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William Van Eaton Sprinkle was a native of Mocksville NC, the son of a Methodist minister. He went to high school in Greensboro. After earning his undergraduate degree at Duke University in 1927, he completed an architectural course at Yale University in 1928. For two years he worked without pay in a New York architectural firm, painting watercolors to earn his keep. In 1930 he returned to Durham to work for architect Howard Haines, gaining experience in residential design and church facilities.

Sprinkle opened his own office in 1934 and completed a number of commissions for Duke University. Among them were four rustic log cabins in the woods for the law school dean, who was convinced the best way for students to learn law and social responsibility was as Abraham Lincoln had done, in a quiet and simple setting. Completed in 1938, the complex was described by Time magazine as “an architectural, if not intellectual, wonder for U.S. higher education.”

From 1934 to 1941 Sprinkle designed many fine residences for local professionals. He served in the Army during World War II, designing and planning construction of prefabricated harbors for invasions of Europe. After the war he returned to Durham. In 1950 he hired Doris Stanley, who took over the firm when Sprinkle died in 1965.

In 1963, Sprinkle's wife, Rebecca Kirkpatrick "Becky" Sprinkle was an author of children's books. The submission of the manuscript for A House for Leander included an architectural drawing for the dog house by Doris Stanley which was attributed in the foreword to William Sprinkle. This is the scale image of Leander the dog inside his house with room for the 21" radius for his tail in the Tail Thumping Room.


Doris Stanley, a native of Farmington ME, and a 1948 graduate of the University of Maine, majored in psychology but took drafting classes for fun. She worked two years in newspaper advertising for the Bangor Daily Commercial before coming to Durham in 1950 with a friend who was attending graduate school. When the Durham employment office asked about her skills, she mentioned drafting and was told an architect was looking for help, so she took the job with Sprinkle. “The first day I put paper to pencil, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” she told interviewers Lynn Richardson and Frank DePasquale in 2007. Sprinkle did his initial drawings at 1/8” scale, then handed them over to Stanley to recreate at ¼”. She was the only female draftsman practicing in North Carolina until 1952 when Lib Lee graduated from the NCSU School of Design. Stanley retired in 1989.

2012 interview

As shown below, their work was a mix of traditional and Modernist. Special thanks to Greg Taylor and Todd Hancock for research and photos.

1937 – The Bond House, 101 Pine Lane, Chapel Hill. Sold to Lawrence and Kelly Katen in 1983, sold to Stanley and Penelope Lemon in 2001. Sold to Steven Meshnick and Mark McKinney in 2004.

1938 – The Charles and Betty Sydnor House, 116 Pinecrest Road, Durham.

1938 – The William Maughan House, 5 Sylvan Road, Durham. Sold to Ronald G. and Mary Ann Witt. Sold in 2016 to William M. Tomasello and Margarita Svetlova.

1939 – The DeVyer House, 8 Sylvan Road, Durham.

1939 – The Benjamin and Marie Edkins House, 739 Gimghoul Road, Chapel Hill.

1939 - The William T. and Elizabeth Couch House, 606 Laurel Hill Road, Chapel Hill. Destroyed. House above on the site was built in 2006.

1940 - The Constant House, 2239 Cranford Road, Durham.

1940 – The Clearance F. and Catherine Korstian House, 4 Sylvan Road, Durham. Commissioned 1938. Built by W. H. Woods. Landscaping by John Scott. Sold in 2005 to Chris Wall and Daniel Schmitt.

1940 – The Frances Gardham House, 309 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill.

1940 – The Edwin C. Hamblen House, 810 East Forest Hills Boulevard, Durham.

1940 – The Benjamin Ratchford House, 133 Pinecrest Road, Durham. Photo by Todd Hancock.

1940 – The Robb and Lucille Smith House, 2236 Cranford Road, Durham. Photo by Todd Hancock.

1940 – The Marcus and Sarah Hobbs House, 115 Pinecrest Road, Durham.

1940 – The Joseph and Dorothy Spengler House, 2240 Cranford Road, Durham.

1940 – The Joseph Miller Thomas and Hilda Thomas House, 2215 Cranford Road, Durham.

1940 – The Horace Crockford House, 305 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill.

1941 – The William and Mary Hamilton House, 2256 Cranford Road, Durham. Photo by Todd Hancock.

1941 - The Ashbaugh House, 1022 Westwood Drive, Durham.

