Sapienza House - 1861 12TH AV

 Print Listing Historical Name - Noffsinger House
Style - Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals/Tudor Revival
Built Year - 1939
State ID - 5WL3510

Description - Built in 1939, this Tudor Revival style house is located on the west side of 12th Avenue, near the south end of the block between Cranford Place and 19th Street. The house is a 1 1/2 story wood frame dwelling, with wire-cut red brick veneer exterior walls. A tall red brick fireplace chimney is a prominent feature, located near the east end of the south elevation. Another red brick chimney is located on the roof ridge. The structure is supported by a low, painted buff red, concrete foundation, and there is a full basement, with 3-light hopper basement windows. The house is covered by a steeply pitched side gable roof, with black asphalt shingles, and with closed eaves. A large, single-light fixed-pane "picture window" is located at the south end of the façade, on the east elevation; two 10-over-10 double hung sash windows are located near the north end of the façade. Elsewhere, the house's windows are primarily single and paired 6-over-6 double-hung sash, with painted cream color wood frames, and with red brick rowlock sills. Many of the home's windows also feature retractable aluminum awnings. A stained natural brown solid wood entry door, with a metal storm door, opens onto a 4-step concrete porch, with a steel pipe railing, on the façade. This doorway is outlined by a course of red bricks laid as soldiers, and the entry door leads into an enclosed foyer, with a steeply pitched swept gable roof. A 6-light sidelight is located to the south of the entry door. A painted white wood-paneled door, with one upper sash light, and with a brown metal storm door, opens onto a flagstone patio on the house's west elevation.

Historical Background - The house was built in approximately 1938 likely for Lawrence P. McArthur and Donald R. McArthur, who sold it to William D. and Alma R. Bruce in August 1938. In 1940, the Bruces sold the house to Frank Nelson a local contractor and his wife Virginia, who lived in the house for a year. After several other residents over the next few years, Fred P. and Ollie Noffsinger purchased the house in approximately December 1943 and lived there until 1962. The Noffsingers were a very prominent family in Greeley, particularly related to the development of agriculture and farm machinery. Fred P. Noffsinger was the founder of the Noffsinger Manufacturing Company and worked as a partner until his death in May 1950. In 1927, Fred P. Noffsinger became a partner with Thompson Potato Graders Company in Greeley and the name changed to Thompson-Noffsinger Manufacturing Company. Fred’s son Robert began working in the factory then. Robert’s sons Robert Jr and James later worked for the company. The company produced machinery used in farming, particularly potatoes, but other crops as well. “In its early day, the company designed and built the first original potato graders, diggers and related products. These machines were the first “automated” equipment used in the potato industry. Many patents were issued to the company for these innovations, which greatly increased potato harvesting and processing productivity.” “Technological advancements continued through the early 1950s, culminating with a super high-performance two-row potato harvester. Over the years, Noffsinger also built a variety of other farming equipment, such as elevators, crop washers, and land levelers (for which many original patents were issued). “The two-row potato harvester set engineering precedents in potato digger design which gained Noffsinger national recognition. The functionality of this machinery is still admired by many today.” (From “Noffsinger Belt and Hook Chain Steel Wire Grading Belt For the Harvesting and Processing Industry” book, nd., page 1) “Noffsinger soon became internationally known for its high quality and established itself as the leading chain specialist in the world.” (From “Noffsinger Belt and Hook Chain Steel Wire Grading Belt For the Harvesting and Processing Industry” book, nd., page 2) In 1956 the company dropped production of farm machinery and specialized in hook chain and grading belt, which allowed for high quality and efficiency and enabled the company to hire experts in those things. Fred’s wife Ollie Noffsinger was also active in the community as a member of the First Baptist Church, Greeley Women’s Club, the Knife and Fork Club, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Order of the Eastern Star. She lived in the house until her death in August 1961. The following owners were Michel and Marie Alexander, who owned the house from 1963 until 1999. During World War II, Michel Alexander worked for the federal government in Tennessee on an atomic project and later worked as manager of the fishing rod division of the Wright and McGill Company until he retired in 1973. He was also a member of organizations such as Rocky Mountain Consistory, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, etc. Prior to marrying Michel, Marie worked at an ammunition plant in Denver during World War II. Marie and Michel married on January 3, 1949. Just prior to Michel’s retirement, Marie began working in the accounting department of UNC, where she stayed until 1997. She was also active in the community, volunteering in schools, and was an active member of First Presbyterian Church where she served as a deacon and as an elder. She lived in the house until her death in 1999.