1615 Madison Avenue

 

This is a draft, now being reviewed by members of the McCrorey Heights Neighborhood Association. Please share comments with Tom@HistorySouth.org 

The initial permit to build this house seems not to exist in the records of the Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. But there is a 1953 permit for wiring, likely part of the original construction, issued to McClure Lumber Company. McClure, based for decades on Rozelles Ferry Road not far from McCrorey Heights, was one of the city’s longest-lived lumber and construction companies, active until 2004.

The first appearance of 1615 Madison Avenue in the city directory is not until 1957. Occupant was Samuel L. Whiteman, a traveling salesman who sold school supplies. In two later directories consulted at random the house is occupied by William H. Thomas (1961) and Mrs. Lacy D. Young, retired (1981). In this respect, the house is rare in McCrorey Heights for not having an initial occupant who resided there for decades. Perhaps the house was spec built by McClure Lumber? Or was purchased by an owner who rented it, rather than living there?

Madison-1615-a-web
Madison-1615-b-web
Madison-1615-c-web

Architecture

This is an unusually nicely detailed example of Ranch style design located on a corner lot. A low hip roof covers the main block, with a hipped front projection that holds the living room. At the rear are two hipped projections, one a rear porch, the other a small wing. The exterior is red brick, enlivened by a “wainscoting” of cut stone along the lower front facade. Most windows are double-hung units with just two horizontal panes per sash. The living room has an oversized floor-to-ceiling front window with twelve large panes. On the west side of the house, facing Creek Street, there is a large chimney with an inset of cut stone. Next to it, the dining room or kitchen is lit by a three-part “picture” window (a feature found in living rooms in this era, but seldom in dining rooms or kitchens).

The abundance of natural light provided by the design, plus the stonework and other thoughtful detailing, might indicate that this was created by an architect? Perhaps it came from a magazine or plan service like the 1952 home of W.W. Twitty up the block at 1725 Madison, who took his design from plans published in American Home Magazine.

Building permits

Madison-1615-permit-b
Date issued: October 5, 1953
Owner: McClure Lumber Company
Contractor: Geo. D. Sanford Elec. Co.
Estimated cost:
Other permit info: Wiring, likely for original construction of house

Madison-1615-permit-a
Date issued: March 14, 1973
Owner: Shirley M Cornwall, C/o Turner Brothers
Contractor: J. M. Bowers
Estimated cost: $800
Other permit info: Residential repairs, meet housing code

First appeared in city directory

1957 – Samuel L. Whiteman (no spouse), Rep, R. Mars -The Contract Co, sch sups.
1961 city directory – William H. Thomas
1981 city directory – Mrs. Lacy D. Young, retired

Resources

Ralph Hutchinson McClure, obituary in the Wilmington Star News, December 22, 2011. On-line at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/starnewsonline/obituary.aspx?pid=155145944