The Mallonee-Jones House
This report was written on January 2, 1980
1. Name and location of the Property: The property known as the Mallonee-Jones House is located at 400 E. Kingston Ave. in Charlotte, N.C.
2. Name, address and telephone number of the present owner and occupant of the property: The present owner and occupant of the property is:
Mercer J. Blankenship, Jr.
400 E. Kingston Ave.
Charlotte, N.C. 28203
3. 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 3714 at Page 600, The Tax Parcel Number of the property is 123-083-01.
6. A brief historical sketch of the property:
On September 8, 1894, The Charlotte Observer announced that J. N.. Mallonee, a local building contractor, would construct his home on Kingston Ave. in Dilworth.1 Dilworth, Charlotte’s initial streetcar suburb, had opened on May 20, 1891.2 Named for Edward Dilworth Latta (1851-1925), President of the Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company or Four C’s, Dilworth revolutionized the built environment of Charlotte. It now became possible for affluent and middle class Charlotteans to reside in the suburbs, where they could simulate the ambiance of a rural existence, replete with large lots, verandahs and manicured lawns.3 Mallonee moved into his Dilworth home on February 21, 1895.4 The architect was Charles Christian Hook (1870-1938).5 A native of Wheeling, W. Va., and graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Hook was the first licensed architect to live continuously in Charlotte. He moved here in 1891 to teach mechanical drawing in the Charlotte Graded School, which stood at the corner of South Blvd. and E. Morehead St. By 1892, he was designing structures for the Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company. Indeed, most of his early commissions were for homes in Dilworth.6 Although Hook specialized in Neo Colonial motifs, he did design Victorian homes. Dilworth retains two of Hook’s Queen Anne style residences, the Mallonee-Jones House (1895) at 400 S. Kingston Ave. and the Robert J. Walker House (1901) at 329 E. Park Ave.7
Photograph of house taken in 1897
Julius Morris Mallonee (1867-1907) was a native of Charleston, S.C., where his father, J. C. Mallonee, owned a large lumber business. A graduate of Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie,, N.Y., Mallonee married Emma McRae of Marlborough County, SC, on December 6, 1893. Soon thereafter, Mallonee moved to Charlotte for purposes of establishing himself as a building contractor.8 It is reasonable to infer that he vas attracted here by the vigorous economic climate which had been created by the construction of a city-wide trolley system in 1891 by the Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company.9 On December 15, 1897, Mallonee sold his home in Dilworth and moved to E. Fourth St. in Charlotte.10 His house stood on the present site of the old Mecklenburg County Courthouse. According to the Charlotte Observer, Mallonee became the “pioneer builder of Charlotte, buying lots, and building homes and selling them outright.”11 He built many of the older homes in Elizabeth, another early streetcar suburb of Charlotte. He constructed the first apartment complex in Charlotte, the Mallonee flats across from his home on E. Fourth St. He was a charter member of the Southern Manufacturers Club, a prestigious organization of local businessmen.12 Also, Mallonee was the building contractor for the Dilworth Graded School, which opened on January 3, 1905.13 J. N. Mallonee died on August 25, 1907. “Always kind hearted and open handed, he made many friends,” the Charlotte Observer reported.15 A member of First Baptist Church, he had seven children, two of whom predeceased their father.16 Emma McRae Mallonee, his widow, expired on January 27, 1943. Both are buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte.17
Charles Wellington Jones & Cora Shepherd Jones
On August 12, 1899, Charles Wellington Jones (1865-1924) and his wife, Cora Shepherd Jones (1873-1974). purchased the house which J. N. Mallonee had erected four years earlier in Dilworth.18 They occupied the house as newlyweds. A native of Harrisonburg, Va, Charles W. Jones had moved to Charlotte in 1895 as a bachelor. He established a grocery store under the name of “Moore & Jones.” Subsequently, he became an official of the Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company, the developers of Dilworth. During his later years,, he established the Industrial Bank of Mecklenburg. Jones died at home on October 19, 1924.19 Cora Shepherd Jones, his widow, lived in the home at 400 E. Kingston Ave. until her death, at the age of one hundred, on April 30, 1974.20 She was a teacher of history for thirty-three years, first at the D. H. Hill School and later at the old Alexander Graham Jr. High School on E. Morehead St. Affectionately remembered by her students as “Miss Cora,” she was a graduate of Stuart Hall in Staunton, Va. She and her husband were members of Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church where she served as organist for many years.21 They had three children, Charles Wellington Jones, Jr., who was killed as a teenager in a train accident, Margaret Jones Ormand, and James Nelson Jones.22 Mercer J. Blankenship, Jr, an attorney, purchased the house on October 9. 1974.23 He continues to reside there.
