North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Benton and Benton (1915-1935)

Headquarters:
  • Wilson, North Carolina
Trades:
  • Architect
NC Work Locations:
  • Washington, Beaufort County
  • Beaufort
  • Lenoir, Caldwell County
  • Caldwell
  • Morehead City, Carteret County
  • Carteret
  • Hickory, Catawba County
  • Catawba
  • Enfield, Halifax County
  • Halifax
  • Halifax, Halifax County
  • Halifax
  • Selma, Johnston County
  • Johnston
  • Kinston, Lenoir County
  • Lenoir
  • Troy, Montgomery County
  • Montgomery
  • Rocky Mount, Nash County
  • Nash
  • Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
  • Pasquotank
  • Ayden, Pitt County
  • Pitt
  • Farmville, Pitt County
  • Pitt
  • Greenville, Pitt County
  • Pitt
  • Salisbury, Rowan County
  • Rowan
  • Plymouth, Washington County
  • Washington
Building Types:
  • Commercial;
  • Educational;
  • Fraternal;
  • Health Care;
  • Public;
  • Religious;
  • Residential;
  • Transportation
Styles & Forms:
  • Colonial Revival;
  • Mission;
  • Neoclassical Revival

Lloyd and Lillian Turnage House [Ayden]

View larger image and credits

Lloyd and Lillian Turnage House [Ayden]

Biography

In 1915 Charles C. Benton, Sr. and his elder brother Frank W. Benton established the partnership of Benton and Benton, headquartered in their native Wilson. Charles had practiced with other partners including John C. Stout and Solon B. Moore prior to 1915, but little is known of Frank's earlier career. Benton and Benton proved to be one of the leading architectural firms in eastern North Carolina, and their work encompassed much of that region and reached westward into the foothills. Serving mainly clients in the state's fast-growing small and medium-sized communities rather than those in larger cities, the firm designed buildings of nearly every type—residences, banks, churches, and civic buildings—and specialized in neoclassical and Colonial Revival styles: Charles in fact was known as Charles C. ("Colonial") Benton. The partnership continued until 1935, when the two brothers established separate practices, Frank on his own and Charles with his two sons, Charles Jr., and Henry. For fuller accounts of their work together and separately, see entries on Charles C. Benton, Sr., and Frank W. Benton.

Author: Kate Ohno. Update: Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2012

Building List

Christ Episcopal Church Parish House (Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County)

Pasquotank Elizabeth City

1925

Contributors:
Dates: 1925-1926
Location: Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
Street Address: 200 S. McMorrine St., Elizabeth City, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).
  • Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank: The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County, North Carolina (1989).
Note:

The Tudor Revival style building harmonizes with the antebellum Gothic Revival church by J. Crawford Neilson.

Washington County Courthouse (Plymouth, Washington County)

Washington Plymouth

1918

Contributors:
Dates: 1918-1919
Location: Plymouth, Washington County
Street Address: NE corner of Adams St. and Main St., Plymouth, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public

Washington County Courthouse

Walter McCanless House (Salisbury, Rowan County)

Rowan Salisbury

1929

Contributors:
Dates: 1929
Location: Salisbury, Rowan County
Street Address: 204 Confederate Ave., Salisbury, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Davyd Foard Hood, The Architecture of Rowan County North Carolina: A Catalogue and History of Surviving 18th, 19th, and Early 20th Century Structures (1983).
Note:

The large and luxurious Renaissance Revival style mansion, built of buff brick with a green tile roof, is the grandest residence of its era in Salisbury.

Lloyd and Lillian Turnage House (Ayden, Pitt County)

Pitt Ayden

1922

Contributors:
Dates: 1922
Location: Ayden, Pitt County
Street Address: 811 W. 3rd St., Ayden, 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).
  • Scott Power, The Historical Architecture of Pitt County, North Carolina (1991).
Note:

The especially well-detailed bungalow has a deep porch that extends as a porte cochere. Drawings (blueprints) and specifications for the house are in the Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Lloyd and Lillian Turnage House

Bank of Farmville (Farmville, Pitt County)

Pitt Farmville

1921

Contributors:
Dates: 1921
Location: Farmville, Pitt County
Street Address: 129 S. Main St., Farmville, 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).
  • Scott Power, The Historical Architecture of Pitt County, North Carolina (1991).
Note:

This is one of the firm's several neoclassical banks designed to take advantage of their prominent corner locations, here with a full-height Doric portico in antis and pilasters along the side.

Bank of Farmville

William H. and Jennie M. Long House (Greenville, Pitt County)

Pitt Greenville

1917

Contributors:
Dates: 1917-1918
Location: Greenville, Pitt County
Street Address: 200 E. 4th St., Greenville, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Michael Cotter, Kate Ohno, and Mary Hollis Barnes, The Architectural Heritage of Greenville, North Carolina (1989).
Note:

Among the grandest residences in Greenville, the Colonial Revival style brick house features a large portico with columns in the Tower of the Winds order.

Albion Dunn House (Greenville, Pitt County)

Pitt Greenville

1919

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1919
Location: Greenville, Pitt County
Street Address: 707 W. 4th St., Greenville, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Michael Cotter, Kate Ohno, and Mary Hollis Barnes, The Architectural Heritage of Greenville, North Carolina (1989).

Fire Engine Company No. 2 Building (Rocky Mount, Nash County)

Nash Rocky Mount

1924

Contributors:
Dates: 1924
Location: Rocky Mount, Nash County
Street Address: 404 S. Church St., Rocky Mount, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Note:

A brick building with stone-framed fire engine doors and a tile roof.

