Palmer, Charles (fl. 1850s)
Charles Palmer (fl. 1850s) was a “brick builder” in Raleigh who claimed 14 or 15 years’ professional experience by 1858 when he was asked to evaluate another builder’s work on a downtown building in the capital. Only two of his own works in the state have been identified. For the W. J. & A. S. Lougee Store (1854) also in downtown Raleigh, Palmer did the brickwork, H. & D. Royster the carpentry, and James Puttick the stonework. Palmer also built St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (1855-1857), a Gothic Revival brick structure designed by Ecclesiologist architect John W. Priest of Newburg, New York. It appears likely that the minister obtained a published or custom design from Priest, then had Palmer and other builders complete it.
Nothing has been learned of his previous experience or background. There were scores of men named Charles Palmer in the nation in the 1850 and 1860 censuses. He might be the Charles Palmer, 24, identified as a brickmason in Alamance County in the 1850 census. Given his experience, it is likely that Palmer executed other work in the region as yet unidentified.
- Fentress v. Johnson, Wake County Civil Action Papers, 1858, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.
- North Carolina Standard, various issues.
- Raleigh Register, various issues.
- St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church file, State Historic Preservation Office, Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Dates:1855-1857; 1906 [extension]Location:Goldsboro, Wayne CountyStreet Address:200 N. James St., Goldsboro, NCStatus:StandingType:ReligiousNote:The brick church as completed in 1857 features the narrow pointed-arched windows and exposed truss roof characteristic of the Gothic Revival and the architecturally defined chancel promoted for authentic liturgical practices by the Ecclesiological Society. Wilmington architect Bonitz designed the 1906 extension and the Parish House.