North Carolina Architects and Builders - A Biographical Dictionary

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Pearson, Charles A. (1875-1966)

Birthplace: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Residences:
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
Trades:
  • Architect
NC Work Locations:
  • Haw River, Alamance County
  • Alamance
  • Durham, Durham County
  • Durham
  • Carthage, Moore County
  • Moore
  • Rocky Mount, Nash County
  • Nash
  • Chapel Hill, Orange County
  • Orange
  • Red Springs, Robeson County
  • Robeson
  • Fuquay-Varina, Wake County
  • Wake
  • Raleigh, Wake County
  • Wake
Building Types:
  • Educational;
  • Public;
  • Residential
Styles & Forms:
  • Colonial Revival;
  • Queen Anne;
  • Romanesque Revival

Methodist Orphanage Main Building [Raleigh]

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Methodist Orphanage Main Building [Raleigh]

Biography

Charles A. Pearson (Oct. 24, 1875-July 26, 1966), a native of Asheville, spent the early years of his long career a partner with Thomas M. Ashe in the Raleigh firm of Pearson and Ashe. After Ashe's death in mid-1900, Pearson strove to keep the business going. In December, 1900, he was elected secretary and treasurer of the newly formed Southeastern Architectural League at its meeting in Charlotte. During 1901 he made plans for a few buildings, which he announced in the Manufacturers' Record.

He left Raleigh in 1901 and worked in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and North Carolina in railroad construction and as a civil engineer. In 1925 he served as inspector of construction for the new campus of Meredith College in Raleigh. From 1934 to 1948, Pearson worked for the engineering firm of William C. Olsen in Raleigh, supervising the construction of water and sewage treatment projects in various towns in the state. He then moved to Charlotte, where he worked for J. N. Pease and Company from 1950 to 1956, when he retired at the age of 81. It is not known how Pearson and Ashe divided the work during their partnership; buildings believed to have been designed into 1900 are credited to the firm in the building list for that entry. Those dating later than 1900 are credited solely to Pearson.

Author: William B. Bushong. Updates: Angela Clifton and Catherine W. Bishir.

Published 2014

Building List

Eagle Hotel (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1812

Variant Name(s):
  • State Agriculture Building;
  • Guion Hotel;
  • National Hotel
Contributors:
Dates: 1812; 1870; 1883 [remodeled]; 1899-1900 [addition]
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: NW corner Edenton St. and Halifax St., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Commercial;
  • Public
Images Published In:
  • William B. Bushong, "A. G. Bauer, North Carolina's New South Architect," North Carolina Historical Review, 60.3 (July 1983).
  • Elizabeth C. Waugh, North Carolina's Capital, Raleigh (1967).
Note:

The hotel facing the North Carolina State Capitol was built for Charles Parish and began operation in 1812 as the Eagle Hotel, and operated under various names over the years. It was considered Raleigh's finest hotel for years. By 1870, it had been expanded into a large brick building with double porches. In 1883 it was remodeled by A. G. Bauer to house state offices, and it was headquarters of the state's agricultural department. It was expanded dramatically in 1899-1900; the News and Observer of August 24, 1899, cited the State Agriculture Building then under construction as the work of Pearson and Ashe. In 1896 it appeared on the Sanborn Map as the State Agriculture Building and State Museum, and by 1903 (Sanborn Map), it had an immense addition that extended down Halifax Street and around the corner on Jones Street. That building was razed to build the current Agriculture Building (1922-1923) by G. Murray Nelson and Thomas Wright Cooper.

Carr Building (Chapel Hill, Orange County)

Orange Chapel Hill

1899

Contributors:
Dates: 1899-1900
Location: Chapel Hill, Orange County
Street Address: University of North Carolina Campus, Chapel Hill, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Images Published In:
  • John V. Allcott, The Campus at Chapel Hill: Two Hundred Years of Architecture (1986).
  • M. Ruth Little, The Town and Gown Architecture of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1795-1975 (2006).
Note:

According to M. Ruth Little in The Town and Gown Architecture of Chapel Hill, this was the first building at the university built to function solely as a dormitory. The postcard shows the white Carr Building and Bynum Gymnasium (see Frank Pierce Milburn).

Methodist Orphanage Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1900

Contributors:
Dates: 1900
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Institutional

Meredith College Quadrangle and Development Plan (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1920

Contributors:
Dates: 1920s
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Meredith College Campus, Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

The Manufacturers' Record (Oct. 9, 1924 and Nov. 6, 1924) and cornerstones at Meredith College cite Wilson's role in the design.

