Jim and John Webb were born in Aguascalientes, Mexico.  Their father worked for the Guggenheim family’s American Mines and, according to John Webb’s former wife Dorothy, was killed by the famous Pancho Villa.

According to Jim Webb’s stepson, Archie Kelly, the father died suddenly of appendicitis.  Either way, it is confirmed that his mother moved to Covina CA where they raised turkeys and oranges.  The family later moved to Berkeley and built a homeplace at 36 Tamalpais Road, shown at left.  Photo by Sydnor Elkins.


Jim Webb went to Pomona College then received a BA in architecture from the University of California Berkeley in 1937.  In the Army, he got TB and spent time in an Army hospital in Colorado.  Then he got a MA in City Planning from MIT in 1946.  For a time, he worked for architect William Wurster in California. Wurster created the “Bay Area Style,” an informal modem style of California Ranch that adapted to hilly sites by means of raised basements, with porches, patios, balconies and carports extending the living space out into nature. The post and beam frameworks eliminated the need for loadbearing interior retaining walls and ceilings, thus interiors had flowing spaces and cathedral ceilings.

Jim Webb left California to join the UNC-Chapel Hill’s new City and Regional Planning School in 1947.  He remained on the faculty for 30 years. Webb practiced in Chapel Hill with his brother John until John returned to Berkeley.  He started the firm City Planning and Architecture Associates (CPAA) in the late 1950’s, recruiting Don Stewart as a partner.  Webb left CPAA in the mid-1970’s to practice on his own where he continued until his death.

Significant clusters of Jim and John Webb houses were built in Chapel Hill including Whitehead Circle and Highland Woods.

1995 article on Jim Webb
Highland Woods History
2004 article on Highland Woods

Webb was also involved with site planning for Research Triangle Park, Forest Hills Shopping Center, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Appalachian State University.  Barbara Henderson Kelly, with three young sons from a previous marriage, married Jim Webb in 1957 and they divorced in the 1970’s.  Jim did not remarry.  Kelly died in 2002.

JOHN BRUCE WEBB (1910-1997)

John Webb was a brilliant designer. Like his brother, he attended the University of California at Berkeley.  He met Dorothy Davies (pictured left with Webb and her daughter at their wedding) in Detroit in the early 1950’s when they both worked as architects for Albert Kahn.  After marrying around 1954, they moved to North Carolina for John to practice with Jim.  Later, they moved back to Berkeley and she went to design school at UC-Berkeley.  She taught at the California School of Fine Arts and the Rudolph Schaffer School of Design, where she recalls Frank Lloyd Wright coming to the school to play the piano.  He then worked for John Carl Warnecke.  Dorothy and John divorced, and John moved to Warnecke’s office in Washington. While there, he was the project architect for President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite.  By the late 1960’s, John met a younger man (pictured with Webb, lower left) that would become his life partner.  He put this young man through school and they were together until Webb died.

Webb would later reunite with Dorothy professionally.  By the early 1970’s she had remarried to the internationally known architect Felix Candela.  John came out of retirement to work with them for many years living all over the world, including Athens, Paris, London, and Saudi Arabia, until his second retirement to the family home in Berkeley.

The JFK Gravesite in Washington DC.

1948 – The Thomas M. Stanback House, 531 Dogwood Drive, Chapel Hill.  According to Dail Dixon, Jim Webb was the designer in collaboration with architect Larry Enersen.  Sold to Walter and Anne Hollander sometime before 1974.  Sold in 2006 to Tony Hall.  Renovations by Dixon Weinstein Architects.

1948 – The Maurice Newton House, 814 Old Mill Road, Chapel Hill.  Definitely not a Modernist house, but owner Newton lived there and loved it for almost 50 years.  Sold 1997 to Margaret W. and Thomas Benson Mitchell.

1949 – The Walter and Jean Johnson Spearman House, 418 Whitehead Circle, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 1992 to William Neville and Elizabeth Haskin who still owned as of 2012.  3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 1.7 acres.  Haskin added custom cabinets in the kitchen.  For sale in 2015.

1950 – The Wynn-MacIntyre House, 900 Stagecoach Road, Chapel Hill.  Built for Earl and Rhoda Wynn.  Sold to Alan MacIntyre in 1957 who still lived there as of 2011.

1950 – The Phillip and Lucille Handler Residence, 2529 Perkins Road, Durham.  Sold to John P. and Barbara Boineau in 1970.  Sold to Edward M. and Sylvia G. Arnett in 1980.  Sold in 2001 to Edwin Iverson and Merlise Clyde who still owned it as of 2012.

