City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks Dressed in Holiday Style
Dec 03, 2018 11:38AM
By Jason Huddle
... and those sidewalks lead to a selection of downtown concord homes dressed in their finest from floor to ceiling.
The 2018 Holiday Historic Home Tour took place on Sunday, December 2, from 1:00 to 6:00pm. Six beautiful homes as well as First United Presbyterian Family Worship Center were part of this year’s tour. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event.
If youdidn't make it to this year’s home tour, Cabarrus Magazine is happy to lead you through the historic homes that participated in the last tour – in 2016. Besides the wonderful displays of holiday decorations, these houses provide a look back at the architecture and design details prevalent in the period.
Residents of Historic Concord Inc. (RHC), a non-profit organization run by a member-elected board of directors, is responsible for presenting the tour, coordinating it with accommodating homeowners nice enough to open their doors to the public after they’ve done the decorating themselves. Because it’s a labor-intensive and costly endeavor, it’s held every two years.
Concord’s downtown is sectioned into three registered Historic districts. North Union encompasses streets from Peachtree Avenue N.W. to Corban Avenue S.W., and from Cromwell Drive to Church Street. Edgewood is made up of a small swatch along Edgewood Avenue N.E. while South Union runs down both sides of Union Street S. from Corban to just past Blume Avenue S.W.
Residents of Historic Concord’s goal is to maintain the infrastructure, if you will, of these majestic neighborhoods dotted with Queen Anne Victorians, Colonial Revivals, Neo-classicals, Italianates, Second Empires, American craftsman bungalows and so on. Most were constructed from around 1850 to 1930, during the area’s textile mills boom.
The organization’s passion for Concord’s history shines particularly bright during the holiday season and homes tour, which has become its largest community fundraiser.
The Dr. F.Y. Ketner House
Located at 79 Washington Lane (see pages 12 and 13), this fine Tudor Revival residence was built in 1935.
“It was designed by Charlotte architect William H. Peeps, who also designed the E.T. Cannon house on North Union,” RHC says. “The home displays mock half-timbering and a brick ground floor and portico, which shelters the entrance.
“The interior of the house is arranged in a center hall plan. It includes an ornate living room mantle with scroll-like foliated brackets, unusual cutout balusters adorning the stairs, and four-panel doors.”
First Presbyterian Fellowship House/ E.T. Cannon House
The E.T. Cannon home, built in the late 1920s, was owned by Eugene – one of James William Cannon’s six sons. Today, the home serves as the Fellowship House for First Presbyterian Church.
“This splendid Jacob Ethan revival-style brick residence is the only example of this style in Cabarrus County. It was designed by Charlotte architect, William Peeps, who designed various houses throughout the Historic District,” RHC explains.
“It features Tudor arches for interior and exterior doorways. The house exhibits brick construction with decorative concrete trim, bay and oriel windows, corbeled chimneys with separate shafts for each flue, and parapeted rooflines.
“The highly elegant interior centers around a grand staircase of ceremonial proportion. Several first-floor rooms have exceptionally fine plaster ceiling moldings that display foliage designs.
“It was purchased by the church from Emma Cannon Whitman in 1958. The first wedding in the new chapel in the Fellowship House took place in 1961. Over the past 55 years, there have been many small weddings, as well as funerals in the chapel. The chapel has also been the home of Sunday School classes and early church.”
The Bill and Nita Grady House
Located at 60 Washington Lane, this cottage style-home was built in 1930 off Union Street S., near the downtown business district.
“As is typical of this design, the home features an overscaled chimney on the front of the house, a cross-gabled roof with projecting eaves and casement windows,” according to RHC. “The home is designed with an asymmetrical floor plan, which flows casually from room to room. The interior features decorative built-ins in the dining room, a pink marble fireplace, concrete kitchen countertops and a powder room complete with pink bathroom fittings.
“During renovations in 1999, the owner found school papers hidden in the second-story eaves. They belonged to the Grady’s son, Tom, who put them there to hide any bad grades from his parents.”
The Willford House
This Colonial Revival home, at 422 Union Street S., was built in 1913 by former Concord mayor, Mr. Crawford, for his son-in-law and daughter.
RHC says, “The home has a symmetrical three-bay
façade with a centrally placed hip-roof dormer and wraparound porch. It maintains much of the original woodwork throughout the house, including pocket doors, original oak mantles, heart-of-pine floors and seven fireplaces.”
Other homes on the tour included 95 Washington Lane, 154 Union Street S., 391 Union Street S. and 122 Union Street N. Unfortunately, photography was limited.
RHC’s Small Grants
According to its website, “The purpose of Residents of Historic Concord is to preserve, protect and promote the historical, architectural and cultural characteristics of Concord, North Carolina. We work in cooperation with several other organizations such as the City of Concord, the Chamber of Commerce, Concord Downtown Development and Historic Preservation Commission.”
Throughout the year, RHC conducts fundraisers – neighborhood yard sales and parties, workshops and the holiday homes tour, among others. Proceeds go toward the organization’s Small Grants program.
“The Residents of Historic Concord sponsor a small grants program to facilitate projects initiated by groups or individuals, which will improve an aspect of life in or around the residential historic districts of Concord,” its website says. “The purpose is to provide community benefit through projects in the following areas: beautification, education, entertainment or community service.”
In the last two years, RHC has awarded grants/provided volunteer support to Cabarrus Arts Council; Concord Downtown Development Corporation’s (CDDC) tour of historic downtown businesses; landscaping at Concord High School; building maintenance and a fundraiser at Old Courthouse Theatre; an RCCC student art exhibit at ClearWater Artist Studios; Historic Cabarrus Association’s annual fundraising dinner; and decorating a tree for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cabarrus County’s Festival of the Trees fundraiser.
“The biggest thing we have going on is that we made a $10,000 grant to Cabarrus Time Savers toward the restoration of the Old Courthouse Tower Clock in downtown,” Amber Yuill, RHC Board of Directors president, says. ”We are really excited about partnering with them on this project.
“Other than that, we are exploring ideas for other community involvement opportunities, such as possibly a ghost tour or a mystery dinner for fall of 2019.”
The A.S. Hotchkiss Restoration is the name given to the restoration of the historic courthouse clock because the time piece was manufactured by Hotchkiss/Seth Thomas. Installed in the bell tower upon the courthouse’s completion in 1876, some parts are still original.
Cabarrus Time Savers – also a non-profit – is working to, hopefully, restore it to working order. They removed the clock from the tower in August; however, this is a painstaking task that could take years.
“Layers upon layers of dirt, debris, bird and bat unmentionables and, unfortunately, a ‘newer’ paint job need to be removed,” according to Scott Schmeiser on Cabarrus Time Savers’ online blog. “Virtually no original paint has been found on any of the wheels or moving parts. It seems anything that could be unbolted was removed, stripped and repainted. The chassis itself has the only original paint, so far. It appears that it was sanded to prep for the ‘newer’ black paint job, thus destroying a lot of the original handpainted artwork as well. A bit remains, but all is in bad repair.”
Visit RHC’s website for more information or to become a member; visit cabarrustimesavers.blogspot.com for more information about Cabarrus Time Savers and the A.S. Hotchkiss Restoration project.
Article By: Kim Cassell
Photos Courtesy: Residents of Historic Cabarrus