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Wake Forest University

In the town of Wake Forest most members of the faculty and administration lived close to the campus. So many lived on North Main Street that it was unofficially known as "Faculty Drive".

As plans were being made to move the College to Winston-Salem there was concern about faculty housing in the new location. The was also concern that members of the faculty and administration not suffer financially because of the move., The College made arrangements to protect homeowners from deflation of the market which would be caused by a mass movement. Measures including loans helped keep all properties from going on the market at the same time. They also moved to sponsor residential development near the new campus. In October, 1954 the College secured from Reynolda,Inc. an option on a tract of land to the south of the new campus to be used for faculty housing. This was conveyed by deed January 7,1955. (For deed and description of property see appendix II; for action of the Board of Trustees see Appendix III).

This property, like the campus proper, was part of the Reynolda Estate. It had been used previously as a farm, ai1d, at the time of the move this portion was mainly wooded. At the east end it bordered on the Old Town golf course. The College developed the property, providing a road with water, sewer and electrical services. The development providea thirty-eignt lots for-sale on the south side of the new street, Faculty Drive, and eleven lots for sale on the north side of the street. In addition it provided twelve lots for lease on the north side of the street. These were at the eastern end of Faculty Drive near Bethabara Road. These lots involved some campus land in addition to the Reynolda, Inc. land, and,therefore had to be leased not sold.

When Faculty Drive was developed the eastern end opened into Bethabara Road. After University Parkway was developed this entry was closed and Faculty Drive became a dead end at the eastern end. The development of the Parkway eliminated one of the for sale lots and one of the lease lots was dedicated as a buffer zone.

At the time of the development of the Faculty Drive property construction of buildings on the new campus was underway. Mrs. Babcock was seriously ill and to prevent construction traffic from intruding on the estate a chain-link fence was constructed on the southern side of the campus property. A condition of the new property development was that this fence be relocated to the southern side of the new development. This fence still exists behind lots one through nine (between 2116 and 2180 Faculty Drive).

The Trustees authorized the administration to set prices and a system of priorities based on seniority for sale of these lots. Construction of homes started in 1955. At the present time all of the original for-sale lots have been usen. The.initial development plan provide a gap between lots fourteen and fifteen to be used as a vista from the center of the campus toward downtown Winston-Salem. The axis of the campus plaza between Wait-Chapel and Reynolda Hall was on a line from Pilot Mountain to the north and the Reynolds Building to the south. Thus Mr. Larson, the campus architect, said "We are building here between God and man", The area reserved for a vista was not kept clear and soon no longer served as a vista. In 1991 a lot was developed in the former vista, adjacent to lot 15, adding another lot to the original thirty-eight.

In an attempt to cut costs, minimal standards were used in the first Faculty Drive development. A rolling gutter was used rather than curb and gutter, and the sewer was installed at minimum depth. At the western end of the development most lots slope away from the road, and this minimal sewer depth has produced numerous difficulties. In 1980 the Trustees made adjustments to the lease lots at the eastern end of Faculty Drive which allowed them to be offered for sale. The terms for availability by members of the faculty and administration were similar to those for the other lots on the drive. All of these eleven lots (reduced from twelve because of the University Parkway development)-except one have been used. (For a lengthy account of Trustee action. on these lots see Appendix III)

(including Timberlake Lane and Sledd and Poteat Courts)

On December 12, 1962 Wake Forest College acquired by deed from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Inc. property soluth of the Faculty Drive development known as Reynolda Woods. In October, 1965 the Trustees authorized the development of this property for residences for members of the faculty and administration. As developed the property provided twenty-nine lots, mostly on Royall Drive but also on Timberlake Lane and on two cul-de sacs, Sledd and Poteat Courts. In addition a lot was developed from the portion of the old vista which fronts on Royall Drive. This lot was used by the College for a residence for the Director of the Physical Plant. It was later sold to the director, Mr. Harold S. Moore.

The Royall Drive development offered some improvements over the Faculty Drive development. The streets have curb and gutter, and the electrical utilities are underground.

At the present time all of these lots are occupied. (For deed and description of this development see Appendix II; For actions of the Board of Trustees on this development see' Appendix III).


Aaron Lane and Belle Vista Court are short streets lying behind the Faculty Apartments on Faculty Drive, North.

Aaron Lane begins at Faculty Drive, North, between apartment units five and six, and runs west for one block. At that point, Belle Vista Court begins, and runs to the south of Aaron Lane. It, too, is one block long.

The recent history of this area begins with the purchase in the late 1940's by W. C. Aaron and wife Rosa Anna Aaron of a part of a subdivision known as Oak Crest No.3. After Mr. Aaron died in 1952, Rosa Anna Aaron became sole owner of this property.

Originally, apparently, there was to be one street, Belmont Court, running from Rosedale Circle through into the present property. However, when Wake Forest College decided to occupy the present campus, Mrs. Aaron negotiated with the College in order to obtain better access to the property, and to have a market for the lots with the influx of College personnel.

A deal was worked out whereby the present Aaron Lane would give access through College property. In return, Mrs. Aaron agreed to sell the first five lots of the twelve available on the present Belle Vista Court to faculty members at the same price charged by the College for lots on Faculty Drive.

The present street names then were adopted. Aaron Lane is an obvious family recognition. Mrs. Aaron's daughter, Belle Aaron Montgomery, was the inspiration for the choice of the name Belle Vista Court.

Robert G. Deyton, Vice-President and Controller, made the first purchase in 1954, buying the two lots at the end of Belle Vista Court, across Wake Forest Drive from what then would be the President's home. Since that time, all original occupants of houses on Belle Vista Court and Aaron Lane have been faculty members. As of January 1, 1995, seven of the twelve houses on the two streets still are occupied by the original owners.


Dr. Clarence Patrick came to my office in 1984 with the idea of building condominiums at the Northeast corner of Wake Forest University property on three plus acres of land he could buy for $3,000 per acre. The $3,000 per acre caught my attention as Dr. Patrick did on his two dozen visits to my office. President Hearn approved as did the Board of Trustees in March, 1985 and we were on our way. I had learned that Duke turned down building somewhat similar condos. Later, I understood why.

Jefferson Woodall was engaged as Architect. George W. Kane became the contractor. Paul McGill assisted in oversight. Jeanne Small assisted throughout. Reid Morgan worked up the necessary documentation.

A list of faculty and staff was made, it being necessary to have been listed in the catalog to be eligible. Priority was deemed to be the same as for lots on Faculty Drive. Also, after the condo was finished it could be rented for tilree years at which time if another eligible faculty member desired to buy tile unit, it must be occupied within a year or sold. Wake Forest would buy tile Ul1it, ally unit, for tile selling price less one-half the difference between original cost and the original appraisal; an average difference of $5,000 to $6,000. The average cost of each unit was approximately $55,000.

Each purchaser contracted with the Kane Company for finishing the approximately 1,200 sq. ft. inside each condominium. There are twenty- six units, therefore twenty-six building contracts. (The Kane manager left town after almost finishing the project and has not been seen around here since!) All units were sold. There has been relatively little turnover.

Ben Seelbinder kept in close touch during construction and in setting up the Wake Forest Condominium Homeowners Association. Irene Comito has managed Wake Forest's interest in recent years.

Dr. Patrick, in finding land thought to be owned by Wake Forest, in not accepting no as an answer, and taking maybe to mean yes, did good for several Wake Forest retirees and Wake Forest got a fair return on its investment.


Wake Forest
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