715 Providence Rd., Charlotte, NC
The picturesque, asymmetrical villa features a central entrance tower, arched openings, stuccoed walls, and a tile roof. It was built for William Ayers and Blanche Morgan Reynolds. Alice (Alyce) Blanche Morgan was a native of North Carolina and the daughter of Samuel T. and Sarah Morgan. Known as a woman of “refinement, aristocratic tastes, and an independent spirit,” she spent much of her youth in Richmond, and her sister Maude continued to reside there. In 1904 in Richmond Blanche married William A. Reynolds an executive with the Southern Cotton Oil Company. Some accounts state that the villa was built for Blanche and her second husband, Alexis Gourmajenko. However, on October 2, 2013, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission staff “received a call from Rosalie Reynolds, the Granddaughter of Blanche and William Reynolds, informing them that William and Blanche built the house together and construction ended in 1928. Mr. Reynolds died shortly thereafter in August of 1928.” In 1934 Blanche met Alexis Gourmajenko, a Russian émigré, whom she married shortly thereafter in Manhattan. For several years “The Villa” has contained a restaurant.