Montgomery County Courthouse (Troy, Montgomery County)

Montgomery Troy

1921

Contributors:
Dates: 1921
Location: Troy, Montgomery County
Street Address: SE corner of E. Main St. and S. Main St., Troy, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Note:

Built of tan brick and cast stone, the courthouse features a full-height Doric portico.

Montgomery County Courthouse

Farmers and Merchants Bank (Kinston, Lenoir County)

Lenoir Kinston

1924

Contributors:
Dates: 1924
Location: Kinston, Lenoir County
Street Address: 200 N. Queen St., Kinston, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Images Published In:
  • M. Ruth Little, Coastal Plain and Fancy: The Historic Architecture of Lenoir County and Kinston, North Carolina (1998).
Note:

The lower portion of the bank displays an Ionic-columned entrance in antis typical of the firm's banks of the period, but the building's 5-story height reads as a small skyscraper, unusual in eastern North Carolina's small towns and indicative of Kinston's stature as a market town. In its day it was the tallest structure in town. Local accounts indicate that the building had the first registered elevator in the state, designated Elevator No. 1 by the State of North Carolina. The postcard view of Queen St. shows the bank as the tallest building on the left side of the street.

Kinston Union Station (Kinston, Lenoir County)

Lenoir Kinston

1924

Contributors:
Dates: 1924
Location: Kinston, Lenoir County
Street Address: E. Caswell St. at Davis St., Kinston, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Transportation
Note:

The postcard view of the station features a rare example of a drawing signed by Benton and Benton.

Kinston Union Station

Selma Graded School (Selma, Johnston County)

Johnston Selma

1922

Contributors:
Dates: 1922
Location: Selma, Johnston County
Street Address: W. Richardson St., Selma, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Educational

Selma Graded School

Enfield Masonic Temple (Enfield, Halifax County)

Halifax Enfield

1924

Contributors:
Dates: 1924-1925
Location: Enfield, Halifax County
Street Address: S.E. Railroad St. at Market St., Enfield, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Fraternal
Images Published In:
  • Henry V. Taves, The Historic Architecture of Halifax County, North Carolina (2010).
Note:

The 3 1/2-story building in blond brick overlooks the railroad and dominates the downtown streetscape.

Enfield Masonic Temple

Halifax County Home and Tubercular Hospital (Halifax, Halifax County)

Halifax Halifax

1923

Contributors:
Dates: 1923
Location: Halifax, Halifax County
Street Address: NC 903, Halifax vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • Henry V. Taves, The Historic Architecture of Halifax County, North Carolina (2010).
Note:

The firm employed a symmetrical design in Colonial Revival style for the building, one of several such facilities for care of the poor and the sick in the early 20th century.

Hickory Drugstore (Hickory, Catawba County)

Catawba Hickory

1924

Contributors:
Dates: 1924
Location: Hickory, Catawba County
Street Address: Hickory, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

The Manufacturers' Record in 1924 noted that Benton and Benton were architects for a drugstore in Hickory, which was to feature ornamental terra cotta.

Morehead City Hospital (Morehead City, Carteret County)

Carteret Morehead City

1918

Contributors:
Dates: 1918
Location: Morehead City, Carteret County
Street Address: 9th St. and Shackleford St., Morehead City, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Health Care
Note:

The Manufacturers' Record of April 18, 1918, reported that the Morehead City Hospital had plans by Benton and Benton, Wilson for a general hospital building at 9th St. and Shackleford St.; 80 x 80 ft., brick; slate roof; wood floors; cost $15,000; steam heat; $3000; electric lights $1000; electric elevator $1200 bids to be opened April 23 or 24; construction to begin May 1. The hospital was founded by Dr. Ben Royal, who had begun a smaller facility in 1911. The red brick hospital overlooked the water.

Morehead City Hospital

Lenoir High School (Lenoir, Caldwell County)

Caldwell Lenoir

1922

Contributors:
Dates: 1922
Location: Lenoir, Caldwell County
Street Address: 100 Willow St., Lenoir, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

Typical of the consolidated high schools of its era, the large brick building, 220 feet long, features classical detailing.

Lenoir High School

Bank of Washington (Washington, Beaufort County)

Beaufort Washington

1920

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1920
Location: Washington, Beaufort County
Street Address: 192 W. Main St., Washington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Commercial
Note:

Successor to the first, antebellum Bank of Washington, which still stands a short distance away, the four-story brick and stone bank features large Doric columns in antis.

Bowers-Tripp House (Washington, Beaufort County)

Beaufort Washington

1921

Contributors:
Dates: 1921
Location: Washington, Beaufort County
Street Address: 1040 N. Market St., Washington, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The large residence in tan brick shows the firm's favored Colonial Revival style.

Benton and Benton's Work Locations

Bibliography

  • 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).
  • M. Ruth Little, Coastal Plain and Fancy: The Historic Architecture of Lenoir County and Kinston, North Carolina (1998).
  • Manufacturers' Record, various issues.
  • Kate Ohno, Wilson County's Architectural Heritage (1981).
  • Kate Ohno and Robert C. Bainbridge, Wilson, North Carolina, Historic Buildings Inventory (1980).
  • Scott Power, The Historical Architecture of Pitt County, North Carolina (1991).
  • Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • John E. Wells and Robert E. Dalton, The Virginia Architects, 1835-1955: A Biographical Dictionary (1997).
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