Hartmann, Charles C. (1889-1977)

Charles Conrad Hartmann (1889-December 31, 1977), architect, moved from New York to Greensboro in 1921 to design the Jefferson Standard Building and established a prolific and long-lasting practice. In the mid-1940s he formed the practice of Charles C. Hartmann, Architects, with his son Charles C. Hartmann, Jr., a firm herein referred to as Hartmann and Hartmann; his post World War II work is discussed as part of that firm.

Charles C. Hartmann was born in New York, the son of Swiss and German immigrant parents. He recalled in a 1975 interview that as a youth he aspired to be an artist, but his father, a Swiss naval engineer, convinced him to devote his artistic abilities to a more practical profession. In 1905 he became an apprentice in the New York architectural firm of Warren and Wetmore, assisting in the design of Grand Central Terminal’s main lobby ceiling and working on other aspects of that project. He also worked for the renowned firm of McKim, Mead and White in the evenings, designing a drop curtain for the Havana Opera House and other interior elements for a theater and a church.

In 1907 Hartmann began work as a draftsman for noted New York architect Charles E. Birge and studied in the evenings in one of many Beaux-Arts ateliers sponsored by New York architects. He went to Boston to take architectural courses at Boston Tech (MIT), but did not enroll in a degree program. He returned to New York about 1913 to work for William Lee Stoddart, whose firm specialized in hotels across the country. Hartmann moved up from draftsman to associate partner before he left the firm in 1921. In the late 1910s, Hartmann began to visit North Carolina to supervise progress of two Stoddart commissions for which he was chief designer: the Sheraton Hotel in High Point and the O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro.

Hartmann impressed the Greensboro business community, and in 1921 Julian Price, financier and vice-president of Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, sent J. E. Latham, a member of the company’s board, to New York to invite the young architect to come to Greensboro. He promised him the prize commission for a $2.5 million office building that would be headquarters for the firm, with the condition that Hartmann open a permanent practice in Greensboro. Hartmann accepted the offer and opened his office in Greensboro in 1921, which operated until his retirement in 1966. He later commented that the lack of wealthy contacts in New York was a major factor in his decision to move to Greensboro. He found in Greensboro a small but active architectural professional community that included the prominent architect Harry Barton, who had moved to the city a decade earlier.

Hartmann’s inaugural project, the Jefferson Standard Building (1921-1923) was one of the largest and most prestigious commissions in the state at the time. The 17-story, twin-towered skyscraper was the tallest in the South at its completion in 1923—a magnificent Beaux-Arts composition combining classical, Gothic Revival, and Art Deco motifs in pale granite and terra cotta that instantly became an icon of Greensboro. Its construction placed Hartmann in an advantageous position in a rapidly growing region.

He soon gained commissions for major office buildings, banks, and other structures from High Point and Burlington to Wilson and Fayetteville. These were primarily of classical and Art Deco design, and many were the first or tallest skyscrapers in their communities. One of Hartmann’s favorites was the neoclassical, granite-faced Cumberland National Bank (1923-1926) in Fayetteville, which features a classical shaft above a base of Ionic columns, an order that relates it to the nearby antebellum Market House. In the late 1920s he introduced Art Deco motifs at the First National Bank of Wilson and the Atlantic Bank & Trust Company Building in Burlington, the latter a skyscraper locally admired for its “advanced ideas in this type architecture.” In Greensboro’s F.W. Woolworth Building, Hartmann blended Art Deco and classical elements in elegant street façades; the building is best known as a landmark in the American Civil Rights movement as the site of the student sit-ins that began Feb. 1, 1960.

Hartmann’s firm also participated in the statewide school building campaign of the 1920s, planning flagship public school buildings such as Greensboro High School and Brooks Elementary School, known as the “million dollar school” (for white students), and James B. Dudley High School (for black students), combining classical, medieval, and modernist styles.

In contrast to his commercial and institutional work, Hartmann planned residences in picturesque modes that featured natural materials. He was instrumental in shaping the development of Irving Park, an elite suburb of Greensboro, where he designed 20 residences, of which only a few have been identified. For his patron, Jefferson Standard president Julian Price, he designed Hillside (1928-1929), a luxurious suburban residence in towered Tudor Revival style, which he planned soon after designing a much smaller Tudor Revival house for Price’s secretary Mary R. Taylor. In a departure from formality, for Blue Bell Overall Company president C. C. Hudson he created a massive, dramatically horizontal, log bungalow, Idlewood (late 1920s), which was dismantled in 1994.

Hartmann maintained an office in Greensboro for the rest of his long and prolific career, becoming one of the state’s leading architects between the World Wars. His firm planned at least 50 major buildings between 1922 and 1946. Unlike many, his firm stayed busy during the 1930s, averaging $1 million worth of construction per year even during the Great Depression. His work in this period included schools, hospitals, and apartment houses, such as the Country Club Apartments in Greensboro, which followed the newly popular “super block” layout.