1950 – The George Watts Hill, Jr. House, 1212 Hill Street, Durham.  Sold in 1967 to Anton and Leopoldina Peterlin.  Sold in 1978 to Joel C. and Christine J. Huber who still owned the property as of 2011.  2474 square feet. the guest cottage was a demonstration house for General Electric, designed by students at the NCSU School of Design under George Matsumoto.  The project was underwritten by the Hills and the house moved to the property in the late 1950’s.  The main house was renovated by Don Stewart in 1975 and again by Jim and John Webb in the late 1980’s.  Bottom right blue photo by former Webb employee William Campbell.

1951 – The Joseph and Pearl P. Morrison House, 407 Whitehead Circle, Chapel Hill.  The Morrisons lived there for well over 50 years.  Sold in 2010 to Katie McKenna and Joshua Higgins.

1951 – The Corda and Walter Henry Hartung House, 413 Gooseneck Road, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 1956 to Anna Wray Cotterill.  Sold in 2004 to Michael and Marie White.

1951 – The Richard and Francis Calhoun House was at 104 and 106 Pine Lane, Chapel Hill.  The original house, 104, was a split level with a side-gable roof, concrete block lower level, wood shake walls on the upper level, and an entrance set in the middle level with tall transoms and an adjacent casement window with glazing below. At the left side was a screen porch. Ellington & Sparrow was the contractor.

Jim Webb added a separate 2-story building at the left side in 1953, containing one room on each level and a screened porch elevated on metal posts.  This building became 106 Pine Lane.  These two houses were destroyed in December 2006 and replaced by two newer 4000 sf houses at $1.5M each.   Above photo is the new 104 Pine Lane, taken by Leilani Carter.

1952 – The Kenneth and Frances Brinkhous Residence, 524 Dogwood Drive, Chapel Hill.  About 7 acres.  Commissioned in 1950.  Brinkhous was the founder of the cure for hemophilia.  There is a building named after him at UNC Chapel Hill.  Sold in 2003 to David B. Thomas, a pathologist that studied under Dr. Brinkhous and was a personal friend of Jim Webb.  8.1 acres.  Landscape design by Lewis Clarke.  Second photo by Dail Dixon.  Bottom two photos by Kyle Ketchel.  The house was vacant and on and off the market from 2006 to 2012.  Sold in 2012 to Julie and Sean Siler.

1952 – The Maurice E. and Loretta Sarti Newton Residence, 814 Old Mill Road, Chapel Hill.  Not a Modernist house.  Sold in 1997 to Thomas Benson Mitchell and Margaret W. Mitchell.

1952 – The Louis and Thelma Thurstone House, 400 Laurel Hill Road, Chapel Hill, an L-shaped house.  An two-car carport extends from the right side and is connected by a screen porch.  Sold in 1980 to Clarence E. and Jane Whitefield.  Sold in 2000 to Phillip J. and Susan L. Lyons who still owned it as of 2012.  Photos by Dave Potter.

1952 – The  P. H. Sanders House, 32 Mount Bolus Road, Chapel Hill. Designed by Jim Webb.  Sold  in 2011 to David Matesanz and Matthew Siedoff.  Sold in 2014 to Deanna I. Moore.

1952 – The Lowell and Fern Ashby Residence, 902 Stagecoach Road, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 1965 to Albert and Kate Pollard.  Sold in 1969 to Jean Grote Yates.  Sold in 1974 to Roberta S. Brown.  Sold in 1980 to Jonathan P. and Ada Sher.  Sold in 1984 to Peter and Carolyn Curtis. Lucy Carol Davis designed a foyer/bedroom/bath in 1991 in the same style as Webb. Sold in 1998 to Barry Howard and Keith Poteat who still owned it as of 2012.  Color photo by Dail Dixon.

About 1952 – The Jerome and Henritte Union Residence, 1610 Raeford Road, Fayetteville NC.  Designed by Webb draftsman Mason Hicks and according to Dan MacMillan, John Webb.  When Jerome Union died, it was given to his son Bradley Union in 1983.  Upon Bradley Union’s death in 2006, it was given to Geoffrey and Rachel Union; Lauri Union and Stanley Rosenzweig.  Sold in 2006 to Antek F. Skoniecki.  Has been remodeled.

1952 – The William and Julia Ivey Residence, 711 Greenwood Road, Chapel Hill.  Sold to Barbara H. Cryer.  Renovated by architect Gary GIles in the early 1970’s.  Sold in 1998 to James and Debra Cryer who still owned it as of 2012.  Addition in 2009 designed by the owners, built by Mike Morrison.  Color photo by Dail Dixon.

