Our colonial history speaks to great southern plantations, but in piedmont North Carolina and upstate South Carolina the more common enterprise was small, and usually subsistence farming. While Planters were far more prevalent in eastern North Carolina and in the South Carolina low country, several did exist, such as Torrance family and their property established in northern Mecklenburg County in the late eighteenth century by Hugh Torance. Cedar Grove and the Hugh Torrance House and Store were one part of a large financial concern owned and managed by the Torrance family. The Hugh Torrance House and Store was built between 1780 and the early 1800s and Cedar Grove was constructed between 1831 and 1833. Cedar Grove is one of the premier Greek Revival houses remaining in the Piedmont, combining some aspects of Federal-style characteristics. Inspired by Greek architecture and democracy, Greek revival homes feature a symmetrical, formal shape.
To approach 1522 Steel Hill Road is to approach architectural history. The builder/owner sought to honor Colonial period builders, using Cedar Grove as an exact scale model. Turn off Steel Hill Road through the gated entrance with brick columns onto a long drive leading to the elevated, stately brick 4,837 sq ft home and enter a private 12-acre estate. Fenced pastures border each side of the drive, ready for horses. Step onto the sweeping front porch with columns and immediately experience the attention to detail and historical accuracy combined with modern conveniences; exceptional touches abound, some obvious and others more subtle. True to its model, the bricks were laid in a Flemish Bond, a very demanding process for the mason. This pattern is made from alternating headers (short side of the brick) and stretchers (long side of the brick) on each course. In the mortar joints, while the mortar is still green the mason uses a tool with a nib and runs the tool along the middle of the mortar joint to create a line. The window sills are all hand-cut granite.
Enter the home through the custom made Spanish cedar and German glass door with sidelight panels to the splendor of an earlier time. A grand hall runs the length of the home with exceptionally large rooms opening left and right. Governors paneling, 12 ft ceilings, surround sound, 7 pine board flooring, recessed lighting, and 8 doorways are a few of the main floor features. An office with fireplace is accessed through pocket doors across from a dining room highlighting a fireplace and marble surround, built-in mirror, custom chandelier and wall sconces. Continue down the first floor hall to the family room with fireplace and glass tile surround, opposite a chefs kitchen. Here history takes a backseat to current technology featuring Thermador stainless appliances to include a 42 refrigerator, dishwasher, 5 burner gas cook top, convection oven w/warming drawer and microwave. The kitchen also offers a large pantry, 10 center island, custom cabinets with tile back splash, decorator hood and a breakfast area. True to its heritage, a brick fireplace joins the breakfast space to the kitchen. A perpendicular back hall at the rear of the main level provides egress to the 2nd and 3rd floors, back patio and garage, mud/laundry room, coat closet, and a powder room. A laundry chute from the upstairs, cabinets, cubbies/drawers, utility sink and a folding table distinguish the practical laundry space. The powder room highlights a river wood vanity, another distinctive historical treatment. This one-off material was also used to construct the folding table in the laundry room. The 2nd floor boasts the master suite and 3 guest bedrooms with 2 full baths, off a center hardwood hallway. Each bright, airy bedroom offers wonderful views, spacious closets, ceiling fans and all the grace one would expect from this distinctive home. As much as family and guests will be pampered in their rooms, the master suite transports one to a higher level of warmth and comfort. Enter the master bedroom and the lustrous hardwood floor dissolves into a large fireplace with travertine surround and custom mantel, flanked by large windows providing further ambiance. This spacious master bedroom offers all the extras one would expect; ceiling fan, crown molding, 10 ceilings, surround sound and custom door trim. This special space flows into the adjoining bath with the same type of amenities; travertine floor, heated Jacuzzi therapy tub with travertine surround, 2 marble top vanities, make-up vanity, large walk-in frameless shower featuring body sprays, water closet and capacious walk-in closet. Just when you think this one-of-a-kind home has given up all its secrets, move to the 3rd floor to the media room. While this room could serve a variety of uses it was built as a media room with surround 5.1 (Note: 5.1 surround sound is the common name for six channel surround sound audio systems. 5.1 is the most commonly used layout in home cinema and uses five full bandwidth channels and one low-frequency effects channel (the "point one") Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS and SDS are all common 5.1 systems. 5.1 is also the standard surround sound audio component of digital broadcast and music. All 5.1 systems use the same speaker channels and configuration, having a front left and right, a center channel, two surround channels and a subwoofer.) A walk-in attic on this floor is another indication of the thought, planning and concern for space utilization that typifies this manor house.
The exterior of the home and the grounds convey a true estate. A detached oversized 3-car board & batten and brick garage is adjoined by a breezeway; cedar doors, acid stained floor, generous overhead storage mark the garage as another featured space. A brick patio and nearby fire pit provide vistas of the property; a combination of accessible open space surrounded by a wooded barrier. Here you find your privacy and yet ample area to build additional components of your estate if so desired.
Come to 1522 Steele Hill Road and pay homage to the past while exploiting the present; sequester yourself in the privacy of an estate, easily accessible to desirable locations; build your farm, family compound, or just move in and immediately enjoy. It is a destination for your future.
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521 south; Right on Steele Hill Rd; House on right approx 3 miles.
Fenced for Horses
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