Expect More.

Ardmore Neighborhood Association response to Atrium Health’s planned demolition of 10 houses

Kate Mewhinney, ANA President, on behalf of ANA Board of Directors

Over at least the last thirty years, entities affiliated with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital have acquired eleven homes along Lockland Avenue. Between Queen Street and Salem Parkway, they own the majority of this residential block opposite their campus. Left by Atrium Health unrepaired and unoccupied for years, these houses have been allowed to fall into disrepair.  Windows and doors were broken, then boarded up. Neighbors had to watch as the deterioration worsened.

Ten of these homes are part of our neighborhood’s historic mix of architectural styles. They are labeled as “Contributing Structures” in the Ardmore Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Rather than maintain these residences, or restore them after years of neglect, Atrium Health now plans to demolish the homes and leave the lots vacant. The Ardmore Neighborhood Association (ANA) was informed of this in May, and invited by Atrium Health to respond to their announcement.  

As property owner, Atrium Health is within its legal rights to demolish these homes. The applicable National Register of Historic Places designations do not offer any protection. Atrium Health has not disclosed any alternative plans for these lots, intending to leave them empty. They have not yet made a request to rezone the properties, but razing homes to leave empty lots still represents a non-residential encroachment into residential Ardmore. Deteriorated houses or empty lots negatively affect our community, impacting surrounding property values, and most importantly depriving neighbors of places to live.  

What Does the Ardmore Neighborhood Association Ask of Atrium?

The Ardmore Neighborhood Association (ANA), an all volunteer non-profit, was founded in 1976 to preserve the residential nature of the neighborhood.  ANA members are residents and homeowners of Ardmore.

The ANA Board appreciates that Atrium Health provides nationally recognized medical care, employing many residents of Ardmore, while operating in a complex health care environment. They are an important and valued pillar of our community, both locally and regionally. But as part of our community, we expect more from our neighbor. The ANA Board expresses concern over Atrium Health’s failure to responsibly enhance our City as owners of these Lockland homes. A block of deteriorating houses or a block of empty lots does not contribute to the residential nature of Ardmore. Nor does it reflect our thriving and vibrant community.   

The ANA believes our flourishing residential neighborhood should be inclusive of a diverse range of residents, including young families, retirees, students, and people from all backgrounds. And people need places to live. 

We ask Atrium Health to uphold the values outlined in its mission statement and strive for a better outcome.

We ask Atrium Health to commit to properly maintain the homes it owns in Ardmore, on Lockland and other streets. If Atrium is unwilling to maintain their residential properties, we ask them to retain a reputable real estate management company to do so. Or offer the residences for sale, in hopes a buyer would restore them for occupancy.

We ask Atrium Health to conform to the City of Winston-Salem’s Legacy 2030 Plan, which specifically addresses these houses along Lockland Avenue adjacent to the hospital’s parking deck and childcare building. The Legacy 2030 Plan provides (emphasis ours):

  • No further expansion of nonresidential uses should be permitted along Lockland Avenue.
  • No additional Limited Campus Uses for the Medical Center should be added along Lockland Avenue east from the existing Campus Zoning District Boundary.
  • Retain the existing structures along Lockland Avenue.  Allow the conversion of existing single-family homes to duplex, triplex or quadruplex units.

We ask Atrium Health to be a good neighbor. Allowing neighborhood homes to deteriorate only to address the issue through demolition is unacceptable.  

We expect more.

[All photos taken Nov. 2022 on Lockland Avenue, Winston-Salem]

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