In terms of historic architecture, the College Park Historic District is significant for its intact representative examples of late-19th century and early-to-mid 20th century building styles in commercial, residential, civic, religious, and educational structures. Many builders and architects worked in College Park, including William S. Cox, an 1886 graduate of Cornell University School of Architecture who designed large Victorian-era mansions, and William E. Moreland, who designed and built a strip of commercial buildings between West Rugby Avenue and West Mercer Avenue, as well as individual residences. Other architects and builders included Leila Ross Wilburn, William 0. Alexander, James 0. Carter, William B. Corley, Cornelius Gates, Cornelius Gibbs, Louis Warlick, and William Hubbard. Many designs were taken from numerous architectural pattern books of the period.
Building materials were purchased from local College Park lumber and supply companies. Wood, stone, brick, stucco and combinations of the same are found on the exterior construction. Interior trim is generally oak with oak and heart of pine flooring. Walls are of lath and plaster. Most homes have basements which housed coal burning furnaces and laundry facilities. Fireplaces, many of which are also coal burning, are common. Local craftsmen and carpenters did the majority of the fabrication on the commercial and residential properties. Late Victorian houses with their large porches, gabled roofs and turrets predate most of the district’s homes. Architectural styles were used in the design of a range of houses from small one-story cottages, to large Victorian mansions. The most prevalent styles were Craftsman, English Tudor, Dutch Colonial, Spanish Colonial Revival, Federal Revival, Colonial Revival, and Queen Anne. True eclecticism is evident throughout the residential section.
The Palmour House
The community landmark buildings also reflect various styles. The First Methodist Church (now College Park First United Methodist Church) is an example of Greek Revival style with its temple form. The commercial buildings are of the Italianate type and other with brick/wood construction. Two of four schools, named for College Park Board of Education members, built by the early 1920s remain: Alonzo Richardson High School (by 1914) and Samuel R. Young School (c. 1927). Woodward Academy owns three historic structures on East Rugby Avenue: the Alumni Building also known as the Lyle House, The Oaks (1939) which is the president’s home, and the Willingham House. The arched entryway gate (c.1935) to the Academy and several monuments are historic also. Several of the monuments commemorate cadets who served in 20th century wars: World Wars One and Two, Korea and Vietnam.
Historic Entrance Archway to Woodward Academy