Benton and Benton (1915-1935)

In 1915 Charles C. Benton, Sr. and his elder brother Frank W. Benton established the partnership of Benton and Benton, headquartered in their native Wilson. Charles had practiced with other partners including John C. Stout and Solon B. Moore prior to 1915, but little is known of Frank’s earlier career. Benton and Benton proved to be one of the leading architectural firms in eastern North Carolina, and their work encompassed much of that region and reached westward into the foothills. Serving mainly clients in the state’s fast-growing small and medium-sized communities rather than those in larger cities, the firm designed buildings of nearly every type—residences, banks, churches, and civic buildings—and specialized in neoclassical and Colonial Revival styles: Charles in fact was known as Charles C. (“Colonial”) Benton. The partnership continued until 1935, when the two brothers established separate practices, Frank on his own and Charles with his two sons, Charles Jr., and Henry. For fuller accounts of their work together and separately, see entries on Charles C. Benton, Sr., and Frank W. Benton.

  • 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).
  • M. Ruth Little, Coastal Plain and Fancy: The Historic Architecture of Lenoir County and Kinston, North Carolina (1998).
  • Manufacturers’ Record, various issues.
  • Kate Ohno, Wilson County’s Architectural Heritage (1981).
  • Kate Ohno and Robert C. Bainbridge, Wilson, North Carolina, Historic Buildings Inventory (1980).
  • Scott Power, The Historical Architecture of Pitt County, North Carolina (1991).
  • Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • John E. Wells and Robert E. Dalton, The Virginia Architects, 1835-1955: A Biographical Dictionary (1997).
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  • Albion Dunn House

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    Ca. 1919

    Location:
    Greenville, Pitt County
    Street Address:

    707 W. 4th St., Greenville, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Michael Cotter, Kate Ohno, and Mary Hollis Barnes, The Architectural Heritage of Greenville, North Carolina (1989).


  • Bank of Farmville

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect; Joe W. Stout, contractor; Joe W. Stout & Co., contractors
    Dates:

    1921

    Location:
    Farmville, Pitt County
    Street Address:

    129 S. Main St., Farmville, 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).
    Scott Power, The Historical Architecture of Pitt County, North Carolina (1991).

    Note:

    This is one of the firm’s several neoclassical banks designed to take advantage of their prominent corner locations, here with a full-height Doric portico in antis and pilasters along the side.


  • Bank of Washington

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    Ca. 1920

    Location:
    Washington, Beaufort County
    Street Address:

    192 W. Main St., Washington, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Note:

    Successor to the first, antebellum Bank of Washington, which still stands a short distance away, the four-story brick and stone bank features large Doric columns in antis.


  • Bowers-Tripp House

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1921

    Location:
    Washington, Beaufort County
    Street Address:

    1040 N. Market St., Washington, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Note:

    The large residence in tan brick shows the firm’s favored Colonial Revival style.


  • Christ Episcopal Church Parish House

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Frank W. Benton, architect; Lord Byron Perry, contractor
    Dates:

    1925-1926

    Location:
    Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County
    Street Address:

    200 S. McMorrine St., Elizabeth City, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Religious

    Images Puslished In:

    Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).
    Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank: The Architectural Heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County, North Carolina (1989).

    Note:

    The Tudor Revival style building harmonizes with the antebellum Gothic Revival church by J. Crawford Neilson.


  • Enfield Masonic Temple

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1924-1925

    Location:
    Enfield, Halifax County
    Street Address:

    S.E. Railroad St. at Market St., Enfield, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Fraternal

    Images Puslished In:

    Henry V. Taves, The Historic Architecture of Halifax County, North Carolina (2010).

    Note:

    The 3 1/2-story building in blond brick overlooks the railroad and dominates the downtown streetscape.


  • Farmers and Merchants Bank

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1924

    Location:
    Kinston, Lenoir County
    Street Address:

    200 N. Queen St., Kinston, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Commercial

    Images Puslished In:

    M. Ruth Little, Coastal Plain and Fancy: The Historic Architecture of Lenoir County and Kinston, North Carolina (1998).

    Note:

    The lower portion of the bank displays an Ionic-columned entrance in antis typical of the firm’s banks of the period, but the building’s 5-story height reads as a small skyscraper, unusual in eastern North Carolina’s small towns and indicative of Kinston’s stature as a market town. In its day it was the tallest structure in town. Local accounts indicate that the building had the first registered elevator in the state, designated Elevator No. 1 by the State of North Carolina. The postcard view of Queen St. shows the bank as the tallest building on the left side of the street.


  • Fire Engine Company No. 2 Building

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect; D. J. Rose, builder
    Dates:

    1924

    Location:
    Rocky Mount, Nash County
    Street Address:

    404 S. Church St., Rocky Mount, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Public

    Note:

    A brick building with stone-framed fire engine doors and a tile roof.


