1916 home gets second chance

Preservation of Wilson will fix it up, look for buyer

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Even with a passing glance at 1007 Nash Street NW., the craftsmanship of days gone by is obvious.

The yard could use some TLC, as could the interior, but the sturdy bones of the home and historical significance made it ripe for Preservation of Wilson’s first use of the revolving fund.

“When we established the revolving fund last summer, we wanted to select a project that was not marketable in a traditional real estate manner, one that would help to eliminate a vacant house that often attracts vandalism and one to visually demonstrate that Preservation of Wilson is making a difference in the community,” said Ann Brice, Preservation of Wilson trustee, secretary and chair of the properties committee. “We think we have found the perfect project with the Nadal House on Nash Street, which gives great visibility to our donors and the community.”

Officials said the home has been vacant for two years and three people have seriously considered buying but walked away because of the current condition of the house, which does not qualify for a mortgage.

“We have learned when a house is in such a dilapidated condition, the costs are so high that even those with the best intentions can’t finish the project,” said Kathryn Bethune, the executive director of Preservation of Wilson. “It is the hope that revolving fund projects like the Nadal House will help to eliminate this challenge and increase our development funds, so we can do more work and see neighborhood revitalization gain momentum one house at a time.”

The house, which dates back to 1916, is one of only a few Western Stick-style bungalows in the city. According to the National Registry of Historic Places, the house was built for insurance agent Ernest F. Nadal, whose son reportedly recalled the design was copied from a friend’s home in Eureka. Renowned mason Oliver Nestus Freeman also added his iconic stonework to the wrap-around porch.

“E.M. Nadal Sr. emigrated to North Carolina from Spain in the middle part of the 19th century,” said B. Perry Morrison Jr., trustee for preservation and president of the Wilson County Historical Association. “He and his children were very active in business, religious and social life of early Wilson. The Nadal Drug Store at the intersection of Nash and Tarboro streets was the epicenter of the community.

“The home that the Nadal family built at 1007 Nash St. is part of their rich legacy, as well as a testament to their contemporary attitudes, being built in the Craftsman style, the height of architectural fashion in the early 1900s.”

The Nadals moved out in 1928, then sold the house to Wilson County Sheriff William A. Weathersby, who owned it until his widow sold the house in 1963 to Lloyd and Marigold Chesson.

Preservation of Wilson has enlisted contractor Joe Dyer to help with the first phase of the restoration to update the electrical system and install a new roof to prevent further damage.

“We are now working with Joe to develop our scope of work and organizing volunteers to help with projects we can handle,” Bethune said. “Volunteers will begin work by removing carpet and cleaning out the house as well as landscaping, so we can begin to improve the curb appeal of the property. In the end, we will sell the property to a preservation-minded buyer, but we are not at that point yet.”

Protective covenants will be added to the deed to ensure the historic home does not fall into a state of disrepair again. The nonprofit organization will apply for N.C. Historic Preservation Tax Credits to take advantage of the 15 percent credit, which can be transferred to the new owner.

“We had all our inspections completed prior to purchase and have a good understanding of what will need to be done,” said Sharyn Hardister, a property committee member and local real estate agent.

The revolving fund enables Preservation of Wilson to purchase properties, accept donations of properties and collaborate with other groups to acquire historic properties. The goal is to use the sale of such properties to replenish the fund. For more information on Preservation of Wilson, visit www.preservationofwilson.com/.

bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com | 265-7821