North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Post, James F. (1818-1899)

Variant Name(s):
  • James Francis Post
Birthplace: Fairfield, New Jersey, USA
Residences:
  • New Jersey
  • Petersburg, Virginia
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
Trades:
  • Architect;
  • Builder;
  • Carpenter/Joiner
NC Work Locations:
  • Washington, Beaufort County
  • Beaufort
  • Wilmington, New Hanover County
  • New Hanover
  • Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County
  • New Hanover
  • Wrightsville Sound, New Hanover County
  • New Hanover
Building Types:
  • Commercial;
  • Educational;
  • Public;
  • Religious;
  • Residential;
  • Transportation
Styles & Forms:
  • Gothic Revival;
  • Greek Revival;
  • Italianate;
  • Queen Anne;
  • Second Empire

Zebulon Latimer House [Wilmington]

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Zebulon Latimer House [Wilmington]

Biography

James Francis Post (1818-July 15, 1899), a native of New Jersey, came to Wilmington by 1849 and became the city's premier 19th century builder-architect during the years when Wilmington was the largest city in the state. He designed, built, or supervised construction of some of Wilmington's most distinguished buildings, as well building many of the ordinary structures that shaped the overall character of the city. With his frequent associates, Robert B. Wood and John C. Wood (see Wood Brothers), Post gave the port city much of its distinctive Italianate architectural character. Post's ledger, begun in Petersburg, Virginia, traces his work throughout much of his long career. (James F. Post Ledgers, Ida B. Kellam Archives, Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, Wilmington, North Carolina.)

Born in Fairfield, near Caldwell, New Jersey, Post moved south to Petersburg, Virginia where he married Mary Ann Russell on October 8, 1843, and where the couple had two children, Erastus (who died young) and Thomas. By September 1849 the Posts were in Wilmington where James, Jr. was born. Post may have been to drawn to Wilmington by the city's building boom after completion of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad in 1840. Wilmington had become the most populous city in the state, and during the ensuing decades it grew rapidly, maintaining its status among the state's cities until 1910.

Post obviously suited Wilmington's needs as it grew in the 1850s. As his ledgers indicate, he promptly found work with prominent citizens such as the DeRosset and Wright families and with the town government. Some of his projects were small carpentry jobs for outbuildings now lost, such as a privy for George Myers (1854) and a kitchen for the Costin family (1855), various repairs and remodelings, and installing shelving or other items. Many projects, though, were for entire buildings. He also began taking commissions that drew upon his growing design skills. In 1850 he provided plans and specifications ($10) as well as constructing a building ($700) for L. A. Hart. And in time he simply provided designs and supervision in his role as architect.

Often Post worked as carpentry subcontractor to masons who took on large projects, such as Joseph Keen or Robert B. and John C. Wood. Post's association with the Wood brothers produced several Italianate style buildings in the early 1850s, which did much to establish that style's popularity in the city. Prime surviving examples are the Donald McRae House; the Duncan K. McRae House; the Zebulon Latimer House; and the Edward Savage House. The Woods and Post also collaborated on the New Hanover County Jail designed by Robert B. Wood in 1854, and on the large and elaborate City Hall-Thalian Hall, designed by New York theater architect John M. Trimble, to contain municipal chambers and a civic theater. There the Woods took the masonry contract, and Robert Wood also supplied a new design for the portico. James Post served as supervising architect, providing working drawings, and inspecting workmanship and materials. He earned $4 per day to a total of $3,500.

In the wake of the prestigious City Hall-Thalian Hall project, Post took on a commission for the large and costly Bellamy Mansion, built for Dr. John D. Bellamy and his family on the eve of the Civil War. Unique in the city for its grand colonnade of Corinthian columns akin to the portico of City Hall-Thalian Hall, according to family tradition its design was inspired by an idea from the eldest Bellamy daughter. Post assigned Rufus Bunnell, his young assistant architect and draftsman from Connecticut, to produce the drawings and inspect construction, and Bunnell recorded his experiences during the project, including his work with the black artisans such as carpentry contractor Elvin Artis.