1945 - The Paul J. and Edith V. Kramer House, 2251 Cranford Road, Durham.

1945 - 2909 Hope Valley Road, Durham.  As of 2018 owned by BJTM Real Estate Trustee.

1947 - 2260 Cranford Road, Durham. As of 2018 owned by John J. and Phyllis R. Vandenberg.

1947 - The Charles and Erma Kirkpatrick House, 503 Whitehead Road, Chapel Hill. Sold in 2013 to Shayne Fenton of Soulshine Construction who did a remodel. Sold in 2014 to Bartley (Bart) Barefoot.

1948 - The Charles E. and Dean D. Ward House, 2429 Perkins Road, Durham. Commissioned 1947. Sold in 1968 to Elizabeth G. and Edward M. Hedgpeth. Ownership transferred to Elizabeth G. and Marian W. Hedgpeth. Sold in 2001 to Charles and Imke Nickelson.

1948 – The Edward C. and Glenna Simmons House, 2510 Perkins Road, Durham. Sold in 1962 to Robert L. and Helen R. Hill. Sold to Stacy Codon and Jeffrey Glass in 2003. Two bedrooms were added onto the original house at some point, using similar exterior materials and design. In 2017, Center Studio Architecture completed an addition consisting of a large flat-roofed carport and a glassed entrance atrium that bridged the original house and previous addition. Project architect Will Rhodenhiser.

1949 - The Howard and Eleanor Easley House, 427 Lebanon Circle, Durham NC. Sold in 1971 to William and Elma Longley. Addition in 1975 by Richard HarkraderSold in 2017 to Elma K. Longley and Colin R. Lickwar.

1950 - The Kenneth L. and Kayla Pickrell Renovation, aka Kenkayla, 3 Sylvan Road, Durham. Original house was built in 1936 for David and Lelia Cavers. Sold in 1997 to Randall Love and Elaine Furnaro. Bottom color photos, renovation by Ellen Cassilly.

1950 - The Mary and Ed Cameron House, 404 Laurel Hill Road, Chapel Hill. Sold in 2015 to Amanda Kayser and Robert S. Anson.

1950 – The M. L. Bromhal House, 1701 Vista Street, Durham. Photo by Todd Hancock.


1950 – The W. L. Brown House, 913 Knox Street, Durham.


1950 – The Bingham Dai House, 2404 Perkins Road, Durham. Bottom photo by Todd Hancock.

1950 – The Goad House, 1023 Starlight Drive, Durham.

1950 – The Luther Weeks House, 111 Pinecrest Road, Durham.


1950 - The Charles H. Sawyer House,
2417 Perkins Road, Durham. Sold in 1951 to Henry and Dorothy Kamin. Renovated by Sprinkle. Sold in 2005 to Jacob Cooley.

1951 – The Mrs. J. E. Harned Bufkin House, 2425 Perkins Road, Durham.

1953 – The Robert N. Creadick House, 2401 Perkins Road, Durham. Commissioned 1951. Built by George Birmingham. Sold to Ronald Krueger. Sold in 1980 to Arno L. and Karen A. Greenleaf. For sale in 2018.


1951 – The Frances C. Brown House, 1205 Dwire Street, Durham.

1951 - The Harold and Ann McCurdy House,
6 Gooseneck Road, Chapel Hill. Sold in 2002 to James Kirkpatrick and Ruth Pershing, Charles and Erma Kirkpatrick's daughter-in-law.

1952 - The Eulyss R. and Kay Troxler House,
2314 Princess Ann Street, Greensboro NC. Sprinkle was Kay Troxler's brother-in-law. Sold in 2004 to Catherine K. Troxler. Sold in 2006 to JAD&W LLC. Sold in 2006 to Russell L. and Rachel Cohen. Sold in 2008 to Wolfe Construction. Destroyed.

1952 – The Steed and Mozette Rollins House, 33 Oak Drive, Durham.

1953 – The Clarence Cobb House, 11 Beverly Street, Durham. Photo by Todd Hancock.

1953 – The Gohdes House, 2737 Circle Drive, Durham.


1953 – The Robert and Mildred Pifer House, 2218 Shoreham Street, Durham. Bottom photo by Todd Hancock.

1953 – The Saylor House,
2500 Perkins Road, Durham. Bottom photo by Todd Hancock.

1954 – The Edwin W. Busse House,
1132 Woodburn Road, Durham.

