Post, James F. (1818-1899)

Variant Name(s):

James Francis Post

Birthplace:

Fairfield, New Jersey, USA

Residences:

  • New Jersey
  • Petersburg, Virginia
  • Wilmington, North Carolina

Trades:

  • Carpenter/Joiner
  • Builder
  • Architect

Styles & Forms:

Gothic Revival; Greek Revival; Italianate; Queen Anne; Second Empire

James Francis Post (1818-July 15, 1899), a native of New Jersey, came to Wilmington by 1849 and became the city’s premier 19th century builder-architect during the years when Wilmington was the largest city in the state. He designed, built, or supervised construction of some of Wilmington’s most distinguished buildings, as well building many of the ordinary structures that shaped the overall character of the city. With his frequent associates, Robert B. Wood and John C. Wood (see Wood Brothers), Post gave the port city much of its distinctive Italianate architectural character. Post’s ledger, begun in Petersburg, Virginia, traces his work throughout much of his long career. (James F. Post Ledgers, Ida B. Kellam Archives, Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, Wilmington, North Carolina.)

Born in Fairfield, near Caldwell, New Jersey, Post moved south to Petersburg, Virginia where he married Mary Ann Russell on October 8, 1843, and where the couple had two children, Erastus (who died young) and Thomas. By September 1849 the Posts were in Wilmington where James, Jr. was born. Post may have been to drawn to Wilmington by the city’s building boom after completion of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad in 1840. Wilmington had become the most populous city in the state, and during the ensuing decades it grew rapidly, maintaining its status among the state’s cities until 1910.

Post obviously suited Wilmington’s needs as it grew in the 1850s. As his ledgers indicate, he promptly found work with prominent citizens such as the DeRosset and Wright families and with the town government. Some of his projects were small carpentry jobs for outbuildings now lost, such as a privy for George Myers (1854) and a kitchen for the Costin family (1855), various repairs and remodelings, and installing shelving or other items. Many projects, though, were for entire buildings. He also began taking commissions that drew upon his growing design skills. In 1850 he provided plans and specifications ($10) as well as constructing a building ($700) for L. A. Hart. And in time he simply provided designs and supervision in his role as architect.

Often Post worked as carpentry subcontractor to masons who took on large projects, such as Joseph Keen or Robert B. and John C. Wood. Post’s association with the Wood brothers produced several Italianate style buildings in the early 1850s, which did much to establish that style’s popularity in the city. Prime surviving examples are the Donald McRae House; the Duncan K. McRae House; the Zebulon Latimer House; and the Edward Savage House. The Woods and Post also collaborated on the New Hanover County Jail designed by Robert B. Wood in 1854, and on the large and elaborate City Hall-Thalian Hall, designed by New York theater architect John M. Trimble, to contain municipal chambers and a civic theater. There the Woods took the masonry contract, and Robert Wood also supplied a new design for the portico. James Post served as supervising architect, providing working drawings, and inspecting workmanship and materials. He earned $4 per day to a total of $3,500.

In the wake of the prestigious City Hall-Thalian Hall project, Post took on a commission for the large and costly Bellamy Mansion, built for Dr. John D. Bellamy and his family on the eve of the Civil War. Unique in the city for its grand colonnade of Corinthian columns akin to the portico of City Hall-Thalian Hall, according to family tradition its design was inspired by an idea from the eldest Bellamy daughter. Post assigned Rufus Bunnell, his young assistant architect and draftsman from Connecticut, to produce the drawings and inspect construction, and Bunnell recorded his experiences during the project, including his work with the black artisans such as carpentry contractor Elvin Artis.

In addition to documenting his scores of building projects (see building list), Post’s ledger and Bunnell’s recollections depict the activities of the 19th century builder in remarkable detail. Post adapted to the Southern way of life, using slave workers and participating in slave patrols. Although he apparently did not own slaves, he hired many, including Gerry Bishop, John Bryant, D. Collins, Bob Connor, Dave Cowin, Joe DeRosset, Cornelius Flanner, John Flanner, Don Hall, Dick Hall, Tom Hill, E. D. Jones, Henry Jones, Daniel King, and Dave London. Post also worked with free black artisans such as Frederick Howe, Elvin Artis, and others.

