Linthicum, Hill C. (1860-1919)
- Henderson, North Carolina
- Durham, North Carolina
Styles & Forms:
Colonial Revival; Gothic Revival; Neoclassical Revival; Queen Anne
Hill Carter Linthicum (1860-1919) was a Virginia-born architect who moved to North Carolina as a youth and had a prolific architectural practice that encompassed several North Carolina communities. He practiced for a time with his son, H. Colvin Linthicum (1886-1952) as Linthicum and Linthicum. Linthicum took a strong role in establishing the architectural profession in North Carolina in the early years of the 20th century through the American Institute of Architects and the architectural licensing act.
Grounded in a tradition of family employment in the building trades in the upper South, Hill C. Linthicum was the son of Susan Carter and William H. Linthicum (1818-1886), a builder in Virginia and later in Durham, North Carolina. Little is known of William’s early activities, but he was evidently part of the construction firm of William H. and Thomas Linthicum, founded in Danville, Virginia in 1850, which erected buildings in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. By the late 19th century, William was involved in the tobacco era building boom in Durham, North Carolina, where his firm was credited with constructing such key buildings as the W. Duke & Sons Company Cigarette Factory (1884); the E. J. Parrish Warehouse (1887); store buildings for M.C. Herndon, W.T. Blackwell, and Slater and Halliberton; and the Durham Baptist Church (1887).
Hill C. Linthicum was educated at Danville Military Academy and studied architecture in Baltimore. He joined his father’s contracting business in 1878 and thereby gained expertise in practical building and business methods. In the early 1880s he married Elizabeth Freeborn, a native of Canada, and settled in Henderson, North Carolina, where he and later his son H. Colvin designed several buildings over the next few decades, including his own house in 1883. Judging from the numerous building starts of houses and stores reported in the Manufacturers’ Record, by the early 1890s Linthicum was enjoying a prolific practice in Winston (later part of Winston-Salem). The journal listed in 1891 several commissions from leading citizens of the growing tobacco city, including residences for Thomas Farrow, V. W. Long, John Young, D. L. Devane, H. Poindexter, C. C. Vaughn, Cicero Tise and M. W. Norfleet, plus designs for the Christian Church, King’s Daughters Dormitory, and the Tise and Wilson stores. Of these, the Edgar Vaughn House and the H. Poindexter House are believed to be the only surviving examples of his work in Winston-Salem. Further information is needed on his other projects in the city.
At the turn of the century, Hill C. Linthicum had sufficient work in Durham to open an office there. References to his projects in the Manufacturers’ Record cite him as Hill C. Linthicum of Durham as early as 1904. His known buildings in this period include a 1904 residence for a cotton mill superintendent, the Jesse H. Erwin House on Pettigrew Street in Durham, and the Confederate Memorial Auditorium in the eastern North Carolina town of Hertford in 1906. He contributed notices regularly to the Manufacturers’ Record during the first decade of the 20th century. (See note on Manufacturers’ Record at the end of this entry.)
After his move to Durham, Hill C. Linthicum engaged actively in promoting professionalization for North Carolina architects. He became an early member of the North Carolina Architectural Association (established in 1906) and served as its vice president in 1911 and president in 1912. Most important, he took a central role in founding the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, working with AIA executive secretary Glenn Brown to organize the chapter in 1911 and 1912. Linthicum along with Louis H. Asbury, Richard Sharp Smith, Willard C. Northup (see Northup and O’Brien), and Garland Rose were the five AIA members who met on September 16, 1913, to form the North Carolina chapter. On September 17, it was Linthicum who wrote to Brown to report that “last night in Greensboro” the chapter was “duly organized,” and to send the documents to apply for the chapter’s membership in the AIA. As he wrote to the AIA, “We have only 5 institute members and 7 chapter members. We are a baby chapter.” Linthicum became its first president, with Louis H. Asbury vice president and Willard C. Northup secretary-treasurer. Linthicum also became a devoted advocate of the state bill to require licensing of architects, working along with Asheville architect William H. Lord and others to frame the licensing act and gain its approval from the state legislature in 1915.
Meanwhile, in 1912, Hill’s son, H. Colvin Linthicum, joined his father’s office as a draftsman after completing his architectural education at the University of Pennsylvania. He had attended preparatory schools in North Carolina, including Oak Ridge Military Academy and Bingham Institute. He also attended Smithdeal Business College in Richmond, Virginia, before deciding on a career in architecture. In 1915, the two Linthicums were among the first architects in North Carolina to gain their licenses after passage of the licensing act in 1915. H. C. Linthicum’s certificate was #23, and Hill C. Linthicum’s was #24, both obtained in the 1915 group of men granted licenses because they had been in professional practice prior to that year. In 1918 the younger Linthicum became a full partner in the firm; he continued the business alone after Hill C. Linthicum’s death in Durham on October 6, 1919.
