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The Philip Carey Building

 

This report was written on June 6, 1983

1. Name and location of the property: The property known as the Philip Carey Building is located at 301 East Seventh Street, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

2. Name, address and telephone number of the present owner of the property: The present owner of the property is:

Mr. Jay Haverstick
2290 Dana Avenue - Apartment H-5
Cincinnati, Ohio 45208

no telephone listed

3. Representative photographs of the property: This report contains representative photographs of the property.

4. A map depicting the location of the property: This report contains a map which depicts the location of the property.



5. Current Deed Book Reference to the property: The most recent deed to this property is listed in Mecklenburg County Deed Book 4267 at Page 374. The Tax Parcel Number of the property is: 080-021-05.

6. A brief historical sketch of the property: This report contains a brief historical sketch of the property prepared by Dr. William H. Huffman.

7. A brief architectural description of the property: This report contains an architectural description of the property prepared by Thomas W. Hanchett, architectural historian, and Lisa Stamper, volunteer intern.

8. Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets the criteria set forth in N.C.G.S. 160A-399.4:

 

a. Special significance in terms of its history, architecture, and/or cultural importance: The Commission judges that the property known as the Philip Carey Building does possess special significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the following considerations: 1) the Philip Carey Building, erected in 1907-08, is the most architecturally significant remnant of the old warehouse district along the railroad tracks in First Ward; 2) the building, except for the first floor front, has experienced minimal change over the years, and 3) the building is one of the finer local examples of the Victorian Romanesque style in commercial architecture.

b. Integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling and/or association: The Commission contends that the attached architectural description by Mr. Hanchett and Miss Stamper demonstrates that the Philip Carey Building meets this criterion.

9. Ad Valorem Tax Appraisal: The Commission is aware that designation would allow the owner to apply for an automatic deferral of 50% of the Ad Valorem taxes on all or any portion of the property which becomes "historic property." The current appraised value of the .957 acres of land is $35,130. The current appraised value of the improvements is $3,310. The total current appraised value is $38,440. The property is zoned B3.

Date of Preparation of this Report: June 6, 1983

Prepared by: Dr. Dan L. Morrill, Director
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission
218 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202

Telephone: 704/376-9115

 

 

Historical Overview

 

by Dr. William H. Huffman
April, 1983

The Philip Carey Building at the northeast corner of Seventh Street and the Southern Railway tracks (at one time "A" Street) between Brevard and College Streets is one of eight original warehouses in First and Second Wards along the former Carolina Central Railroad tracks in the city. In the first decade of the twentieth century, Charlotte was a flourishing, but modest-sized (1910 population: 34,014) town, a community which was growing as a part of the emergence of the New South. It was, by any standard measure, "an up and coming place" providing many opportunities for the establishment of new enterprises and growth for older ones.

In 1910, the city's commercial center extended roughly three blocks north and south of Trade Street on Tryon, and about 3 blocks to the east and west of Tryon Street. Thus in the 36-block area bounded by 7th, Brevard, 2nd, and Mint Streets was found most of the businesses of the city, and the rest was primarily residential or institutional. 1 To serve its freight needs, the Southern Railway and what became the Seaboard Air Line Railroad laid tracks side by side parallel to Tryon Street just two blocks to the east in the late nineteenth century, along what was designated in earlier maps as "A" Street. As a consequence, a number of buildings were erected on both sides of the tracks in both Second and First Wards to utilize the available transportation.

It is in this context that we find the subject of this sketch appearing. In October, 1906, William W. Hagood, a Charlotte businessman and real estate investor, purchased the undeveloped northeast corner property at the intersection of the railroad tracks and Seventh Street for $3,800.00. 2 Sometime the following year, in 1907 or early 1908, he erected a warehouse building on the site. 3 Hagood (1853-1927), a Florida native who came to Charlotte about 1892, owned a number of buildings in the city, including the one still standing at 210 E. 6th Street, which he built. In addition to being one of the organizers of the Independence Trust Company, he and his brother, A. J. Hagood, also organized the Standard Ice and Fuel Company in the city. 4