Exemplifying the fluid nature of the building professions in the 19th century, Post’s self-definition changed over the years and varied with the job. He identified himself as a carpenter in 1850 and an architect in 1860. In the 1860s, he also called himself a contractor-builder and builder-carpenter, and from the 1870s on, he typically used the title architect, along with contractor, carpenter, and builder. He used some traditional business methods—often accepting goods and services as payment for work, including building materials, workmen’s time, clothing for his family, and schooling. On the other hand, he adopted the professional architect’s method of charging a percentage of construction as his fee for superintending, as in 1860, when he billed O. G. Parsley 5% of construction cost for superintending construction of stores and a house. Unlike some builders of his day, Post did not engage in building speculation. He owned little property, either in slaves or real estate. From at least 1858 onward, he rented a two-room office in a one-story, wooden building on the south side of Princess Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. The back room was the drafting room heated by a coal grate; in the front room workmen gathered to collect their pay. From 1885 until his death, he lived with his son James, Jr., on North 7th Street in a house he had designed.

While Post fashioned certain building components locally, he also obtained many items from northern suppliers: in 1852, for example, “5 iron columns” from Heins and Company of Philadelphia; in 1854, iron railings and fencing for the W.W. Pierce House, 30 casks of nails from William Way and Company of New York, and from Hardenbury and Sickels window sash for the observatory of the Wessell-Hathaway House. He also ordered finished woodwork from the north, including in 1855 handrails, balusters and newels from Mitchel and Davis of Philadelphia and window sash and doors from Jenkins and Porter of New York, and a few years later similar items for the Bellamy Mansion, including columns, shutters, woodwork, and other items on the eve of the war. The trade stopped during the war, but by September 1865, Post was doing business as usual with William H. Jenkins, a supplier in New York.

Bunnell’s recollections add detail to the picture of the antebellum builder. Post was by 1858 “a rather portly gentleman,” of medium height with “an open, smiling countenance,” and an active man with a “brisk walk and a somewhat proud bearing.” Bunnell also supplied vignettes of the office operation. On Saturdays, he “had to calculate with Mr. P. the quantities of work done on the buildings during the week, setting the prices to it and writing orders for the money for all the white mechanics and for their masters to draw their money for the labor of their slave mechanics.” Late on Saturday afternoons, “they all white and black, flocked into the outer office room for their pay for working on the various buildings, or ‘jobs,’ that Mr. P. had under his charge.” Post taught the young architect many tricks of the trade, including “various rules for estimating the cost of buildings, such as I had not before come across.” He showed him how to “lay out and draw timber work and framing plans for buildings, which knowledge I personally used for many years . . . until the old-fashioned substantial framing for buildings gave way . . . to the western got-up ‘balloon frames’ that could be nailed together by anybody who could saw up stuff and drive nails straight.”

When the Civil War began, Post joined the Confederate cause and was appointed second lieutenant on June 18, 1861 in the Wilmington Horse Artillery, but in 1862 he returned to civilian life. He was employed by the Confederacy to build and repair military buildings at Fort Fisher, Fort Anderson, and elsewhere. Working for railroad companies he had served before the war, he was employed by the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, the lifeline for the Confederacy, to build warehouses up the route from Wilmington, and he also built the Wilmington offices and a rail shop for the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad Company.

Confederate records document several specific projects. At Fort Fisher, the massive defensive complex that protected Wilmington from the Union navy and kept the port open to blockade runners supplying the Confederacy, he built five picket houses in 1864, as ordered by General Whiting, for $1,250 (voucher 27), a sum indicative of wartime inflation. Most of Post’s documented wartime projects had to do with maintaining Wilmington’s transportation and trade systems by water and rail, which were essential to the city’s position as a major southern port—and the last one open to Confederate blockade runners bringing supplies into and carry cotton out of the Confederacy.

