North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

Coming Soon

NC Architects and Builders is a growing system. We will post this entry as soon as it is ready.

Nelson and Cooper (ca. 1921-ca. 1931)

Founded: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Headquarters:
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
Trades:
  • Architect
NC Work Locations:
  • Durham, Durham County
  • Durham
  • Raleigh, Wake County
  • Wake
Building Types:
  • Educational;
  • Public;
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • Beaux-Arts;
  • Colonial Revival;
  • Georgian Revival;
  • Neoclassical

State Agriculture Building [Raleigh]

View larger image and credits

State Agriculture Building [Raleigh]

Biography

Nelson and Cooper (ca. 1921-ca. 1931) was a Raleigh architectural firm established by G. Murray Nelson and Thomas W. Cooper. The partnership produced designs, chiefly in Georgian Revival, Colonial Revival, and neoclassical modes, for numerous residences and public buildings in Raleigh and Durham during the prime construction years of the 1920s and into the 1930s.

As shown in Raleigh city directories and the United States Census, Nelson (a native of Canada) arrived in Raleigh in 1918 or 1919 and joined in a brief partnership with the established architectJames A. Salter, for whom Thomas W. Cooper, a Raleigh native and former stonecutter, was already working as a draftsman. Salter soon returned to solo practice and became State Architect, and in 1920 or 1921 Nelson and Cooper formed their partnership, which lasted for at least a decade and had offices in both Raleigh and Durham. The Coffey Family Papers at SCRC contains a set of blueprints (1920) for the Nathaniel A. Dunn House by Nelson and Cooper as well as a several undated colored drawings on tracing paper for unnamed houses, signed by Nelson and Cooper. These may yet be identified further. How the two men divided the firm's work is not established. It is likely that some buildings generally credited to one man or the other were from the firm of Nelson and Cooper. For additional information and building lists see biographical entries on each of the principals. Note: Some accounts suggest that Nelson and Cooper established their partnership in the early or mid-1910s, but this is not correct.

Author: Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2014

Building List

Leazar Hall (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1912

Contributors:
Dates: 1912; ca. 1922 [additions]; 1945 [additions]; 1947 [additions]
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Burton F. Beers and Murray Scott Downs, North Carolina State University: A Pictorial History (1986).
  • Facility Coordinators, http://www.ncsu.edu/facilities/buildings/.
  • Marguerite E. Schumann, Strolling at State: A Walking Guide to North Carolina State University (1973).
Note:

Ross Edward Shumaker designed the building's east balconies.

Leazar Hall

Ricks Hall (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1922

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1922
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • Marguerite E. Schumann, Strolling at State: A Walking Guide to North Carolina State University (1973).

State Agriculture Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1922

Contributors:
Dates: 1922-1923
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2 W. Edenton St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Public

State Agriculture Building

Thomas Ruffin House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1932

Contributors:
Dates: Ca. 1932
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 1001 Harvey St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

Nathaniel A. Dunn House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1929

Variant Name(s):
  • N. A. Dunn House
Contributors:
Dates: 1929-1930
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 1105 Cowper Dr., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Houses By Coffey, Charlotte Vestal Brown Papers, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Note:

Nelson and Cooper's blueprints, dated 1929, for the Nathaniel A. Dunn House are in the Coffey Family Papers, Special Collections Research Center, NCSU Libraries. It is a characteristic example of the Georgian Revival style residences prevalent in Hayes Barton. The blueprints are the only set by Nelson and Cooper identified thus far.

William Proctor House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1932

Contributors:
Dates: 1932
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 1521 Jarvis St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Houses By Coffey, Charlotte Vestal Brown Papers, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.

David F. Cannon House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1938

Contributors:
Dates: 1938
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: 2613 White Oak Rd., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Houses By Coffey, Charlotte Vestal Brown Papers, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Syme Hall (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1916

Variant Name(s):
  • South Hall
Contributors:
Dates: 1916; 1922 [additions]
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

Further research is required to ascertain the authorship of this substantial dormitory. It has been credited to Nelson and Cooper with the original section described as built in 1916 plus additions in 1922, which have been cited to Hobart Upjohn. It is unlikely that Nelson or Nelson and Cooper were involved in the 1916 portion, since their partnership was not formed until 1920 or 1921, and there is no record of Nelson's presence in Raleigh as early as 1916.

J. Deryl Hart House (Durham, Durham County)

Durham Durham

1934

Contributors:
Dates: 1934
Location: Durham, Durham County
Street Address: 2324 Duke University Rd., Durham, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

Dr. Hart came to Duke as head of surgery and later became president of Duke University. In recent years the large Tudor Revival residence has been the home of Duke President Richard Brodhead. The architect for the house has been identified both as Nelson and Cooper and Nelson alone. Records of its construction are in Dr. Hart's papers at Duke University.

Nelson and Cooper's Work Locations

Text Only

Brought to you by The NCSU Libraries and The NCSU Libraries Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center.

Please contact us with any additions, corrections, or updates.

Giving to the Libraries