This report was written on July 3, 1978
1. Name and location of the property: The property known as the Scott-Hoke House is located at 1717 Cleveland Ave. in Charlotte, NC.
2. Name, address, and telephone number of the present owner and occupant of the property:
The present owner and occupant of the property is:
Mrs. Erma R. Hoke
1717 Cleveland Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28203
Telephone: (704) 332-4066
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 depicting the location of the property.
5. Current Deed Book Reference to the property: The most recent reference to this property is recorded in Mecklenburg County Estate Record #75-E-1614. The Tax Parcel Number of the property is 12307521.
6. A brief historical sketch of the property:
On September 18, 1900, The Charlotte Daily Observer reported that Mr. C. M. Scott (1858-1930) would build a “two-story, nine room dwelling house on Cleveland Ave., Dilworth,”1 the streetcar suburb which Edward Dilworth Latta and his five associates in the Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company, or Four C’s had opened almost a decade earlier, on May 20, 1891.2 “The roof will be of slate and the appointments up-to-date,” the newspaper proclaimed.”3
A native of Ceres in Bland County, VA., Mr. Scott had recently located in Charlotte to continue his occupation as a salesman of heavy machinery.4 No doubt attracted by the vigorous expansion and robust economy of this region, he established his business in a building on W. Fourth Street, where he managed the southern branch of the Good Roads Machinery Co. and was local agent for the Ingersoll-Sergeant Drill Co. 5 His home in Dilworth was completed in May 1901.6 Accompanying Mr. Scott to Charlotte were his wife, Idris Belle Repass Scott (1863-1934), and their four children, three sons, and a daughter.7 Mr. Scott and his family made substantial contributions to the social, religious and commercial life of their new home town. They were members of Westminster Presbyterian Church on South Boulevard, where Mr. Scott was a deacon and Mrs. Scott a leader of the women of the congregation.8 The most noteworthy of the children was Byron Carlisle Scott (1896-1937). He became an important figure in the automobile business, first as an associate of Mr. C. C. Coddington and later as founder and president of Scott Buick Co.9 Another son, Kenneth McCoy Scott (1899-1918), was labeled by the local press “one of the most popular young men of the Dilworth section.” One can imagine the anguish which his parents must have experienced when Kenneth died in the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918. They rushed to Chapel Hill to be at his bedside when he expired.10 Their third son, Wallace Wayne Scott, died in Charlotte on August 24, 1956. He had been employed by the Westinghouse Corporation for forty-four years.11
Jessie Repass Scott (1888-1946), the daughter of C.M. and Idris Scott, married Kemp Plummer Battle, manager of the Charlotte Country Club. He died in Red Springs, NC, on December 26, 1922.12 Following the death of her husband, Jessie returned to the house on Cleveland Ave. in Dilworth, residing there until her death on February 8, 1946.13 During the final years of her occupancy, she rented rooms in her deceased parent’s home to a series of boarders.14 On May 4. 1946, Dr. Roy E. Hoke, a native of York, PA, purchased the house which Mr. and Mrs. C.M. Scott had erected in 1900-01. Dr. Hoke, an ordained Presbyterian minister, received a Ph.D. in psychology from Johns Hopkins University, taught at several academic institutions, including Birmingham Southern College, Emory and Henry College, and Davidson College, and after moving to Charlotte in 1946, founded the Psychological Service Center, a private counseling enterprise. He maintained an office in his home at 1717 Cleveland Ave. His activities included a column which appeared in the Charlotte Observer each Sunday from 1946 through 1959 and a weekly program on Radio Station WBT during the 1950’s. In addition, he served as a minister-at-large for the local Presbyterian churches, substituting for ministers who were on vacation or otherwise unavailable. He is remembered as a kind and compassionate human being who never lost his sense of humor. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he once remarked that “most Phi Beta Kapps die of pneumonia caused by holding the coat apart to show the key.” Dr. Hoke died on November 3, 1975.15 His widow, Erma R. Hoke, continues to live in the house.
1 The Charlotte Daily Observer (September 8, 1900) p. 6.
2 The Charlotte Democrat (May 22, 1891) p. 3. The Charlotte News (May 20, 1891) p. 1. The Daily State Chronicle (May 22, 1891) p. 1. The Morning Star (May 22, 1891) p. 1.
3 The Charlotte Daily Observer (September 8, 1900) p. 6.
4 The Charlotte Observer (April 3, 1930) Sec. 1., p. 6.
5 Charlotte City Directory 1903, p. 281, p. 419. Charlotte City Directory 1904-1905.
6 Mecklenburg County Deed Book 87, p. 160. Mecklenburg County Deed Book 154, p. 108.
7 The Charlotte Observer (November 8, 1934) Sec. 2., p. 1.
8 The Charlotte News (November 8, 1934) p. 16. The Charlotte Observer (April 3, 1930) Sec. 1., p. 6. The Charlotte Observer (November 8, 1934) Sec. 2, p. 1.