After a drop in output during World War II, by 1946 Hartmann brought his son, Charles C. Hartmann, Jr., into the business as Charles C. Hartmann, Architects, or Hartmann and Hartmann. The elder Hartmann continued as a principal in the firm until he retired in the 1960s. Hartmann and Hartmann’s postwar projects included many financial institutions, schools, housing projects, commercial buildings, religious buildings, industrial buildings, and office buildings.

A leader in his profession, Charles C. Hartmann, Sr., was a member of both the North Carolina Architectural Association, serving as its president, and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. In 1920, he had been licensed to practice architecture in North Carolina with certificate #112. In 1941 he was president of the NCAA and secretary-treasurer of the NCAIA. He played a key role in the unification of the two organizations in the 1940s. He was also a member of the national American Institute of Architects. Locally, he was active in community organizations, including the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the City of Greensboro Board of Building Appeals, director of Greensboro Lions Club, member of the Rotary Club, Country Club, Manufacturer’s Club, Knights Templar Masons, Shriners. Hartmann also employed and encouraged other young architects, including Edward Loewenstein, who became one of Greensboro’s leading modernist designers in the postwar era.

  • Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).
  • Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
  • Catherine W. Bishir, Michael T. Southern, and Jennifer F. Martin, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina (1999).
  • Charlotte Vestal Brown Papers, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).
  • Carolina Architecture and Allied Arts: A Pictorial Review of Carolina’s Representative Architecture (1942).
  • Charles C. Hartmann, Architects, undated booklet ca. 1962, Charlotte V. Brown Collection, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Charles Hartmann Drawings, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • C. David Jackson and Charlotte V. Brown, History of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1913-1998 (1998).
  • Ruth Little-Stokes and H. McKeldon Smith, interview with Charles C. Hartmann, Oct. 23, 1975, notes in Charlotte V. Brown Collection, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • North Carolina Board of Architecture, Record Book 1915-1992, microfilmed by North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • H. McKelden Smith, Architectural Resources: An Inventory of Historic Architecture, High Point, Jamestown, Gibsonville, Guilford County (1979).
Sort Building List by:
  • Alamance Hotel

    Contributors:
    J. E. Beaman, contractor; Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1923-1925

    Location:
    Burlington, Alamance County
    Street Address:

    514 S. Main St., Burlington, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    Allison Harris Black, An Architectural History of Burlington, North Carolina (1987).


  • Annie Merner Pfeiffer Hall

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1934

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    Bennett College Campus, Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Educational


  • Atlantic Bank & Trust Company Building

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect; J.R. Owen & Son, contractor
    Dates:

    1928-1929

    Location:
    Burlington, Alamance County
    Street Address:

    58 S. Main St., Burlington, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
    Allison Harris Black, An Architectural History of Burlington, North Carolina (1987).

    Note:

    Charles C. Hartmann’s drawings for the Atlantic Bank and Trust Company Building are in the collection of the Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.


  • Babies Hospital

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect; George W. Kane, builder
    Dates:

    1927

    Location:
    Wrightsville, New Hanover County
    Street Address:

    Wrightsville, NC

    Status:

    No longer standing

    Type:

    Health Care


  • Bank of North Wilkesboro

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Benton, Sr., attributed architect; Charles C. Hartmann, attributed architect
    Dates:

    1923

    Location:
    North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County
    Street Address:

    832 Main (formerly B) St., North Wilkesboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    Catherine W. Bishir, Michael T. Southern, and Jennifer F. Martin, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina (1999).

    Note:

    Showing the period’s favored bank format with a Doric columned portico in antis, this bank has been cited both to Benton and Benton and to Charles C. Hartmann. The bank currently serves as the town hall. In 1923 the Manufacturers’ Record reported that C. C. Hartmann had designed for the Bank of North Wilkesboro an office and store to cost $60-$70,000 and to be located at B and 9th St. in North Wilkesboro. Other sources cite the bank, and possibly the neighboring hotel, to Benton and Benton. Further information may come to light to clarify the authorship of these two notable buildings.


  • Baxter S. Sellars House

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1927

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    111 West Bessemer Ave., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • Canary Cottage

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1927

    Location:
    Sedalia, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    Charlotte Hawkins Brown State Historic Site, Palmer Memorial Institute, US 70 at SR 3034, Sedalia, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Tracy Burns-Vann and Andre Vann, Sedalia and the Palmer Memorial Institute (2004).

    Note:

    At the school for black students established by Charlotte Hawkins Brown, her personal residence, called “Canary Cottage” was designed by Hartmann in “Dutch Colonial” style and was furnished to show students “practical ideas on interior decoration.”


  • Central Carolina Convalescent Hospital

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect; Edward Loewenstein, architect
    Dates:

    1949-1950

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    4001 E Bessemer Ave., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Health Care


  • Central Fire Station

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1928

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    318 N. Greene St., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Public

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • City Memorial Hospital and Nurses Home

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1920s

    Location:
    Thomasville, Davidson County
    Street Address:

    Thomasville, NC

    Status:

    Unknown

    Type:

    Health Care


  • Commercial National Bank

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect; William Holleyman, architect
    Dates:

    1921-1924

    Location:
    High Point, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    164 S. Main St., High Point, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    Benjamin Briggs, The Architecture of High Point, North Carolina: A History and Guide to the City’s Houses, Churches and Public Buildings (2008).
    H. McKelden Smith, Architectural Resources: An Inventory of Historic Architecture, High Point, Jamestown, Gibsonville, Guilford County (1979).

