Gordon Hardware Store
- 3,510 square feet
- Lot Size: .31 acres / Zoning: Residential/Commercial
, Regional Director
Preservation NC, Piedmont Office
Distinctive two-story store with elaborate brickwork, open interior, and many original features! Located on a prominent corner in the bucolic crossroads village of Summerfield close to the Piedmont Triad International Airport, I-73 and US-220.
Architectural and Historical Information
The finely detailed Gordon Hardware Store (aka “Ogburn-Gordon Building”) was built in the 1870s by local carpenter/builder, George J. Smith, who had also built the elaborate store on the other corner for Henry Clay Brittain. Noah Webster Ogburn, Brittain’s cousin, eventually opened a general merchandise business in the Gordon Hardware building. These two stores, along with the brick Alexander Strong Martin House on the third corner, create to this day an impressive crossroads that convey a flourishing community. The hardware store took on its current name when R.C. Gordon began operating his hardware and feed store there in 1935. It remained in the Gordon family until 2014 when it was sold to the Town of Summerfield.
The site’s intersection was a Native American footpath that evolved into a Colonial road, then a plank road accommodating travel and trade between Danville, VA to Salisbury, the Moravian settlements to the west, and the Quaker settlements to the south. Summerfield’s crossroads and the coming of the railroad in the late 19th century provided area farmers and merchants with access to the latest goods, as well as architectural fashion as seen in the unusually stylish and detailed brickwork of the Gordon Hardware Store.
The two-story brick building features elaborate corbelled brickwork with a scalloped pattern frieze below a sawtooth cornice across the top of the second story. The roof gradually steps down toward the rear of the building, maintaining the corbeled brick cornice. Large arched wood windows with cast stone lintels are located at the front and rear elevations with another on the north side of the building. The south side has no remaining openings, though ghost marks indicate a previous staircase and door to the second floor existed. The entrance, comprised of large angled display windows designed to draw customers inside, is protected beneath a full façade shed porch roof. The glazed double front doors let in additional light, while the rear double doors are wood-paneled. The north side of the building has a faded painted advertisement harkening to R.C. Gordon’s ownership.
The large open interior of the Gordon Hardware Store is finished with plaster walls applied to the brick, wood floors, tongue-and-groove ceiling, some wood shelving, and an old wood stove dividing the front of the store from the back. Partially enclosed wood stairs lead to the second floor, which is also mostly open space. The rear corner opposite the stairs is partitioned off into a room with a freight lift that brought appliances into the second story storage area.
The Gordon Hardware Store will need a complete rehabilitation including all new HVAC and plumbing systems, structural repair of the rear wall, repointing, as well as other work as required. There is a well with a new pump on the southeast corner of the property, but no septic. The electrical system may require some upgrades; a meter was installed in 2015. The Gordon Hardware Store is eligible for historic tax credits.
Also in Summerfield, right across the street, the Alexander Strong Martin House is for sale! This is an exciting opportunity to adapt two significant historic buildings into compatible new uses that preserve their character and add to the Town’s vision of a vibrant community. Summerfield’s Masterplan for the Oak Ridge Road-Summerfield Road Intersection can be found here.
Located in northwest Guilford County, Summerfield is an area of rolling, open, and wooded countryside, residential neighborhoods, and limited commercial development. The town is easily accessible to the Piedmont Triad International Airport and I-73 and US-220 are major corridors. Summerfield is an attractive community with excellent schools, parks, a developing trails system, and very low taxes. It is the third largest Guilford County municipality population-wise and is characterized by lower-density, larger-lot residential development. Summerfield offers peaceful, safe, and attractive surroundings in northwest Guilford. For more information visit www.summerfieldnc.gov and www.guilfordcountync.gov.