THE LUCIAN H. WALKER HOUSE
This report was writen on January 2, 1989
1. Name and location of the property: The property known as
the Lucian H. Walker House is located at 328 East Park Avenue,
2. Name, address and telephone number of the present owner of the
The owner of the property is:
Scott C. Lovejoy
Hedrick, Eatman, Gardner & Kincheloe
P.O. Box 30397
Charlotte, N.C., 28230
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 recorded in Mecklenburg County Deed Book
5828, Page 269.
The Tax Parcel Number of the property is: 123-076-10
6. A brief historical sketch of the property: This report
contains a brief historical sketch of the property prepared by Dr.
William H. Huffman, Ph.D.
7. A brief architectural description of the property: This
report contains a brief architectural description of the property
prepared by Dr. Dan L. Morrill, Ph.D.
8. Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets the
criteria for designation 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 Lucian H. Walker House does possess special
significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases
its judgment on the following considerations: 1) the Lucian H. Walker
House, erected in 1894, belongs to the most significant concentration
of pre-l900 suburban homes in Charlotte, N.C.; 2) the Lucian H. Walker
House, most likely designed by architect Charles Christian Hook
(1869-1938), is one of the oldest homes in Dilworth, Charlotte's
initial streetcar suburb, and exhibits architectural features,
especially its overall form and massing, which are unique among the
extant pre-l900 houses in Dilworth; and 3) the Lucian H. Walker House,
situated on a corner lot on the southwestern quadrant of the
intersection of E. Park Ave. and Euclid Ave., occupies a place of
strategic importance in terms of the surrounding Dilworth
b. Integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials,
feeling, and/or association: The Commission contends that the
architectural description by Dr. Dan L. Morrill which is included in
this report demonstrates that the Lucian H. Walker House meets this
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
improvement is $115,650. The current appraised value of the .241 acres
of land is $30,000. The total appraised value of the property is
$145,650. The most recent tax bill on the property was $1,827.18. The
property is zoned R6-MF.
Date of Preparation of this Report: January 2, 1989
Prepared by: Dr. Dan L. Morrill
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission
1225 S. Caldwell St. Box D
Charlotte, N.C. 28203
Dr. William H. Huffman
The Walker house, located at the southwest Corner of Park and Euclid
Dilworth, was built in 1894 by Lucian H. and Annie S. Walker, and
the architect was probably C. C. Hook, one of Charlotte's outstanding
practitioners of that art.
Dilworth, the city's first
streetcar suburb, was a product of the growth spurred by late
nineteenth-century New South industrialization based on cotton mills in
and around the city. It was developed by entrepreneur Edward Dilworth
Latta ( 1851-1925). The Princeton-educated South Carolina native opened
a men's clothing store in Charlotte in 1876, and in 1883, as part of the
city's industrial boom of that decade which centered around cotton mills
and mill machinery suppliers, he opened a men's pants factory. In 1890,
Latta formed a development firm, the Charlotte Consolidated Construction
Company (known locally as the 4C's) and bought 422 acres a mile or so
southwest of town, and had a new subdivision laid out in a grid pattern.
Along the main boulevards and some major side streets, large houses
would be built for the well-to-do, with more modest bungalows being
built on most of the side streets. To draw prospective buyers out from
the city, in 1891 Latta bought out the city's horse-drawn streetcar line
and installed a new electric trolley system that ran from the Square out
to Dilworth. Other attractions were a major amusement park (Latta Park)
with boating lake, a pavilion for traveling shows, ball fields and a
racetrack. Sales promotion was boosted by selling lots on easy
installment terms, so that a prospective buyer could be persuaded to use
the "rent money" to purchase a new home. Lucian Walker was a bookkeeper
at the Mecklenburg Iron Works in 1894 when he and his wife Annie
commissioned the 4C's to build a house for them on Park Avenue.2
It is most likely that the architect of the house was C. C. Hook, who
worked for the 4C's at the time.
Charles Christian Hook ( 1869-1938) was born to German immigrants in
Wheeling, W.Va., and received his higher education at Washington
University in St. Louis. When he came to Charlotte in 1900, his first
position was as a teacher of mechanical drawing in the old South school.
