The History of the McAlister-Gant House

People are often enthralled with the history of both homes – and rightly so! So we thought we would do two posts diving into the history of each house and the families who them home. First, we’re going to kick it off with the McAlister House!

The Gant-McAlister House is a prime example of the transition from Queen Anne to Colonial Revival style architecture. The house was built in 1915 for the Gant family, who lived there for 31 years and then sold to the McAlister’s in 1949. Dr. McAlister was a prominent Greensboro pediatrician and was involved in the rehabilitation of young men in and out of prison. The house was then given to First Presbyterian Church, and when it no longer suited their needs, it was saved and moved to 507 N Church St. by Ms. Anne Carlson.

 

McAlister House moved in Greensboro, NC

 

The Gant Family

The house was built in 1915 for the Mason and Minnie Gant and their family. The name of the street at the time was Waiman Street, now Greene Street. First Presbyterian Church had not yet moved to Fisher Park. The only surviving child of the Gant family, Adelaide Gant, was born in an upstairs bedroom in 1919. Adelaide’s sister Clara taught kindergarten in a front room on the third floor from 1922 to 1924. Mason Gant’s funeral was held in the house in 1931.
During the World War II years of 1942-1945, many of the Gant children and grandchildren moved in to live with Minnie. Along with at least 10 family members, the home also housed two teachers who rented a room.

 

North Carolina Historic Venue

 

The McAlister Family

Alexander Worth McAlister (1862-1946) moved to Guilford County from Randolph County in the 1890s. He founded Pilot Life Insurance Company, which grew out of a family insurance business. Involved in the original development of Irving Park in Greensboro, he built his home there around 1919.

McAlister “brought golf to Greensboro” and helped establish the town’s first course on Summit Avenue. He founded the Greensboro Board of Public Welfare and was a member of the N.C. Board of Public Welfare from 1916 until 1944. He was active in the First Presbyterian Church and instrumental in founding the Community Church of Greensboro. A.W. McAlister and his wife Sara Little married in 1894 and had five children.

Lacy McAlister, who was involved in prison ministries, lived in the house with his sister Dr. Jean McAlister, a prominent Greensboro pediatrician, until his death in 1983. Dr. McAlister donated the house to First Presbyterian Church in 1985 and lived in the house until her death in 1987.

 

Image 1: Hillary Muelleck | Image 2: Source unknown | Image 3: Ally & Bobby

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