1954 - The Trogler F. Adkins House,
2810 Dogwood Road, Durham. Sold to Helen Louise Zamora Bronner. Sold to Kevin Labar and Friedrich Escobar in 2008. Sold in 2013 to Fatima Rangwala and Sayed Yousuf Zafar.

1955 - The Howard A. Strobel House, 1119 Woodburn, Durham. Commissioned 1954. Deeded by the Howard A. Strobel Trust to Sarah and Gary D. Strobel and Linda Strobel Hegleson and Steve Hegleson. Sold in 2013 to Claire Williams and Floyd Bridgwater. Sold in 2015 to Sheila F. and Robert L. Williams.

1955 - The Perlmutt House, 624 Morgan Creek Road, Chapel Hill. Still owned by the Perlmutts as of 2016.

1955 - The James N. Truesdale House, 105 Pinecrest Road, Durham.


1955 – The Mulholland House, 920 West Markham Avenue, Durham.

1955 - The Ralph G. Fleming House, 23 Beverly Drive, Durham.

1956 - The Henry A. (Sandy) and Martha McKinnon House, 1017 Riverside Boulevard, Lumberton NC. Sold in 2008 to Donnie and Bethany Ivey.


1956 - The Robert H. Connery House, 1722 Duke University Road, Durham. Bottom photo by Todd Hancock.

1956 -
3 Iris Lane, Chapel Hill. Sold in 1977 to Sherri R. and David A. Ontjes. Transferred in 2003 to David A. Ontjes. Transferred in 2006 to David A. and Joan T. Ontjes. Sold in 2016 to Karen R. and Edmund H. Jooste.

1956 - The M.C. Cottingham House, 3822 Churchill Road, Durham.

 1957 – The Pelham Wilder Jr. House,
2514 Wrightwood Avenue, Durham.

1957 - The Robert F. and Anne Oller Durden House, 2532 Wrightwood Drive, Durham. 1891 sf. Sold in 2000 to Maureen and Kevin Maughan. Sold in 2008 to Jody and Margaret Brown.

1958 - The George J. (Eric) and Sarah Hartman Baylin House, 2535 Wrightwood, Durham. Sold in 1989 to Charles and Russell Colver. As of 2012 still owned by the Colvers. Photo by Heather Wagner.

1958 - The Knut Schmidt-Nielsen and Bodil Krogh Schmidt-Nielsen Residence #1, 2524 Wrightwood, Durham. Sold in 1964 to Annette G. Kirshner. As of 2012 still owned by Annette Kirshner. Sold in 2017 to Merywen Wigley and Kevin N. Magill. Photo by Heather Wagner.

1958 - 2712 Circle Drive, Durham. Sold to James E. and Lorraine S. Lowe. Sold in 1984 to Kay Gross and Richard Bias. Sold in 1987 to Henry Mezzatesta. Sold in 1987 to Nancy Kitterman and Michael Mezzatesta. Sold in 1994 to Theresa Yuschok. Sold in 2012 to Jennifer G. and John C. Healy.

1958 - The D. E. and Sarah Ward House, 2205 North Barker Street, Lumberton NC. Still owned by the Wards as of 2018.

1959 – The Welsh House, 2749 Dogwood Road, Durham.  Sold in 2018 to Jacquelyn N. and Peter J. Crawford.

1960 – The Madison and Cecilia Spach House, 2632 McDowell Road, Durham. Sold in 2016 to John J. Strouse and Megan E. Reller.

 1960 – The Strayhorn House, 1021 Westwood Drive, Durham. Sold to Allan H. Friedman.

1960 – The Eugene M. and Julia Wily House, 3819 Churchill Road, Durham.

1960 – The J.G. and Nelle Pratt House, 2744 McDowell Road, Durham.

1960 - The Charles and Kathryn (Kay) Bream Residence,3 Buttons Road, Chapel Hill. Traditional looking on the outside, more Modernist from the inside. Sold in 2014 to Paula Song.

1960 - The Frank L. and Mildred Engel house, 2501 Wrightwood, Durham. Built by R. C. Guthrie. 3460 sf. Sold in 1973 to Samuel A. and Barbara A. Wells. Sold in 1981 to Donald L. and Judith A. Horowitz. Sold in 2010 to Gregory A. Taylor and Gwendolen T. Buhr. Renovations in 2016 by Coby Linton, architect, and Craig Fox, contractor.