In addition to documenting his scores of building projects (see building list), Post's ledger and Bunnell's recollections depict the activities of the 19th century builder in remarkable detail. Post adapted to the Southern way of life, using slave workers and participating in slave patrols. Although he apparently did not own slaves, he hired many, including Gerry Bishop, John Bryant, D. Collins, Bob Connor, Dave Cowin, Joe DeRosset, Cornelius Flanner, John Flanner, Don Hall, Dick Hall, Tom Hill, E. D. Jones, Henry Jones, Daniel King, and Dave London. Post also worked with free black artisans such as Frederick Howe. Elvin Artis, and others.

Exemplifying the fluid nature of the building professions in the 19th century, Post's self-definition changed over the years and varied with the job. He identified himself as a carpenter in 1850 and an architect in 1860. In the 1860s, he also called himself a contractor-builder and builder-carpenter, and from the 1870s on, he typically used the title architect, along with contractor, carpenter, and builder. He used some traditional business methods—often accepting goods and services as payment for work, including building materials, workmen's time, clothing for his family, and schooling. On the other hand, he adopted the professional architect's method of charging a percentage of construction as his fee for superintending, as in 1860, when he billed O. G. Parsley 5% of construction cost for superintending construction of stores and a house. Unlike some builders of his day, Post did not engage in building speculation. He owned little property, either in slaves or real estate. From at least 1858 onward, he rented a two-room office in a one-story, wooden building on the south side of Princess Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. The back room was the drafting room heated by a coal grate; in the front room workmen gathered to collect their pay. From 1885 until his death, he lived with his son James, Jr., on North 7th Street in a house he had designed.

While Post fashioned certain building components locally, he also obtained many items from northern suppliers: in 1852, for example, "5 iron columns" from Heins and Company of Philadelphia; in 1854, iron railings and fencing for the W.W. Pierce House, 30 casks of nails from William Way and Company of New York, and from Hardenbury and Sickels window sash for the observatory of the Wessell-Hathaway House. He also ordered finished woodwork from the north, including in 1855 handrails, balusters and newels from Mitchel and Davis of Philadelphia and window sash and doors from Jenkins and Porter of New York, and a few years later similar items for the Bellamy Mansion, including columns, shutters, woodwork, and other items on the eve of the war. The trade stopped during the war, but by September 1865, Post was doing business as usual with William H. Jenkins, a supplier in New York.

Bunnell's recollections add detail to the picture of the antebellum builder. Post was by 1858 "a rather portly gentleman," of medium height with "an open, smiling countenance," and an active man with a "brisk walk and a somewhat proud bearing." Bunnell also supplied vignettes of the office operation. On Saturdays, he "had to calculate with Mr. P. the quantities of work done on the buildings during the week, setting the prices to it and writing orders for the money for all the white mechanics and for their masters to draw their money for the labor of their slave mechanics." Late on Saturday afternoons, "they all white and black, flocked into the outer office room for their pay for working on the various buildings, or 'jobs,' that Mr. P. had under his charge." Post taught the young architect many tricks of the trade, including "various rules for estimating the cost of buildings, such as I had not before come across." He showed him how to "lay out and draw timber work and framing plans for buildings, which knowledge I personally used for many years . . . until the old-fashioned substantial framing for buildings gave way . . . to the western got-up 'balloon frames' that could be nailed together by anybody who could saw up stuff and drive nails straight."

When the Civil War began, Post joined the Confederate cause and was appointed second lieutenant on June 18, 1861 in the Wilmington Horse Artillery, but in 1862 he returned to civilian life. He was employed by the Confederacy to build and repair military buildings at Fort Fisher, Fort Anderson, and elsewhere. Working for railroad companies he had served before the war, he was employed by the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, the lifeline for the Confederacy, to build warehouses up the route from Wilmington, and he also built the Wilmington offices and a rail shop for the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad Company.

Confederate records document several specific projects. At Fort Fisher, the massive defensive complex that protected Wilmington from the Union navy and kept the port open to blockade runners supplying the Confederacy, he built five picket houses in 1864, as ordered by General Whiting, for $1,250 (voucher 27), a sum indicative of wartime inflation. Most of Post's documented wartime projects had to do with maintaining Wilmington's transportation and trade systems by water and rail, which were essential to the city's position as a major southern port—and the last one open to Confederate blockade runners bringing supplies into and carry cotton out of the Confederacy.

