The House That Old Joe Built
A dream house speaks of Winston-Salem’s illustrious past
By Noah Salt
Back in our happy-go-lucky college days — i.e. just after the invention of the wheel — we took up smoking cigarettes during final exam week. Our smoke of choice was Camel, favored by our broadcast hero Edward R. Murrow, the famous cigarette some attribute to James “Jack” Glenn with developing in 1913. Glenn went on to become the sixth president of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Credited with introducing the concept of modern cigarettes packaging to the world, featuring an Egyptian camel dubbed “Old Joe” on the package cover, within a year Reynolds had sold 425 million packs of Camel, eventually lending the nickname Camel City” to the town where Jack Glenn built his dream house in 1926.
Designed by the same Luther Lashmit, who architected Graylyn Estate — and constructed from identical hand-laid, locally-quarried stone in a bygone era when craftsmanship took its own sweet time — this spectacular English manor house took almost 10 years to complete before it was finally occupied by the Glenn family in 1935. Though several families have inhabited it since, the immaculate charm remains fully intact, highlighted by extraordinary details like museum-worthy, hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper, gorgeous upholstered wall coverings by Osborne & Little, and a burlwood library where you half expect to find Noel Coward hard at work, Camel in hand.
The 1.6-acre property — the house is fitted dramatically over a stream on a hillside — includes an equally gracious carriage house with two apartments, bringing the total heated square footage to 9,184 square feet. Despite its size, the main house flows with a warmth and intimate feel reminiscent of the great estates of Edwardian Britain. It boasts five bedrooms, five baths, three working fireplaces, original leaded windows, original slate roof and copper gutters, along with a private three-floor Krupp elevator.
“It’s such an easy house to love and live in,” says current owner Ben Shwab, whose late parents owned the property since 1998. Shwab’s mother, Carolyn, a well-respected interior decorator, performed many of the refined updates throughout. “For someone who appreciates the kind of Old World craftsmanship that went into its creation, this really is a dream house.”
Old Joe, we suspect, couldn’t have put it any better.
Vital Details: 2617 Club Park Road, Winston-Salem
Priced at $1,995,000
Contact Carolyn Strickland for more information
Leonard Ryden Burr Real Estate