First Presbyterian Church (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1897

Contributors:
Dates: 1897-1900
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: SW corner Salisbury St. and Morgan St., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Religious
Images Published In:
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Elizabeth C. Waugh, North Carolina's Capital, Raleigh (1967).
Note:

With its bold tower oriented to its prominent corner site, the church features rounded arches and forms evocative of Romanesque Revival and Germanic influences. It has been updated and expanded over the years but maintains its original architectural presence.

First Presbyterian Church

J. Beale Johnson House (Fuquay-Varina, Wake County)

Wake Fuquay-Varina

1906

Contributors:
Dates: ca. 1906
Location: Fuquay-Varina, Wake County
Street Address: 6321 Johnson Pond Rd., Fuquay-Varina vicinity, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential
Images Published In:
  • Kelly A. Lally, The Historic Architecture of Wake County, North Carolina (1994).
Note:

The large farmhouse in the variation of the Colonial Revival style called the Southern Colonial features an imposing Doric portico.

Methodist Orphanage Main Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1901

Contributors:
Dates: 1901
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Educational

Methodist Orphanage Main Building

S. A. Vest House (Haw River, Alamance County)

Alamance Haw River

1896

Contributors:
Dates: ca. 1896
Location: Haw River, Alamance County
Street Address: E. Main St., Haw River, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Residential

Block of Residences for J. S. Carr (Durham, Durham County)

Durham Durham

1900

Contributors:
Dates: ca. 1900
Location: Durham, Durham County
Street Address: Durham, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The residential block was designed for Julian Carr, one of Durham's leading industrialists.

R. L. Huffines House (Rocky Mount, Nash County)

Nash Rocky Mount

1900

Contributors:
Dates: ca. 1900
Location: Rocky Mount, Nash County
Street Address: Rocky Mount, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential

W. T. Jones House (Carthage, Moore County)

Moore Carthage

1897

Contributors:
Dates: 1897
Location: Carthage, Moore County
Street Address: 301 McReynolds St., Carthage, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The ornate Queen Anne style house on the premier residential avenue was built for the president of the Tyson and Jones Buggy Company, an important local industry.

Zeta Psi Fraternity House (Chapel Hill, Orange County)

Orange Chapel Hill

1900

Contributors:
Dates: ca. 1900
Location: Chapel Hill, Orange County
Street Address: Chapel Hill, NC
Status: No longer standing
Type:
  • Residential

Mrs. B. S. McMillan House (Red Springs, Robeson County)

Robeson Red Springs

1900

Contributors:
Dates: ca. 1900
Location: Red Springs, Robeson County
Street Address: Red Springs, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

This might be the Dr. B. F. McMillan House at 110 E. 2nd Ave., ca. 1900, a frame Queen Anne style house with conical towers.

Primrose Hall (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1896

Contributors:
Dates: 1896
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

University records indicate that a "Mr. Pearson" had drawn plans for the picturesque, brick horticulture building; this was likely Charles A. Pearson when he was associated with Ashe.

Borden Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1900

Variant Name(s):
  • Methodist Orphanage
Contributors:
Dates: 1900
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Fletcher Park, Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
Status: Standing
Type:
  • Educational
Note:

The Borden Building, among the first built at the Methodist Orphanage, still stands. Most of the initial buildings at that institution, including the Methodist Orphanage Main Building (1901) planned by Pearson, have been razed.

Carrie C. Strong House (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1900

Contributors:
Dates: ca. 1900
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Raleigh, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Residential
Note:

The identity of this house is uncertain. It may have been the Strong-Young House at 630 N. Blount St. (no longer standing), a "Southern Colonial" design with portico said to have been built about 1898.

North Carolina Home Insurance Building (Raleigh, Wake County)

Wake Raleigh

1899

Contributors:
Dates: 1899
Location: Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address: Raleigh, NC
Status: Unknown
Type:
  • Commercial

Charles A. Pearson's Work Locations

Bibliography

  • "J. Beale Johnson House," National Register of Historic Places nomination (1991).
  • News and Observer, Aug. 24, 1899; July 12, 1900.
  • Charles A. Pearson Papers, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Raleigh Morning Post, July 11, 1900.
  • Wilmington Messenger, Dec. 1, 1900.
  • Wilmington Star, Dec. 29, 1900.
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