Multiple-Family Dwellings (188.8.131.52)
Between 1793 and 1942, the vast majority of residents in Elizabeth City lived in single-family dwellings. Building lots were so plentiful and lumber so relatively inexpensive that almost every family occupied its own dwelling, no matter how modest. Few multiple-family buildings are known to have been - built during this period, only one before World War I.
Only two duplexes survive from this period. The older is the Leigh-Pogue House (703 Herrington Road, ca. 1892), a simple two-story hip-roofed structure apparently intended to provide housing for students and teachers at the Colored Normal School, which opened nearby in 1892; another duplex across the street, apparently intended for the same purpose, was demolished in the 1930s. The Hurdle Rental Duplex (705 Raleigh Street, ca. 1918) is a two-story gable-front unit that combines twin gable-front porches typical of bungalows, with a Palladian gable window and other Colonial Revival details.
Elizabeth City's rooming houses and apartment buildings also are few in number. The three-story stuccoed Raleigh Boarding House (206 North Road Street, 1908-1914) lost much of its original appearance with the removal of double-tier porches on front and rear. The Wineke-Penn Jo Apartments (704 West Church Street, 1921) remains largely unaltered except for the removal of a one-story porch shown on the 1923 Sanborn map. The focus of the large three-story brick structure is the pair of three-story bay windows and the modest decorative brickwork that displays a curious, almost Jacobean character. The other historic apartment building started out as a church. When the Elizabeth City Methodist Church completed a new edifice in 1922, they sold their old 1857 Greek Revival style building and new owners converted it into the three-story Perry Apartments (305 East Church Street). After considerable alterations, the large rectangular masonry structure displayed a triple tier of frame porches that extended around three sides of the building. These porches were removed between 1976 and 1984.
It should be mentioned that during the early 1940s dozens of residences, both large and small, throughout the city were divided into apartments to house military personnel at the nearby Coast Guard Station and Naval Air Base. For example, the large Warren Jennette House (805 West Main Street, 1914) was divided into ten units, many with kitchen and bath, and the simple gable-front, double-pile, side-hall-plan Banks-Sawyer-Meads House (401 West Fearing Street, ca. 1891) was divided into two apartments. A number of these former single-family residences have remained divided into multiple units for the past fifty years.