He began the practice of architecture by designing houses for Latta's
4C's in 1893. A contemporary newspaper article of that date elaborates:"
E. D. Latta has arranged to introduce some new styles of architecture at
Dilworth, and Mr. Hook will provide plans for five new style residences.
The will include the "Queen Anne," "Colonial," and "Modern American"
styles of architecture. All of the buildings will be built in the best
manner, with slate roofs, fine interior finish and ornamental
stairways."3 Hook's career eventually spanned forty-five
years, during which he undertook many landmark commissions in the city
and various parts of the state. At times, he was in partnership with
others: Frank Sawyer. 1902-1907, Willard Rogers, 1912-1916, and with his
son, W. W. Hook, 1924-1938. Among his best-known designs in Charlotte
are the old
Charlotte City Hall, the
Charlotte Women's Club, the
J. B. Duke mansion, the Belk Department Store Trade Street facade of
1927, and the
William Henry Belk mansion. Statewide, they include the west wing of
the state capital in Raleigh, the Richmond County courthouse, Phillips
Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Science Hall at Davidson College, and the
State Hospital in Morganton.4
In September, 1894, the Charlotte Observer, in its "Dilworth
Dots" column, reported that "The McDowell, Walter, Harrill and Jones
houses at Dilworth are in various stages of completion. Each would be an
ornament to the city."5 The following month, the reporter
assigned to the Dilworth beat noted, "'Wonder what color Mr. Walker is
to paint the lower part of his house, as he is painting the roof
yellow,'" the Observer has often heard asked. The combination
will be white, yellow and green - new and effective." The Harrill,
Walker, McDowell, and Jones houses are all handsome additions to
In December, "Dilworth Dots" recorded the completion of the Walker's
new home, after a note on some amenities in the new suburb: The people
living in Dilworth will have almost as many conveniences as the people
living in the city. Sewer pipes are now being laid along the boulevard.
With this the houses can easily connect. Mr. and Mrs. Lucian Walker will
be on the move early this morning.7 By 1902, the Charlotte
City Directory records that Lucian Walker was a teller at the Charlotte
National Bank, and lived on East Avenue. Annie Walker was shown as the
Principal of the Primary Department of the Presbyterian College for
Women (a forerunner of Queens College that was built on College Street
in 1900-01).8 The following year the Walkers no longer appear
in the Directories, and it seems probable that they moved from the city.
Prom 1905 to 1912, the house was owned by Mrs. N. H. Bispham, a widow,
who sold it to George M. Rose, Jr., and Mary Crow Rose, in which family
it remained until 1965. 9 It subsequently passed through a
number of owners as Dilworth has re-emerged as a vibrant, revitalized
neighborhood and Historic District.
As a representative of the early houses in Dilworth and the early
work of C. C. Hook, the Walker house is an important part of that
community's historic fabric.
1 Dan L. Morrill, "Edward Dilworth Latta and the Charlotte
Consolidated Construction Company (1890-1925): Builders of a New South
City, " The North Carolina Historical Record 62(1985).293-316.
2 Charlotte City Directory, 1896/7, p. 86.
3 Charlotte Observer, June 4,1893, p.6.
4 Information on file at the Charlotte Mecklenburg
Historic Properties Commission office
5 Charlotte Observer. September 15, 1894, p. 3.
6 Charlotte Observer. October 13,1894, p.4.
7 Charlotte Observer. December 4, 1894, p.6.
8 Charlotte City Directory. 1902, p. 463
9 Mecklenburg County Deed Books 198, p. 388; 291, p.634;
2653, p.537. Rose was a cotton broker with Rose-Webb & Co.: Charlotte
City Directory. 1912, p. 368.