These wartime projects included: repairing plank road bridge over Green's Mill Pond (1863, $545, voucher 21); building a shed for cotton (other [west] side of the Cape Fear River, as per contract for $9450, (1863, voucher 57); labor done on cotton shed (1863, $6800, voucher 15; $2000, voucher 3; $2000, voucher 5; $4700, voucher 4); carpentry work on Steamer Eugenie (1863, $64, voucher 52; $104, voucher 50; $408, voucher 54; 1863 & 1864, $705.30, voucher 13); contract for building 100' x 30' platform & two gangways (1863, $2930, voucher 37; 1863, $3000, voucher 33; 1864, $800, voucher 46; $3000, voucher 38); building shed over cotton press boiler(1863, $3500, voucher 11; labor done on cotton shed @ depot; 1863, $4700, voucher 7); fitting out cotton press office (1863, $1492.20, voucher 48; 1864, $1375, voucher 23); putting up cistern, repair boiler @ cotton press (1863, $1142, voucher 44); building government warehouse at W & M [Wilmington and Manchester] RR depot (1863, $5035, voucher 25); labor & materials for enclosing coal shed (contract, 1864, $2950, voucher 40; $200, voucher 17;) building shed and laying platform (1864, $9200, voucher 42); supervising construction (1864, $800, voucher 46; laying platform, gangways connecting sheds & press,1864, $2930, voucher 35;1864, $9461.50, voucher 31); putting up partitions in Provost Marshal's office (1864, $183, voucher 29); 4 kegs nails (1864, $740, voucher 19).

Following the war, as Wilmington's economy recovered, Post maintained his position as a leading architect and builder in the community. He superintended such major public buildings (designed by out-of-town architects) as the United States Post Office and Courthouse and the New Hanover County Courthouse. He also engaged in private projects in current styles, such as the Martin-Huggins House (1870) with its Second Empire style mansard roof. For the Seamen's Home, Post used a mansard roof topped with iron cresting, plus a front "of iron and in the Corinthian order."

Post's only two known drawings survive from these late years. One set is for the William B. McKoy House. When McKoy decided to build his house, his brother-in-law, the young architect Henry Bacon sent him proposals, but instead McKoy chose a design from the October, 1886, issue of Carpentry and Building and hired Post to customize it for him. Post also produced a rendering for his proposal for Wilmington's Masonic Temple, co-signed by J. K. Vaughn and submitted in 1899. The design is similar to the winning proposal by Minnesota architect Charles McMillen, who specialized in Masonic buildings.

James F. Post died on July 15, 1899 at the North 7th Street home of his son, James, Jr. The ministers of Grace Methodist Episcopal and St. Andrews Presbyterian churches conducted his burial service; he was buried at Oakdale Cemetery. In his obituary, the WilmingtonMessenger of July 16, 1899, reflected, "He has done more than any other man to beautify the city of Wilmington by the hundreds of beautiful homes his taste and skill have designed."

Author: Janet K. Seapker.

Published 2009

Building List

New Hanover County Courthouse (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1891

Contributors:
Dates: 1891-1893; 1901 [alterations]
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: N. 3rd St. at Princess St., SE corner, Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • 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).
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

The postcard view shows the City Hall-Thalian Hall on the left and the New Hanover County Courthouse on the right. James F. Post was involved in building both of them. Henry E. Bonitz made major alterations to the Superior Court Room of the New Hanover County Courthouse.

New Hanover County Courthouse

Elmwood (Washington, Beaufort County)

Beaufort Washington

1860

Variant Name(s):
  • James Grist House
Contributors:
Dates: 1860
Location: Washington, Beaufort County
Street Address: 731 W. Main St., Washington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).
Note:

The house, built in the early 19th century as a Federal style dwelling, and was remodeled and expanded in 1860 in Italianate style by Post, as noted by Bunnell's diary. It later received Colonial Revival style features.

Elmwood

Eliza Lord House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: N side Market between 2nd St. and 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Post's ledger records "building house as per contract" for $1,498.

Henry Nutt House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: S side Red Cross St., between 2nd St. and 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Post ledger records, "contract building house, "$1,400.

Levi A. Hart House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1850

Contributors:
Dates: 1850
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: E side 3rd between Dock St. and Orange St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Emma Woodward MacMillan, Wilmington's Vanished Homes and Buildings (1966).
Note:

Post's ledger records "Design and Specifications $10; Contract for Building, $700". Emma Woodward MacMillan, Wilmington's Vanished Homes and Buildings (1966) pictures the building after it was remodeled in the early 20th century.

