The Franklin-Rosemary District was established in 1976 and has been home to many past and present UNC presidents and professors.
Along the tree-lined sidewalks in this distinguished old neighborhood you will find nineteenth Century Federal, Greek Revival, and Gothic Revival styles interspersed with vernacular farmhouses. Colonial Revival and bungalow styled houses were added in the early twentieth century, adding to the diverse palette of homes found here.
The demand for these historic homes on large parcels of land near downtown and campus is timeless. A mature tree canopy and low field-stone walls line the streets. Frame houses with deep and wide front porches are most prevalent, but the district also includes several brick and stucco buildings, fraternity and sorority residences, and a few institutional buildings.
Renowned architects, such as Hobart Upjohn, originally designed some of the homes in the Franklin-Rosemary Historical District. Upjohn’s is located on a one-and-a-quarter-acre lot that has been designated a wildlife sanctuary through the National Wildlife Federation.
Prices for homes along Franklin Street jumped substantially in 1997, when former UNC President C.D. Spangler paid $1 million for the 1800 square-foot former Presbyterian manse that was purchased 23 years earlier for $80,000. Today most of the homes in the Franklin-Rosemary Historic District are on the upper end of prices found in Chapel Hill, with an average price of $750,000.
You can’t talk about this historic area without talking about The University of North Carolina. The university opened its doors in 1795 and is the nation’s oldest public secondary school, and one of its most beautiful. Over the years many newcomers, who first arrived as students, choose to make their permanent homes here. The area has grown to accommodate the increased population without ever losing its identity. The school and medical center are still the town’s largest employers, and Chapel Hill, at its core, will always be a college town.
While you may find that the university is the heart of Chapel Hill, you will quickly learn that the soul of the town is Franklin Street. Bordered by the campus on one side, beautiful historic homes on the other, and Carrboro at the western end, downtown Franklin Street is filled with unique shops, restaurants, and a flourishing local art and music scene.
Every night on Franklin Street you can enjoy a wonderful dining experience, take in a movie, or just hang out at one of the breweries, clubs, and bars where you can listen to live music or just kick back for a little conversation amongst friends. And on game days, any time UNC wins the street is absolutely flooded with fans.
Several days every year the downtown area of Franklin is closed off for festivals. In April, Franklin Street turns into Apple Chill; several blocks become stages for performances, and live music and ethnic foods are all around to taste and experience. In October, Franklin Street is home to Festifall, another annual event with artisan displays and food. And of course, on Halloween night the street is closed for over 40,000 costume-clad party-goers.
All residents of the area benefit from the university by bringing a wealth of cultural and sports activities for all to enjoy. Lucky sports fans may find themselves in the “Dean Dome,” the home of UNC’s basketball team. And fans of the arts have theater, museums, visiting and local artists, and musicians in an endless list of choices available. You can also catch a star show at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.
The Franklin Street-Rosemary area surely has everything you may need for a night out, but for those wanting a little quiet enjoyment there is no shortage of outdoor past-times. You might try the nature trails that are part of the 600-acre botanical gardens, or take a stroll through campus or down the major streets. There’s truly something for everyone in this historic district.
If the neighborhood nestled within Franklin and Rosemary Streets sound inviting, contact a local realtor and learn more today!