These wartime projects included: repairing plank road bridge over Green’s Mill Pond (1863, $545, voucher 21); building a shed for cotton (other [west] side of the Cape Fear River, as per contract for $9450, (1863, voucher 57); labor done on cotton shed (1863, $6800, voucher 15; $2000, voucher 3; $2000, voucher 5; $4700, voucher 4); carpentry work on Steamer Eugenie (1863, $64, voucher 52; $104, voucher 50; $408, voucher 54; 1863 & 1864, $705.30, voucher 13); contract for building 100’ x 30’ platform & two gangways (1863, $2930, voucher 37; 1863, $3000, voucher 33; 1864, $800, voucher 46; $3000, voucher 38); building shed over cotton press boiler(1863, $3500, voucher 11; labor done on cotton shed @ depot; 1863, $4700, voucher 7); fitting out cotton press office (1863, $1492.20, voucher 48; 1864, $1375, voucher 23); putting up cistern, repair boiler @ cotton press (1863, $1142, voucher 44); building government warehouse at W & M [Wilmington and Manchester] RR depot (1863, $5035, voucher 25); labor & materials for enclosing coal shed (contract, 1864, $2950, voucher 40; $200, voucher 17;) building shed and laying platform (1864, $9200, voucher 42); supervising construction (1864, $800, voucher 46; laying platform, gangways connecting sheds & press,1864, $2930, voucher 35;1864, $9461.50, voucher 31); putting up partitions in Provost Marshal’s office (1864, $183, voucher 29); 4 kegs nails (1864, $740, voucher 19).

Following the war, as Wilmington’s economy recovered, Post maintained his position as a leading architect and builder in the community. He superintended such major public buildings (designed by out-of-town architects) as the United States Post Office and Courthouse and the New Hanover County Courthouse. He also engaged in private projects in current styles, such as the Martin-Huggins House (1870) with its Second Empire style mansard roof. For the Seamen’s Home, Post used a mansard roof topped with iron cresting, plus a front “of iron and in the Corinthian order.”

Post’s principal known drawings survive from these late years. One set is for the William B. McKoy House. When McKoy decided to build his house, his brother-in-law, the young architect Henry Bacon, Jr. sent him proposals, but instead McKoy chose a design from the October, 1886, issue of Carpentry and Building and hired Post to customize it for him. In addition, Post signed a rendering for a design proposed for Wilmington’s Masonic Temple, which was also signed by J. K. Vaughan, architect, with whom Post was associated. The two men’s roles in the drawing or the design is not known. The date is evidently November 1894, representing an early stage of planning by the Masons to build a temple in downtown Wilmington. The design is somewhat similar to the winning proposal by Minnesota architect Charles McMillen, who specialized in Masonic buildings, and who planned the Masonic Temple that was erected in 1899.

James F. Post died on July 15, 1899 at the North 7th Street home of his son, James, Jr. The ministers of Grace Methodist Episcopal and St. Andrews Presbyterian churches conducted his burial service; he was buried at Oakdale Cemetery. In his obituary, the Wilmington Messenger of July 16, 1899, reflected, “He has done more than any other man to beautify the city of Wilmington by the hundreds of beautiful homes his taste and skill have designed.”

