Happy Friday everyone!
For our final Fact Friday of 2021, we’re back for the final installment of Charlotte’s Historic Apartment Buildings. For this last one, I’m going to talk about the Addison Apartments, Charlotte’s first luxury condominiums.
At the corner of East Morehead and McDowell Streets sits The Addison Apartments. Like The Frederick and The Poplar, it’s a pre-war building built in 1926 by J.A. Jones Construction Company, who (you may remember) is the same company who worked on and ended up owning both the Frederick and The Poplar.
The J.A. Jones Construction company purchased two lots on the corner of Morehead and McDowell in Dilworth in 1922. By that time, Dilworth – which was formed in 1890 as the first suburb in Charlotte – was a fashionable place to live, much like it is today.
J.A. Jones began construction on the building in March 1926 and completed it by the fall of that year. The building was a steel-frame structure and 9 stories high, and the architecture reflected the Neoclassical Revival style. The fashionable new building featured hot and cold running water, steam heat, a radio attachment for each room, a dining room, room service, and a beauty parlor. A lap of luxury for the 1920s! During construction, the Charlotte Observer described the condos as “the most imposing apartment building so attempted in the state.”
IMAGE: Addison Apartments, Charlotte Observer, 1926. Caption: The Addison Apartments were part of a boom for luxury apartment living in the 1920s and the Observer called it “the most imposing apartment building so far attempted in the state.” The Charlotte Observer, April 28, 1926.
Controlling interest in The Addison was sold in the late 1940s and changed hands several times through the years. In the 1970s, the City of Charlotte Housing Authority bought the building for low-income housing for the elderly and sold it twenty years later in the 1990s. After it was sold, the apartments were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Addison was eventually converted into office space, which it remains today.
Charlotte and many other places around the country are experiencing a similar apartment boom today – will any of these new buildings still stand in 100 years? Will they survive long enough to be historic and how will we talk about them? The Frederick, Poplar, and Addison apartments are a part of the history that remains in and around Uptown Charlotte. Thanks for exploring this history with me!
Happy new year!
Ph.D Student, UNC Charlotte
Volunteer, Charlotte Museum of History
1926, April 28. Charlotte Observer, p. 18. Available from NewsBank: America's News – Historical and Current.
About The Charlotte Museum of History
The Charlotte Museum of History exists to save and share the Charlotte region’s history, helping create a better understanding of the past and inspiring dialogue about the future. The museum is the steward of the 1774 Hezekiah Alexander Rock House and homesite, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest home in Mecklenburg County. Visit charlottemuseum.org and follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The museum is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass