North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Wray, Joseph M. (1876-1931)

Joseph M. Wray (1876-1931), a native of western North Carolina and a member of a family long established in the region, became a builder in the paper manufacturing town of Canton. He was one of many men who came of age in a rural world and adapted to industrial development and urban growth by...

Moore, Wallace (d. 1823)

Wallace Moore (d. 1823) was a master brickmason in New Bern during the early national period when numerous fine brick buildings were erected. Little is known of his life or career except that he worked on two of the most prominent brick buildings of the period, both of which are documented: the John R...

Trimble, John M. (1815-1867)

John M. Trimble (1815-1867) was a New York architect who specialized in designing theaters. In a period of fluid professional identities, he began his working life as a carpenter and became a stage carpenter before moving into a role as a sought-after theater architect, who planned more than thirty such facilities including some of...

Graham, James G. (ca. 1817-1860s)

James G. Graham (ca. 1817-1860s), a Rowan County carpenter and farmer, is associated by family tradition with building three antebellum farmhouses, all 2-story frame dwellings with Greek Revival detail influenced by Asher Benjamin's Practical House Carpenter (1830). Part of the Scotch-Irish, Presbyterian rural community in western Rowan County, he married Nancy Burke in 1849...

Bason, Henry (1806-1858)

Henry Bason (1806-1858) was an Alamance County builder and farmer. When Alamance County was formed from Orange, he contracted along with Captain John Trollinger, who had a brickyard and a farm and probably supplied the bricks, to erect the brick Alamance County Jail (1849) in the new county seat of Graham. Eli Denny, another...

Keen, Charles Barton (1868-1931)

Charles Barton Keen (1868-1931), a prolific designer of suburban residences and country estates primarily on Philadelphia's Main Line for more than thirty-five years, added a second locus of activity—North Carolina—when he became a favorite architect of wealthy tobacco and textile families starting around 1912. In several of his projects in North Carolina he was...

Dow, John (1758-1828)

John Dow (1758-April 21, 1828), one of many Scots who settled in southern North Carolina, is among the best documented of the immigrant carpenters active in the rural area in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The date of his arrival in North Carolina is not known. Like many building artisans, he worked...

Dickinson, Dave (ca. 1790-after 1850)

Dave Dickinson or Dickerson (ca. 1790-after 1850) was a black plasterer and bricklayer active in the Albemarle region in the early 19th century who spent much of his life as an enslaved artisan but was manumitted late in his life. He worked for a planter clientele wealthy enough to build houses with plastered walls...

Wilson, John Appleton (1851-1927)

John Appleton Wilson (1851-1927), a Baltimore architect, designed Lea Laboratory Building at the original Wake Forest College in Wake Forest in an unusually early example of the Colonial Revival style. Although Wilson is said to have designed other buildings in North Carolina, this is the only one identified thus far. A member of a prosperous...

T. Thomas and Son (fl. 1830s-1850s)

T. Thomas and Son (fl. 1840s), consisting of Thomas Thomas and his son Griffith, was a New York architectural firm that planned several buildings in the antebellum South. The firm's only known project in North Carolina is the First Baptist Church in New Bern (1848), one of the earliest non-Episcopalian Gothic Revival churches in...

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