Survey and Research Report
N. S. Alexander House
1. Name and location of the property. The property
known as the N. S. Alexander House is located at 5014 North Sharon
Amity Road, Charlotte, N.C.
2. Name and address of the present owner of
the property. The present owners of the property are:
Mary B. Alexander
5101 Hickory Grove Road
Charlotte, N.C. 28215
3. Representative Photographs of the
Property. This report contains representative photographs of the
4. A map depicting the location of the
property. This report contains a map showing the location of the
property. The UTM Coordinates of the Property are: 17
5. Current Deed Book references to the
property. The most recent reference to this property is recorded
in Mecklenburg County Will Book T, Page 613.
6. A Brief Historic Sketch of the Property.
This report contains a brief historical sketch of the property
prepared by Dr. Dan L. Morrill
7. A Brief Physical Description of the
Property. This report contains a brief physical description of
the property prepared by Jack O. Boyte.
8. Documentation of why and in what ways
the property meets the criteria for designation set forth in N.C.G.S.
significance in terms of its history, architecture, and/or cultural
The Commission judges that the property known as the N. S. Alexander
House does possess special significance in
terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on
the following criteria: 1) the N. S. Alexander is among the most
significant examples of Queen Anne Victorian architecture surviving in
Mecklenburg County; 2) the N. S. Alexander House is a remnant of the
fast-disappearing rural built environment of late 19th and early
twentieth century Mecklenburg County; 3) the N. S. Alexander House was
built for N. S. Alexander, a direct descendant of Hezekiah Alexander
and a member of one of the most important families in the early
history of Mecklenburg County.
B. Integrity of
design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling and/or association.
Commission contends that the physical description that is included in
this report demonstrates that the N. S. Alexander House meets this
9. Ad Valorem
Tax Appraisal: The Commission is aware that owners of historic
property may apply for an automatic deferral of 50 percent of the Ad
Valorem taxes due on those portions of the property that are
designated as a historic landmark. The current appraised value
of the N. S. Alexander House and its property is $1,048,900. The
Tax Parcel ID Number of the property is 09926105
This report was prepared in 1979 by
Dr. Dan L. Morrill and Jack O. Boyte. It was updated by Dr. Dan
L. Morrill in February 2005.
Historical Sketch Of The
N. S. Alexander House
Dr. Dan L. Morrill
Neal Somers Alexander (1855-1926) was a prominent
farmer in the Crab Orchard section of Mecklenburg County.
A great grandson of Hezekiah Alexander and member of one of the most
prestigious and influential families of this region, he married Ida
Jane Caldwell (1855-1928), daughter of James M. and Catherine Caldwell
of Mecklenburg County, on May 11, 1885.
Soon thereafter, he acquired a tract of land on what is now Shamrock
Dr. and erected a one-story house in which he and his family resided
Neal and Ida Alexander had five children: an infant son who died
in 1886, J. Milton Caldwell Alexander who died at the age of sixteen
in 1910, Nathaniel Alexander (1892-1968), Kathleen Alexander
Richardson who resided in Wadesboro, N.C. until her death in the
mid-1970s, and Ida Moore Alexander (1890-1978).
N. S. Alexander stands
with his grandchild in front of house.
N. S. Alexander established and superintended a large cotton farm.
Several tenant families lived and labored on the approximately one
thousand acres that Alexander owned. The farm contained many
outbuildings, such as stables for the horses and mules that inhabited
the place. At one time Alexander’s farm extended southward to
the vicinity of what is now Windsor Park Elementary School and
northward to embrace both sides of what is now Tipperary Place.
N. S. Alexander enjoyed making and spending money. A close
friend of H. M. Victor, a prominent local banker, Alexander was also an adroit
House in the 1930s.
A large an imposing home was built in 1903 for N. S. Alexander in the
side yard of the house that he and his wife had occupied since the
1880s. It is logical to infer that two considerations prompted
Alexander to make this move. By then he had four children, two
daughters and a son. No doubt he needed more room to accommodate
his growing family. Also, Alexander liked to surround himself
with finery and material luxury.
The N. S. Alexander House (1903) is predominantly Queen Anne in design.
Interestingly, many of its interior features are similar to those of
the J. P. Carr House (1904) on North McDowell St. Worth noting
in this regard is the fact that the two were well acquainted with one
another, both having been members of Second Presbyterian Church.
It is not unreasonable to conjecture that the same craftsmen worked on
Restoration in Progress at
the N. S. Alexander House.
Neal Somers Alexander died on November 7, 1926, after an extended
His wife Ida expired relatively soon thereafter, on August 19, 1928.
Their son, Nathaniel Alexander, resided in the house with his wife,
Louise Hutchinson Alexander (1895-1968), and his unmarried sister, Ida
Moore Alexander. Nathaniel took over control of the farming
operations, which continued to exist on a substantial basis through
He died in Presbyterian Hospital on July 14, 1968.
Ida Moore Alexander lived in the house until shortly before her death
on September 16, 1978.
She taught music in the public schools of Charlotte and Mecklenburg
County for approximately 50 years. Among her students was John
Scott Trotter, would later become Bing Crosby’s music director and a
major figure in American entertainment.
Charlotte Observer (November 8, 1926), p. 4. N. S.
Alexander Burial Plot at Elmwood Cemetery, Charlotte, N.C.
Hereinafter cited as Plot.
Charlotte Observer (August 20, 1928), p. 2.
Charlotte News (August 20, 1928), p. 2. Plot.
Interview of N. S. Alexander by Dr. Dan L. Morrill (March 17, 1979).
