North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Hartmann, Charles C. (1889-1977)

Variant Name(s):
  • Charles Conrad Hartmann
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Residences:
  • New York City, New York
  • Greensboro, North Carolina
Trades:
  • Architect
NC Work Locations:
  • Burlington, Alamance County
  • Alamance
  • Hickory, Catawba County
  • Catawba
  • Shelby, Cleveland County
  • Cleveland
  • Fayetteville, Cumberland County
  • Cumberland
  • Thomasville, Davidson County
  • Davidson
  • Greensboro, Guilford County
  • Guilford
  • High Point, Guilford County
  • Guilford
  • Sedalia, Guilford County
  • Guilford
  • Wrightsville, New Hanover County
  • New Hanover
  • Roxboro, Person County
  • Person
  • Salisbury, Rowan County
  • Rowan
  • North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County
  • Wilkes
  • Wilson, Wilson County
  • Wilson
Building Types:
  • Commercial;
  • Educational;
  • Health Care;
  • Public;
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • Art Deco;
  • Beaux-Arts;
  • Collegiate Gothic;
  • Georgian Revival;
  • Skyscraper

Jefferson Standard Building [Greensboro]

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Jefferson Standard Building [Greensboro]

Biography

Charles Conrad Hartmann (1889-December 31, 1977), architect, moved from New York to Greensboro in 1921 to design the Jefferson Standard Building and established a prolific and long-lasting practice. In the mid-1940s he formed the practice of Charles C. Hartmann, Architects, with his son Charles C. Hartmann, Jr., a firm herein referred to as Hartmann and Hartmann; his post World War II work is discussed as part of that firm.

Charles C. Hartmann was born in New York, the son of Swiss and German immigrant parents. He recalled in a 1975 interview that as a youth he aspired to be an artist, but his father, a Swiss naval engineer, convinced him to devote his artistic abilities to a more practical profession. In 1905 he became an apprentice in the New York architectural firm of Warren and Wetmore, assisting in the design of Grand Central Terminal's main lobby ceiling and working on other aspects of that project. He also worked for the renowned firm of McKim, Mead and White in the evenings, designing a drop curtain for the Havana Opera House and other interior elements for a theater and a church.

In 1907 Hartmann began work as a draftsman for noted New York architect Charles E. Birge and studied in the evenings in one of many Beaux-Arts ateliers sponsored by New York architects. He went to Boston to take architectural courses at Boston Tech (MIT), but did not enroll in a degree program. He returned to New York about 1913 to work for William Lee Stoddart, whose firm specialized in hotels across the country. Hartmann moved up from draftsman to associate partner before he left the firm in 1921. In the late 1910s, Hartmann began to visit North Carolina to supervise progress of two Stoddart commissions for which he was chief designer: the Sheraton Hotel in High Point and the O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro.

Hartmann impressed the Greensboro business community, and in 1921 Julian Price, financier and vice-president of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, sent J. E. Latham, a member of the company's board, to New York to invite the young architect to come to Greensboro. He promised him the prize commission for a $2.5 million office building that would be headquarters for the firm, with the condition that Hartmann open a permanent practice in Greensboro. Hartmann accepted the offer and opened his office in Greensboro in 1921, which operated until his retirement in 1966. He later commented that the lack of wealthy contacts in New York was a major factor in his decision to move to Greensboro. He found in Greensboro a small but active architectural professional community that included the prominent architect Harry Barton, who had moved to the city a decade earlier.

Hartmann's inaugural project, the Jefferson Standard Building (1921-1923) was one of the largest and most prestigious commissions in the state at the time. The 17-story, twin-towered skyscraper was the tallest in the South at its completion in 1923--a magnificent Beaux-Arts composition combining classical, Gothic Revival, and Art Deco motifs in pale granite and terra cotta that instantly became an icon of Greensboro. Its construction placed Hartmann in an advantageous position in a rapidly growing region.

