Brockwell House, c.1925
211 Henderson Street
The Brockwell House is a colonial revival style house located at 211 Henderson Street in Chapel Hill’s Franklin Rosemary historic district. The house was built for Samuel Brockwell (1870-1940) and his wife Francis “Fannie” Brockwell (1877-1963) in 1925. Samuel was an early entrepreneur in the area. Durham architect George Watts Carr Sr. (1893-1975) designed the house.
Samuel Brockwell owned the Pickwick Theatre. The theater was renovated in 1915 to seat 600 people and include a new café, cigar stand, garage, and dormitory. Samuel also established the B&B Auto Station that provided transportation from Chapel Hill to Durham for a small fee. Fannie was very involved with Orange Methodist Church in Chapel Hill. She played an important role in planning the church’s expansion in 1925.
The Chapel Hill chapter of the Phi Mu sorority purchased the home in 1966. Renovation of the house began in 1968 and was completed in 1969. The renovation enlarged the living room. It also added a dining room, gallery, chapter room, and upstairs bedrooms. A housemother’s apartment was carved out of the original first floor bathroom and kitchen. The exterior portico, three fireplaces, and the servant’s staircase were removed during the renovation. The garage was removed to make room for a driveway. The Brockwell House is still the home of Phi Mu.