1 Charlotte Observer (September 8, 1894), p. 4.
2 Charlotte News (May 20, 1891), p. 1. Daily State Chronicle (May 19, 1891), p. 1. Morning Star (May 24, 1891), p. 4.
3 Charlotte Observer (July 15, 1925), p. 8.
4 Charlotte Observer (February 22, 1895), p. 4.
5 Charlotte Observer (September 8, 1894), p. 4.
6 Charlotte News (September 17, 1938), p. 12. Charlotte Observer (April 3. 1892), p. 4. George Welch, a resident of Charlotte, did design several structures in the community in the 1870’s, including Second Presbyterian Church, the opera house and the jail. None of these structures are extant. Apparently, Welch was not a professional architect (Charlotte News (April 15, 1901, p. 1.)).
7 Charlotte Observer (September 19, 1894), p. 4. Charlotte Observer (June 9, 1901), p. 5.
8 Charlotte News (August 26, 1907), p. 1. Charlotte Observer (August 26, 1907), p. 7. Charlotte Observer (August 18, 1935), sec.,3, p. 7 (contains a photograph of J. N.. Mallonee), Gravestone of J. N. Mallonee in named cemetery.
9 The Edison Electric Co. installed the trolley system for the Four C’s. The cost was $40,000. The first trolley departed from Independence Square on May 18, 1891. The system opened on May 20, 1891.
10 Mallonee sold his home to Mrs. F. P. Smith of Gaston County, North Carolina (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 1239 p. 579). Mrs. Smith and her husband, John A. Smith, sold the house on October 1, 1898, to Rosa McDonald of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 1279 p. 424).
11 Charlotte Observer (August 19, 1935), sec., 3., p. 7.
13 Charlotte Observer (July 17, 1894), p. 6.
14 Gravestone of J. N. Mallonee in Elmwood Cemetery.
15 Charlotte Observer (August 26, 1907), p. 7.
16 Charlotte Observer (August 18, 1935), sec. 3., p. 7. Gravestone of J. A. Mallonee in Elmwood Cemetery. Gravestone of J. F. Mallonee in Elmwood Cemetery.
17 Mecklenburg County Death Book 62, p. 93.
18 They purchased the home from Rosa McDonald, wife of Edward McDonald of Mecklenburg, County, North Carolina. The price was $2200 (Mecklenburg County Deed Book 139, p. 503). Gravestones of C. W. Jones and C, S. Jones in Elmwood Cemetery.
19 Charlotte Observer(October 10, 1924), p. 10.
20 Charlotte News (May 1, 1974), p. 8. Charlotte Observer (May 2, 1974), p. 11F.
21 Charlotte News (May 1, 1974), p. 8.
22 Mecklenburg County Deed Book 3714, p. 600. Interview of Ann Jones Mudge by Dr. Dan L. Morrill (September 19, 2007).
7. A brief architectural description of the property: This report contains an architectural description of th e property prepared by Carolina Mesrobian, architectural historian.
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 Mallonee-Jones House does possess special significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the following considerations: 1) it is one of the earliest houses in Dilworth, Charlotte’s initial streetcar suburb, 2) it is one of the two Queen Anne style houses in Charlotte definitively attributable to Charles Christian Hook, Charlotte’s first resident architect and an architect of regional importance, and 3) its owners have occupied positions of leadership and influence in the local community.
b. Integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling and/or association: The Commission judges that the architectural description included herein demonstrates that the property known as the Mallonee-Jones House meets this criterion.
