The William C. Coker House, Chapel Hill, North Carolina


Offered at $3,500,000

The William C. Coker House, ca. 1908, is distinguished by its unique history and extraordinary setting, the house and its notable gardens testifying to the complementary aspects of architecture and landscape. Coker, influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, selected the Prairie Style of architecture for his Chapel Hill home. The structure’s deep overhanging eaves, prow-gabled slate roof, grouped casement windows, interior stone chimney and exterior stucco finish speak to an integration with nature and a love of natural materials. The interior Arts and Crafts woodwork is among the most intact and extensive found in Chapel Hill. The house is well sited above North Street in the oldest Chapel Hill National Register Historic District, where a winding drive flanked by towering white oaks and Eastern hemlocks leads visitors to a terrace with a low stone wall that wraps around the home’s façade. Double diamond-light French doors beneath a gabled entry open to a sweeping transverse hall floored in quarter-sawn oak, and a view of the richly turned balustrade of the home’s two-story staircase that carries to a wide second-level stair landing with built-in window seat beneath casement windows. To the right is the main parlor with massive stone fireplace that rises to a white oak boxed-beamed ceiling, the room lit by groups of diamond-paned casement windows, a design feature that appears throughout the house. The parlor opens to both an open-air sitting area and a small interior sun porch. To the left, a snug library features another fireplace with a tall, paneled Arts and Crafts surround, and French doors opening to the north porch and the front terrace. Picture windows line the porch and offer a view of the garden’s arbor walk, cutting border, and rose beds. Additional porches adorn the south exposure. The dining room mirrors the parlor’s dramatic design features, also boasting a built-in arch-topped china cabinet that complements the handsome Arts and Crafts woodwork. A bright and airy modernized kitchen designed by Mary Jane Burns and restoration contractor Todd Dickinson features stainless work surfaces and appliances, and opens to a semi-circular outdoor terrace laid with antique slate. The second level comprises a firelit master bedroom with large closets and a period bathroom with original porcelain tiles and deep bathing tub, a bedroom/nursery adjoining the master which shares the master bath but also has hall access, and a third bedroom with its own fireplace, ensuite bath, and charming balcony providing an expansive view of the garden house, lush lawn, roses, and cutting border.

Estate Gallery