Nicholson, Lewis (fl. 1810s)




  • Builder

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Lewis Nicholson (fl. 1810s) was the builder of the State Bank (1814) in Raleigh, one of the oldest buildings in the capital and one of the few surviving early 19th century commercial buildings in the state. The Flemish bond brick building combined a bank on the first floor with the banker’s residence above. In 1812, the bank building committee advertised for bidders to erect the 2-story brick structure. Nicholson’s role as builder is known only because he ran into financial trouble and advertised in the Raleigh Star in 1815 that, having built the State Bank, he was “poor as a church mouse” and intended to declare bankruptcy. Among those he owed were artisans who were probably subcontractors—plasterer Henry Gorman s(see Gorman Family) and carpenters William Jones and Edmund Lane. Evidently the problems were resolved, Nicholson regained his business, and in 1818 and 1820 he advertised for his runaway carpenter’s apprentice, Ellworth Vandygrift. His subsequent career is unknown.

  • Elizabeth Reid Murray, Wake: Capital County of North Carolina, Vol. I, Prehistory through Centennial (1983).
  • Raleigh Register, June 26, 1812.
  • Raleigh Star, Aug. 25, 1815; Sept. 1, 1815; Sept. 18, 1818; Mar. 17, 1820.
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  • State Bank

    Lewis Nicholson, builder


    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:

    123 New Bern Ave., Raleigh, NC





    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).

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