood’s many oak trees.

A neighbors neighborhood

According to Beatty, at the end of the day, this home is built for someone looking to live in an area rich with the sense of community.

The neighborhood is very close-knit, with neighbors watching out for one another and hanging out on a daily basis, Beatty said.

“People like to stop by, have a drink on the porch, we call these our HOA meetings,” he said laughing. “We’ll be sitting out there, and next thing you know, seven other people will be out there talking with you, it’s a lot of fun.”

Beatty recently completed construction on the home, and very recently put it out on the market. The home is zoned for Forest Hills Elementary, Williston Middle, and New Hanover High School.

Where We Live is a weekly feature looking at the homes and unique places to stay in the Cape Fear Region. Do you have a home, on or off the market, that our readers may be interested in seeing? Let us know at PCD@localvoicemedia.com.

For more information about this week’s home or to view the property, contact Travis Beatty, Broker Associate for David Cummings Real Estate Team, at (910) 338-9596, or email him at travis.beatty@essentialagents.com. For more details, visit his website travis.explorewilmingtonhomes.com.


Get in touch with Reporter Cory Mannion: follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or send an email at cory@localvoicemedia.com.

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