Mecklenburg County Courthouse (1844-1845)

Henry C. Owens, builder


Charlotte, Mecklenburg County
Street Address:

NE corner W. Trade and Church Sts.


No longer standing



Images Published In:

Mary Kratt and Mary Manning Boyer, _Remembering Charlotte: Postcards from a New South City, 1905-1950, (2000).


A report from a visitor to Charlotte in 1845, published in the Wilmington Journal of May 30, 1845, identified the builder of the courthouse and jail as H. C. Owens. The courthouse project had been a slow process. The Mecklenburg Jeffersonian of January 18, 1842 and subsequent issues carried a notice requesting proposals to build in Charlotte a fireproof courthouse to be 56 by 42 feet, two stories tall, of brick on a granite base. The “basement story” was to have a central passage flanked by three offices on each side, and the second story was to contain a courtroom, two jury rooms, and a “stand for the Sheriff.” “It is desirable that the house should be built and arranged according to the most modern and improved style.” In April, 1843 the board of commissioners was seeking a lot for the new courthouse. The edifice was completed by April, 1845, when the Mecklenburg Jeffersonian reported that a bishop from Charleston had preached “in the new Courthouse in this place.” As shown in an old postcard, it was a temple-form building (like many others of its era) with a projecting portico sheltering a double stair that rose to the principal story. The courthouse was razed in 1905 and some of its bricks reused to build the Selwyn Hotel on its site.