The renaissance of Uptown Greenville has a new poster child.
The recently renovated Fleming House, with its inviting sky-blue porch and sun-dried tomato-colored cupola, is a perfect symbol of the rebirth of this historic district as well as a vital link with the city’s past. In the early 1900s, state Sen. James Fleming sat at his desk and drafted legislation that would establish East Carolina University.
t’s only right that today that same desk holds special prominence in the parlor of the Fleming House, whose renovation was completed in time for the centennial celebration of East Carolina University. The Fleming House, which was the senator’s home, is an important part of Greenville’s history. “ECU is Greenville and Greenville is ECU, says resident Allen Smith. “That’s why the significance of the completion date is interesting. We wanted to celebrate the completion of the renovation on the birthday of ECU.” The Victorian house was built in 1901 and remained in the Fleming family until the city took possession of it after it fell into disrepair.
A grassroots effort saved the Fleming House from the bulldozer in the late 1970s. But several years ago, it was obvious that the house needed a true renovation, and thanks to the hard work of project co-chairs Anne Sneed and Phil Dixon, as well as scores of sponsors, almost $165,000 has been raised privately to fund the work. Donations are still being accepted to meet the total cost of $300,000. Today, the Fleming House is available for conferences, business meetings, staff retreats, small wedding receptions and other events. “We have state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment, a mounted projector, a hidden motorized screen, Bose surround sound and wireless mikes,” Smith says. “The kitchen is set up for catering, adjacent to the conference room.”