1953 – The Norman Eliason House, 103 Roundhill Road, Chapel Hill.  A ranch with side-gable roof, vertical wood siding, metal vertical casement windows, a rear chimney, and a large rear patio.  Webb later enclosed the original screen porch at the right as a dining room and added a carport. At the left end is a 2-bedroom addition made by Webb about 1980. The house faces to the rear, with a deck overlooking the rear yard. Sold to Mary Jane Penniall Dale in 1988.  As of 2011 owned by Christopher Penniall and Susan Wilson. For sale in 2015.  Photos by Dave Potter.

1953 – The Kunkle Residence, 2525 Perkins Road, Durham. Jim Webb also designed an addition in the late 50s.  Kunkle sold to the Blums in 1961 who sold to Stephen and Katrina Dooda in 2005.  The Dooda’s added on a garage and walk-in closet addition designed by Ellen Cassilly in 2007.

1953 – The Ruth Price House, 4 Briar Bridge Lane, Chapel Hill.  Jim Webb designed this for Price but bought it himself in 1979 and lived there until his death.  Currently owned by Jim Webb’s estate, a philanthropy set up to support the UNC Planning School.  Webb’s stepson Archie lives there as of 2011.  Bottom photo by Dail Dixon.

1953 – The William and Ida Friday House, 412 Whitehead Circle, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 1957 to JR and Elaine Hamrick.  Sold in 1962 to Frank Decazenove.  Sold in 2003 to Ellen S. Burgin and Peter B. Fair. Sold in 2006 to Matthew Maciejewski and Donna Cook.  Top photo by Nicole Alvarez.

1953 – The Drew House, aka the Better Homes and Gardens House, 511 Transylvania Avenue, Raleigh.  Country Club Hills developer Ed Richards encouraged builder Thomas Wilson to construct it as one of many BH&G houses nationwide (see article).  Webb in this case modified the BH&G plan but was not the original architect.

Sold to Newton Homes in late 1953.  Sold in 1954 to Thomas Floyd Drew and Katherine Conn Drew.  Sold in 1967 to Nan Russell Sanderson and Jesse O. Sanderson.  Sold in 1985 to Salah and Amina Elmaghraby.  Sold in 1994 to landscape architects Dennis and Sharon Bell Glazener.  They added a pool and enclosed the carport to make an office.  Sold in 2012 to Marjorie F. Smith, whose son did a renovation and reopened the carport. Last two photos by Leilani Carter.

1954 – 2742 Circle Drive, Durham.  Sold to Redford and Virginia Williams.  Sold in 1984 to Elwood Albert Linney and Susan Diane Donerly.  Sold in 1994 to Mark and Nancy Handler who still owned it as of 2012.

1954 – The Thomas H. (Tom) and Anna Darden House, 124 Fern Lane, Chapel Hill.  Sold to John and Alice Cross in 1985.  Renovations by Don Stewart in 1990 which added a butterfly roof.  Sold in 1999 to Malcolm and Jennie Kendall.  Sold in 2004 to Burton and Kathleen (Kay) Goldstein.  Renovations by Dixon Weinstein Architects.  Bottom photo by Dail Dixon.  Sold in 2013 to Rawley H. Fuller IV.

1955 – The Louis and Mary Welt Residence, 614 Morgan Creek Road, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 1972 to Richard and Mayhew Bear.  Sold to Marguerite I. Most in 1985.  Sold in 1999 to landscape architect Laura Moore and her husband Robert Moore who still owned it as of 2012. Photos by Laura Moore.

1955 – The George and Alice Welsh Residence, 377 Tenney Circle, Chapel Hill. Designed by Jim Webb in association with California modernist architect Cliff May.  Sold to David and Margaret Brunn in 1971.  Sold to Richard Drake Lamberton in 1984.  Sold in 1991 to Susan Gravely and Bill Ross who still owned it as of 2012.   5100 square feet.  Renovated by Jon Condoret and contractor Stan Stutts.

1956 – The Christine and Robert Dickens House, 2717 Circle Drive, Durham.  Commissioned 1956.  Designed with Don Stewart.  Sold in 1997 to Nancy Austin.  Sold in 2003 to David and Jennifer Martin Mitchell.  Sold in 2014 to Karen A. and Christopher M. Carmody.

1956 – The Paul and Bettie Bissette House, 1000 Salem Street, Wilson NC.  Photo by Dana Knight.  Source:  Barry Lamm, architect in Wilson.

1957 – The Robert and Josie Stipe House, 1022 Highland Woods, Chapel Hill. Sold in 1972 to Charles Swisher.  Sold in 1975 to Nortin M. and Carol Hadler who still owned it as of 2015. According to John Schwab, Stipe always regretted selling it.  Renovations and additions by Dixon Weinstein Architects.