9. Ad Valorem Tax Appraisal: The Commission is aware that designation would allow the owner to apply annually for an automatic deferral of 50% of the Ad Valorem taxes on all or any portion of the property which becomes “historic property.” The Ad Valorem Tax appraisal on the .161 acres of land is $2500. The Ad Valorem Tax appraisal on the improvements is $11,700. The most recent annual tax bill on the land and improvements was $296.53.
The Charlotte News.
The Charlotte Observer.
The Daily State Chronicle (Raleigh, N.C.).
Gravestones in Elmwood Cemetery, Charlotte, N.C.
The Morning Star (Wilmington, N.C.).
Records of the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Office.
Records of the Mecklenburg County Tax Office.
Vital Statistics of Mecklenburg County.
Date of Preparation of this Report: January 2, 1980.
Prepared by: Dr. Dan L. Morrill
August 1, 1979
The Mallonee-Jones House, located at 400 East Kingston Avenue in the Dilworth section of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a two and a half story frame house in the Queen Anne style. It was designed by Charles C. Hook, built by J. N. Mallonee, a lumberman, in 1894, and was occupied in early 1895. The house stands on a narrow city lot with a small front yard. Behind the house is a German-sided garage which appears to be original to the property and which is in a very dilapidated state. A comparison of Sanborn Insurance Maps shows that a northeast section was added to the garage between 1911 and 1929, but it is no longer extant.
The house rests on a brick foundation, is of German siding, and has a hip roof with composition shingles and two interior brick chimneys. The massing is very picturesque, it being characterized by a front two story bay window, a wrap around front porch, breaks in the northwest facade, multiple roof lines, and irregular placement of windows.
The front facade (Kingston Avenue) contains a two story bay window with an overhanging cross gable containing a smaller pedimented cross gable in the apex of the larger gable. The cross gables have wooden sunburst designs, the lower portion of the gable containing a louvered vent framed on either side by applied wooden blocks simulating dentils. A blank panel flanked by sawnwork brackets is situated between the gable and a Victorian sash 1/1 window, this fenestration being typical to the house. These windows have wide plain surrounds, and all had louvered shutters at one time.
A one story front porch with turned posts and a balustrade angles around the bay. The east side of the porch is enclosed as a sunroom and contains three casement windows, two of which are floor length. Examination of the 1911 and 1929 Sanborn Insurance Maps shows that this section of the porch was enclosed as a sunroom between the two dates. The diagonal entrance bay of the porch, which faces due north, bears a cross gable with the sunburst design. The front glazed and paneled door with single pane transom is decorated with reeded pilasters and corner blocks with incised flower designs. The screen door bears decorative sawnwork brackets. A small balcony with turned posts and balustrade is situated over the entrance way.
The northwest side (Euclid Avenue) contains three bays; two of these sections project out in a step-like manner. A narrow bay which abuts onto the front corner contains a narrow second story window with 1/1 sash. It is also characterized by a small cross-gable with sunburst design, a boxed molded eave that surrounds the house, and applied wood blocks which simulate a dentil cornice. Both the Euclid and Kingston oriented sides of the middle projecting bay contain a Queen Anne stair window with colored glass borders and plain surrounds on the first story. The final projecting section is pierced by a pair of 1/1 sash windows on each story. Three paneled sections flanked by sawnwork brackets are situated above the second story windows. This projection also has a cross gable with a smaller pedimented cross gable in its apex, the sunburst pattern, and a centrally located louvered vent flanked by applied dentil squares.
The rear (southwest side) of the house contains a bay pierced by a narrow first story side window with 1/1 sash. A one story lattice work porch with lattice work door extends along the flank of the two bayed kitchen wing projection. This projecting section also contains a small casement window in the first story of the northwest side. The screened sleeping porch above the lattice porch is an addition, as shown by a comparison of the 1911 and 1929 Sanborn Insurance Maps. The second bay of the kitchen wing contains a window with 2/2 sash on each story.