The Lucian H. Walker House is a two story, frame dwelling with a
brick pier foundation with subsequent brick in-fill, two off-center,
interior brick chimneys, a large, wraparound columned porch with
dormers, and a
gable roof and cross gables. Erected in 1894 on the southwestern
quadrant of the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East Park Avenue in
Dilworth, Charlotte's initial streetcar suburb, it belongs to an
assemblage of suburban houses that occupies a place of seminal influence
in the architectural history of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
"Dilworth's noteworthy residential architecture today includes not only
some of the city's few surviving Victorian houses, but also Charlotte's
first experiments with the Colonial Revival," writes architectural
historian Thomas W. Hanchett.1
Colonial Revivalism, which emphasizes classical ornamentation,
geometric massing and, at least in North Carolina, simplicity of detail
in comparison with the more adventuresome specimens of this motif found
in the major cities of the North and Midwest, was probably the most
popular example of historic electicism which emerged in the late 1800's
and early 1900's in the United States, including the South. This
widespread acclaim was in no small part due to the fact that Colonial
Revivalism provided compelling images which enabled wealthy suburbanites
to satisfy their "search for order" and their desire to live in an
"idyllic escape from the overcrowding, crime, and ethnic strife
identified with the city." 3
It is true that Charlotte's residential architecture began to undergo
a fundamental but gradual transformation away from Vernacular and
Victorian motifs and toward so-called "period house" styles, especially
Colonial Revivalism, when Edward Dilworth Latta and his Charlotte
Consolidated Construction company began selling lots and erecting
suburban homes for affluent and middle class residents of Dilworth.3
"Early Dilworth was a curious concoction because its conception was more
European than anything in America at the time," contends historian David
R. Goldfield. "Unlike most American suburbs but similar to most European
neighborhoods," he continues, "Dilworth presented a mixture of elite and
middle-class residences." According to Goldfield, this socio-economic
heterogeneity gave rise to a "mixture of architectural styles" in
Goldfield's excessive claims for Dilworth's uniqueness in American
suburbanization notwithstanding, the neighborhood does contain a rich
variety of architectural styles. Not surprisingly, most of the first
houses were built on corner lots, where the owners could gain greater
separation from their neighbors, at least on one side. Among them are
Harrill-Porter House, a Vernacular style Victorian house similar in
its austere simplicity to many houses once found in the center city,
including the back streets of
Fourth Ward, and, even more significantly, the
Mallonee-Jones House and the Robert J. Walker House, two Queen Anne
style residences designed by Charles Christian Hook (1869-1938), a
native of Wheeling, W. Va, graduate of Washington University in St.
Louis, Mo., and an architect of local and regional importance.5
On June 4, 1893, the Charlotte Observer announced that: Mr. E.
D. Latta has arranged to introduce some new styles of architecture at
Dilworth, and Mr. Hook will provide plans for five new-style residences.
They will include the "Queen Anne," "Colonial," and "Modern American"
styles of architecture. All of the buildings will be built in the best
manner, with slate roofs, fine interior finish and ornamental stairways.6
C. C. Hook was especially interested in ushering Colonial Revivalism
into the local built environment. Commenting upon Hook's intentions, the
Charlotte Observer exclaimed in September, 1894, that Hook
planned to erect a:
genuine, 'ye olden time' house . . . after the style of the typical
Southern home, with four large columns, two full stories high,
surmounted by a classical pediment. Mr. Hook . . . will make the plans
after the true classical style of architecture, which at one time
predominated in the South and is being revived. The most striking
feature of the house will be its simplicity of design and convenience
of arrangement. The so-called 'filigree' ornamentation will not
consideration, and only the true design wit carried out and thus give
Charlotte another style . . . 7
The earliest Colonial Revival style residence in Dilworth which is
definitively attributable to C. C. Hook is the
Gautier-Gilchrist House at 320 East Park Avenue.8 Its
symmetrical facade, large gable roof with dormers, and modillion cornice
stand in sharp contrast with the essentially asymmetrical massing and
ornate decorative detail of Hook's
Mallonee-Jones House at 400 East Kingston Avenue and his
Robert J. Walker House at 329 East Park Avenue.9 The
Jones-Garibaldi House at 228 East Park Avenue, erected in 1894, is an
even earlier example of Colonial Revivalism in Dilworth; it was probably
designed by C. C. Hook, as, most likely, was the Lucian H. Walker House.10
The Lucian H. Walker House is difficult to classify in terms of
architectural style. Its symmetrical massing, unadorned molded eaves,
window arrangement near the top of the large, front pediment, and
the wraparound porch which is bordered by a balustrade and attenuated,
wooden Roman Doric columns with annulets, place the house within the
traditions of classical design. Other features of the Lucian H. Walker
House, however, most especially the off-center placement of the front
entrance, which has
sidelights and a
transom, and the less than completely balanced fenestration (the
majority of the windows are 1/1
sash), suggest that the house does not conform to Colonial
Revivalism, such as one clearly encounters with the
Jones-Garibaldi House, which was built in the same year, or the
Villalonga-Alexander House, which C. C. Hook definitely designed.