The first tenant in Hagood's building on Seventh Street was the Philip Carey Company, a national manufacturer and supplier of roofing materials, and in fact, the building was constructed specifically for them. They occupied the location until about 1915. 5 In 1911, there were about two dozen railroad-related buildings along the tracks in First and Second Wards. By far the largest was the Southern Railway freight depot in the area bounded by 2nd, 4th, College and the railroad. In this number was also a Seaboard Air Line Railroad freight depot, eight warehouses for cotton, farm machinery, hardware, groceries and general merchandise, and a coal yard, lumber yard, planing mill, cotton gin, meat packing houses, grain company and jute bagging factory. 6

In 1917, two years after the Philip Carey Company appears to have gone out of business in Charlotte, the Ford Motor Company used the facility for auto body building and trimming, and they were soon joined by the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company which maintained a warehouse there. 7 The following year, W. W. Hagood sold the site to the Charlotte Electric Repair Company, which in turn sold it to two investors, W. M. Moore and Felix Hayman in 1920. 8 It remained in the hands of the latter and their descendants until 1979. 9

Over the years, the building has seen a variety of tenants: the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company (mid-to-late-20's); American Cyanamid Chemicals, primarily fertilizer, c.1932-37; American Aniline Products, Inc., dyestuffs, 1938-51; Mathews-Morse Sales Company, mill supplies, 1952-60; and Wilson Lewith Machine Storage, 1964-71. In recent years the site has been vacant. 10

Whatever its future use, as a restaurant or shops or both, the Philip Carey Building will remain as a reminder of the city's early twentieth-century past, where the needs of a growing town were served by rail, the vital link between suppliers, manufacturers and consumers. Its integration into a re-vitalized First Ward would be a happy bridge between the past and future of Charlotte.

 

 


NOTES

1 Sanborn Insurance Map, 1911.

2 Deed Book 216, p.531, 5 October 1906.

3 Charlotte City Directories, 1907 and 1908.

4 Charlotte Observer, July 9, 1927, p.1; interview with W. W. Hagood, Jr., Charlotte, N.C., 20 April 1983.

5 Charlotte City Directories, 1908-1915; interview with W. W. Hagood, Jr.

6 Sanborn Insurance Map, 1911.

7 Charlotte City Directories, 1917-25.

8 Deed Book 392, p.209, 15 July 1918; Deed Book 392, p.212, 16 July 1918; Deed Book 430, p.269, 30 June 1920.

9 Deed Book 4238, p.450, 28 September 1979; Deed Book 4267, p.375, 28 December 1979.

10 Charlotte City Directories, 1925-81.

 

 

Architectural Description

 

by Lisa A. Stamper and Thomas W. Hanchett

The Philip Carey Warehouse is a two-story brick building located on the Southern Railway tracks at Seventh Street in Charlotte's center city. The building's elaborate brickwork is one of a dozen well-preserved examples of the Victorian Romanesque style remaining in Charlotte. Except for modifications that have been made to the first floor front of the structure and to some of the window openings, the building today looks much as it did when it was completed about 1908.

The warehouse is roughly rectangular in shape, with its short front facing Seventh Street and its long northwest side facing the railroad. The measured plan of the building shows that it is actually a parallelogram. The roof is a simple low-pitched gable with the ridgeline running parallel to the railroad track. At the front and rear, the brick walls rise above the roofline forming parapets.

The exterior brickwork is quite fancy, with the front facade being the most elaborate and the back end, although patterned after the front facade, being the least elaborate. The warehouse was constructed of pressed brick, which was unusual for Charlotte at the time, and tinted mortar. The American bond brickwork is the main decorative feature in this building, employing corbelling, recessing, and stepping of brickwork to add interest and style as well as to promote an appearance of a prosperous company.

The front facade parapet has a four-course corbelling at its top. The back end is crumbled; therefore, the corbelling is missing there and can not be determined exactly. From the top sides of the front and back facades, stepped "ears" protrude past the main portion of the building. Near the top portion of the front facade is a centered, recessed, long and low rectangular area with one-course corbelling along its top.

