1. Name and location of the property: The property knows as the Moore-Golden House is located at 1701 East Eighth Street in Charlotte, North Carolina.
2. Name, address, and telephone number of the present owner of the property:
Anita Stewart Brown
1701 E. 8th Street
Charlotte, NC 28204
Telephone: (704) 376-3388
3. Representative photographs of the property representative photographs of the property: This report contains representative photographs of the property.
4. A map depicting the location of the property: This report contains a map which depicts the location of the property.
5. Current Deed Book Reference to the property: The most recent deed to this property is recorded in Mecklenburg County Deed Book 3561, page 545. The Tax Parcel Number of the property is 127-012-01.
6. A brief historical sketch of the property: This report contains a brief historical sketch of the property prepared by Dorothy T. Frye.
7. A brief architectural description of the property: This report contains an architectural description of the property prepared by Lisa A. Stamper.
8. Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets the criteria set forth in N.C.G.S. 160A-399.4:
a. Special significance in terms of its history, architecture, and/or cultural importance: The Commission judges that the property known as the Moore-Golden House does possess special significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the following considerations: 1) the Moore-Golden House, erected in Elizabeth Heights in 1910, is a rare local example of the English Cottage style of architecture, 2) Norman A. Cocke, a high official of the Southern Power Company, eventually becoming president, resided in the Moore-Golden House from 1912 until 1915, and 3) the Moore-Golden House was the home of Harry Golden, internationally-known author, journalist, and humorist, from 1973 until his death in 1981 and is the only home still standing in Charlotte in which Mr. Golden resided.
b. Integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling and/or association: The Commission contends that the attached architectural description by Lisa A. Stamper demonstrates that the Moore-Golden House meets this criterion.
9. Ad Valorem Tax Appraisal: The Commission is aware that designation would allow the owner to apply for an automatic deferral of 50% of the Ad Valorem taxes on all or any portion of the property which becomes “historic property.” The current appraised value of the .184 acres of land is $7,000. The current appraised value of the improvements is $34,570. The total appraised value of the property is $41,570. The property is zoned R6MF.
Date of preparation of this report: December 5, 1984
Prepared by: Dr. Dan L. Morrill, Director
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission
1225 S. Caldwell St.
Charlotte, NC 28203
Telephone: (704) 376-9115
The yellow stucco English Cottage style home at 1701 East Eighth Street in Charlotte was built in 1910 by the Charlotte Realty Company and sold that year to Dr. Baxter S. Moore, a local physician and surgeon. His wife, Caroline Brevard Moore, was the daughter of Robert J. Brevard who served several terms as Mayor of Charlotte. The house was built on a lot that was originally purchased in 1907 from the developers, the Highland Park Company, by John A. McRae, Charlotte City Attorney. It was one of two lots running northwest to southeast, fronting together on Kingston Avenue which later became Hawthorne Lane. He sold it to Carolina Realty Company in 1909, after which these lots, in combination with adjacent ones, were subdivided into lots running northeast to southwest and front on East Eighth Street. The house was built lengthwise on the 65′ x 123′ lot with its entrance facing Eighth Street.
From 1910 to 1919 the title of the property remained in the names of members of the Baxter Moore family.6 However, after living in the house for one year, Dr. Moore and his wife moved to Fulton County, Georgia and rented the house to tenants.
In 1912 Norman A. Cocke and his wife, Mary S. Cocke, rented the home and remained there until 1915 when they moved to Myers Park. A young attorney who had come to Charlotte to work for the Southern Power Company (predecessor to Duke Power Company), Norman Cocke was already well established in the business community at this time; he was secretary of the Charlotte Electric Company, the Charlotte Power Company, and Piedmont Traction Company as well as vice-president of Industrial Development Corporation. He was eventually to become president of Duke Power and Chairman of the Board of Duke University. Lake Norman is named for him.10
In 1915, the Hawthorne Lane Methodist Church was organized and its present building was completed the following year. Located across the street from the church, the house at 1701 was rented as a parsonage for its first two ministers, Rev. Robert D. Sherrill and Dr. T. F. Marr, Rev. Sherrill and his wife, Eliza, made it their home until 1918, and Dr. and Mrs. Marr lived there for the following year. Dr. Marr later became Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Duke University and of the Childrens’ Home in Winston-Salem.
In 1919, the house was sold to Delanie C. Mitchell, and from then until 1953 it remained in her family although the title was held by various individuals. Except for a short time during the early 1940s, its tenants were all members of that family. The Mitchell family represented the rapid changes taking place in the Elizabeth Heights neighborhood as more middle-class families moved in to replace wealthy residents attracted to Myers Park. Charles A. Mitchell, the husband of the owner, was a clerk with American Express Railway Company. Their son, Charles A. Mitchell, Jr., was a telegraph operator.
The house was sold in 1953 to Deville A. Hansen, a signalman with Southern Railway, and his wife, Alma W. Hansen. Mrs. Hansen died in 1968 and in 1971 the property was purchased by Ellison F. Edwards, a local physician, who used it as income property until 1973 when he sold it to Mrs. Anita Stewart Brown. 8
Harry Golden, who became internationally known as an author, journalist and humorist after his book “Only in America” became a best-seller in 1958, had lived in the Elizabeth neighborhood since 1952. When his home on Elizabeth Avenue was slated for demolition in 1973 to make way for a parking lot for Central Piedmont Community College, Mrs. Anita Brown suggested that he consider moving to the house she had purchased at 1701 East Eighth Street. A close personal friend of Mr. Golden’s for many years, Mrs. Brown was aware of his fondness for the Elizabeth neighborhood and of his need for space and privacy. Although he had already purchased a house on Kenilworth Avenue, he decided to accept the offer. He moved into the house in July 1973 and lived there until his death in October 1981.19
After Harry Golden died, Mrs. Brown moved into the house in order to protect it from vandals. Since that time, she has conscientiously tried to keep the house as it was when he was living there. Except for his personal papers, which have been donated to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, all of Mr. Golden’s belongings, including furnishings, books, numerous framed photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia, remain as they were then. Many of these items are related to his personal association with such well-known persons as John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Carl Sandburg, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Edward R. Murrow. Mrs. Brown also managed to salvage several items from Harry Golden’s house on Elizabeth Avenue when it was demolished, including the double front doors, a mantlepiece, and a stain-glass window. She has had these added to the house on Eighth Avenue in a functional and innovative way by making them part of the renovations enclosing the porch which faces both sides of the corner of Eighth Street and Hawthorne Lane.20
1 Charlotte Water Dept. Records for 1701 East Eighth state that a water permit was applied for on May 10, 1910 by Hackney Bros. Plumbing, and a tap was installed the following day. Carolina Realty Co. was listed as “landlord.”
2 Mecklenburg County Deed Book 269, p. 41; Charlotte City Directories, 1907-1910.
3 Obituary of Mary Stoney Brevard, The Charlotte Observer, September 13, 1923, p. 7
4 Deed Book 224, p 250; Charlotte City Directories, 1907-1910.
5 Deed Book 224, p. 250, July 2, 1907; Deed Book 256, p. 221, November 24, 1909; Deed Book 269, p. 41, October 19, 1910.
6 Deed Book 269, p. 41, October 19, 1910; Deed Book 316, p. 290, July 13, 1913; Deed Book 365, p. 381, January 4, 1917.
7 When Baxter S. Moore transferred title of the house to his wife’s name in 1913, both were listed as residents of Fulton County, Georgia. Deed Book 316, p. 290.
8 Charlotte City Directories, 1912-1915.
10 The Charlotte News November 4, 1974, p. 11; The Charlotte Observer, November 6, 1974, p. 18.
11 The Charlotte Observer, April 17, 1942.
12 Charlotte City Directories, 1916-1918.
13 The Charlotte Observer, December 11, 1940, p. 16.
14 Deed Book 398, p. 130, February 11, 1919; Deed Book 561, p. 541, November 5, 1923; Deed Book 641, p. 147, October 29, 1926; Deed Book 1301, p. 346, March 24, 1948.
15 Charlotte City Directories, 1920-1952.
16 Deed Book 1590, p. 209, February 11, 1953.
17 Mecklenburg County Death Certificates, 1968, No. 1206.
18 Deed Book 3287, p. 360, April 19, 1971; Deed Book 3561, p. 545, April 24, 1973.
19 Anita S. Brown, personal interview by Dorothy Frye, July 9, 1983.
The Cocke-Golden House
1. In August 1910, the house was apparently sold to Frank H. Lampkin and his wife but was later recoveyed to the Carolina Realty Company, and resold in October 1910. to Baxter S. Moore.
2. At the time John A. McRae purchased the lots in Highland Park in 1907, he had served one term in the North Carolina House of Representatives (1905). In 1915, the year he became State Senator, he was one of the founders of the Hawthorne Lane Methodist Church in Highland Park. (see The Charlotte Observer, February 24, 1962, page 1-B).
The English Cottage Style bungalow, the Moore-Golden House, is a prime example of the period Revival style residences which swept the nation during the early twentieth-century. Built in 1910 by the Charlotte Realty Company, it sits on top of a small hill at the corner of East Eighth Street and Hawthorne Lane. Dr. Baxter S. Moore, a local physician and surgeon, was the first tenant of the home. Its most famous tenant; however, was an international author, journalist, and humorist named Harry Golden.