  • Nancy N. Beeler, ed., Minutes of the Town (Wilmington) Commissioners, 1847-1855 (1997).
  • 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).
  • Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
  • Rufus W. Bunnell, “The Life of Rufus William Bunnell” typescript, Bunnell Family Papers, Sterling Library, Yale University, photocopy in Bellamy Mansion Archives, Wilmington, North Carolina (ca. 1905).
  • Robert M. Fales, “A History of Wilmington in Pictures,” http://wwwtmpapps.nhcgov.com/lib/history/fales/index.htm.
  • Emma Woodward MacMillan, Wilmington’s Vanished Homes and Buildings (1966).
  • New Hanover County Records (Deeds, Wills and Taxes), North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Port City Architecture Online, http://wwwtmpapps.nhcgov.com/LIB/PortCityArch/search.asp.
  • James F. Post Papers, Ida B. Kellam Archives, Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, Inc., Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • William Reaves Files, New Hanover County Public Library, Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • Janet K. Seapker, “James F. Post, Builder-Architect: The Legend and the Ledger,” Lower Cape Fear Historical Society Bulletin (May 1987).
  • Isabel M. Williams, “Thalian Hall,” unpublished manuscript, copy in State Historic Preservation Office, Raleigh, North Carolina (1977, 2003).
  • Wilmington City Directories (1861-1895).
  • Wilmington Daily Herald, Nov. 28, 1854; July 12, 1855.
  • Wilmington Daily Review, Feb. 15, 1890.
  • Wilmington Evening Dispatch, Sept. 11, 1895-Oct. 5, 1897.
  • Wilmington Messenger, Feb. 23, 1888-July 16, 1899.
  • Wilmington Morning Star, Jan. 20, 1869-Aug. 28, 1897.
  • Wilmington Tri-Weekly Commercial, Mar. 16, 1854.
  • Wilmington Weekly Star, May 10, 1872; Mar. 26, 1880.
  • Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Sort Building List by:
  • Adrian House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1875
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    212 Orange St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

  • Bellamy Mansion

    Contributors:
    Elvin Artis, carpentry contractor; Rufus Bunnell, draftsman and assistant architect; William B. Gould I, plasterer; Howe Family, attributed carpenters; James F. Post, architect; Price Family, plasterers; Henry Taylor, attributed carpenter
    Dates:
    1859-1861
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    503 Market St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    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, The Bellamy Mansion, Wilmington North Carolina: An Antebellum Architectural Treasure and Its People (2004).
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "Plans and Specifications" and "Commission [on] $21,000 for Dr. John D. Bellamy for $100 and $1,050," respectively; a note at the end of the Bellamy entry states "To amount agreed upon as being due in June 1866," so apparently Post's bill was not settled until after the war. Rufus Bunnell's recollections of his time in Wilmington describes the progress of the construction in detail.

  • Benjamin Beery House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1887 [remodeled]
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    202 Nun St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • Bennett Flanner House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, carpenter
    Dates:
    1852
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "contract for carpenters work of building House", $1,595.

  • Carolina Rice Mills

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1880
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    7 - 9 Chestnut St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Industrial

  • Carolina Yacht Club

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1883
    Location:
    Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wrightsville Beach, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Recreational
    Images Puslished In:
    Anne Russell, Carolina Yacht Club Chronicles (1993).

  • City Hall-Thalian Hall

    Contributors:
    Henry E. Bonitz, architect (1901; 1904); Robert Finey, brickmason (1855-1858); William Finey, brickmason (1855-1858); Joseph Keen, overseer (1855-1858); James F. Post, supervising architect (1855-1858); Price Family, plasterer (1855-1858); John M. Trimble, architect (1855-1858); James Walker, foreman and general manager (1855-1858); Wood Brothers, builders (1855-1858); John C. Wood, builder (1855-1858); Robert B. Wood, builder (1855-1858)
    Dates:
    1855-1858; 1901; 1904
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    102 N 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Public
    Images Puslished In:
    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).
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    In 1901 Henry E. Bonitz planned a redecoration of the clerk's and treasurer's office, and in 1904 he made major improvements to the theater in Thalian Hall to keep up with changing theater styles, comply with fire and safety regulations, and make repairs. Updated over the years, the imposing building continues as a civic landmark and still serves its original purposes. It has been the scene of many political events and notable theatrical performances.

  • City Hospital Addition

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1884
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    10th (Dickson) St. and Red Cross (Rankin) St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Health Care

  • City Jail

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, contractor
    Dates:
    1887
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Public
    Note:
    Post was the "contractor" for the 26' x 26', brick building with a cupola, and 8 large cells and a corridor, for $10,075.