Note: The Manufacturers’ Record of 1901-1909 contains many references to projects planned by Hill C. Linthicum for which no confirmation has yet been made. If additional information is obtained about locations, status, etc., these can be added to the building list. These include the following: Blanche Briggs Residence, Durham, MR 1/18/1904; St. Paul’s Methodist Edifice, Goldsboro, 2/18/1904; Presbyterian Edifice, Rowland, MR 2/18/1904; Presbyterian Edifice, Sparta, MR 2/18/1904; High School Building, Durham, MR 6/29/1905; John M. Manning Residence, Durham, MR 11/30/1905; Opera House for T. G. Skinner, Elizabeth City, MR 2/8/1906; Hawkin and Fitzgerald Store Building, Henderson, MR 4/5/1906; Theater, Henderson, 4/19/1906; First Baptist Edifice (North Durham), Durham, 7/5/1906; St. Joseph A. M. E. Edifice Remodeling, Durham, MR 6/6/1907; W. D. Hester Store, Durham, MR 6/13/1907; T. L. Setzer Residence, Durham, MR 6/27/1907; Bank of Henderson Building, Henderson, MR 7/27/1907; YMCA, Durham, MR 9/19/1907; Trinity Methodist Church (Remodeling), Durham, 9/19/1907; Dr. E. C. Brooks House, Durham, 10/10/1907; Presbyterian Edifice, Dunn, MR 11/7/1907; Vance County Courthouse Enlargement and Improvement, Henderson, MR 1/16/1908; R. L. Bellamy House, Durham, 3/19/1908; School Building, Winston-Salem, MR 4/2/1908; School Building, Creedmore, MR 5/14/1908; Municipal Building, Henderson, MR 8/27/1908; Durham County Courthouse and City Market to replace burned, Durham, MR 3/18/1909; T. M. Gorman House, Durham, MR 5/27/1909; White Rock Baptist Church, Durham, MR 7/29/1909; St.Joseph A. M. Church Improvement, 7/29/1909; Business Block, B. L. Duke, Durham, MR 9/16/1909. Linthicum and Rose, Graded and High School Building, Oxford, MR 5/26/1910.
- Catherine W. Bishir, Charlotte V. Brown, Carl R. Lounsbury, and Ernest H. Wood III, Architects and Builders in North Carolina: A History of the Practice of Building (1990).
- C. David Jackson and Charlotte V. Brown, History of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1913-1998 (1998).
- Manufacturers’ Record, Sept. 17, 1887; June 6, 1891; June 27, 1891; July 18, 1891; July 25, 1891; Aug. 15, 1891; Dec. 19, 1891; Aug. 12, 1892; Aug. 26, 1892; Dec. 9, 1892; Jan. 17, 1896.
- Michelle Ann Michael, “The Rise of the Regional Architect in North Carolina as Seen Through the Manufacturers’ Record, 1890-1910,” M.H.P. thesis, University of Georgia (1994).
- North Carolina Chapter Collections, American Institute of Architects Archives, Washington, D.C.
- William Reaves Files, New Hanover County Public Library, Wilmington, North Carolina.
- Claudia P. Roberts (Brown) and Diane E. Lea, The Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory (1982).
- Henry F. Withey and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (1970).
- Dates:1900Location:Henderson, Vance CountyStreet Address:335 E. Montgomery St., Henderson, NCStatus:StandingType:ResidentialImages Puslished In:Ann Melanie Murphy, An Inventory of Historic Architecture, Henderson, North Carolina (1979).
- Dates:1916Location:Durham, Durham CountyStreet Address:Durham, NCStatus:UnknownType:ResidentialNote:Specifications and certificate of payment to contractor W. A. Wilkerson and Sons are in North Carolina Buildings Collection, 1893-1990, Special Collections Research Center, NCSU Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Dates:1892-1895Location:Winston-Salem, Forsyth CountyStreet Address:1129 4th St., Winston-Salem, NCStatus:StandingType:ResidentialImages Puslished In:Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981).
- Dates:1892-1894Location:Forsyth CountyStreet Address:130 West End Blvd., Winston-Salem, NCStatus:MovedType:ResidentialImages Puslished In:Molly Grogan Rawls, Winston-Salem: Then and Now (2008).Note:The building was originally located at 506 W. Fifth St. It was moved to its current location in 1978.
- Dates:1901Location:Hertford, Perquimans CountyStreet Address:201 W. Market St., Hertford, NCStatus:StandingType:ReligiousImages Puslished In:Dru Gatewood Haley and Raymond A. Winslow, Jr., The Historic Architecture of Perquimans County, North Carolina (1982).
- Dates:1883Location:Henderson, Vance CountyStreet Address:710 Parham St., Henderson, NCStatus:StandingType:ResidentialImages Puslished In:Ann Melanie Murphy, An Inventory of Historic Architecture, Henderson, North Carolina (1979).
- Dates:1885Location:Henderson, Vance CountyStreet Address:210 S. Chestnut St., Henderson, NCStatus:StandingType:ReligiousImages Puslished In:Ann Melanie Murphy, An Inventory of Historic Architecture, Henderson, North Carolina (1979).
- Dates:1904Location:Durham, Durham CountyStreet Address:1507 Pettigrew St., Durham, NCStatus:MovedType:ResidentialImages Puslished In:Claudia P. Roberts (Brown) and Diane E. Lea, The Durham Architectural and Historic Inventory (1982).Note:The Erwin House was moved in the late 1980s one lot east to 108 Swift Ave. and rotated 180 degrees to face the E. K. Powe House.
- Contributors:Hill C. Linthicum, architect (1903)Dates:1893; 1903 [remodeled]Location:Troy, Montgomery CountyStreet Address:105 Blair St., Troy, NCStatus:StandingType:ResidentialNote:Blair hired Hill C. Linthicum to remodel his 1893 Queen Anne-style house in the Neoclassical Revival style. The redesign primarily affected the exterior.
- Contributors:Hill C. Linthicum, attributed architectDates:Ca. 1900Location:Hertford, Perquimans CountyStreet Address:308 N. Church St., Hertford, NCStatus:StandingType:ResidentialImages Puslished In:Dru Gatewood Haley and Raymond A. Winslow, Jr., The Historic Architecture of Perquimans County, North Carolina (1982).