  • Halifax County Home and Tubercular Hospital

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1923

    Location:
    Halifax, Halifax County
    Street Address:

    NC 903, Halifax vicinity, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Public

    Images Puslished In:

    Henry V. Taves, The Historic Architecture of Halifax County, North Carolina (2010).

    Note:

    The firm employed a symmetrical design in Colonial Revival style for the building, one of several such facilities for care of the poor and the sick in the early 20th century.


  • Hickory Drugstore

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1924

    Location:
    Hickory, Catawba County
    Street Address:

    Hickory, NC

    Status:

    Unknown

    Type:

    Commercial

    Note:

    The Manufacturers’ Record in 1924 noted that Benton and Benton were architects for a drugstore in Hickory, which was to feature ornamental terra cotta.


  • Kinston Union Station

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1924

    Location:
    Kinston, Lenoir County
    Street Address:

    E. Caswell St. at Davis St., Kinston, NC

    Status:

    No longer standing

    Type:

    Transportation

    Note:

    The postcard view of the station features a rare example of a drawing signed by Benton and Benton.


  • Lenoir High School

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect; Joe W. Stout, contractor; Joe W. Stout & Co., contractors
    Dates:

    1922

    Location:
    Lenoir, Caldwell County
    Street Address:

    100 Willow St., Lenoir, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Educational

    Note:

    Typical of the consolidated high schools of its era, the large brick building, 220 feet long, features classical detailing.


  • Lloyd and Lillian Turnage House

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1922

    Location:
    Ayden, Pitt County
    Street Address:

    811 W. 3rd St., Ayden, 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).
    Scott Power, The Historical Architecture of Pitt County, North Carolina (1991).

    Note:

    The especially well-detailed bungalow has a deep porch that extends as a porte cochere. Drawings (blueprints) and specifications for the house are in the Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.


  • Montgomery County Courthouse

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect
    Dates:

    1921

    Location:
    Troy, Montgomery County
    Street Address:

    SE corner of E. Main St. and S. Main St., Troy, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Public

    Note:

    Built of tan brick and cast stone, the courthouse features a full-height Doric portico.


  • Morehead City Hospital

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1918

    Location:
    Morehead City, Carteret County
    Street Address:

    9th St. and Shackleford St., Morehead City, NC

    Status:

    No longer standing

    Type:

    Health Care

    Note:

    The Manufacturers’ Record of April 18, 1918, reported that the Morehead City Hospital had plans by Benton and Benton, Wilson for a general hospital building at 9th St. and Shackleford St.; 80 x 80 ft., brick; slate roof; wood floors; cost $15,000; steam heat; $3000; electric lights $1000; electric elevator $1200 bids to be opened April 23 or 24; construction to begin May 1. The hospital was founded by Dr. Ben Royal, who had begun a smaller facility in 1911. The red brick hospital overlooked the water.


  • Selma Graded School

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect; Joe W. Stout, builder
    Dates:

    1922

    Location:
    Selma, Johnston County
    Street Address:

    W. Richardson St., Selma, NC

    Status:

    No longer standing

    Type:

    Educational


  • Walter McCanless House

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

    1929

    Location:
    Salisbury, Rowan County
    Street Address:

    204 Confederate Ave., Salisbury, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Davyd Foard Hood, The Architecture of Rowan County North Carolina: A Catalogue and History of Surviving 18th, 19th, and Early 20th Century Structures (1983).

    Note:

    The large and luxurious Renaissance Revival style mansion, built of buff brick with a green tile roof, is the grandest residence of its era in Salisbury.


  • Washington County Courthouse

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1918-1919

    Location:
    Plymouth, Washington County
    Street Address:

    NE corner of Adams St. and Main St., Plymouth, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Public


  • William D. Pruden, Jr., House

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Frank Fred Muth, contractor
    Dates:

    1927

    Location:
    Edenton, Chowan County
    Street Address:

    117 Blount St., Edenton, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Thomas R. Butchko, Edenton, an Architectural Portrait: The Historic Architecture of Edenton, North Carolina (1992).

    Note:

    The dignified, red brick Georgian Revival residence is representative of the work of architects Benton and Benton and also fits in well with the architectural traditions of Edenton. A rear porch provides a view of Edenton Bay. It was built for attorney Pruden and his wife Mary McCann Bradham of New Bern, whose father invented Pepsi Cola.


  • William H. and Jennie M. Long House

    Contributors:
    Benton and Benton, architects; Charles C. Benton, Sr., architect; Frank W. Benton, architect
    Dates:

    1917-1918

    Location:
    Greenville, Pitt County
    Street Address:

    200 E. 4th St., Greenville, NC

    Status:

    Standing

    Type:

    Residential

    Images Puslished In:

    Michael Cotter, Kate Ohno, and Mary Hollis Barnes, The Architectural Heritage of Greenville, North Carolina (1989).

    Note:

    Among the grandest residences in Greenville, the Colonial Revival style brick house features a large portico with columns in the Tower of the Winds order.


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