|Charlotte City Hall
600 East Trade St.
On January 26, 1924, Mayor James O. Walker and the
Charlotte City Council voted to negotiate a contract with the seemingly
ubiquitous Charles Christian Hook to design a new Charlotte City Hall.
The Classical Revival style building was completed in October of the
next year, and City Council left the old City Hall at N. Tryon and 5th
Sts. and held its first meeting in the new facility on November 1, 1925.
Then located in the midst of a fine residential district, the municipal
complex had a large front yard so that it would fit into the
neighborhood. Unfortunately, the neighborhood is now gone.
The life of architect C. C. Hook is a fascinating
story. It is filled with both great joy and wrenching tragedy. A native
of Wheeling, W. Va. and a graduate of Washington University in St.
Louis, Mo., Hook came to Charlotte in 1891 to teach mechanical drawing
in the South Graded School on the edge of Dilworth. By 1892, he was
designing homes for Edward Dilworth Latta's Charlotte Consolidated
Construction Company or Four C's, developers of Dilworth. By 1893, he
had left teaching to become a full-time architect.
Hook prospered in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. By 1900, he was Charlotte's premier architect. He designed
such important buildings as Duke Mansion in Myers Park, the Charlotte
Woman's Club in Dilworth, and the Egyptian Revival Masonic Temple in
Uptown Charlotte (destroyed in 1988). He was the architect of the
Trinity College Campus in Durham, now the East campus of Duke
In September, 1938, a horrible event unfolded on
South Tryon St. Hook plunged to his death from the bathroom window near
the top of the skinny Commercial National Bank skyscraper in Uptown
Charlotte. Shortly before, someone who had seen Hook enter the bathroom
commented that the renowned architect looked disoriented. Fingernail
marks on the window ledge suggested that Hook had lost his balance and
had fallen accidentally. Regardless, the ghastly death of this skilled
architect stood in marked contrast to the beauty he had fashioned over