  • Conoley-Sidbury House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1859
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    17 N. 5th Ave., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

  • David Smith House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1855
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • DeRosset Stable and Carriage House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, carpenter; Wood Brothers, masons; John C. Wood, mason; Robert B. Wood, mason
    Dates:
    1854
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    N side Dock St., between 2nd St. and 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Transportation

  • Delancy Evans House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1887
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    117 N 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • Donald McRae House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, carpenter; Wood Brothers, masons; John C. Wood, mason; Robert B. Wood, mason
    Variant Name(s):
    MacRae-Dix House
    Dates:
    1851-1852
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    108 South 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    See unpublished research in author's possession by Ann Howell into the trade of Robert Wood of Philadelphia Ornamental Ironworks. Her investigation of US Customs records of coastwise shipment revealed that J. C. and R. B. Wood ordered 13 boxes of cast iron in November 1851 and another 13 in June 1852. On the Donald McRae House, they used pattern No. 248 or 218 for the railing and other (undetermined) pattern numbers for the piazza uprights and arches. These patterns were available earlier, but the number was published in the 1858 Wood and Perot catalogue owned by the Boston Public Library.

  • Duncan K. McRae House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, carpenter; Wood Brothers, masons; John C. Wood, mason; Robert B. Wood, mason
    Variant Name(s):
    MacRae-Willard House
    Dates:
    1851-1852
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    520 Orange St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    See unpublished research in author's possession by Ann Howell, into the trade of Robert Wood of Philadelphia Ornamental Ironworks. Her investigation of US Customs records of coastwise shipment revealed that J. C. and R. B. Wood ordered 13 boxes of cast iron in November 1851 and another 13 in June 1852. On the Duncan McRae House, they used pattern No. 56 for the railing and other (undetermined) pattern numbers for the piazza uprights and arches. These patterns were available earlier, but the number was published in the 1858 Wood and Perot catalogue owned by the Boston Public Library.

  • E.W. Hall Building

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1857
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial
    Note:
    Post's ledger notes order of sash and doors from Jenkins and Porter of New York.

  • Ebenezer Baptist Church

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1896
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    207 S. 7th St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Religious

  • Edward Savage House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, carpenter; Wood Brothers, masons; John C. Wood, mason; Robert B. Wood, mason
    Dates:
    1851-1852
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    120 South 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    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).
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    See unpublished research in author's possession by Ann Howell into the trade of Robert Wood of Philadelphia Ornamental Ironworks. Her investigation of US Customs records of coastwise shipment revealed that J. C. and R. B. Wood ordered 13 boxes of cast iron in November 1851 and another 13 in June 1852. On the Savage House, they used pattern No.56 for the railing and other (undetermined) pattern numbers for the piazza uprights and arches. These patterns were available earlier, but the number was published in the 1858 Wood and Perot catalogue owned by the Boston Public Library.

  • Eliza Lord House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1850
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    N side Market between 2nd St. and 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "building house as per contract" for $1,498.

  • Elmwood

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Variant Name(s):
    James Grist House
    Dates:
    1860
    Location:
    Washington, Beaufort County
    Street Address:
    731 W. Main St., Washington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).
    Note:
    The house, built in the early 19th century as a Federal style dwelling, and was remodeled and expanded in 1860 in Italianate style by Post, as noted by Bunnell's diary. It later received Colonial Revival style features.

  • F. W. Kerchner Stores

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1886
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Water St. between Chestnut St. and Mulberry (Grace) St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial

  • Fire House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, builder
    Dates:
    1853
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Public
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "building Ingin [sic] House", $417.

  • Front Street Methodist Church

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, builder (1859); Bradford Sherman, builder (1844); Wood Brothers, contractors (1844); John C. Wood, contractor (1844); Robert B. Wood, contractor (1844)
    Dates:
    1844; 1859
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    NE corner of Front St. and Walnut St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Religious
    Images Puslished In:
    Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
    Beverly Tetterton, Wilmington: Lost But Not Forgotten (2005).
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "Contract of Building steeple for the M and E Church," $1,000.