9 The Charlotte News (April 15, 1937) p. 3. The Charlotte Observer (April 15, 1937) Sec. 2., p. 1.
10 The Charlotte News (October 18, 1918) p. 2. The Charlotte Observer (October 18, 1918) p. 14.
11 The Charlotte News (August 25, 1956) p. 8A.
12 The Charlotte News (December 27, 1922) p. 6.
13 The Charlotte News (February 9, 1946) p. 6A.
14 C. M; Scott died on April 2, 1930. Idris Belle Repass Scott died on November 7, 1934.
15 The Charlotte News (November 4, 1975), p.5B. The Charlotte Observer (November 5, 1975), p.12A.
7. A brief architectural description of the property: This report contains an architectural description prepared by Ms. Ruth Little-Stokes, 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. Historical and cultural significance: The historical and cultural significance of the property known as the Scott-Hoke House rests upon three factors. First, it is among the last houses of the Queen Anne style of architecture to be erected in Charlotte. Second, it is one of the oldest residences surviving in Dilworth, Charlotte’s initial streetcar suburb. Third, it has associative ties with individuals of local prominence.
b. Suitability for preservation and restoration: The structure and grounds are in an excellent state of repair. On balance, the house is well-preserved. Sufficient documentation exists to permit the restoration of the exterior of the structure.
c. Educational value: The Scott-Hoke House has educational value because of the historical and cultural significance of the property.
d. Cost of acquisition, restoration, maintenance or repair: At present, the Commission has no intention of securing the fee simple or any lesser included interest in this property. The Commission presently assumes that all costs associated with restoring and maintaining the property will be paid by the owner or subsequent owner of the property.
e. Possibilities for adaptive or alternative use of the property: The Scott-Hoke House is currently zoned for general business purposes (B1). However, the Commission believes that the structure is best suited for residential use.
f. Appraised value: The current tax appraisal of the improvements on the property is $16,520. The tax appraisal of the .218 acres of land is $9,500. The most recent annual tax bill on the property was $288.31. The Commission presently is aware that designation would allow the owner to apply for a deferral of 50% of the Ad Valorem taxes on all or any portion of the property which becomes “historic property.”
g. The administrative and financial responsibility of any person or organization willing to underwrite all or a portion of such costs: As stated earlier, the Commission presently the fee simple or any lesser included interest in this property. Furthermore, the Commission presently assumes that all costs associated with the property will be paid by the present or subsequent owners of the property.
9. Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets the criteria established for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places: The Commission judges that the property known as the Scott-Hoke House does meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places. Basic to the Commission’s judgement is its knowledge that the National Register of Historic Places, established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, represents the decision of those of local, regional and state significance. The Commission believes that its investigation of the property known as the Scott-Hoke House demonstrates that the property possesses local historical and cultural importance. Consequently, the Commission judges that the property known as the Scott-Hoke House does not meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places.
10. Documentation of why and in what ways the property is of historical importance to Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for three reasons: First, it is among the last houses of the Queen Anne style of architecture to be erected in Charlotte. Second, it is one of the oldest residences surviving in Dilworth, Charlotte’s initial streetcar suburb. Third, it has associative ties with individuals of local prominence.
An Inventory of Buildings in Mecklenburg County and Charlotte for the Historic Properties Commission.
Charlotte City Directory 1903.
Charlotte City Directory 1904-5.
Estate Records of Mecklenburg County.
Records of the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Office.
Records of the Mecklenburg County Tax Office.
Charlotte Daily Observer.
The Charlotte Democrat.
The Charlotte News.
The Charlotte Observer.
The Daily State Chronicle.
The Mornings Star.