The southeast facade of the house is characterized by three bays. The southern most bay contains a first story 2/2 sash window and a second story 1/1 sash window. A narrow 1/1 sash window pierces both stories of the middle bay, while the northern most bay contains a pair of 1/1 sash windows on both stories. All windows have plain surrounds. The applied dentil cornice is present on this facade.
The plan of the house is unsymmetrically arranged and has a number of small scale decorative details. One of the most interesting features of the interior is the corner Eastlake style pine staircase in the entrance hall. The massive newel post is decorated with fluting in the center of the sides and has chamfered corners with lamb’s tongue. The top has convex roundels, molded cornice, and a turned finial. The staircase is also defined by slender, turned balusters, a molded handrail, and a plain, closed string. Two colored glass Queen Anne style windows light the stair landing.
The entrance hall leads into a parlor located in the front of the house. A corner of the parlor is cut away, a feature which combines the parlor with the hall and which creates a large, flowing space. The corner is supported on an Eastlake style massive turned post with side grooves into which large sliding doors fit. The parlor contains a late Victorian style mantel. Bracketed pilasters support a beaded shelf; the plain frieze has a fluted shell or fan motif in the center. The mirrored overmantel bears a shelf on each side as well as across the top and is decorated with beading and convex roundels. A tile hearth and surround and a cast iron coal grate also comprise the fireplace. Although the mantel is ornamented similarly to the rest of the woodwork, it is less robust in form. It was most likely mail order with the rest of the woodwork being custom made.
The dining room, located behind the parlor on the southeast side of the house, contains a mantel which is more similar to the woodwork. It has a plain surround, a dentil and molded cornice and beaded shelf. The mirrored overmantel bears shelves and slender columnettes on each side and a delicate balustrade across the top.
The library, on the northwest side of the house, contains a mantel with mirrored overmantel which is somewhat like the one in the parlor but is not as ornate. The three globed ceiling gas light fixture may be original. The bottom half of the walls in this room, as well as in others excepting the parlor are paneled in heart of pine; the top half is plastered as are the ceilings. Woodwork is characterized by a vertical beaded wainscot, a wide beaded chair rail, and a high beaded baseboard. Window and door surrounds are symmetrically molded and have roundel cornerblocks. Doors have five raised panels with chamfered stiles. Hardware consists of ornate brass stamped doorknobs and escutcheon plates with a brass finish. The double windows in the dining room and library have raised paneled aprons beneath them. All floors are of hardwood.
A hall runs between the dining room and library, its entranceway transom having a wooden latticework arched screen with roundel corner blocks. The rear section of the house contains a bathroom, said to have been originally the butler’s pantry, on the southeast side, and a small center hall with an enclosed servant’s stairway. A tiny stair beneath the rear stair was evidently put in when the basement was dug out for a furnace to replace coal burning at a later date.
The completely unmodernized kitchen is located at the extreme rear of the house. Its walls and ceiling have narrow beaded sheathing; this was the only woodwork in the house that was painted. Cabinetry may be original. A free standing gas stove and the main buzzer box with which to summon servants from other parts of the house are still in the kitchen. A well was located in the back porch, part of the porch having been converted into a second bathroom at a later date.
The second floor contains four bedrooms with a central hall, a bath on the southeast side which has its original wash basin and a tub on legs, and plenty of closets and storage space. It also consists of the enclosed sleeping porch on the southwest rear side which was added between 1911 and 1929; two doors leading from the porch to the hall and the southeast rear bedroom have been added.
The master bedroom is located in the bayed projection in the front of the house and has a dressing room area and spacious walk-in closet on the northwest side. This room also opens onto the small balcony which sits over the entrance to the house. Fireplaces and mantels in the master bedroom (corner) as well as in the bedrooms on the northwest and southeast sides are similar and bear decorative incising, brackets and beading.