  • Goodman Building

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1897
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    6-8 Market St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Commercial

  • Hemenway School

    Contributors:
    Charles McMillen, architect (1902); James F. Post, contractor (1889; 1897)
    Dates:
    1889; 1897 [expansion]; 1902 [addition]
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    212 N. 5th St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Educational
    Note:
    The building was the successor to an earlier Hemenway School by Henry Taylor. The Wilmington Star of August 16, 1902, noted that McMillen had designed a south wing for the school.

  • Henry Nutt House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1850
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    S side Red Cross St., between 2nd St. and 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    Post ledger records, "contract building house, "$1,400.

  • Honnett House Enlargement

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1883
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    322 S. Front St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

  • Hustin House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, builder
    Dates:
    1853
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "building House" for Hustin of Hustin and Costin, $350.

  • I. Shrier Store

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1897
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    271-273 N. Front St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Commercial

  • Icehouse

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1860
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial
    Note:
    Bunnell records "making plans for a large brick storage icehouse".

  • J. Dawson Building

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1857
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial
    Note:
    Post's ledger notes orders of sash and doors from Jenkins and Porter of New York.

  • J.G. Wright Building

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1858
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Market St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial

  • James F. Post House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1884
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    110 (or 112) N. 7th St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • Lazarus-Hill-Divine House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1855
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    314 Grace St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    Post's contract was for "finishing Drawing Room" $207.50 for Dr. F.J. Hill, a Greek Revival remodeling of a Federal style house.

  • Levi A. Hart House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect and builder
    Dates:
    1850
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    E side 3rd between Dock St. and Orange St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Emma Woodward MacMillan, Wilmington's Vanished Homes and Buildings (1966).
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "Design and Specifications $10; Contract for Building, $700". Emma Woodward MacMillan, Wilmington's Vanished Homes and Buildings (1966) pictures the building after it was remodeled in the early 20th century.

  • Levi A. Hart Slave Quarters

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1855
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    E side 3rd St. between Dock St. and Orange St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • MacRae Building

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Variant Name(s):
    S. H. Fishblates Store Fronts Store Front
    Dates:
    1895
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    25-27 N. Front St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Commercial
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

  • Martin-Huggins House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1870
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    412 Market St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "Plans and Specifications for Dwelling house" and "5% commission" for Alfred Martin ($100 and $538.38, respectively).

  • Masonic Temple

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect; J. K. Vaughan, architect
    Dates:
    Ca. 1894
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Unbuilt
    Type:
    Fraternal
    Note:
    J. K. Vaughan and James F. Post produced a design for a Masonic temple for Wilmington early in the Masons' planning. A surviving rendering for a proposed design for Wilmington's Masonic Temple has "Jas, F. Post Arch't" written in the lower right hand corner and (apparently) the date Nov. –1894). On the left hand lower corner, in different handwriting is "J. K. Vaughan, Arch't.."; During the 1890s the Masons took several years to decide upon the site, the funding, and the design for a new temple. According to the Wilmington Messenger of May 22, 1896, and other reports, a corporation had been formed early in 1895 among five Masonic bodies located in Wilmington, to "erect a Temple for the use of the Masonic fraternity here in Wilmington," and they were considering various plans to achieve their goal. "A number of architects have submitted plans for handsome buildings but we understand nothing definite will be decided upon for several months yet." The Vaughan-Post drawing was probably among these. Not until 1898, according to the Wilmington Star of November 17, 1899, did the directors arrive at the plan for the temple which was built on Front Street in 1899. The winning proposal was submitted by Minnesota architect Charles McMillen, who specialized in Masonic buildings and who supervised the project. (The Vaughan-Post drawing is at the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society.)

  • Mauger London House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1854
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Chestnut St. and 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Emma Woodward MacMillan, Wilmington's Vanished Homes and Buildings (1966).

