117 S. COLUMBIA ST. / ABERNETHY HOUSE

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117 S. COLUMBIA ST. / ABERNETHY HOUSE

117
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
circa 1906
/ Demolished in
1959
People: 
Architectural style: 
,
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Last updated

  • Wed, 03/24/2021 - 1:49pm by SteveR

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117
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
circa 1906
/ Demolished in
1959
People: 
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
Neighborhood: 
Type: 
Use: 

 

1922 (via UNC's Yackety Yack)

Being dismantled, 1959 (photo by Bill Prouty/CHW)

1911 Sanborn map excerpt

Built circa 1906 by/for the Abernethy family on property purchased from Junius D. Webb. Dr. Eric A. Abernethy was the UNC physician for decades and was a World War One veteran and UNC alumnus and trustee. He died by suicide (via pistol) in this house March 21, 1933.

While a student at UNC, in early 1918, Thomas Wolfe boarded with a friend (Edmund Burdick) in one of the upstairs rooms. However, Burdick had a heart attack while visiting his parents in Asheville and died, and Wolfe was so distraught he moved to a room in Battle Dormitory soon afterwards.

In the early 1950s Abernethy's family (or a trustee for them) sold the property to UNC. In 1959, UNC had the house demolished in order to create a garden and parking lot for the adjacent Ackland Art Museum.

The Hanes Art Center was built on the site in 1980.

View north east, June 2019 (via Google Streetview)

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