Donald McRae House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1851

Variant Name(s):
  • MacRae-Dix House
Contributors:
Dates: 1851-1852
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 108 South 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

See unpublished research in author's possession by Ann Howell into the trade of Robert Wood of Philadelphia Ornamental Ironworks. Her investigation of US Customs records of coastwise shipment revealed that J. C. and R. B. Wood ordered 13 boxes of cast iron in November 1851 and another 13 in June 1852. On the Donald McRae House, they used pattern No. 248 or 218 for the railing and other (undetermined) pattern numbers for the piazza uprights and arches. These patterns were available earlier, but the number was published in the 1858 Wood and Perot catalogue owned by the Boston Public Library.

Duncan K. McRae House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1851

Variant Name(s):
  • MacRae-Willard House
Contributors:
Dates: 1851-1852
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 520 Orange St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

See unpublished research in author's possession by Ann Howell, into the trade of Robert Wood of Philadelphia Ornamental Ironworks. Her investigation of US Customs records of coastwise shipment revealed that J. C. and R. B. Wood ordered 13 boxes of cast iron in November 1851 and another 13 in June 1852. On the Duncan McRae House, they used pattern No. 56 for the railing and other (undetermined) pattern numbers for the piazza uprights and arches. These patterns were available earlier, but the number was published in the 1858 Wood and Perot catalogue owned by the Boston Public Library.

Zebulon Latimer House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1852

Contributors:
Dates: 1852
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 126 South 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • 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).
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

See unpublished research in author's possession by Ann Howell, Ph.D., into the trade of Robert Wood of Philadelphia Ornamental Ironworks. Her investigation of US Customs records of coastwise shipment revealed that J. C. and R. B. Wood ordered 13 boxes of cast iron in November 1851 and another 13 in June 1852. On the Latimer House, they used pattern No. 246 for the veranda railing and grapevine uprights and arches, pattern No. 17 and pattern No. 480 for pair of panels beneath rear casement windows. These patterns of Wood's ironwork were available earlier, but were published in the 1858 Wood and Perot catalogue owned by the Boston Public Library.

Zebulon Latimer House

Edward Savage House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1851

Contributors:
Dates: 1851-1852
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 120 South 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • 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).
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

See unpublished research in author's possession by Ann Howell into the trade of Robert Wood of Philadelphia Ornamental Ironworks. Her investigation of US Customs records of coastwise shipment revealed that J. C. and R. B. Wood ordered 13 boxes of cast iron in November 1851 and another 13 in June 1852. On the Savage House, they used pattern No.56 for the railing and other (undetermined) pattern numbers for the piazza uprights and arches. These patterns were available earlier, but the number was published in the 1858 Wood and Perot catalogue owned by the Boston Public Library.

Edward Savage House

S. P. Polley Carriage House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1852

Contributors:
Dates: 1852
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: NW corner 5th St. and Market St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Transportation

Bennett Flanner House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1852

Contributors:
Dates: 1852
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Post's ledger records "contract for carpenters work of building House", $1,595.

Fire House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1853

Contributors:
Dates: 1853
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Public
Note:

Post's ledger records "building Ingin [sic] House", $417.

Hustin House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1853

Contributors:
Dates: 1853
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Post's ledger records "building House" for Hustin of Hustin and Costin, $350.

DeRosset Stable and Carriage House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1854

Contributors:
Dates: 1854
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: N side Dock St., between 2nd St. and 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Transportation

Wessell-Hathaway House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1854

Variant Name(s):
  • Jacob Wessell House
Contributors:
Dates: 1854
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 120 South 5th Ave., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

Post's ledger records "contract, building House" for Jacob Wessell.

New Hanover County Jail (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1854

Contributors:
Dates: 1854
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 201 Princess St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Altered
Type:
  • Public

Scott and Baldwin Store (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1854

Contributors:
Dates: 1854
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: S side, 100 block Market St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

The newspaper announced that Post had done the plan and carpentry work for the iron-fronted store.

Mauger London House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1854

Contributors:
Dates: 1854
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Chestnut St. and 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Emma Woodward MacMillan, Wilmington's Vanished Homes and Buildings (1966).

