North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Lockwood, Greene, and Company (est. 1882)

Founded: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Architect;
  • Engineer
NC Work Locations:
  • Gastonia, Gaston County
  • Gaston
  • Roanoke Rapids, Halifax County
  • Halifax
  • Charlotte, Mecklenburg County
  • Mecklenburg
Building Types:
  • Commercial;
  • Industrial;
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • Italianate;
  • Neoclassical Revival;
  • Romanesque Revival;
  • Tudor Revival

Loray Mills [Gastonia]

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Loray Mills [Gastonia]


Lockwood, Greene, and Company (est. 1882), one of the major engineering firms in the eastern United States from the late 19th century through the 20th century, was a New England-based firm that planned many mills and other plants in the New South, including in North Carolina the immense Loray Mills in Gastonia, a project in Roanoke Rapids, and probably others.

Amos Lockwood (1811-1884), a mill engineer in Maine by 1858, began the company. In the 1870s he associated with Stephen Greene, a former textile mill supervisor. With others they formed Lockwood, Greene, and Company in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1882, not long before Lockwood's death in 1884. Greene expanded the firm's operations and scope, and after his death in 1901 his son Edwin Greene became president of the firm, which kept the old names, and continued rapid expansion. At various times the company had offices in Boston, Atlanta, and Charlotte, as well as Greenville and Spartanburg. The company established a southern headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina, headed for a time by Joseph Emory Sirrine, and had an extensive business in the South, building scores of mills in South Carolina. Perhaps because other mill designers and building firms were well established in Charlotte, the company's work in North Carolina was modest compared to its operations in South Carolina and Georgia. A few North Carolina projects are known, but others await identification.

Lockwood, Greene, and Company's Loray Cotton Mill project in Gastonia was the first major endeavor in North Carolina for the nationally important company already active in South Carolina. Various employees were involved in planning and managing the project. A mill village plan with the initials "J. E. S." indicates that Joseph Emory Sirrine planned the village, while the drawings for the immense initial mill building have the initials "F. W. R.", identifying lifelong company employee Frank W. Reynolds as draftsman and probably designer for the first phase of the mill. The other industrial project in North Carolina cited in the company history is an unspecified work in Roanoke Rapids. Many mills were constructed in the industrial town by the Roanoke River, and it is not clear which ones were the work of Lockwood, Greene, and Company, and what their status might be.

Besides planning industrial buildings, the company took a role as architects or engineers in other types of projects, of which only a few examples are known. In Charlotte, Lockwood, Greene, and Company was involved in such diverse buildings of the 1920s as the First National Bank skyscraper with local architect Louis H. Asbury, the Poplar Apartments, and probably other buildings.

Author: John E. Wells. Update: Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2009

Building List

Loray Mills (Gastonia, Gaston County)

Gaston Gastonia


Dates: 1900-1902; 1920s
Location: Gastonia, Gaston County
Street Address: 2nd Ave., Gastonia, NC
Status: Standing
  • Industrial
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).

Reynolds's role in planning the Loray Mill reflects information from David Rogers of Rogers and Associates, Inc. Huntersville, NC, as conveyed in an email to J. Myrick Howard, Raleigh, March 12, 2009. "All of the original plans dated between 1900 & 1901 have the initials F.W.R. on them. Some plans have no identification. On one sheet, #82, the initials J.E.S. dated 1901 (could be a 1906) show up; this drawing is the 'Map of Tenement Village'. Revised drawings in 1904 show initials G.E.B. ~ Tuttle ~ Westcott. The addition of 1922 drawings were by Robert and Company, Architects and Engineers, Atlanta. Linking of "F.W.R." to Reynolds was possible from Lincoln, Lockwood, Greene, and Company. J.E.S. is Joseph Emory Sirrine. Loray Mill was founded and owned briefly by local industrialists, but after financial problems the mill was taken over by creditors and new management. The Manville-Jenckes Company of Rhode Island acquired the mill in 1920 and added a huge wing. In 1929 Loray Mill became the scene of a bitter and violent strike nationally known in labor history.

Loray Mills

First National Bank (Charlotte, Mecklenburg County)

Mecklenburg Charlotte


Dates: 1926-1927
Location: Charlotte, Mecklenburg County
Street Address: 112 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC
Status: Standing
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).

The skyscraper, called in 1927 the tallest building in the Carolinas, was one of several competing tall buildings in Charlotte, and among the few survivors of the city's early 20th century skyscrapers.

First National Bank

Poplar Apartments (Charlotte, Mecklenburg County)

Mecklenburg Charlotte


Dates: 1929-1930
Location: Charlotte, Mecklenburg County
Street Address: 302 W. 10th St., Charlotte, NC
Status: Standing
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).

Built on the eve of the Great Depression as luxury apartments of three to seven rooms with all modern conveniences, the Jacobethan styled, 5-story edifice is one of Charlotte's finest early 20th century apartment houses in the era when that building type excelled.

Poplar Apartments

Lockwood, Greene, and Company's Work Locations


  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Samuel B. Lincoln, Lockwood Greene: The History of An Engineering Business, 1832-1958 (1960).

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