    Note:

    Architect Holleyman was associated with Hartmann during the latter’s commission for this project, High Point’s premier early 20th century skyscraper.


  • Country Club Apartments

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1938

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    N. Elm St. and Sunset Cir., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • Cumberland National Bank

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Variant Name(s):

    First Citizens Bank

    Dates:

    1923-1926

    Location:
    Fayetteville, Cumberland County
    Street Address:

    100 Hay St., Fayetteville, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).


  • Daily Record Building

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    Ca. 1930s

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    222 N. Greene St., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Unknown

    Type:

    Commercial


  • Daniel Efird Rhyne Memorial Building

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1928

    Location:
    Hickory, Catawba County
    Street Address:

    Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Educational


  • Dudley Memorial Building

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1930

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Campus, Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Educational

    Images Puslished In:

    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • F.W. Woolworth Building

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1929

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    132 S. Elm St., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • First National Bank of Wilson

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Variant Name(s):

    Wilson County Office Building

    Dates:

    1924-1926

    Location:
    Wilson, Wilson County
    Street Address:

    113 E. Nash St., Wilson, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    Kate Ohno and Robert C. Bainbridge, Wilson, North Carolina, Historic Buildings Inventory (1980).


  • Greensboro Bank and Trust

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Variant Name(s):

    Guilford Building

    Dates:

    1927

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    301 S. Elm St., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • Greensboro High School and Brooks Elementary School

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Variant Name(s):

    Grimsley High School

    Dates:

    1929

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    801 Westover Terrace, Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Educational

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • Hillside

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect; George W. Kane, builder
    Variant Name(s):

    Julian Price House

    Dates:

    1928-1929

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    301 Fisher Park Cir., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • Hotel Charles and First National Bank

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Variant Name(s):

    Charles Blanton Hotel

    Dates:

    1929

    Location:
    Shelby, Cleveland County
    Street Address:

    Warren St., Shelby, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Note:

    After the old Blanton Building, containing a bank and a hotel, burned in 1928, it was remodeled as the Hotel Charles and First National Bank, with the hotel named for Charles Blanton. In a list of Hartmann’s works it was called the Charles Blanton Hotel, 1929.


  • Hotel Hickory

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1920s

    Location:
    Hickory, Catawba County
    Street Address:

    Hickory, NC

    Status:

    No longer standing

    Type:

    Commercial


  • Idlewood

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Variant Name(s):

    C. C. Hudson House

    Dates:

    1920s

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    1809 Independence Rd., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    No longer standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).

    Note:

    Because the site was to be redeveloped, the house was dismantled and reconstructed near Snow Camp, N.C., with minor alterations.


  • James B. Dudley High School

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1929

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    Lincoln St., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Educational

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • Jefferson Standard Building

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Variant Name(s):

    Jefferson-Pilot Building

    Dates:

    1921-1923

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    N. Elm St. at Market St., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).
    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • L. Richardson Memorial Hospital

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1927

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    603 S. Benbow Rd., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Health Care

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • Mary E. Taylor House

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1924

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    104 Elmwood Dr., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • Morrison Hall

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1924

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Campus, Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Educational

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • O. Henry Hotel

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, supervising architect; William Lee Stoddart, architect
    Dates:

    1918-1919

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    101 Bellemeade St. at N. Elm St., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    No longer standing

    Type:

    Commercial


  • Person County Courthouse

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1930

    Location:
    Roxboro, Person County
    Street Address:

    Courthouse Square, Roxboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Public

    Images Puslished In:

    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).


  • Proximity School

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1928

    Location:
    Greensboro, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    1401 Summit Ave., Greensboro, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Educational

    Images Puslished In:

    Marvin A. Brown, Greensboro: An Architectural Record (1995).


  • Rowan Memorial Hospital

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect
    Dates:

    1938

    Location:
    Salisbury, Rowan County
    Street Address:

    Salisbury, NC

    Status:

    Unknown

    Type:

    Health Care

    Images Puslished In:

    Carolina Architecture and Allied Arts: A Pictorial Review of Carolina’s Representative Architecture (1942).


  • Sheraton Hotel

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, supervising architect; William Lee Stoddart, architect
    Dates:

    1921

    Location:
    High Point, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    400 N. Main St., High Point, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    H. McKelden Smith, Architectural Resources: An Inventory of Historic Architecture, High Point, Jamestown, Gibsonville, Guilford County (1979).


  • Wesley Memorial Methodist Church Chapel and Education Building

    Contributors:
    Charles C. Hartmann, architect; Harold E. Wagoner, consulting architect
    Dates:

    Ca. 1958-1960

    Location:
    High Point, Guilford County
    Street Address:

    1225 Chestnut Dr., High Point, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Religious


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