Azalea Festival Home Tour

Saturday and Sunday, April 6 & 7 (1PM-5PM)
presented as part of the 2024 Azalea Festival

Want to buy your ticket ($40) in person?

Tickets may be purchased at the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s headquarters (211 Orange Street), Legacy Architectural Salvage (1831-B Dawson Street), and the Azalea Festival Office. On the days of the tour (during tour hours), tickets may be purchased at one of HWF’s Sales & Info booths, located at 1513 Dock Street and 2024 Wrightsville Avenue. For those who have purchased tickets online, printed tickets may be picked up at the Sales & Info booths.

All details, including notes on parking, may be found in our FAQ SECTION, located at THIS LINK and at the bottom of this webpage.

Think of your Azalea Festival Home Tour ticket as a key, unlocking and welcoming you inside homes you’ve long admired, as well as some stunning hidden gems! From the quaint to the grand, step inside to explore our community’s past. As you wander through Wilmington’s charming Westbrook-Ardmore National Register Historic District, surprise awaits: the complement of new and old, the charming interplay of architectural styles. Expect the unexpected and delight in pristinely preserved architectural treasures as well as uniquely repurposed and upcycled elements. Get inspired and get excited: The only home tour special enough to be part of the legendary Azalea Festival is coming soon!

Elevate your Azalea Festival Home Tour experience with our exclusive VIP passes! As a VIP guest, you’ll unlock a treasure trove of perks from beloved local businesses around the historic Westbrook-Ardmore district, including Alcove, Azalea Station, Beat Street, Blue Cup Roastery, Bull City Ciderworks, The Fuzzy Needle, hello, love, Legacy Architectural Salvage, Mess Hall, The Plant Outpost, Ruff Draft, Salita Pizza, Vigilant Hope Roastery. Your VIP pass is your key to exclusive discounts and treats. We’re constantly adding more perks to make your weekend unforgettable!

Don’t miss out on this magical opportunity to explore, indulge, and celebrate with us this April. VIP PASSES ARE LIMITED—secure yours now and dive into a world of exclusive delights and surprises! Click here to learn more and buy tickets.

Proceeds from the Azalea Festival Home Tour support the Historic Wilmington Foundation and its efforts to preserve and protect the irreplaceable historic resources of the Lower Cape Fear region.

Azalea Festival Home Tour: Westbrook-Ardmore

The Bell of the Ball

1702 WRIGHTSVILLE AVENUE (FIRE STATION No. 5)

We hope to see you at our ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 6th (1pm)! We’ll be kicking off this incredible tour at one of Wilmington’s nine Local Landmarks: Fire Station No. 5.

Constructed during the Great Depression (1931), this Spanish Colonial/Mission-style building was intended to relieve unemployment while simultaneously providing Wilmington’s newly-established suburbs with a much-needed fire station.

Used as a private residence since 1998, the first floor has been transformed into a performance studio. Theatre for All, a performing arts company for adults with disabilities, regularly utilizes the space for practice, and they will be performing inside the Fire Station during the tour, to display the adaptively reused building in all its present-day glory!

This landmark’s history is absolutely fascinating, and provides illuminating detail on not just the building itself, but the neighborhoods that it served. Click here to learn more about Fire Station No. 5!

History of Westbrook-Ardmore

In 1906, Carolina Place marked the beginning of Wilmington’s suburban expansion, situated just east of what is now Westbrook. It was soon joined in 1908 by Carolina Heights and Winoca Terrace, which are located to the north of the former Westbrook Farm. Meanwhile, the Delgago Cotton Mill village grew just southeast of the city limits. Connecting these neighborhoods with downtown was Tide Water Power Company’s street cars, which traversed city streets and offered transportation to Wrightsville Beach.

The growth around the periphery of Wilmington’s city limits left one last opportunity for suburban development: the former Westbrook farmland. First to capitalize on the land run was D. R. Foster & Company, who created The Bronx. Next was the Manhattan Company, followed shortly by Carolina Court. Eventually, three more developments were born: Pinehurst, Westbrook, and Ardmore. Collectively, the six developments closed a chapter in the development of Wilmington by filling in the last open land within the city’s pre-1945 street grid. 

Each of the six, interrelated developments captured in aesthetic and amenity the aspirations of the American middle class during the early-to-mid 20th century. Economic yet stylish architectural styles,  such as the Four Square and Craftsman bungalow, lent themselves towards mass, speculative construction by developers based upon published pattern books. Paired with the expansion of credit and access to mortgages, homeownership became accessible and affordable to white Wilmingtonians. While these communities thrived, it’s important to acknowledge that, at the time, racist deed restrictions limited the pathway to the American dream for African Americans. Furthermore, the development of these segregated neighborhoods—with their idyllic tree-lined streets, paved sidewalks, and pocket parks—was partially achieved through convict labor, demonstrating how slavery persisted in another name in the growth of American suburbs.