1961 - The William L. Byrne House, 2531 Sevier, Durham. Commissioned 1960. Sold to George D. and Susan Beischer. Sold in 1983 to John and Lynne Geweke. Sold in 1990 to William H. and Lisa D. Schlesinger. Sold in 2001 to Molly Jennifer Tamarkin and Sean Andrew McKnight. Sold in 2008 to Laura Beth Harris and Frederick Charles Moten. Sold in 2013 to Tania Desrosiers.

1961 - The George Bennett Werk House, 3539 Rugby Road, Durham. The original one-car garage was expanded to two by Sprinkle in 1963. The master bathroom and bedroom were expanded later. The original brick fireplaces, interior planters, and brick column were refaced in marble and stone, also in later renovations. Sold in 2017 to Rugby Road Properties LLC (Kenton Wiles). Remodeled.

1961 - The Jordan House, 5004 Old Coleridge Road, Ramseur NC. Needs confirmation


1961 – The Schwentker House, 1100 Sourwood Circle, Chapel Hill.


1961 – The Albert D. and Sarah Weeks House, 1507 Hermitage Court, Durham.

1961 – The Crane House, 3929 Bristol Road, Durham.

1962 – The Nichol House, 24 Kimberly Drive, Durham.

1962 – The DuBose House, 3909 Nottaway Road, Durham.

1962 – The William H. Rawlings House, 3937 Bristol Road, Durham. 

1963 - The Richard H. and Betty C. Leach House, 1313 Woodburn Road, Durham. Commissioned 1961. Traditional house. Sold for the first time in 2014 to Elizabeth and William H. Gulley.

1963 – The Hester House, 3409 Surrey Road, Durham.

1963 – The Aubrey Naylor House, 2430 Wrightwood Avenue, Durham. Bottom photo by Todd Hancock.

1964 – The McCutcheon House, 2014 Wilshire Drive, Durham. Bottom photo by Todd Hancock.

1964 - The William G. Anlyan House, 1516 Pinecrest Road, Durham.

1964 – The Palmatier House, 208 Glenhill Lane, Chapel Hill.

1964 – The Carpenter House, 1918 Wilshire Drive, Durham.

1965 - The Gordon H. and Beryl Massey Rosser Residence, 12 Chantilly Place, Durham. Commissioned 1963. Sold to Patrick Mize and Deborah Doerr in 1989. Sold to Wei Chin Fang in 1990. Sold to Debra A. and Michael L. Conway in 1992. Sold to Jon and Tanyss Ward in 1995. Deeded to Tanyss Ann Mason.

1965 - The Knut Schmidt-Nielsen and Astrid Claesson Residence #2, 627 Swift Avenue (aka 1622 Duke University Road), Durham. As of 2012 still owned by Knut Schmidt-Nielsen.

1965 - The Long House, location unknown.

1965 – The Cherny House, 2 Kimberly Drive, Durham.


1967 – The Chaddock House, 2713 Spencer Street, Durham.

 Inline image 1

Inline image 2

1970 - The John Boynton Residence, 1808 Woodburn Road, Durham. 2031 square feet. Designed by Doris Stanley and built by Charles Parker. She also did a 1983 garage conversion. Sold to Mark J. Solomon. Sold in 2009 to Bruce Orenstein and Nancy MacLean. 2009 whole house renovation, 2015 media room and screen porch renovation by Ellen Cassilly.

1971 – The Susan Schiffman House, 18 Heath Place, Durham. 

1980 - The James and Layla Hanna House, 1716 Faison Road, Durham. Designed by Doris Stanley.

1983 - The Price House, location unknown. Designed by Doris Stanley.

1984 - The Andrew G. and Barbara McGill House, 3 Appleton Place, Durham. Designed by Doris Stanley. Built by Clay Thomas. Interiors by Minta Bell. Ramon Garciainstalled new flooring, made repairs, and did exterior and interior painting in 2010.Sold in 2010 to Anne B. and Jack H. Rogers. Photo by Heather Wagner.

1986 - The Croughle House, location unknown. Designed by Doris Stanley.

1986 - The Warren House, location unknown. Designed by Doris Stanley.

Year Unknown - The Howard J. Harris House, location unknown. 

Year Unknown - The Edwin J. May House, Durham. Address unknown.

Sources include: Sprinkle-Stanley Collection at the Durham County Library, Bif Bream, The Camel's Nose by Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, Susan Peak, Doris Stanley.