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Historic home is donated to Wake

Historic home is donated to Wake

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Hanes House

This house on Chatham Farm Road in the old "Hanes Compound," off Robinhood Road in Winston-Salem, NC, owned by Charlotte Hanes and her husband, the late Phil Hanes, has been given to Wake Forest University.

The plantation home of the late Phil Hanes, a national historic building dating to 1829, is now a part of Wake Forest University.

Hanes and his wife, Charlotte, completed the donation of the Middleton House and 5 acres to the university in late December, about three weeks before he died at age 84 on Jan. 16.

They also sold an additional 22 acres to the university. The sale price was $2,025,000, according to the Forsyth County Register of Deeds. The heavily wooded land is off Chatham Farm Road between Reynolda and Robinhood roads, near the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.

"Wake Forest University has been grateful for the generosity of Charlotte and the late Phil Hanes," spokeswoman Cheryl Walker said Monday. "The university intends to study the best uses for this property."

The Middleton House, also known as the Chatham-Hanes House, was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 2000.

Hanes' grandmother and her sister, both avid antiques collectors, discovered the home in Clark's Hill, S.C., while buying old-fashioned doorknobs and locks. When they learned that the house was slated for demolition after the antiques were sold, his grandmother bought it, had it dismantled and moved it to Winston-Salem in 1939.

Members of the Hanes family lived in the house until Charlotte and Phil Hanes moved a few years ago into a downtown residence that offered him better accessibility as his health declined. Charlotte Hanes said Monday that they kept a housekeeping and grounds crew to maintain the home.

The transactions represent a change in an 18-year agreement between the couple and the university for the land.

In December 1992, the couple signed a life-estate agreement that allowed them to use the property and their art collection until their deaths. The donor, in such an agreement, gets a tax write-off for a charitable contribution and avoids any capital-gains tax on any future appreciation.

Phil Hanes said in January 1993 that it made sense to give his home to Wake Forest, considering that his mother, Dewitt, donated her nearby home in 1989 that now serves as the university president's house. The family also donated 15 acres in 1989.

However, the recession's impact upon the Hanes' fortune led them in 2009 to ask Wake to renegotiate the agreement.

"The decision has nothing to do with Phil's recent illness, but more to do with the economy," Charlotte Hanes said. "The economy led us to change some of our gifting plans to Wake Forest."

Charlotte Hanes said the couple sold about half of their art collection to help fund their charitable giving.

The couple already had given three paintings to the university: "Mrs. Daniel Rogers," a 1762 painting by John Singleton Copley; "Spanish Girl," an 1886 oil painting on mahogany by William Merritt Chase; and "Outside Cannes," an oil painting on canvas by William Glackens.

Hanes said that the remaining pieces of the collection will go to the university upon her death.

"We are grateful for Charlotte Hanes' plans to give to Wake Forest what remains of the Hanes art collection at the time of her death," Walker said.

Hanes said she is temporarily halting most philanthropic-funding decisions.

"We always have been generous with our giving, and plan to be that way in keeping with Phil's wishes," she said.

Analysts said the Hanes family is not alone in having to readjust their philanthropic plans because of the recession.

Even though the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed near 12,000 in recent months, some philanthropists' levels of wealth still have not recovered from sharp declines in investments in the past three years.

Hanes said that the family did not put any restrictions on Wake regarding the land. "If they decide to develop it, I have complete confidence in their plans," she said.

She said that the house could serve as a guest home or a conference center, although those options could require significant renovations to bring the residence up to building code.

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