  • Mauger London Store

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1858
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Water St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial

  • Mrs. M. P. Taylor's Store

    Dates:
    1887
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Water St. at Mulberry St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial

  • New Hanover County Courthouse

    Contributors:
    Henry E. Bonitz, architect (1901); Alfred S. Eichberg, architect (1891-1893); James F. Post, supervising architect (1891-1893); Valentine-Brown and Co., contractors (1891-1893)
    Dates:
    1891-1893; 1901 [alterations]
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    N. 3rd St. at Princess St., SE corner, Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Public
    Images Puslished In:
    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).
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    The postcard view shows the City Hall-Thalian Hall on the left and the New Hanover County Courthouse on the right. James F. Post was involved in building both of them. Henry E. Bonitz made major alterations to the Superior Court Room of the New Hanover County Courthouse.

  • New Hanover County Jail

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, carpenter; Wood Brothers, architects and masons; John C. Wood, mason; Robert B. Wood, architect and mason
    Dates:
    1854
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    201 Princess St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Altered
    Type:
    Public

  • O. G. Parsley House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1860
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    West side of S. 3rd St. at Ann St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • O. G. Parsley Store

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1860
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    N. Water St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "superintended erection of store."

  • Oakdale Cemetery Gate

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect; James Walker, probable builder
    Dates:
    1896
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Public
    Images Puslished In:
    Oakdale Cemetery: History, http://www.oakdalecemetery.org/history.asp.

  • Oakdale Cemetery Lodge

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect; H. A. Tucker, contractor; James Walker, superintending architect
    Dates:
    1896-1897
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Public
    Images Puslished In:
    Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
    Note:
    According to the Wilmington Dispatch (Jan. 12, 1897), James Walker helped build the lodge at Oakdale Cemetery and served as "consulting architect without any compensation." Probably Walker also worked on the granite gate posts that James F. Post designed and the board had built at the same time.

  • Pembroke Jones Cottage

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1888
    Location:
    Wrightsville Sound, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wrightsville Sound, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • S. P. Polley Carriage House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, builder and carpenter
    Dates:
    1852
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    NW corner 5th St. and Market St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Transportation

  • S. and B. Solomon House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1885
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    616 Market St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • Scott and Baldwin Store

    Contributors:
    Joseph Keen, brickmason; James F. Post, carpenter
    Dates:
    1854
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    S side, 100 block Market St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial
    Note:
    The newspaper announced that Post had done the plan and carpentry work for the iron-fronted store.

  • Seamen's Home

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1873
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Corner of Front St. and Dock St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Public
    Images Puslished In:
    Walter H. Conser, Jr., Sacred Spaces, Architecture and Religion in Historic Wilmington (1999).

  • Sol Bear Beach or Sound House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1897
    Location:
    Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Wrightsville Beach, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • Sol Bear's Store

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1892
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    NE corner of Front St. and Princess St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Commercial

  • St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church

    Contributors:
    Henry E. Bonitz, architect (1907); James F. Post, architect (1859-1869); Joseph Schad, contractor (1907)
    Dates:
    1859-1869; 1907 [additions]
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    603 Market St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Religious
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    Bonitz, a member of the church, added the transept and chancel to the existing church.

  • St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect (1884); Wood Brothers, architects and builders (1845-1847); John C. Wood, builder (1845-1847); Robert B. Wood, architect and builder (1845-1847)
    Dates:
    1845-1847; 1884 [addition]
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    208 Dock St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Religious
    Images Puslished In:
    Catherine W. Bishir, North Carolina Architecture (1990).
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    James F. Post designed the 1884 addition.

  • Strausz House

    Contributors:
    Cape Fear Building Company, contractors (1871); James F. Post, architect (1891); Alex Strausz, architect and builder (1871)
    Variant Name(s):
    Heide-Bridgers House
    Dates:
    1871; 1891 [altered]
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    308 S 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    According to a historical plaque, the Italianate style frame house was built by Strausz for himself and his wife Annie Young and was sold in 1876 to merchant Rudolph Heide. It is known locally by the name of the latter owner and a subsequent one.

