Created By: Preservation Greensboro
The Cascade Saloon was constructed in 1895 on South Elm Street between the North Carolina Railroad tracks to the north, and a spur of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway to the south. This unusual location between two rail lines resulted in the structure having no adjacent buildings and a stand-alone setting for a high-profile presence along Greensboro’s main business street. Although the architect of the building is unknown, it is clearly part of a family of Elm Street buildings designed by the same hand. Shared characterizes of these buildings include Mount Airy Granite window sills and lintels, use of patterned brickwork, and elaborate cornices.
The structure originally had twin storefronts, the northernmost addressed as 408 South Elm Street and the southernmost as 410. The earliest records of the building in 1897 include grocer George. T. McLamb in 408, and saloon owner Samuel J. McCauley in unit 410. By 1907, two new businesses moved into the building, including Wiley Weaver’s “eating house” or café, in the space at 408. Weaver and his wife Ida were African-American, and the couple had just been married in 1903. They operated the café at a time when Jim Crow Laws sought to segregate African-Americans away from white-owned businesses. The fact that the Weavers ran their business on Greensboro’s main commercial street is an unusual footnote in Greensboro’s history. By 1913, the café was recognized under the name “The Cascade Saloon,” and offered one of only five billiard parlors in the city. The building remained derelict for 40 years until the efforts of Preservation Greensboro sought to restore the building for new uses. Private.
Style: Greensboro Vernacular. Listed to the National Register of Historic Places April 1980. Local Landmark Property since December 2007.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Center City Greensboro Historic Architecture