Increasingly, the houses of Westbrook-Ardmore featured driveways and garages, as the automobile became a fixture of the middle-class household thanks to the efficiencies of mass production and expansion of credit. Consequently, service stations built in the sleek, Art Deco style became fixtures of Westbrook-Ardmore’s prominent street corners, a testament to the prominence of the automobile in this new age. This evolution underscored the growing importance of the car in American life.

Fifteen years since Westbrook-Ardmore was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, HWF proudly recognizes Westbrook-Ardmore during the 2024 Azalea Festival Home Tour!

Want to learn more about this neighborhood? Click here to peruse the National Register Historic District application!

Westbrook-Ardmore Retrospective
& Home Tour Kick Off

On Thursday, April 4th, we will be celebrating Wilmington’s newest National Register Historic District at Fermental Beer & Wine (600 South 17th Street)! This exclusive event is available to all Azalea Festival Home Tour ticket holders.

Housed within a former Art Deco service station, Fermental is a fantastic example of adaptive reuse within Westbrook-Ardmore, and the project won a Preservation Award in 2023. What a wonderful setting for our Azalea Festival Home Tour kick off—make the most of your home tour experience by joining us for this enlightening evening! A historic happy hour from 5:30-6:30pm will set the stage for an immersive retrospective of the district from 6:30-7:30pm. HWF Executive Director Travis Gilbert will trace Westbrook-Ardmore’s history and illuminate how it ties into the greater story of our city and region.

Cash bar available—we look forward to raising a glass to preservation with you! In a nod to the neighborhood, Fermental will be featuring a couple rotating Westbrook Brewing beers on draft! There will also be a taco food truck on site, El Charrito.

If you have purchased your ticket online, you may pick it up at the event. If you’d like to purchase your ticket in-person, you may do so at the event!

Presenting Sponsor:

CORNING CREDIT UNION MORTGAGE

2024 Annual Sponsors

Brigitte Simone, Intracoastal Realty

1025 N. Lake Park Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
910.617.7743

Mason, Mason, and Smith, Attorneys at Law

514 Princess Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.444.3505

The Cameron Team

110 Dungannon Blvd Ste 100
Wilmington, NC 28403
910.202.2546

MoMentum Companies

103 South Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.519.3003

Decision Point Wealth Consulting

Rockefeller Capital Management
1838 Sir Tyler Drive, Suite 102
Wilmington, NC 28403
910.834.5723

Patriot Roofing & Exteriors

921 Princess Street, Suite 155
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.218.0600

Greenfield Lake Law

2201 East Lake Shore Drive
Wilmington, NC 28401
919.710.1860

Special Wood Lumber Remanufacturing

3927 Blue Clay Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429
910.675.1000

Horton & Mendez, Injury Attorneys

6105 Oleander Drive, Suite 102
Wilmington, NC 28403
910.668.4420

Tilia Fiduciary Partners

32 N. Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.679.4093

Transcend Bookkeeping & Finance

301 Central Blvd
Wilmington, NC, 28401
910.508.1100

Lotide General Contractors

111 Bryan Road
Wilmington, NC 28412
910.448.0466

WWAY

1224 Magnolia Village Way
Leland, NC 28451
910.762.8581

Market Street Pharmacy

1612 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.763.0845

WHQR Public Media

254 N. Front Street, Suite 300
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.343.1640

Azalea Festival Home Tour Sponsors

Balding Design Build

402 Carl Street, Unit 101
Wilmington, NC 28403
910.251.2721

Boombalatti’s Homemade Ice Cream

1005 N. 4th Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.660.8244

Port City Daily

1410 Commonwealth Drive, Suite 102A
Wilmington, NC 28403
910.772.6300

Dock Street Printing

110 Dock Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.763.8476

Sage Island

2002 Eastwood Road, Suite 306
Wilmington, NC 28403
910.509.7475

End of Days Distillery

1815 Castle Street
Wilmington, NC 28403
910.399.1133

Fermental Beer & Wine

600 S. 17th Street
Wilmington, NC 28403
910.821.0362

Stevens Ace Hardware

1831 Dawson Street
Wilmington, NC 28403
910.762.7977

First Bank

201 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
910.343.0181

FAQs

I purchased my ticket(s) online. Where do I get my printed ticket(s)?