He soon gained commissions for major office buildings, banks, and other structures from High Point and Burlington to Wilson and Fayetteville. These were primarily of classical and Art Deco design, and many were the first or tallest skyscrapers in their communities. One of Hartmann's favorites was the neoclassical, granite-faced Cumberland National Bank (1923-1926) in Fayetteville, which features a classical shaft above a base of Ionic columns, an order that relates it to the nearby antebellum Market House. In the late 1920s he introduced Art Deco motifs at the First National Bank of Wilson and the Atlantic Bank & Trust Company Building in Burlington, the latter a skyscraper locally admired for its "advanced ideas in this type architecture." In Greensboro's F.W. Woolworth Building, Hartmann blended Art Deco and classical elements in elegant street fa├žades; the building is best known as a landmark in the American Civil Rights movement as the site of the student sit-ins that began Feb. 1, 1960.

Hartmann's firm also participated in the statewide school building campaign of the 1920s, planning flagship public school buildings such as Greensboro High School and Brooks Elementary School, known as the "million dollar school" (for white students), and James B. Dudley High School (for black students), combining classical, medieval, and modernist styles.

In contrast to his commercial and institutional work, Hartmann planned residences in picturesque modes that featured natural materials. He was instrumental in shaping the development of Irving Park, an elite suburb of Greensboro, where he designed 20 residences, of which only a few have been identified. For his patron, Jefferson Standard president Julian Price, he designed Hillside (1928-1929), a luxurious suburban residence in towered Tudor Revival style, which he planned soon after designing a much smaller Tudor Revival house for Price's secretary Mary R. Taylor. In a departure from formality, for Blue Bell Overall Company president C. C. Hudson he created a massive, dramatically horizontal, log bungalow, Idlewood (late 1920s), which was dismantled in 1994.

Hartmann maintained an office in Greensboro for the rest of his long and prolific career, becoming one of the state's leading architects between the World Wars. His firm planned at least 50 major buildings between 1922 and 1946. Unlike many, his firm stayed busy during the 1930s, averaging $1 million worth of construction per year even during the Great Depression. His work in this period included schools, hospitals, and apartment houses, such as the Country Club Apartments in Greensboro, which followed the newly popular "super block" layout.

After a drop in output during World War II, by 1946 Hartmann brought his son, Charles C. Hartmann, Jr., into the business as Charles C. Hartmann, Architects, or Hartmann and Hartmann. The elder Hartmann continued as a principal in the firm until he retired in the 1960s. Hartmann and Hartmann's postwar projects included many financial institutions, schools, housing projects, commercial buildings, religious buildings, industrial buildings, and office buildings.

A leader in his profession, Charles C. Hartmann, Sr., was a member of both the North Carolina Architectural Association, serving as its president, and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. In 1920, he had been licensed to practice architecture in North Carolina with certificate #112. In 1941 he was president of the NCAA and secretary-treasurer of the NCAIA. He played a key role in the unification of the two organizations in the 1940s. He was also a member of the national American Institute of Architects. Locally, he was active in community organizations, including the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the City of Greensboro Board of Building Appeals, director of Greensboro Lions Club, member of the Rotary Club, Country Club, Manufacturer's Club, Knights Templar Masons, Shriners. Hartmann also employed and encouraged other young architects, including Edward Loewenstein, who became one of Greensboro's leading modernist designers in the postwar era.

William B. Bushong. Updates: Angie Clifton, Catherine W. Bishir, and Adam Ronan.

Published 2009

Building List

O. Henry Hotel (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1918

Contributors:
Dates: 1918-1919
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 101 Bellemeade St. at N. Elm St., Greensboro, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial

O. Henry Hotel

Sheraton Hotel (High Point, Guilford County)

Guilford High Point

1921

Contributors:
Dates: 1921
Location: High Point, Guilford County
Street Address: 400 N. Main St., High Point, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • H. McKelden Smith, Architectural Resources: An Inventory of Historic Architecture, High Point, Jamestown, Gibsonville, Guilford County (1979).

Central Carolina Convalescent Hospital (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1949

Contributors:
Dates: 1949-1950
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 4001 E Bessemer Ave., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Health Care

Alamance Hotel (Burlington, Alamance County)

Alamance Burlington

1923

Contributors:
Dates: 1923-1925
Location: Burlington, Alamance County
Street Address: 514 S. Main St., Burlington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Allison Harris Black, An Architectural History of Burlington, North Carolina (1987).