Levi A. Hart Slave Quarters (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1855

Contributors:
Dates: 1855
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: E side 3rd St. between Dock St. and Orange St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential

David Smith House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1855

Contributors:
Dates: 1855
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential

Lazarus-Hill-Divine House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1855

Contributors:
Dates: 1855
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 314 Grace St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

Post's contract was for "finishing Drawing Room" $207.50 for Dr. F.J. Hill, a Greek Revival remodeling of a Federal style house.

City Hall-Thalian Hall (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1855

Contributors:
  • Henry E. Bonitz, architect (1901; 1904);
  • Robert Finey, brickmason (1855-1858);
  • William Finey, brickmason (1855-1858);
  • Joseph Keen, overseer (1855-1858);
  • James F. Post, supervising architect (1855-1858);
  • Price Family, plasterer (1855-1858);
  • John M. Trimble, architect (1855-1858);
  • James Walker, foreman and general manager (1855-1858);
  • Wood Brothers, builders (1855-1858);
  • John C. Wood, builder (1855-1858);
  • Robert B. Wood, builder (1855-1858);
  • Robert B. Wood, builder (1855-1858)
Dates: 1855-1858; 1901; 1904
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 102 N 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • 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).
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

In 1901 Henry E. Bonitz planned a redecoration of the clerk's and treasurer's office, and in 1904 he made major improvements to the theater in Thalian Hall to keep up with changing theater styles, comply with fire and safety regulations, and make repairs.

City Hall-Thalian Hall

E.W. Hall Building (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1857

Contributors:
Dates: 1857
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

Post's ledger notes order of sash and doors from Jenkins and Porter of New York.

J. Dawson Building (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1857

Contributors:
Dates: 1857
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

Post's ledger notes orders of sash and doors from Jenkins and Porter of New York.

Mauger London Store (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1858

Contributors:
Dates: 1858
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Water St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial

J.G. Wright Building (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1858

Contributors:
Dates: 1858
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Market St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial

Wright-Harriss-Bellamy House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1858

Contributors:
Dates: 1858; 1899-1900
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 602 Market St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
  • Beverly Tetterton, Wilmington: Lost But Not Forgotten (2005).
Note:

Post's ledger records "Plans for House with Specifications" and "superintending the construction of Dwelling for Joshua G. Wright", $100 and $750, respectively. Lawyer and political figure John D. Bellamy, Jr., employed architect McMillen to transform the large antebellum Italianate house into an opulent Queen Anne residence complete with tower and ornate interior fittings. The local newspaper marveled at the lavish interiors by Duryea and Potter of New York. The house burned in 1972.

Front Street Methodist Church (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1844

Contributors:
  • James F. Post, builder (1859);
  • Bradford Sherman, builder (1844);
  • Wood Brothers, contractors (1844);
  • John C. Wood, contractor (1844);
  • Robert B. Wood, contractor (1844)
Dates: 1844; 1859
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: NE corner of Front St. and Walnut St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
  • Beverly Tetterton, Wilmington: Lost But Not Forgotten (2005).
Note:

Post's ledger records "Contract of Building steeple for the M and E Church," $1,000.

Front Street Methodist Church

Conoley-Sidbury House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1859

Contributors:
Dates: 1859
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 17 N. 5th Ave., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

Von Glahn House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1859

Contributors:
Dates: 1859
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 19 N. 5th Ave., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1859

Contributors:
Dates: 1859-1869; 1907 [additions]
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 603 Market St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

Bonitz, a member of the church, added the transept and chancel to the existing church.

O. G. Parsley Store (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1860

Contributors:
Dates: 1860
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: N. Water St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

Post's ledger records "superintended erection of store."

O. G. Parsley House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1860

Contributors:
Dates: 1860
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: West side of S. 3rd St. at Ann St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

Icehouse (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1860

Contributors:
Dates: 1860
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

Bunnell records "making plans for a large brick storage icehouse".

Bellamy Mansion (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1859

Contributors:
Dates: 1859-1861
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 503 Market St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • 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, The Bellamy Mansion, Wilmington North Carolina: An Antebellum Architectural Treasure and Its People (2004).
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

Post's ledger records "Plans and Specifications" and "Commission [on] $21,000 for Dr. John D. Bellamy for $100 and $1,050," respectively; a note at the end of the Bellamy entry states "To amount agreed upon as being due in June 1866," so apparently Post's bill was not settled until after the war.

