• 70°

Historic Salisbury Foundation makes ‘last-minute rescue’ of West Thomas Street house

The Historic Salisbury Foundation has acquired the McCanless-Busby-Thompson House at 128 W. Thomas St.

After a demolition hearing for the house was scheduled for Sept. 28, the foundation reached an agreement to purchase the property from John M. Cheek.

The sale closed Sept. 26, two days before the hearing.

“This amazing last-minute rescue saves an important house and helps protect a vital edge of the West Square Historic District,” said Edward Clement, a trustee for Historic Salisbury Foundation.

Built in 1922 for Charles McCanless, the son of Napoleon Bonaparte McCanless, the two-story brick Colonial Revival house is listed as a “contributing building” by the National Register of Historic Places and is located in the primary Salisbury Historic District.

Many of the neighbors present at the Sept. 28 demolition hearing expressed relief that the house, even in its deteriorated condition, would not be razed, foundation officials said.

The property sits at a critical juncture of the West Square neighborhood as it turns south to Chestnut Hill. Neighbors feared a “hole” on the site would signal the neighborhood’s decline, the foundation said.

While the house is in a state of disrepair, the foundation and several contractors agree that the front of it can be saved intact. Even now, its intricately patterned brickwork and Palladian-style entry create a striking visual impact on West Thomas Street, the foundation said.

The interior woodwork including mantels, curved stairs, moldings and paneling remains in reasonable condition in the front parlors.

The Historic Salisbury Foundation’s work on this house began 18 months ago when it asked for a 90-day stay of demolition from the Historic Properties Commission. In addition to researching its history and architecture, several foundation members explored the property inside and out. The exterior was hidden by an overgrowth of trees, vines and shrubs. Foundation volunteers have since removed much of the vegetation.

Foundation officials said the transformation has been amazing because the architecturally distinctive house could be seen by all for the first time in years. Interested buyers came forth, but it took another year for the property to be sold.

“We are grateful that we were able to acquire the property,” said Karen Hobson, the foundation’s executive director. “While the renovation will be a complex and lengthy project, we believe that the McCanless-Busby-Thompson House will once again be a stately presence on West Thomas Street.”

Comments

BREAKING NEWS

October closure hearings set for Faith, Enochville elementary schools

Crime

Police say man gave false name after high speed chase, crashing into lumber truck

Coronavirus

Nearly 400 cases considered currently active in the county

Education

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College creates free course to help parents tackle virtual learning

Business

New unemployment claims down in August, could indicate positive trend for businesses

Crime

Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call

Crime

Police: Man charged after children call 911 from neighbor’s house

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?

Coronavirus

Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation

Nation/World

Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3

Nation/World

New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch

Elections

Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand

Crime

UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors

Nation/World

Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat

Coronavirus

Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19