Ocracoke Island Architecture through the years
“Story and a Jump”
The Emma and Simon O’Neal Home is a fine example of an Ocracoke “story and a jump” style architecture. This frame house features a steep gabled roof with an open hipped porch and turned posts and cedar shake covering. The O’Neal home has its original staircase, wooden two over two sash windows, the original corbelled chimney and interior bead board walls and ceilings. It sits on a large lot consisting of 8,963 square foot with an abundance of native vegetation. The house is one and a half stories and features 3 bedrooms, a living room, plus the kitchen and bath rear addition and has 1,056 sq. ft. of living space.
This historic home has been in the O’Neal/Gaskins family for over 100 years. The Gaskins sisters have memories of the lighthouse beaming into their bedroom window and spending many a summer evenings sitting on the front porch. The home was originally built for their grandparents at the time of their marriage. The land was given to them by Emma’s family, who were Styrons.
Back in the 20’s to the 60’s many of the island homes were built facing the roads with porches, socially, when you walked down the sandy lanes you could wave or stop in to talk to someone. The older homes still represent this style, you will recognize them as being very close to the road with the porch and front of house facing the road. As newer and more homes have been built, they are geared towards rentals featuring a reverse floor plan (living and dining on the upper levels with the views) and bedrooms on the lower levels, houses built to withstand the strong Winter and Summer winds and facing inward for more privacy.
Below are some examples of homes during the early 70’s from the Henry Raup Collection, this was before the big boom in construction and real estate on the island.
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