North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Albert and Osborne (fl. 1820s-1850s)

Albert (fl. 1820s, 1830s, 1840s), and Osborne (fl. 1840s, 1850s), brothers, were enslaved bricklayers and plasterers of notable skill. The two men belonged to the prolific brick builder Dabney Cosby, and their high quality work, especially in the plastering technique called "roughcasting," was an important component of Cosby's building business. Cosby worked extensively in...

Alexander, S. Grant (1875-1953)

Scots-born architect S. (Samuel) Grant Alexander (January 22, 1875-January 21, 1953), came to Asheville from Scotland for his health in 1923, opened his architectural firm in that city in 1924 and practiced there until his death. He had received his education and training in his native Scotland and worked there for several years in...

Allen, John (fl. 1780s-1790s)

John Allen (fl. 1780s-1790s), builder, was cited as "Mr. Allen of the Town of Wilmington" when he was one of several men who bid on construction of the State House in Raleigh in June, 1792. He was evidently a builder of some stature and skill. Although Rhodham Atkins won the State House project, the...

Andrews, W. S. (fl. 1850s)

W. S. Andrews (fl.1850s), architect, from Columbus, Ohio, appeared briefly during the antebellum railroad growth era in the North Carolina Piedmont. He advertised in the Greensboro Patriot of September 17, 1858, that he was "prepared to furnish plans and drawings for Public Buildings, Villas, Cottages, etc." In his advertisement, he cited as references such...

Appleget, George S. H. (1831-1880)

George S. H. Appleget (1831-January 12, 1880), architect and contractor in the immediate post-Civil War era, was a native of New Jersey who worked in Philadelphia and New York before coming to North Carolina in 1869. In 1860, he was listed as a master carpenter, aged 28, in Hightstown, New Jersey, with a family...

Asbury, Louis H. (1877-1975)

Louis H. (Humbert) Asbury, Sr. (October 15, 1877-March 19, 1975), a leading Charlotte architect, was the first professionally trained, fulltime architect in North Carolina who was born and practiced in the state. (See also Gaston Alonzo Edwards.) Asbury established a long-lived and prolific practice in Charlotte, with projects across much of the state, especially...

Atkins, Rhodham (d. 1802)

Rhodham Atkins (d. January 18, 1802), carpenter, is best known as builder of the State House (1792-1795) in Raleigh. A native of Massachusetts, he was in Wake County, North Carolina by 1790 when he apprenticed Ephraim Rogers to the house carpenter's and joiner's trade. He acquired land in Wake and Franklin counties and owned...

Bacon, Henry (1866-1924)

Henry Bacon, Jr. (Nov. 28, 1866-Feb. 16, 1924), best known as the architect of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C., spent much of his youth in Wilmington, North Carolina, and he designed some notable buildings in the state as a result. The friendships he made in Wilmington as a youth led to several...

Badham Family (fl. 1850s-1930s)

The Badham family of carpenters, among the most prominent builders in late 19th century Edenton, included at least three generations: Miles Badham I (ca. 1811-1870s), his son Hannibal Badham, Sr. (1845-1918), and Hannibal's sons Hannibal Badham, Jr. (1879-1941), and Miles Badham II (1877-1925). Their lives and work were researched and discussed by Thomas R...

Bain, William Carter (1839-1920)

William Carter Bain (January 8, 1839- July 8, 1920) was a prolific and adaptable contractor who epitomized the energetic entrepreneurship of the post-Civil War well into the 20th century. Bain began as a small-town artisan, served in the Confederate army, and became a regional builder and manufacturer. Adapting successfully to changing times during a...

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