Wharton Block, 318 – 320 South Elm Street

Center City Greensboro Historic Architecture

Wharton Block, 318 – 320 South Elm Street

Greensboro, North Carolina 27401, United States

Created By: Preservation Greensboro


After a major fire here in the summer of 1885, citizens and business owners sought to reconstruct this portion of Elm Street with substantial and fire-resistant commercial blocks. John W. Wharton and William O. Stratford, proprietors of Wharton & Stratford, a general merchandiser offering farm implements, builder’ materials, fertilizers, metal roofers, and tobacco flues, announced intentions to construct a “fine brick store” at 318-320 South Elm Street in September of that year.

By October, the Greensboro North State newspaper crowed “Messrs. Wharton & Stratford are rapidly preparing to commence the erection of their new building on South Elm street. The building will be 92 feet front, three stories high, and when completed will be another ornament to our city.” In addition to Wharton & Stratford, other occupants included W. A. Horney Watchmaker, Jeweler and Optician.

The structure still maintains its original appearance, including brick corbelling at the cornice-line, hooded window brows, and simple wood window sills. The structure at 318 is remarkably well-preserved with early painted signage that remains legible.

Style: Greensboro Vernacular. Listed to the National Register of Historic Places in April 1980 as a contributing structure within the Downtown Greensboro Historic District.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Center City Greensboro Historic Architecture


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