Pearson, Charles A. (1875-1966)

Birthplace:

Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Residences:

  • Raleigh, North Carolina

Trades:

  • Architect

Styles & Forms:

Colonial Revival; Queen Anne; Romanesque Revival

Charles A. Pearson (Oct. 24, 1875-July 26, 1966), a native of Asheville, spent the early years of his long career a partner with Thomas M. Ashe in the Raleigh firm of Pearson and Ashe. After Ashe’s death in mid-1900, Pearson strove to keep the business going. In December, 1900, he was elected secretary and treasurer of the newly formed Southeastern Architectural League at its meeting in Charlotte. During 1901 he made plans for a few buildings, which he announced in the Manufacturers’ Record.

He left Raleigh in 1901 and worked in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and North Carolina in railroad construction and as a civil engineer. In 1925 he served as inspector of construction for the new campus of Meredith College in Raleigh. From 1934 to 1948, Pearson worked for the engineering firm of William C. Olsen in Raleigh, supervising the construction of water and sewage treatment projects in various towns in the state. He then moved to Charlotte, where he worked for J. N. Pease and Company from 1950 to 1956, when he retired at the age of 81. It is not known how Pearson and Ashe divided the work during their partnership; buildings believed to have been designed into 1900 are credited to the firm in the building list for that entry. Those dating later than 1900 are credited solely to Pearson.

  • “J. Beale Johnson House,” National Register of Historic Places nomination (1991).
  • News and Observer, Aug. 24, 1899; July 12, 1900.
  • Charles A. Pearson Papers, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Raleigh Morning Post, July 11, 1900.
  • Wilmington Messenger, Dec. 1, 1900.
  • Wilmington Star, Dec. 29, 1900.
Sort Building List by:
  • Block of Residences for J. S. Carr

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    ca. 1900
    Location:
    Durham, Durham County
    Street Address:
    Durham, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    The residential block was designed for Julian Carr, one of Durham's leading industrialists.

  • Borden Building

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect; Zachary and Zachary, builders
    Variant Name(s):
    Methodist Orphanage
    Dates:
    1900
    Location:
    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:
    Fletcher Park, Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Educational
    Note:
    The Borden Building, among the first built at the Methodist Orphanage, still stands. Most of the initial buildings at that institution, including the Methodist Orphanage Main Building (1901) planned by Pearson, have been razed.

  • Carr Building

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect; Zachary and Zachary, builders
    Dates:
    1899-1900
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, Orange County
    Street Address:
    University of North Carolina Campus, Chapel Hill, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Educational
    Images Puslished In:
    John V. Allcott, The Campus at Chapel Hill: Two Hundred Years of Architecture (1986).
    M. Ruth Little, The Town and Gown Architecture of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1795-1975 (2006).
    Note:
    According to M. Ruth Little in The Town and Gown Architecture of Chapel Hill, this was the first building at the university built to function solely as a dormitory. The postcard shows the white Carr Building and Bynum Gymnasium (see Frank Pierce Milburn).

  • Carrie C. Strong House

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    ca. 1900
    Location:
    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:
    Raleigh, NC
    Status:
    Unknown
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    The identity of this house is uncertain. It may have been the Strong-Young House at 630 N. Blount St. (no longer standing), a "Southern Colonial" design with portico said to have been built about 1898.

  • Eagle Hotel

    Contributors:
    A. G. Bauer, architect (1883, remodeling); William Collier, probable brickmason (1812); Pearson and Ashe, architects (1899); Charles A. Pearson, architect (1899)
    Variant Name(s):
    State Agriculture Building; Guion Hotel; National Hotel
    Dates:
    1812; 1870; 1883 [remodeled]; 1899-1900 [addition]
    Location:
    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:
    NW corner Edenton St. and Halifax St., Raleigh, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Commercial
    Public
    Images Puslished In:
    William B. Bushong, "A. G. Bauer, North Carolina's New South Architect," North Carolina Historical Review, 60.3 (July 1983).
    Elizabeth C. Waugh, North Carolina's Capital, Raleigh (1967).
    Note:
    The hotel facing the North Carolina State Capitol was built for Charles Parish and began operation in 1812 as the Eagle Hotel, and operated under various names over the years. It was considered Raleigh's finest hotel for years. By 1870, it had been expanded into a large brick building with double porches. In 1883 it was remodeled by A. G. Bauer to house state offices, and it was headquarters of the state's agricultural department. It was expanded dramatically in 1899-1900; the News and Observer of August 24, 1899, cited the State Agriculture Building then under construction as the work of Pearson and Ashe. In 1896 it appeared on the Sanborn Map as the State Agriculture Building and State Museum, and by 1903 (Sanborn Map), it had an immense addition that extended down Halifax Street and around the corner on Jones Street. That building was razed to build the current Agriculture Building (1922-1923) by G. Murray Nelson and Thomas Wright Cooper.