Atlantic Bank & Trust Company Building (Burlington, Alamance County)

Alamance Burlington

1928

Contributors:
Dates: 1928-1929
Location: Burlington, Alamance County
Street Address: 58 S. Main St., Burlington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Allison Harris Black, An Architectural History of Burlington, North Carolina (1987).
Note:

Charles C. Hartmann's drawings for the Atlantic Bank and Trust Company Building are in the collection of the Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Atlantic Bank & Trust Company Building

Hotel Hickory (Hickory, Catawba County)

Catawba Hickory

1920

Contributors:
Dates: 1920s
Location: Hickory, Catawba County
Street Address: Hickory, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial

Daniel Efird Rhyne Memorial Building (Hickory, Catawba County)

Catawba Hickory

1928

Contributors:
Dates: 1928
Location: Hickory, Catawba County
Street Address: Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational

Hotel Charles and First National Bank (Shelby, Cleveland County)

Cleveland Shelby

1929

Variant Name(s):
  • Charles Blanton Hotel
Contributors:
Dates: 1929
Location: Shelby, Cleveland County
Street Address: Warren St., Shelby, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

After the old Blanton Building, containing a bank and a hotel, burned in 1928, it was remodeled as the Hotel Charles and First National Bank, with the hotel named for Charles Blanton. In a list of Hartmann's works it was called the Charles Blanton Hotel, 1929.

Cumberland National Bank (Fayetteville, Cumberland County)

Cumberland Fayetteville

1923

Variant Name(s):
  • First Citizens Bank
Contributors:
Dates: 1923-1926
Location: Fayetteville, Cumberland County
Street Address: 100 Hay St., Fayetteville, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).

Cumberland National Bank

City Memorial Hospital and Nurses Home (Thomasville, Davidson County)

Davidson Thomasville

1920

Contributors:
Dates: 1920s
Location: Thomasville, Davidson County
Street Address: Thomasville, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Health Care

Jefferson Standard Building (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1921

Variant Name(s):
  • Jefferson-Pilot Building
Contributors:
Dates: 1921-1923
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: N. Elm St. at Market St., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Jefferson Standard Building

Morrison Hall (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1924

Contributors:
Dates: 1924
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Campus, Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Mary E. Taylor House (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1924

Contributors:
Dates: 1924
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 104 Elmwood Dr., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

L. Richardson Memorial Hospital (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1927

Contributors:
Dates: 1927
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 603 S. Benbow Rd., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Health Care
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Greensboro Bank and Trust (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1927

Variant Name(s):
  • Guilford Building
Contributors:
Dates: 1927
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 301 S. Elm St., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Central Fire Station (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1928

Contributors:
Dates: 1928
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 318 N. Greene St., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Proximity School (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1928

Contributors:
Dates: 1928
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 1401 Summit Ave., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Idlewood (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1920

Variant Name(s):
  • C. C. Hudson House
Contributors:
Dates: 1920s
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 1809 Independence Rd., Greensboro, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Baxter S. Sellars House (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1927

Contributors:
Dates: 1927
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 111 West Bessemer Ave., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Hillside (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1928

Variant Name(s):
  • Julian Price House
Contributors:
Dates: 1928-1929
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 301 Fisher Park Cir., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Hillside

James B. Dudley High School (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1929

Contributors:
Dates: 1929
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: Lincoln St., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Greensboro High School and Brooks Elementary School (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1929

Variant Name(s):
  • Grimsley High School
Contributors:
Dates: 1929
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 801 Westover Terrace, Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

F.W. Woolworth Building (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1929

Contributors:
Dates: 1929
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 132 S. Elm St., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Dudley Memorial Building (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1930

Contributors:
Dates: 1930
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Campus, Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Dudley Memorial Building

Annie Merner Pfeiffer Hall (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1934

Contributors:
Dates: 1934
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: Bennett College Campus, Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational

Country Club Apartments (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1938

Contributors:
Dates: 1938
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: N. Elm St. and Sunset Cir., Greensboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

Country Club Apartments

Daily Record Building (Greensboro, Guilford County)

Guilford Greensboro

1930

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1930s
Location: Greensboro, Guilford County
Street Address: 222 N. Greene St., Greensboro, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Commercial

Commercial National Bank (High Point, Guilford County)

Guilford High Point

1924

Contributors:
Dates: 1924
Location: High Point, Guilford County
Street Address: 164 S. Main St., High Point, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • H. McKelden Smith, Architectural Resources: An Inventory of Historic Architecture, High Point, Jamestown, Gibsonville, Guilford County (1979).

