The landscape of North Carolina is dotted with the marks of its heritage: railroads, tobacco, and farmland. These buildings represent the spirit of the state, and are carefully preserved reminders of its history. Lee County and Sanford are no exception, and you can learn quite a bit about our state by visiting these historical landmarks.

The Railroad House

The humble railroad house is the oldest building in town, originally serving as an agent house for the local train station. Though the trains are gone these days, the house is still open as a museum for the city, and is a popular spot for field trips.

The local historical society has carefully preserved an old steam engine locomotive, now on the grounds of the adjacent Depot Park.

The Temple Theatre

One of the most well-known buildings in Sanford, the Temple Theatre dates back to 1925. Marks of the art deco heritage are still clearly visible in its block-letted signage (though the sign itself is new), geometric exterior accents, and lovely wooden interior trim. the time, it was a popular touring spot for Vaudeville shows.

The middle of the century was a rocky time for the theater; it served as both a community theater and a movie theater between closings and reopenings. The 80s saw a series of grants and revitalization efforts bring the theater back to glory. Since then it has hosted both community and professional shows, including yearly productions of holiday plays.

Former Sanford High School

Sanford students have seen several schools over the years, including a brand new, high-end building that opened in 2018. One of the oldest schools – built in the mid-20s – still stands today, even though classes are no longer held there.

The distinctive Former Sanford High School, with its broad façade of bricks and white columns, looks like the set of an 80s teen movie. Today it hosts the Lee County Arts Council, which provides classes and events for all of Lee County.

Sanford, North Carolina blends the best of urban access with the comfort of Southern living. An address in Autumnwood gets you easy access to the Research Triangle Park, NC universities, and downtown Raleigh…all while enjoying the charms of small-town life. Contact us today to learn about openings in our neighborhood!

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