Bellamy Mansion

Martin-Huggins House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1870

Contributors:
Dates: 1870
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 412 Market St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

Post's ledger records "Plans and Specifications for Dwelling house" and "5% commission" for Alfred Martin ($100 and $538.38, respectively).

Seamen's Home (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1873

Contributors:
Dates: 1873
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Corner of Front St. and Dock St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • Walter H. Conser, Jr., Sacred Spaces, Architecture and Religion in Historic Wilmington (1999).

Adrian House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1875

Contributors:
Dates: 1875
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 212 Orange St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

Carolina Rice Mills (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1880

Contributors:
Dates: 1880
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 7 - 9 Chestnut St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Industrial

Honnett House Enlargement (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1883

Contributors:
Dates: 1883
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 322 S. Front St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

City Hospital Addition (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1884

Contributors:
Dates: 1884
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 10th (Dickson) St. and Red Cross (Rankin) St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Health Care

St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1845

Contributors:
  • James F. Post, architect (1884);
  • Wood Brothers, architects and builders (1845-1847);
  • John C. Wood, builder (1845-1847);
  • Robert B. Wood, architect and builder (1845-1847)
Dates: 1845-1847; 1884 [addition]
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 208 Dock St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

James F. Post designed the 1884 addition.

St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church

James F. Post House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1884

Contributors:
Dates: 1884
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 110 (or 112) N. 7th St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential

S. and B. Solomon House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1885

Contributors:
Dates: 1885
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 616 Market St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential

F. W. Kerchner Stores (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1886

Contributors:
Dates: 1886
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Water St. between Chestnut St. and Mulberry (Grace) St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial

Worth and Worth Building (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1886

Contributors:
Dates: 1886
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: NW corner of Nutt St. and Mulberry (now Grace) St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial

William B. McKoy House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1887

Contributors:
Dates: 1887
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: SW corner of 3rd St. and Nun St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Note:

This was one of the twelve Wilmington buildings illustrated in John Harriss Howe's presentation of his work at the Atlanta Exposition in 1895. Evidently both Alfred and John Howe were involved in its construction. Architect Jams F. Post had designed it, based on a design published in Carpentry and Building, October 1886, and some of his drawings dated March, 1887, survive.

William B. McKoy House

Benjamin Beery House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1887

Contributors:
Dates: 1887 [remodeled]
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 202 Nun St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

City Jail (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1887

Contributors:
Dates: 1887
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Public
Note:

Post was the "contractor" for the 26' x 26', brick building with a cupola, and 8 large cells and a corridor, for $10,075.

Delancy Evans House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1887

Contributors:
Dates: 1887
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 117 N 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential

Mrs. M. P. Taylor's Store (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1887

Contributors:
Dates: 1887
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Water St. at Mulberry St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial

United States Post Office and Courthouse (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1888

Contributors:
Dates: 1888
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Front St. and Chestnut St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
Note:

After various bidders submitted proposals to erect the Federal "public building" of brick or stone, W. H. Smith of Michigan received the contract in late 1888 to construct it of Wadesboro brownstone. Early in 1889 the plans were changed to add the tower. The cornerstone was laid June 4, 1889. Stonemasons and stonecutters came from other locales to accomplish the work. The building (pictured on the right), which contained various Federal offices as well as the post office, including a weather station in the tower, was razed in 1936 to make way for the present Georgian Revival style red brick post office.

United States Post Office and Courthouse

Union School (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1889

Contributors:
Dates: 1889
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 511 Ann St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Educational

Hemenway School (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1889

Contributors:
Dates: 1889; 1897 [expansion]; 1902 [addition]
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 212 N. 5th St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

The building was the successor to an earlier Hemenway School by Henry Taylor. The Wilmington Star of August 16, 1902, noted that McMillen had designed a south wing for the school.

Williams-Holladay House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1889

Contributors:
Dates: 1889-1890
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 117 S 4th St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

According to the local historical marker on the house, the Queen Anne style Williams-Holladay House of 1889-1890 was built for George W. Williams for his daughter, Maggie M. Holladay; her husband William W. Holladay, a native of Richmond, Va., designed the elevations of the house. Mrs. Holladay died before the house was completed.