Built of wood, stucco, and brick, the one and one-half story Moore-Golden House reflects popular building trends of the early-1900s. Its gabled roof’s bold, wide eaves appear to be supported by simple wooden brackets. This roof shape, combined with a wooden string course which visually separates the first story from the upper level, creates a horizontal appearance to the building. Its two chimneys are unobtrusive, with one located between the side porch and the main body of the house, and the other located on the north side exterior. Rectangular wooden framed windows are either double-hung or casement, and vary in size. They all have one diamond-paned light over a single one or are completely diamond-paned, depending on size and type. The diamond panes are common in Tudor styled residences, and add a lot of English flavor to the design.
The front facade(south side) faces East Eighth Street, and except for an enclosed first story porch sensitive to the total design, seems to have been unaltered over the years. The upper level contains a centered group of four double-hung windows. On either side of this grouping is a smaller window.
A L-shaped porch is located on the first level or the south and west sides of the home. This porch was once open, but now is enclosed and used as a sunroom. Wooden framed windows, which can be easily removed without aesthetic or structural damage, were placed between the stucco piers. A double front door which was saved from Golden’s previous home on Elizabeth Avenue has been used to enclose the porch on the south side, and is the front door of this home. The beveled glass transom does not fit above the door in its present position; therefore, was placed at the interior corner of the porch.
The western side of the building faces Hawthorne Lane. To the left of the porch are two casement windows. The upper level mainly consists of a wide, gabled dormer containing two groupings of two double-hung windows.
The back facade(northern side) has a first story porch which has been enclosed with glass. There is a small window in the stucco of the porch. To its left exists a double-hung window, while to the right exists two casement windows. The upper level has three evenly spaced double-hung windows.
The eastern facade is a little more complicated than the others, since the upper level gabled dormer reaches down into the first story area. Small, decorative brackets appear to support the dormer. It contains a rectilinear variation on the Palladian window. The windows in this grouping, as well as the four located on the first story, are of the same Tudor design as the others, of course.
This typical Revival style residence has many porches, sunrooms, windows, and doors. These features are used to blur the distinction between interior and exterior spaces. There are fewer rooms than earlier plans; however, the rooms are larger and arranged to separate life’s different activities. The plan of the Moore-Golden House fits this mold. Its simple finishes of white plaster walls accented by wide, simple oak woodwork complementing the exterior architectural style.
Entering from the front porch into the living room, the parlor, staircase, and a small hallway from which one reaches the kitchen is to the right. The formal dining room is placed behind the living room. Paneled sliding doors can be used to shut off the living room from the dining room and parlor. In the dining room, a left-hand door leads to the breakfast room, which has a glass-paned door connecting it to the L-shaped porch. A doorway to the right of the dining room leads to the kitchen. The butler’s pantry is located between the two. The dining room also has a door in its back right corner which leads to the back porch, which had a servants’ toilet. A modern shower was later added for Golden’s convenience. The other section of the porch creates a transition between the backyard and the kitchen.
The Palladian-like window floods the staircase with light. At the top of the staircase is a large open landing allowing access to three bedrooms, a full bath, and storage closets. The middle bedroom has a partial interior wall, whose sole purpose appears to be support of the fireplace, which has a hearth and mantel on both sides of this wall.
The interior of the Moore-Golden House has been well kept over the years. The only apparent changes have been the enclosing of the porches, a partition placed on the back porch, and movement of kitchen cabinets, new floor finishes in the kitchen and on the porches. Central heating was installed; however, original radiators are still in place. The woodwork and paneled doors had been painted, but the owner, Anita Brown, has refinished most of the woodwork and doors, and plans to complete the job. Brown had saved a beveled glass transom, a stained glass window, a mantle, a Newell post, and the front double-doors from Golden’s Elizabeth Avenue home before it was demolished. This home was of the same period as the Moore-Golden House, and these pieces have been or will be tastefully incorporated into the design of Brown’s home.
All of Golden’s belongings, furnishings, photographs, even his first typewriter used in Charlotte are presently located within the Moore-Golden House, the exception being his personal papers which have been given to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Brown has made few changes in Golden’s placement of his belongings, but where she did move them she kept detailed records of their original locations. Her only major addition to Golden’s decor has been beautiful antique furnishings which compliment the interior design of the house.
The Moore-Golden House is situated in the Elizabeth neighborhood on a street filled with quaint bungalow styled residences. A few trees and bushes in the front yard and the front walk appear to be part of the original landscape design. The rest of the land surrounding the house has been landscaped since 1973.
The Moore-Golden house is not only a well preserved example of period revival style in the mid-l900s, but it also is a memorial and tribute to an internationally known author, who chose Charlotte as his home. Presently, its only alterations have been minor and can be easily changed. Almost all of Harry Golden’s belongings remain within the house. Now is the time for recognition of the home’s historical worth to the community, before significant changes occur.