The Old Wilson Historic District consists of 361 properties, encompassing all or parts of five loosely defined residential neighborhoods that date form the 1850s through the 1920s. These neighborhoods – Maplewood , Woodard Circle , Whitehead Place , College Place and Rountree Place – were the places of residence for many of the business leaders in Wilson and for most of the middle tier of merchants, clerks, and salesmen. Although many of the stylish old houses have been razed, several survivors are included in this district. Old Wilson contains a representation of the major architectural styles from the mid- and late-nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Particularly notable is the large and varied collection of bungalows which were erected during the 1910s and 1920s when Wilson ‘s agriculturally-based economy – primarily tobacco and cotton – was booming.
Peaceful Maplewood Cemetery and several historic churches are located in Old Wilson; the (former) Primitive Baptist Church, First Christian Church, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, and Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.
The West Nash Historic District stretches nine blocks along the main throoughfare of Wilson, and contains the homes of some of the most prominent merchants, professionals, and tobacconists. The 99 properties were constructed primarily in the 1910s and 1920s, and the majority of the homes reflect the popular Colonial Revival and Bungalow styles of the day. The beautiful homes and tree arcaded street has resulted in the area being considered one of the loveliest streets in the the state.
The only non-residential structures in the district are a church and a former grocery. The Mission Style filling station was demolished in 2001.
The Broad-Kenan Historic District embodies Wilson ‘s decades of expansion between 1890 and the Depression. According to local tradition, the city of Wilson purchased farmland in the portion of the district that is now east of Daniel Street in order to develop a town park. It is said that Park Avenue was named for the proposed park, and that Broad Street , at the time the widest in Wilson , was planned to be the major thoroughfare. However, the high demand for residential expansion in areas convenient to downtown businesses and public offices led the city to sell house lots in this section. The 280 properties represent a remarkably intact residential neighborhood; over 60% of the structures are bungalows. Other properties are typically Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival houses.
The Wilson Woman’s Club and two filling stations are also located in the district which borders the downtown and West Nash districts.