Date of Preparation of this Report: July 3, 1978
Prepared by: Dr. Dan L. Morrill, Director
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission
139 Middleton Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28207
Telephone: (704) 332~2726
The Scott-Hoke House, 1717 Cleveland Avenue, Charlotte, is one of the finest of the few remaining early houses constructed in Dilworth, Charlotte’s first suburb. The modest Queen Anne design of the house is typical of the first building phase in the neighborhood, which lasted from its establishment in 1890 to the turn of the century when the various classical revival styles became popular. The extremely well-preserved Scott-Hoke House and its lovely landscaped grounds are an invaluable remnant of early Dilworth and a major neighborhood landmark. The two and one-half story frame house has the vertical emphasis typical of the High Victorian era, and its basically square five bay wide, four bay deep shape is complicated by a front two-story gabled projection with a bay window on the first story, a one-story wrap-around front porch with a balcony above the entrance bay, a south side two-story bay window, a turreted cupola just beneath the peak of the main hip roof, and a rear two-story wing with a one-story porch along the south flank. The structure has a solid brick foundation with an original basement, narrow German siding, and a steep hip roof, covered with alternating rectangular and fish scale shingles, with molded box eaves and two interior brick chimneys. The main entrance, located in the north side of the main (west) elevation, is a single door, the lower half paneled with a dentil molding, the upper half containing a single large glass pane. The door is set within a fluted surround with a dentil cornice. The windows on both the first and second stories are one-over-one sash with plain surrounds and molded caps. Many of them retain original louvered shutters.
Ornament is concentrated at the roofline. Centered on the front face of the roof is a polygonal cupola with three single pane casement windows. A fish scale slate turret with thick metal ribs and a metal cap which originally supported a finial, surmounts the cupola. The finial, which probably functioned as a lightning rod, has been removed. The front, sides, and rear cross-gables are weatherboarded like the walls, and have single, double or triple casement windows. The front cross-gable was originally particularly striking but the ornate sawnwork bargeboard set inside the gable has been removed. The south side cross-gable is most interesting, for the triangular overhangs formed by the juncture of the splayed bay and the pedimented cross-gable is outlined by curvilinear brackets. The front porch, with slender turned columns and a turned balustrade, extends across the front elevation and wraps around the south side to a sunroof, enclosed by continuous one-over-one sash and entered from the porch through an apparently original glazed and paneled door. Above the entrance bay of the porch is a one-bay wide balcony with a solid flat-paneled balustrade, finished with rounded corners and beaded flush sheathing. Latticework brackets with small finials form arched friezes in each balcony bay. A single door and window open onto the balcony. The rear one-story porch has identical columns and a plain balustrade.
The bays above the balustrade were originally infilled by latticework which has been removed. The porch originally wrapped one bay around the rear of the wing to the basement stair. The stair with its turned balustrade and batten basement door is still intact, but the bay is now enclosed. The small front and large rear yards are planted with a large variety of bushes and flowers, and are carefully maintained. The front yard has a curved concrete retaining wall of the type built throughout early Dilworth in the early twentieth century. An antique pecan tree shadows the back porch. The interior is arranged in an interesting variation of the center hall plan; the off-center front entrance opens into an entrance hall, which elbows back to become a narrower center hall connecting with the back porch on the south side of the kitchen wing, The main parlor is located beside the entrance hall, the dining room and a second sitting room (perhaps a library or den), are behind these rooms on each side of the hall. Behind the dining room is a large kitchen, without the butler’s pantry between kitchen and dining room which became a standard feature around the turn of the century. Behind the second sitting room, adjacent to the back porch, is a small room said to have been Mr. Scott’s office. It could not be entered from adjacent rooms, the rear door being the only access, The second story has a nearly identical arrangement of rooms, containing four bedrooms, a small “sewing room” at the front of the hall opening onto the balcony, and an apparently original bathroom directly above the rear office. The well-preserved interior finish is primarily of classical design. The floors are wide pine boards, the walls and ceilings are plaster, the doors have five raised panels of typical late Victorian design, the door and window surrounds are symmetrically molded with roundel corner blocks, and the halls and dining room have vertical, beaded sheathed wainscots with molded chair rails. Almost all of the rooms retain the narrow molded plaster picture cornices. The stair rises in three flights with two landings against the outside and rear wall of the entrance hall.
The striking design consists of a closed molded string, turned balusters, a molded handrail, and massive paneled classical newels with rope moldings outlining the panels, applied sunburst patterns, and fluted urns. The urns have indentations in the center tops which indicate that they may once have been lamp bases. Several early Dilworth houses retain newel post lamps. The main focus of the parlor is the mantel, with slender free-standing Ionic columns supporting a molded shelf. The original over-mantel has been removed. The very unusual hearth and fireplace surround tilework are one of the most unique features of the house. The fireplace surround is covered with yellow flowers on a white background, and the hearth tile has a border of scalloped sea shells, a rarity in Dilworth where plain or varicolored tiles without figural design are typical. The dining room contains a similar classical mantel, also missing its original overmantel, and beside the mantel is a built-in china closet with glass doors double-hinged to conserve space. The rear parlor mantel has been removed. The second floor mantels are less classical, more medieval in design, which is typical of non-public areas of houses where the most up-to-date design was considered unnecessary. Beneath the kitchen and rear parlor is an original basement, with brick walls, an apparently original built-in storage cabinet, and a coal chute.