  • Union School

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1889
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    511 Ann St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Educational

  • United States Post Office and Courthouse

    Contributors:
    W. R. French, foreman; William A. Freret, Supervising Architect of the Treasury, architect; James F. Post, superintendent
    Dates:
    1888
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    Front St. and Chestnut St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Public
    Images Puslished In:
    Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
    Note:
    After various bidders submitted proposals to erect the Federal "public building" of brick or stone, W. H. Smith of Michigan received the contract in late 1888 to construct it of Wadesboro brownstone. Early in 1889 the plans were changed to add the tower. The cornerstone was laid June 4, 1889. Stonemasons and stonecutters came from other locales to accomplish the work. The building (pictured on the right), which contained various Federal offices as well as the post office, including a weather station in the tower, was razed in 1936 to make way for the present Georgian Revival style red brick post office.

  • Von Glahn House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1859
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    19 N. 5th Ave., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).

  • Wessell-Hathaway House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, builder
    Variant Name(s):
    Jacob Wessell House
    Dates:
    1854
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    120 South 5th Ave., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "contract, building House" for Jacob Wessell.

  • William B. McKoy House

    Dates:
    1887
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    SW corner of 3rd St. and Nun St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    This was one of the twelve Wilmington buildings illustrated in John Harriss Howe's presentation of his work at the Atlanta Exposition in 1895. Evidently both Alfred and John Howe were involved in its construction. Architect Jams F. Post had designed it, based on a design published in Carpentry and Building, October 1886, and some of his drawings dated March, 1887, survive.

  • Williams-Holladay House

    Contributors:
    Fore and Foster, millwork suppliers; R. H. Grant, plumber; Wm. W. Holladay, designer; C. C. Parker, painter; James F. Post, architect; Henry D. Sampson, builder; John C. Stout, builder
    Dates:
    1889-1890
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    117 S 4th St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    According to the local historical marker on the house, the Queen Anne style Williams-Holladay House of 1889-1890 was built for George W. Williams for his daughter, Maggie M. Holladay; her husband William W. Holladay, a native of Richmond, Va., designed the elevations of the house. Mrs. Holladay died before the house was completed.

  • Worth and Worth Building

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, architect
    Dates:
    1886
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    NW corner of Nutt St. and Mulberry (now Grace) St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Commercial

  • Wright-Harriss-Bellamy House

    Dates:
    1858; 1899-1900
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    602 Market St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Susan Taylor Block, Cape Fear Lost (1999).
    Beverly Tetterton, Wilmington: Lost But Not Forgotten (2005).
    Note:
    Post's ledger records "Plans for House with Specifications" and "superintending the construction of Dwelling for Joshua G. Wright", $100 and $750, respectively. Lawyer and political figure John D. Bellamy, Jr., employed architect McMillen to transform the large antebellum Italianate house into an opulent Queen Anne residence complete with tower and ornate interior fittings. The local newspaper marveled at the lavish interiors by Duryea and Potter of New York. The house burned in 1972.

  • Zebulon Latimer House

    Contributors:
    James F. Post, carpenter; Wood Brothers, masons; John C. Wood, mason; Robert B. Wood, mason
    Dates:
    1852
    Location:
    Wilmington, New Hanover County
    Street Address:
    126 South 3rd St., Wilmington, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    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).
    Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
    Note:
    See unpublished research in author's possession by Ann Howell, Ph.D., into the trade of Robert Wood of Philadelphia Ornamental Ironworks. Her investigation of US Customs records of coastwise shipment revealed that J. C. and R. B. Wood ordered 13 boxes of cast iron in November 1851 and another 13 in June 1852. On the Latimer House, they used pattern No. 246 for the veranda railing and grapevine uprights and arches, pattern No. 17 and pattern No. 480 for pair of panels beneath rear casement windows. These patterns of Wood's ironwork were available earlier, but were published in the 1858 Wood and Perot catalogue owned by the Boston Public Library.

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