1957 – The Douglas and Jane H. Humm Residence, 1439 Smith Level Road, Chapel Hill NC. 14 largely wooded acres with a spring fed pond.  The house Split level ranch with 5000 square feet, 3500 of them finished and heated on two floors.  Technically 4 bedrooms, although one of these was designed to be a study. It has a darkroom and a shop area downstairs in addition to a large multipurpose room. As of 2011 occupied by their son Alan Humm and his wife Jean Humm.  Photos by Leilani Carter.

1957 – The Kai and Mary Jurgenson House, 410 Whitehead Circle, Chapel Hill.  The project architect was Don Stewart.  Won an AIANC Award in 1957.  Commissioned 1956.  Sold to David Walker.  Sold in 1987 to Dinitia Hutcheson.  Sold in 2000 to Jeffrey Tucker.  Bell Cline Architects did a renovation in 2001.  Sold in 2001 to James and Paula Wald.  Sold in 2009 to James K. Bartram.  Renovated in 2013 by Aggie Crews.  Bottom photos by Allison Steele.

1957 – The Donald R. and Margie R. Matthews Residence, 421 Brookside Drive, Chapel Hill.  2250 square feet.  1.33 acres.  Sold in 1961 to Harold R. and Anne E. Hall.  Sold to Rudolf and Ruth Koster in 1989.  Renovation in 1990’s.  Sold in 1997 to Mark and Lorea Civiok.  Sold in 2010 to Andrea and Nicholas Verykoukis.

1957 – The Jud and Persis Van Wyk House, 1020 Highland Woods, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 2004 to Lex and Ann Alexander.  Renovated in 2006 by designer John Lindsey.  Bottom photo by Nicole Alvarez.

1957 – The Robert and Elizabeth Sager House, aka the Sager/Parker House, 1010 Highland Woods, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 1967 to John and Peg Parker.  Bottom photo by Dail Dixon.  Sold in 2012 to  Joseph James Clancy Jr.

1957 – The J. Alex and Betty McMahon House, 419 Whitehead Circle, Chapel Hill.  1850 square feet.  Sold to William A. Olsen, Jr., in 1961.  Sold in 1964 to Virginia Viser Spence.  Sold to Robert and Elena Watson in 1973. Sold to William and Nancy Hooke in 1988.  Sold to Richard and Mildred Robinson in 1992. Sold in 1999 to Aravinda DeSilva and Amy Brett Weil.  Sold in 2009 to Thomas W. Mansfield and Catherine Suffredini. Remodeling by Scott McLean Builders. Sold in 2012 to Anna and Alfred Kang.

1957 – The Fred and Josephine Weedon House, 100 Pine Lane, Chapel Hill.  Built on a slope, with an exposed basement at the rear, with wood shingle siding, sliding windows, an interior concrete block chimney, and a recessed entrance with an adjacent jalousie window. A deck and rear bedroom balcony was added in 1981. Ellington & Sparrow was the contractor. The Weedons’ daughter, Josie Stipe, was deeded the house in 1972 and is the owner as of 2011.  Bottom photo by Dail Dixon.

1957 – The Henry S. and Gertrude Mitchell Willis Residence I, 357 Tenney Circle, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 1980 to Everett K. and Elizabeth Owen Wilson.  Sold in 2003 to Nancy Hansen.  2058 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2-1/2 bathrooms.  Sold in 2009 to Frank Baumgartner.  Sold in 2012 to Robert Pungello Jr.

1957 – The Henry S. and Gertrude Mitchell Willis Residence II, 355 Tenney Circle, Chapel Hill. Sold in 1960 to Gertrude’s mother Charlotte B. Mitchell.  Sold in 1974 back to Henry S. and Gertrude Mitchell Willis, presumably when Charlotte died. Sold in 1984 to Everett K. and Elizabeth Owen Wilson.  Sold in 1993 to Leslie Jarrett Lawler.  Sold in 2007 to Nancy Hansen.  1508 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.   Sold in 2009 to Frank Baumgartner.  Sold in 2012 to Robert Pungello Jr.

1957 – 1028 Highland Woods Road, Chapel Hill.  Built by Bob and Molly Agger.  Sold to Andrew M. Scott.  Sold in 2006 to Gunella Luboff.  Sold in 2014 to Susannah M. and Timothy J. Shearer.

1957 – The Harvey L. and Lillian K. Smith House, 428 Whitehead, Chapel Hill.  Deeded to Lillian Smith.  Deeded to Robert Smith.  Sold in 2012 to Jane Bailey and James Kniveton Bartram.

