The Wadsworth Estate, nestled in the Historic Wesley Heights Neighborhood, has new owners. Mark and Alyson Miller moved into the historic home in October 2018. The house was designed in 1910 by the well-known Charlotte architect Louis Asbury. In 1911 the house was built by developer E.C. Griffith for the original owner George Pierce Wadsworth. Wadsworth was a prominent business owner in the community.
This older house and older neighborhood influenced the Millers to relocate from South End to the Historic West End. Mark Miller first became aware of the Wadsworth Estate during his time working at the Historic Landmarks Commission. “When looking at this house at the Historic Landmarks Commission I started thinking, ‘Wow, this could be a good house for our family.’” He continued, “I started checking off boxes. It’s an old historic house. It’s got a great history. It’s in a great neighborhood.”
Wadsworth passed the Millers initial checklist of desired traits, but as they dove into researching more about the house and the neighborhood they got even more excited about the prospect of moving to the Historic West End. Mark Miller explained, “We started doing some more research and found out how great the Wesley Heights neighborhood was. We learned about the history of this house and the impact the previous owners had on the neighborhood.”
The recent previous owner, Judge Shirley Fulton, had a tremendous impact on the neighborhood. Judge Fulton was Charlotte’s first black female prosecutor and was North Carolina’s first black female on the Superior Court bench. She was also a community leader in Wesley Heights. She transformed the house into a conference and event space for the community. Event space in the Historic West End was lacking until the Wadsworth Estate Conference and Event Center was opened. The Millers recognize the resource that the Wadsworth Estate had become to the Historic West End. Mark Miller shared, “We definitely felt like there was a responsibility that came with the house and we are excited about that. To the best that we can, we would love to continue its legacy of having a positive impact on this neighborhood.”
Under the Millers ownership, the main house will now function as a residential space. However, the guest house, known as the Carriage House, will continue to be a resource for the community. Mark Miller explained, “The intention is to raise our family in that house. We plan to be there for a long time. That is the primary goal.” He continued, “We would like to find ways to use the Carriage House as a way to give back to the community. We don’t know how that would look yet, but we have a nonprofit that has shown interest in using it as a studio.”
Once the main house is renovated, after about a year of work, the Millers do plan to host activities to bring people over. Since moving into the neighborhood, the Millers have felt welcomed by their neighbors and are becoming part of the community. Being social people the Millers do plan to host neighbors in the main house for gatherings. Alyson Miller shared, “The people here are so wonderful. We have really gotten to jump in and meet a lot of them through the community meetings and the different neighborhood events. I feel like everyone is so welcoming and interested in getting to know you and the family.” She continued, “It just seems like such a sense of community, which we really like.”
Another reason they really like living in the Historic West End is the walkability of the Wesley Heights neighborhood.”You can take the Greenway down to Blue Blaze Brewing, and Enderly Coffee is right up the street too,” said Alyson Miller. They have also enjoyed finding quick routes to places like Frazier Park and Freedom Drive using the Greenway.
The historic house, the sense of community, and the walkability of the Wesley Heights neighborhood have exceeded the Millers expectations. They are glad to be a part of the Historic West End community. They have felt welcomed and are welcoming neighbors to come on by. Mark Miller said, “I want people to know we have an open door policy at this place. We would love to get to know all of the neighbors. We hope to have gatherings where the community can come over and hang. But, that is going to take time and we understand that.”