Hope Valley was Durham’s first full-fledged country club suburb, developed around an 18-hole golf course in the late 1920s. Traces of the farms that occupied the land in the 19th Century remain around the historic suburban landscape created by renowned landscape architect Robert Cridland. Mebane & Sharpe, Inc. developed Hope Valley to attract the newly successful the successful young professionals who were thriving in Durham’s tobacco, textile, and health care industries, as well as faculty from the then-new Duke University and the rapidly expanding UNC.
hv1Donald Ross designed the golf course to give privacy to golfers through the use of roadways and greenspaces that flank the course. Aymar Embury II, a well-known society architect known for the structures he created on Princeton University’s campus and in New York City, designed Hope Valley’s French Eclectic-style clubhouse. The building was “freshened” in the 1940’s. In the 1960s, Robert Winston (Judge) Carr’s firm oversaw a major renovation. Most recently, a Charlotte firm reworked the north and south ends, leaving the Carr work essentially untouched.
Hope Valley’s earliest historic homes are an eclectic mix of revival styles popular in the 1920s and 1930s: Tudor, English Cottage, Colonial, Norman Provincial, and even Spanish. Winding, narrow roads conforming to the hilly terrain weave their way throughout the neighborhood. Many of the houses in Hope Valley have interesting histories. The Sheperd-Mebane House was built on the Sheperd Farm on Hope Valley Road perhaps as early as the turn of the 19th Century. The Sheperd family sold the house in the 1920s to Mebane & Sharpe, Inc., and R. J. Mebane moved it to its present location, where he remodeled and enlarged it with two large wings. The Alyea House was not only built in Tudor style, but with 16th Century building methods, taking three years to complete. Raleigh architect Murray Nelson designed the Norman Provincial style Forbus House (NR) using a variety of dormers, towers, and decorative brickwork to create a picturesque facade. The Hubert Teer House is well known for the exact miniature model of it that Mr. Teer built on the grounds as a playhouse for his daughter.