Wesley Memorial Methodist Church Chapel and Education Building (High Point, Guilford County)

Guilford High Point

1958

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1958-1960
Location: High Point, Guilford County
Street Address: 1225 Chestnut Dr., High Point, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious

Canary Cottage (Sedalia, Guilford County)

Guilford Sedalia

1927

Contributors:
Dates: 1927
Location: Sedalia, Guilford County
Street Address: Charlotte Hawkins Brown State Historic Site, Palmer Memorial Institute, US 70 at SR 3034, Sedalia, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tracy Burns-Vann and Andre Vann, Sedalia and the Palmer Memorial Institute (2004).
Note:

At the school for black students established by Charlotte Hawkins Brown, her personal residence, called "Canary Cottage" was designed by Hartmann in "Dutch Colonial" style and was furnished to show students "practical ideas on interior decoration."

Babies Hospital (Wrightsville, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wrightsville

1927

Contributors:
Dates: 1927
Location: Wrightsville, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wrightsville, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Health Care

Person County Courthouse (Roxboro, Person County)

Person Roxboro

1930

Contributors:
Dates: 1930
Location: Roxboro, Person County
Street Address: Courthouse Square, Roxboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).

Person County Courthouse

Rowan Memorial Hospital (Salisbury, Rowan County)

Rowan Salisbury

1938

Contributors:
Dates: 1938
Location: Salisbury, Rowan County
Street Address: Salisbury, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Health Care
Images Published In:
  • Carolina Architecture and Allied Arts: A Pictorial Review of Carolina's Representative Architecture (1942).

Bank of North Wilkesboro (North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County)

Wilkes North Wilkesboro

1923

Contributors:
Dates: 1923
Location: North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County
Street Address: 832 Main (formerly B) St., North Wilkesboro, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, Michael T. Southern, and Jennifer F. Martin, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina (1999).
Note:

Showing the period's favored bank format with a Doric columned portico in antis, this bank has been cited both to Benton and Benton and to Charles C. Hartmann. The bank currently serves as the town hall. In 1923 the Manufacturers' Record reported that C. C. Hartmann had designed for the Bank of North Wilkesboro an office and store to cost $60-$70,000 and to be located at B and 9th St. in North Wilkesboro. Other sources cite the bank, and possibly the neighboring hotel, to Benton and Benton. Further information may come to light to clarify the authorship of these two notable buildings.

Bank of North Wilkesboro

Cherry Hotel (Wilson, Wilson County)

Wilson Wilson

1919

Contributors:
Dates: 1919-1923
Location: Wilson, Wilson County
Street Address: 333 E. Nash St., Wilson, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Kate Ohno and Robert C. Bainbridge, Wilson, North Carolina, Historic Buildings Inventory (1980).

First National Bank of Wilson (Wilson, Wilson County)

Wilson Wilson

1924

Variant Name(s):
  • Wilson County Office Building
Contributors:
Dates: 1924-1926
Location: Wilson, Wilson County
Street Address: 113 E. Nash St., Wilson, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Kate Ohno and Robert C. Bainbridge, Wilson, North Carolina, Historic Buildings Inventory (1980).

Charles C. Hartmann's Work Locations

Bibliography

  • Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Catherine W. Bishir, Michael T. Southern, and Jennifer F. Martin, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina (1999).
  • Charlotte Vestal Brown Papers, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).
  • Carolina Architecture and Allied Arts: A Pictorial Review of Carolina's Representative Architecture (1942).
  • Charles C. Hartmann, Architects, undated booklet ca. 1962, Charlotte V. Brown Collection, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Charles Hartmann Drawings, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • C. David Jackson and Charlotte V. Brown, History of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1913-1998 (1998).
  • Ruth Little-Stokes and H. McKeldon Smith, interview with Charles C. Hartmann, October 23, 1975, notes in Charlotte V. Brown Collection, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • North Carolina Board of Architecture, Record Book 1915-1992. Microfilmed by North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • H. McKelden Smith, Architectural Resources: An Inventory of Historic Architecture, High Point, Jamestown, Gibsonville, Guilford County (1979).
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