  • First Presbyterian Church

    Contributors:
    Charles E. Cassell, architect; Charles A. Pearson, supervising architect; George A. Waring, contractor
    Dates:
    1897-1900
    Location:
    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:
    SW corner Salisbury St. and Morgan St., Raleigh, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Religious
    Images Puslished 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).
    Note:
    With its bold tower oriented to its prominent corner site, the church features rounded arches and forms evocative of Romanesque Revival and Germanic influences. It has been updated and expanded over the years but maintains its original architectural presence.

  • J. Beale Johnson House

    Contributors:
    Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    ca. 1906
    Location:
    Fuquay-Varina, Wake County
    Street Address:
    6321 Johnson Pond Rd., Fuquay-Varina vicinity, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential
    Images Puslished In:
    Kelly A. Lally, The Historic Architecture of Wake County, North Carolina (1994).
    Note:
    The large farmhouse in the variation of the Colonial Revival style called the Southern Colonial features an imposing Doric portico.

  • Meredith College Quadrangle and Development Plan

    Contributors:
    George Berryman, architect; Charles A. Pearson, supervising architect; Wilson and Berryman, architects; Charles C. Wilson, architect
    Dates:
    1920s
    Location:
    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:
    Meredith College Campus, Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Educational
    Note:
    The Manufacturers' Record (Oct. 9, 1924 and Nov. 6, 1924) and cornerstones at Meredith College cite Wilson's role in the design.

  • Methodist Orphanage Building

    Contributors:
    Charles A. Pearson, architect; Zachary and Zachary, builders
    Dates:
    1900
    Location:
    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:
    Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Institutional

  • Methodist Orphanage Main Building

    Contributors:
    Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    1901
    Location:
    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:
    Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Educational

  • Mrs. B. S. McMillan House

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    ca. 1900
    Location:
    Red Springs, Robeson County
    Street Address:
    Red Springs, NC
    Status:
    Unknown
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    This might be the Dr. B. F. McMillan House at 110 E. 2nd Ave., ca. 1900, a frame Queen Anne style house with conical towers.

  • North Carolina Home Insurance Building

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    1899
    Location:
    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:
    Raleigh, NC
    Status:
    Unknown
    Type:
    Commercial

  • Primrose Hall

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    1896
    Location:
    Raleigh, Wake County
    Street Address:
    North Carolina State University Campus, Raleigh, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Educational
    Note:
    University records indicate that a "Mr. Pearson" had drawn plans for the picturesque, brick horticulture building; this was likely Charles A. Pearson when he was associated with Ashe.

  • R. L. Huffines House

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    ca. 1900
    Location:
    Rocky Mount, Nash County
    Street Address:
    Rocky Mount, NC
    Status:
    Unknown
    Type:
    Residential

  • S. A. Vest House

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    ca. 1896
    Location:
    Haw River, Alamance County
    Street Address:
    E. Main St., Haw River, NC
    Status:
    Standing
    Type:
    Residential

  • W. T. Jones House

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    1897
    Location:
    Carthage, Moore County
    Street Address:
    301 McReynolds St., Carthage, NC
    Status:
    Unknown
    Type:
    Residential
    Note:
    The ornate Queen Anne style house on the premier residential avenue was built for the president of the Tyson and Jones Buggy Company, an important local industry.

  • Zeta Psi Fraternity House

    Contributors:
    Pearson and Ashe, architects; Charles A. Pearson, architect
    Dates:
    ca. 1900
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, Orange County
    Street Address:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Status:
    No longer standing
    Type:
    Residential

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