Hereinafter cited as Interview. Mr. Alexander has
invoices that document that his grandfather, Neal Somers Alexander,
had the house built in 1903.
Charlotte Daily Observer (February 21, 1910), p. 5.
Charlotte Observer (July 15, 1968), p. 7B. Charlotte
News (July 15, 1968), p. 9A. Charlotte Observer
(September 18, 1978), p. 2B. Charlotte News (September
18, 1978), p. 7C. Plot. Interview.
Interview of Annie Carr Wurzburg by Dr. Dan L. Morrill (March 26,
1979). Charlotte News (November 8, 1926), p. 17.
Charlotte Observer (November 8, 1926), p. 4.
Charlotte Observer (August 20, 1928), p. 2.
Plot. Charlotte Observer (September 25, 1968),
p. 5C. Charlotte News (September 24, 1968), p. 4A.
Charlotte News (July 15, 1968), p. 9A.
Charlotte News (September 18, 1978), p. 7C.
“Trotter, John Scott,” a Folder in the Files of the Carolina Room in
the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library.
Physcial Description of the N. S.
Jack O. Boyte
The N. S.
Alexander House (1903) exhibits characteristics of the Queen Anne
and Colonial Revival styles. Consequently, it is a
transitional edifice. It illustrates the shift of aesthetic
norms which occurred in pretentious domestic architecture in
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County between 1890 and 1910. It
most closely resembles the J. P. Carr House (1904) on N. McDowell
St. in Charlotte. Both are predominantly Victorian in terms of
overall scale and massing but possess many interior features which
draw upon Classical motifs for their inspiration. Indeed, the
original mantel in the parlor of the Carr House is identical to one
in the parlor of the N. S. Alexander House. The same pine
wainscoting, dado, doorway surrounds, corner posts and picture
mouldings also occur in both houses. Indeed, the resemblance
is remarkable. Adding to the significance of the N. S.
Alexander House is the fact that the structure is essentially
unchanged from the original. Another Mecklenburg County
farmhouse that has essentially the same interior appointments as the
N. S. Alexander House is the James A. Blakeney House (c. 1906) on
Blakeney Heath Road.
J. P. Carr House
James A. Blakeney
The N. S. Alexander House is a two-story frame structure three bays
wide and three bays deep which rests upon a continuous brick
foundation. White horizontal board siding covers the exterior
except beneath the porches and on the gable end at the left front
and on the dormer in the projecting bay or corner tower at the right
front. German siding occurs beneath the porches, and wooden
shingles adorn the front gable and the pediment of the front dormer.
The roof arrangement is complex. A hip roof with metal
cresting along the ridge surmounts the house. Cross gables,
projecting gables at the left front and right rear, and a ridged
conical roof on the corner tower are also atop the main block.
All are slate. Metal finials extend above the tower roof and
dormer, and a decorative weather vane is situated on the ridge of
the front gable.
The house has five chimneys, four interior and one at the gable end
on the right side. All are brick with corbled caps. A
Wrap-around one-story porch extends from the front of the middle bay
on the left side to the rear of the middle bay on the right side. A
shed roof with a low-pitched center gable is supported by a series
of turned Doric-like wooden columns between which a balustrade of
square balusters and pedestal newels occurs. A porte cochere
or carriage entrance is located on the front bay on the left side, a
one-story porch at the side entrance at the rear of the left side,
and a one-story porch with lattice screens at the right rear.
The cross gables and the front gable have lunettes which are
reminiscent of Palladian motifs. Rectangular windows flank the
gable end chimney on the right face. Rectangular side lights
and an arched center window occur on the left face. The most
unusual window arrangement is on the front gable end. A
bracket supports arched sidelights. The majority of windows on
the first and second story are one-over-one double-hung sashes
(originally with blinds). The left bay on the front face of
the first floor contains a wide single-lighted window with a
decorative edge and a transom.
The front entrance consists of double doors, each having a large
light in the upper half and two rectangular panels with moulded
surrounds below. Fluted pilasters with Bull’s eye corner
blocks and a large pedestal-like base flank the front entrance and
surmount a transom.
The front entrance leads into a small foyer which contains
wainscoting of pine boards laid end-to-end and a single replacement
door. The same wainscoting occurs throughout the house, except
in the dining room and the kitchen where it extends farther up the
walls. From the foyer one enters the lobby, from which a
stairway rises in two landings to the second floor. The
balustrade illustrates the transitional quality of the N. S.
Alexander House. The newels are quire massive, but the
balusters are turned and slender after the manner of Colonial
Revivalism. The nine mantels (one in the lobby, the parlor,
the study, the dining room, and one in each of the five bedrooms on
the second floor) are also Colonial Revival in overall design.
The Victorian aspects of the interior décor, however, are
highlighted by a spool-and-spindle wooden screen at the rear of the
center hall and at the kitchen entrance, by the pairs of
seven-paneled sliding doors which connect the lobby, parlor, and the
study, and by picture moulding and the decorative corner posts.
The N. S. Alexander House has undergone little change since its
construction in 1903. The columns of the porte cochere have
been replaced. As have four of the columns on the Wrap-around porch.
The exterior steps are not original. The door leading from the
foyer to the lobby is a replacement, as is the door at the front of
the center hall of the first floor. A spool-and-spindle wooden
screen has been removed from the center hall (in the 1970s housed at
the Mint Museum of History). The ceiling in the study on the
first floor is not original. A bathroom as been installed at
the center rear of the first floor. On balance, however, the
house is remarkably well preserved.