As always, click the pictures for full size images…

The subject of recent and pending architectural mistakes came up the other night. Every city has them…the demolition of something good, replaced by something bad or worse. We cannot keep all the fine buildings erected in the past, but we can, at least, expect that if someone is going to demolish a fine old building that they will replace it with something better. For example, in the 1920s, the magnificent Winston Town Hall was demolished to make way for the Reynolds Building. Since it was named the best building of the year 1929 by the American Institute of Architects and soon became the enduring symbol of our city, we can live with that.

The Winston Town Hall, completed in 1892, was one of the first architect designed buildings in the city…the architects were Glenn Brown & Willis Hall of Washington, DC…Hall, a Twin City native, came home to supervise the construction…before demolition, the clocks and bell in the tower were salvaged and now reside in the bell tower of Calvary Moravian Church…

The Winston Town Hall, completed in 1892, was one of the first architect designed buildings in the city…the architects were Glenn Brown & Willis Hall of Washington, DC…Hall, a Twin City native, came home to supervise the construction…before demolition, the clocks and bell in the tower were salvaged and now reside in the bell tower of Calvary Moravian Church…Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection…

The Reynolds building was designed by Shreve & Lamb of New York…it was not “the model” for the Empire State Building, which has considerable design differences, but the developers of the Empire State chose the same architectural firm after viewing the Reynolds Building…

The Reynolds building was designed by Shreve & Lamb of New York…it was not “the model” for the Empire State Building, which has considerable design differences, but the developers of the Empire State chose the same architectural firm after viewing the Reynolds Building…

But the discussion turned to the worst mistakes ever in the Twin City. There have been plenty of those, but it did not take long to narrow the field down to two. Here is the story of the second worst.

In any growing town, the area around the courthouse square is one of the most important and first to develop. In the new town of Winston in the 1850s and 1860s, the first to develop was the south side of the courthouse square, followed by the north side and then the west. But by the 1870s, the area along Main Street near Third on the east side was rapidly filling up.

Pfohl & Stockton began their partnership with a store in Salem. Around 1870, they began a second store in Winston. In 1876 they erected the first “modern” store in Winston on Main Street at Third. Their principal business was in dried fruits and berries, of which they shipped many railroad carloads annually…but the recent invention of the Mason jar made canned fruits and berries a more desirable product…in 1886 they ceased operations…the building to the right is the former Fountain Hotel which had become Pfohl & Stockton’s Hotel…

Pfohl & Stockton began their partnership with a store in Salem. Around 1870, they began a second store in Winston. In 1876 they erected the first “modern” store in Winston on Main Street at Third. Their principal business was in dried fruits and berries, of which they shipped many railroad carloads annually…but the recent invention of the Mason jar made canned fruits and berries a more desirable product…in 1886 they ceased operations…the building to the right is Pfohl & Stockton’s Merchant’s Hotel…at far right is a commercial building built by Robert Gray…Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection…

In 1892, William A. Lemly, the president of Wachovia National Bank, and Joseph Jacobs, one of the city’s first Jewish merchants, formed a partnership to erect the city’s finest commercial block. Since Jacobs already owned the site of the former Pfohl & Stockton store, they chose that location. Lemly bought part of the former hotel site next door and construction began.

This picture was taken in 1894. At the far right is the Hotel Jones…next is the building at 241-243 North Main Street…on the ground floor was the Western Union telegraph office and a barber shop…upstairs was the office of H. Montague, a lawyer and real estate broker…in the 1880s, Montague financed and endowed the Montague Medal, which today is awarded to the student with the highest average during senior year in every public high school in Forsyth County…the building at the far left housed the American Saloon, another saloon and a restaurant, all black owned…behind it can be seen the P.H. Hanes Tobacco factory, topped by the logo of their number one brand, Early Bird chewing tobacco…on the ground floor of the Lemly/Jacobs block, the right hand segment was vacant…the center was occupied by the Wright & Neeley boot and shoe store, and on the corner of Third was the Standard Music Company. Upstairs were the local YMCA; the offices of Eugene Gray, lawyer, insurance broker and mayor of Winston; Eller & Starbuck, attorneys; Eller & Nading, insurance; the Life Insurance Company of Virginia and R.G. Dun & Company, mercantile agents. In the basement rooms on Third Street we can see J.E. Uzzle’s establishment, opened in 1893…at left Uzzle’s Place, the barroom, and next to it the restaurant, serving oysters and game…inside were fruit bearing lemon and orange trees…and finally, the Board of Charities Soup House, which opened in January, 1894 as a reaction to the severe depression of 1893-1897…

This picture was taken in 1894. At the far right is the Hotel Jones…next is the building at 241-243 North Main Street…on the ground floor was the Western Union telegraph office and a barber shop…upstairs was the office of H. Montague, a lawyer and real estate broker…in the 1880s, Montague financed and endowed the Montague Medal, which today is awarded to the student with the highest average during senior year in every public high school in Forsyth County…the building at the far left housed the American Saloon, another saloon and a restaurant, all black owned…behind it can be seen the P.H. Hanes Tobacco factory, topped by the logo of their number one brand, Early Bird chewing tobacco…on the ground floor of the Lemly/Jacobs block, the right hand segment was vacant…the center was occupied by the Wright & Neeley boot and shoe store, and on the corner of Third was the Standard Music Company. Upstairs were the local YMCA; the offices of Eugene Gray, lawyer, insurance broker and mayor of Winston; Eller & Starbuck, attorneys; Eller & Nading, insurance; the Life Insurance Company of Virginia and R.G. Dun & Company, mercantile agents. In the basement rooms on Third Street we can see J.E. Uzzle’s establishment, opened in 1893…at left Uzzle’s Place, the barroom, and next to it the restaurant, serving oysters and game…inside were fruit bearing lemon and orange trees…and finally, the Board of Charities Soup House, which opened in January, 1894 as a reaction to the severe depression of 1893-1897…Forsyth County Public Library Picture Collection…

Zinzendorf Hotel, 1906...

Zinzendorf Hotel, 1906…

In 1906, the grand Zinzendorf Hotel was built next to the Lemly/Jacobs block. They would stand side by side for the next half century. But in the early 1950s, the Lemly/Jacobs block was demolished. So what is there now?

Parking "deck" (1956)...note the attractive toll booth...

Parking “deck” (since 1956)…note the attractive toll booth…

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