1958 – The John and Ruth Schwab House, 1030 Highland Woods Road, Chapel Hill.  Don Stewart was the primary architect. Stewart did additions in 1965 and again in 1979.   Sold in 2007 to Kristen Huff and Daniel Delaney.  Sold in 2009 to Richard Harrill and Katherine Jamieson.

1958 – The Nathan Rodman Residence, 2 Bartram Drive, Chapel Hill.  Photo by Dail Dixon.  Sold in 1970 to Tom and Carol Jean Baer who still owned it as of 2012.  Transferred to Carol Jean Baer.

1958 – The Donald Hayman House, 1038 Highland Woods Drive, Chapel Hill.
2075 square feet.  As of 2011 still owned by Hayman.

1958 – The Paul H. and Mary Kestler Clyde Residence, 1211 Woodburn Road, Durham.  Sold to Nicholas and Carol Gillham in 1968.  The addition was designed by Donald Stewart.  Sold to Richard and Meredith Brunel in 2002.  Sold to Jeffrey Smith and Gregory Orlando in 2007.  1806 square feet.  Photos by Meredith Brunel.

1959 – The Harry R. and Lucinda Lee Bixler Residence, 1111 Sourwood Circle, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 1984 to Ronald Batson.  Sold in 1993 to David Honigmann and Betty Maultsby.  Photos by George Smart.

1960 – The EK Powe Jr. House, 81 Beverly Drive, Durham.  Sold to Oliver and Judith Charlton in 1977.  Sold in 1980 to Duncan and Sandra Yaggy.  Sold in 1985 to Michael Allen Gillespie and Nancy S. Henley who still owned it as of 2012.  Photo by George Smart.

1960 – The Bill and Lois Terrill Residence, 1027 Highland Woods Road, Chapel Hill.  Sold to William Jackson Stewart in 1989.  Sold in 2001 to Joy Javits Stewart. Sold in 2008 to Rainer Blaesius and Elisabeth (Lila) Schweins.  2160 square feet.

1961 – The Evelyn Lenore Anderson Residence, 46 Cedar Street, Chapel Hill. Sold in 1984 to William R. and Jane Matson.  Sold in 2009 to Joel David Farren.

1962 – The John and Margaret Gulick House, 1029 Highland Woods Road, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 1992 to Fred and Lawanda Hall who still owned it as of 2012.  Renovations and additions by Dail Dixon when he was at Designworks in Carrboro.  Bottom photo by Dail Dixon.

1964 – The Frank and Gertrude Strong Residence I, 211 Markham, Chapel Hill.  The Strongs soon moved to a larger house nearby and rented this one out for decades.  Sold in 1992 to Caroline M. Sherman who still owned it as of 2012.  A 2004 renovation by architect Jay Fulkerson replaced the flat roof but otherwise kept the spirit intact of Webb’s original design.  Photos by Jay Fulkerson.

1965 – The Frank R. and Gertrude Strong Residence II, 100 Tadley Drive, Chapel Hill.  Their heirs, children John W. Strong and Mary Elizabeth Strong Brennan, rented it out from 1998 until 2004.  According to Mary Brennan, Webb supervised the construction of this house but the design came from a plan book.  Sold in 2004 to Patricia (Tricia) Mickelberry and Benjamin Clarke.  Top photo by Nicole Alvarez.

1967 – The Ethel Redney Akin Residence, 414 Lyons, Chapel Hill.  1560 square feet. She was 76 at the time and died shortly after the house was built.  Sold in 1970 to Donald Lewis Madison and Beverly Webster Madison. Sold in 1985 to Brian Whittier who still owned it as of 2012.  Top photo by Nicole Alvarez.  Bottom photo by Lucy Pittman.

1967 – The Pearson and Jeannie Stewart Residence, 112 Glendale Drive, Chapel Hill.  Sold in 2003 to Irene and Pape Gaye.  Features an open kitchen/living room which was renovated by Sophie Piesse and built by Gaye and Kennedy Builders of Hillsborough.  Photos by Seth Tice Lewis.

1971 – 1427 Poinsett Drive, Chapel Hill.  For sale in 2015.

1976 – The Floyd Fried House, 416 Whitehead Circle, Chapel Hill.  3178 square feet on 2 acres.  Built by JP Goforth of Security Building Company. Last two photos by John Goddin. Sold in 2008 to Richard and Kelly Darling.  Kitchen and master bath renovated in 2010.  New HVAC system in 2011.  Sold in 2013 to Heather R. and Jason L. Ross.

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