Pick up your printed ticket before you begin your tour! Simply keep your confirmation email handy; you may print out a copy, or pull the email up on your mobile device. Before beginning your tour, pick up your printed ticket at one of HWF’s Sales & Info booths, located at 1513 Dock Street and 2024 Wrightsville Avenue. When you present the registration email, a representative from HWF will provide you with a paper ticket, complete with a map and guide to the tour homes. 

If you’d like to pick up your ticket prior to the tour, you may do so at the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s office (211 Orange Street). HWF’s offices are open Monday through Friday from 10AM-4PM.

I don't see the home addresses or map on the website. Where can I find the map?

For the security of our homeowners whose houses are featured on the tour, we do not provide the addresses of the homes in advance of the tour. This year, tour attendees may explore seven houses and one adaptively reused Quonset hut in the Westbrook-Ardmore National Register Historic District! The tour map is available on your printed ticket(s). The route is approximately half of a mile in length.  

I don't like to buy tickets online. Where can I purchase them in person?

Printed tickets are sold at the following locations: 

  • HISTORIC WILMINGTON FOUNDATION: Come visit our headquarters (211 Orange Street) to purchase your ticket! We’re open Mondays through Fridays from 10AM-4PM.
  • LEGACY ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE: Stop by Legacy Architectural Salvage (1831-B Dawson Street) during business hours to get your Home Tour ticket! Legacy is located in the back warehouse portion of Stevens Ace Hardware, and the shop is open on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9AM-2PM, and on Thursdays from 9AM-5PM.
  • NORTH CAROLINA AZALEA FESTIVAL OFFICE: Grab your tickets for the Home Tour (and perhaps other Azalea Festival happenings!) at the NC Azalea Festival office, located at 5725 Oleander Drive, Suite B7.

Can I purchase my tickets in person on the day of the event?

Yes, you may! Stop by one of HWF’s two Sales & Info booths, located at 1513 Dock Street and 2031 Wrightsville Avenue. You may buy your ticket with cash, credit card, or check!

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

STREET PARKING: The historic Westbrook-Ardmore neighborhood offers a plethora of (free) on-street parking options.

PARKING LOTS:

  • Free parking will also be available 1513 Dock Street (the parking lot located on Dock Street between 15th & 16th Streets, behind St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church). Parking may also be found behind the church’s playground, which is in between 14th & 15th Streets. 
  • Free parking will also be available at the parking lot located at 1409 Dock Street
  • There are free parking spaces available in the parking lot of Capital Electric (2013 Castle Street).

What is a VIP pass?

VIP passes are an add-on to your Azalea Festival Home Tour ticket, and they cost $35. VIP guests are treated to a treasure trove of perks from beloved local businesses around the historic Westbrook-Ardmore district—including the hip and happening Cargo District! VIP tickets are limited. To learn more and secure your VIP passes ($35 each), click hereIf you’ve already purchased a VIP pass, you may redeem it when you pick up your Azalea Festival Home Tour tickets. You may purchase your VIP pass(es) in person when picking up your tickets from one of our Sales & Info booths.  

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

No, but please keep your children with you, and do not bring strollers or car seats inside the tour homes. (Kids under the age of 12 can attend for free!) Please have your ticket with you at all homes on the tour. 

What may I bring into the event?

Pack lightly, as you will be walking from house to house while in each neighborhood. Please do not bring food or drink into the tour homes; also, do not bring pets with you on the tour. 

If I'm bringing my child/children, do they need a ticket?

Tickets must be purchased for children ages 12 or over. Younger children may attend for free!

What’s the refund policy?

HWF relies on ticket sales to support the mission of preserving and protecting Wilmington’s historic, irreplaceable resources. As such, we have a no-refund policy for the Azalea Festival Home Tour.

Where can I find more information about the Azalea Festival?

For general festival information, visit the Official Festival Website

When can I take the tour? Do I have to start somewhere in particular?

Your ticket, your time, your tour! Each Azalea Festival Home Tour ticket is good for the full weekend. Tour-goers can attend either or both days, and may start or end at any point along the route.

Is the Azalea Festival Home Tour accessible for those with limited mobility?

The Azalea Festival Home Tour is over one mile in length, depending on your route. Due to the historic nature of the featured homes, all require tour goers to traverse stairs. We advise those with mobility concerns to call our office with any additional questions: (910) 762-2511.

How can I contact the organizer with questions?

Please call HWF at 910.762.2511, or email hometour@historicwilmington.org.