The Westerwood neighborhood was part of the inspiration for the Traditional Neighborhood Development movement. Streets were laid out with respect for the natural topography of the rolling hills. Originally, the streets were concrete, with granite curbs and brick gutters. Trees were planted in the wide grass strips between curb and sidewalk to give shade. Alleys provided access to garages and were used by service vehicles such as ice and coal trucks. As you can still see, garages were not prominent and some driveways were shared. Westerwood residents could walk to church, synagogue, stores, Woman’s College (now UNCG), Greensboro College, downtown, and to the park. By 1929, Greensboro High School (now Grimsley High School) was built just northwest of Lake Daniel Park, an easy walk from Westerwood. In 1902, electric streetcars began to turn on Tate Street from W. Market St. for access to the wider community. Two arched bridges, reminiscent of bridges in Europe, were built in Lake Daniel Park to span Buffalo Creek and its tributary. In 1925, Garland Daniel designed a large roundabout connecting Garland Drive and East Lake Drive. It is still in use.
Even now, Westerwood is a very walkable community. A walking/biking trail through Lake Daniel Park ends at Friendly Shopping Center to the west and Moses Cone Hospital to the east. Sidewalks connect Westerwood to the center of town and to nearby neighborhoods. Professors, teachers, journalists, artists, musicians, employers and employees lived, and continue to live, in Westerwood because of the neighborhood’s close proximity to schools, businesses, and downtown. Because of its convenient location, the number of apartments in the neighborhood began increasing through new construction and conversion of larger homes. In 2001, the City Council restored single-family zoning to the entire neighborhood.
Read more from Paul as he shares his inspiration behind his bench design. He has named it Delphina Station after the history of Delphina Street that was uncovered while researching for the projects.
Delphina Station pays homage to the original residents of Delphina Street (now Guilford Avenue). In the early 1870s, the Mendenhall family sold lots to seven African-American individuals/families. The street was named after Delphina, an esteemed abolitionist and relative of Cyrus Pegg Mendenhall.
The installation resembles a train stop situated near a former railroad track and the woods, sparking the idea of a fictionalized stop within a conventional rail system and/or possibly connected to the Underground Railroad through the forest and creek. It includes African-inspired stools for rest, conversation, and reflection on the site's history and neighborhood's evolution.
At its center is a bottle tree, introduced by enslaved people to cleanse an area of negative energy. Engraved bricks surround the tree's base, honoring the original seven families of Delphina Street. The diverse array of multi-colored bottles symbolizes the community's present-day diversity. Delphina Station honors the heritage of Delphina Street's first residents, and encourages reflection and cleansing of negative energy.
In January 2023 , Benjamin Briggs with Preservation Greensboro wrote about the history of Delphina Street that he uncovered while helping Paul Evans research for his bench project. It was even discovered while doing genealogy work during the course of this research that Paul was a descendant of a former Delphina Street resident. What is now known as Guilford Avenue was once called Delphina Street. You can read Benjamin's excellent write-up about this history on the Preservation Greensboro website.