11 Perhaps the Lucian H. Walker House is an example of what
the Charlotte Observer called the "Modern American" style.12
The rear of the Lucian H. Walker House has experienced considerable
modifications, including the interior rooms. Otherwise, the interior of
the house retains its essential integrity. A somewhat clumsily-placed,
center hallway bisects the first floor, with the parlor and its
replacement mantel to the left front. The other mantels in the house are
original, as are the ceramic tile fireplace surrounds and hearths. Base
moldings, picture moldings, and crown moldings are typical of those
found in other homes in the oldest section of Dilworth.
The most dramatic interior feature is an L-shaped stairway and
balustrade which leads from the room on the right front to the second
floor. On balance, however, the most significant architectural feature
of the Lucian H. Walker House is its role in documenting the evolution
of Charlotte's suburban built environment in the late nineteenth
1 For a detailed analysis of the architecture of North
Carolina's early twentieth century suburbs, see Catherine W. Bishir and
Lawrence S. Early, Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs in North Carolina:
Essays on History, Architecture and Planning (Raleigh: Archeology
and Historic Preservation Section, Division of Archives and History,
North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1985), hereinafter
cited as Suburbs. Thomas W. Hanchett, "Charlotte: Suburban
Development in the Textile and Trade Center of the Carolinas." In
Suburbs, p. 72. The Colonial Revival style arose in the 1880's and
is attributed to the architectural firm McKim, Mead and White (Charles
Fallen McKim, W. R. Mead, Stanford White). For additional information,
see Marcus Whiffen, American Architecture Since 1780: A Guide to the
Styles (Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1969), pp.l59-165.
2 David R. Goldfield, "North Carolina's Early
Twentieth-Century Suburbs and the Urbanizing South", Suburbs, p.
9. Margaret Supplee Smith, "The American Idyll in North Carolina's First
Suburbs: Landscape and Architecture", Suburbs, p. 23.
3 For a comprehensive history of Dilworth, see Dan L.
Morrill, "Edward Dilworth Latta and the Charlotte Consolidated
Construction Company (1890-1925): Builders of a New South City" The
North Carolina Historical Review (July, 1985), pp. 293-316.
4 David R. Goldfield, "North Carolina's Early
Twentieth-Century Suburbs and the Urbanizing South", Suburbs, p.
9. For an explanation of the term "period house", see John Poppeliers,
S. Allen Chambers, and Nancy B. Schwartz, "What Style Is It? Part Four."
Historic Preservation (January-March, 1977), pp. 14-23.
5 Dr. Dan L. Morrill and Caroline Mesrobian, "Survey and
Research Report On The Mallonee-Jones House" (Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Historic Properties Commission, January 2, 1980). Hereinafter cited as
Mallonee-Jones. Dr. Dan L. Morrill and Thomas W. Hanchett, "Survey and
Research Report On The Harrill-Porter House" (Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Historic Properties Commission, January 6, 1982). Dr. Dan L. Morrill and
Caroline Mesrobian, "Survey and Research Report On The Robert J. Walker
House" (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, November
5, 1980). Hereinafter cited as Robert J. Walker.
6 Charlotte Observer, June 4, 1893.
7 Charlotte Observer, September 19, 1894. Hook's
earliest Colonial Revival design was for a house which no longer stands.
8 Dr. Dan L. Morrill and Caroline Mesrobian, "Survey and
Research Report On The Gautier-Gilchrist House" (Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Historic Properties Commission, January 7, 1981).
9 Mallonee-Jones. Robert Walker.
10 Dr. William H. Huffman and Dr. Dan L. Morrill, "Survey
and Research Report On The Jones-Garibaldi House" (Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Historic Properties Commission, February 5, 1986). Hereinafter cited as
11 Jones-Garibaldi. Dr. Dan L. Morrill and Ruth
Little-Stokes, "Survey and Research Report On The Villalonga-Alexander
House (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, June 4,
1978). The Villalonga-Alexander House was substantially damaged by fire
on March 14, 1948.
12 Charlotte Observer, September 19, 1894.