Below the recess, four round arched windows are contained within a slightly recessed large rectangular area. The rounded portions of the arches are surrounded by five courses of brick, the outer two are corbelled. At the street, a recessed store front with a ramp leading to a single door replaced the original three slightly arched windows and the slightly arched doorway. A photograph in a May 1909 book entitled Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence Souvenir Edition, published in Charlotte, shows the original appearance of the warehouse. The original front door was a paneled single unit with glass panes in its upper portion. The company's sign was located on the front parapet directly below the top corbelling, extended to the outside of each "ear" of the parapets, and reached down to the recessed rectangle containing the round arched windows.

The windows in the front facade are symmetrical, as are the windows in the back end. The windows in the front had a transom above a wooden double hung frame. A large single sheet of glass was used in each sash instead of smaller lights. Since large pieces of glass were more expensive, this also fit into the concept that the front facade should be impressive to people on the street as a way to portray the company's prosperity. Evidence of 8 over 8 lights exists in one front window; therefore, the large front panes were replaced at one time to match the side and back windows.

The back end had windows resembling those in the original front, but their brickwork was not as elaborate. Presently all the lower windows in the back are bricked up except for one which was partially destroyed by the placement of a large door. This wooden cross-buck rear door slides on wheels on an overhead track. On the second level two windows were replaced by a large, three sectioned rectangular paned industrial window which has a metal frame. Many of the window frames are missing from both the front and back windows, but more than enough evidence remains to construct exact replacements.

The sides of the Philip Carey Warehouse exhibit brickwork as carefully detailed as the front. The first story is smooth brick while the second story has corbelled pilasters that divide each side into thirteen "bays".

The openings on the two sides of the warehouse are not identical. The second floor round-arched openings with five course brick ornamentation are the same shape; however, the railroad side has a total of six windows while the opposite side has seven. All the windows on the railroad side are original. They are slightly arched and have three courses of brick decorating the top of their arches. The other three windows are much smaller and are nestled between the first two large windows near the front. These small windows are almost square with arched brickwork courses above the windows which give the appearance of arched openings.

The northwestern side contains four slightly arched windows with three-courses of decorative brickwork topping their arches. In addition there are three, unlike the others, that are probably not original, since there is evidence of newer brickwork around them. They are not as tall, and only one course of brick tops their arches.

The freight doors on the side of the warehouse that faces the railroad are double-door units with each door containing six horizontal panels. This was a common motif in early 20th century Charlotte. The double doors on the southeast side are similar, except that windows have been substituted for the upper panels.

A chimney was added to the northeast side of the warehouse to accommodate a furnace placed in the basement. The brickwork was evidently painted yellow at one time and evidence of advertisements which were painted on the sides of the structure can be seen. The faded signs add to the industrial character of the building.

The roof was rebuilt circa 1980 by the owner, Ned Haverstick. At the time that the roof was reconstructed, four skylights were added. Also the eaves were cut back to the walls of the building. Originally, the roof line extended to the outside of the parapet ears. The brick corbelling on each pilaster then extended almost to the end of the roof and formed supporting brackets. Square wooden blocks presently replace the top parts of these brackets.

Inside, the building is entirely open with no partitions on either of the two main floors or the half-basement. In the first floor space, a row of eleven wooden columns runs down the center, parallel to the railroad side wall. At the top of each column is a plain cast-iron collar on which rests a pair of wooden beams. Thick wooden decking rests on the beams, forming the ceiling of the first story and the subfloor of the second. The decking timbers are notable for their unusual combination of massiveness and delicate detail. The boards are approximately six inches wide and four inches thick, interlocked with tongue and groove, and milled with double beading on one side to give the ceiling decorative appeal.

The front interior wall of the first story and the side walls one bay back have at one time been plastered. In this area the floor is covered with square linoleum tile. This designates a front shop area which probably had a rear wall space which is now gone, dividing it from the main warehouse.

About midway back in the warehouse area, along the railroad wall, is the opening from the old open freight elevator. At a corresponding location on the opposite side is the open wooden stair up to the second floor and down to the rear half-basement.

The basement is spatially divided into thirds by two rows of columns, running lengthwise, instead of the single row of the first story. The basement has several small arched windows, now bricked up, which can not be seen from the exterior of the building.