316 N. Salem Street, Apex
Apex National Register Historic District
The White-Duncan is the only house on North Salem Street in Apex’s Historic District that faces south toward the downtown commercial district. Family tradition holds that the house’s first owner, Mrs. Martha Ann (Annie) White, felt this location would be more conducive to her watching the daily activities in the nearby downtown commercial district from her spacious front porch. Built primarily utilizing Classical Revival motifs, the house has a projecting gabled façade bay that harks back to the more complicated massing of the Queen Anne style of architecture nationally popular in the closing years of the nineteenth century. It is one of four intact buildings in Apex’s National Register Historic District that showcases the Classical Revival, and while others share the massing and minor architectural details of style, the White-Duncan house is the most fully expressed with its modillioned eaves and a full-width porch with Ionic columns and turned balusters. Additionally, it reflects Apex residents’ abandonment of the vernacular I-house form for more popular styles and forms such as the one and two-story double pile houses with projecting front wings and bay windows. Julius A. Duncan built the house for his mother-in-law, Mrs. Martha Ann White, in 1900 from a design of a two story double pile house she coveted in nearby Durham.