Strausz House (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1891

Variant Name(s):
  • Heide-Bridgers House
Contributors:
Dates: 1891 [altered]
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 308 S 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

Sol Bear's Store (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1892

Contributors:
Dates: 1892
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: NE corner of Front St. and Princess St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial

MacRae Building (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1895

Variant Name(s):
  • S. H. Fishblates Store Fronts Store Front
Contributors:
Dates: 1895
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 25-27 N. Front St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

Ebenezer Baptist Church (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1896

Contributors:
Dates: 1896
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 207 S. 7th St., Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Religious

Oakdale Cemetery Lodge (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1896

Contributors:
Dates: 1896-1897
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
Note:

According to the Wilmington Dispatch (Jan. 12, 1897), James Walker helped build the lodge at Oakdale Cemetery and served as "consulting architect without any compensation." Probably Walker also worked on the granite gate posts that James F. Post designed and the board had built at the same time.

I. Shrier Store (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1897

Contributors:
Dates: 1897
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 271-273 N. Front St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial

Goodman Building (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1897

Contributors:
Dates: 1897
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: 6-8 Market St., Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial

Carolina Yacht Club (Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wrightsville Beach

1883

Contributors:
Dates: 1883
Location: Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wrightsville Beach, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Recreational
Images Published In:
  • Anne Russell, Carolina Yacht Club Chronicles (1993).

Carolina Yacht Club

Sol Bear Beach or Sound House (Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wrightsville Beach

1897

Contributors:
Dates: 1897
Location: Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wrightsville Beach, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential

Pembroke Jones Cottage (Wrightsville Sound, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wrightsville Sound

1888

Contributors:
Dates: 1888
Location: Wrightsville Sound, New Hanover County
Street Address: Wrightsville Sound, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential

Oakdale Cemetery Gate (Wilmington, New Hanover County)

New Hanover Wilmington

1896

Contributors:
Dates: 1896
Location: Wilmington, New Hanover County
Street Address: Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • Oakdale Cemetery: History, http://www.oakdalecemetery.org/history.asp.

Oakdale Cemetery Gate

James F. Post's Work Locations

Bibliography

  • Nancy N. Beeler, ed., Minutes of the Town (Wilmington) Commissioners, 1847-1855 (1997).
  • Catherine W. Bishir, Charlotte V. Brown, Carl R. Lounsbury, and Ernest H. Wood III, Architects and Builders in North Carolina: A History of the Practice of Building (1990).
  • Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
  • Rufus W. Bunnell, "The Life of Rufus William Bunnell" typescript, Bunnell Family Papers, Sterling Library, Yale University, photocopy in Bellamy Mansion Archives, Wilmington, North Carolina (ca. 1905).
  • Robert M. Fales, "A History of Wilmington in Pictures", http://wwwtmpapps.nhcgov.com/lib/history/fales/index.htm.
  • Emma Woodward MacMillan, Wilmington's Vanished Homes and Buildings (1966).
  • New Hanover County Records (Deeds, Wills and Taxes), North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Port City Architecture Online, http://wwwtmpapps.nhcgov.com/LIB/PortCityArch/search.asp.
  • James F. Post Papers, Ida B. Kellam Archives, Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, Inc., Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • William Reaves Files, New Hanover County Public Library, Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • Janet K. Seapker, "James F. Post, Builder-Architect: The Legend and the Ledger," Lower Cape Fear Historical Society Bulletin (May, 1987).
  • Isabel M. Williams, "Thalian Hall", unpublished manuscript, copy in State Historic Preservation Office, Raleigh, North Carolina (1977, 2003).
  • Wilmington City Directories, 1861-1895.
  • Wilmington Daily Herald, Nov. 28, 1854, July 12, 1855.
  • Wilmington Daily Review, Feb. 15, 1890.
  • Wilmington Evening Dispatch, Sept. 11, 1895-Oct. 5, 1897.
  • Wilmington Messenger, Feb. 23, 1888-July 16, 1899.
  • Wilmington Morning Star, Jan. 20, 1869-Aug. 28, 1897.
  • Wilmington Tri-Weekly Commercial, Mar. 16, 1854.
  • Wilmington Weekly Star, May 10, 1872-Mar. 26, 1880.
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
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