The Craig House was designed by William H. Peeps, an important local architect. It represents a fine example of early-twentieth century Tudor Revival architecture in one of Charlotte's earliest and most desirable suburbs. The house exhibits many characteristic components of the style. David J. Craig, Sr. could afford to build his house in a manner not readily available to the average middle class American. The well-developed design, fine details, quality materials and accomplished workmanship all bear testament to the high caliber of this building. Built for a prominent businessman, this was his home for the last nineteen years of his life. It makes a statement about his image and standing in the community, and reveals the standard of living available to a well-to-do businessman in early-twentieth century Charlotte. Mr. Craig's decision to relocate his family and settle in Charlotte is representative of a period of economic prosperity and population growth during the 1920s in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Craig's selection of a local architect and his choice to erect such a large and well-made home reflects both a financial and personal investment in the community.
David Jenkins Craig, Sr. (1877-1948) was born and raised in Gastonia. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1897 and was an active member of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Oasis Temple) from 1901 to the time of his death. In 1904, at the age of 27, he moved to Statesville, where he established himself in business. He went into partnership with L. P. Henkel and C. V. Henkel, serving as secretary and treasurer of the Henkel-Craig Live Stock Company. In addition to dealing in horses, mules and cattle (and later automobiles), they ran a hack line (horse-drawn taxi) between Lenoir and Blowing Rock, catering to the tourist trade. During the 1910s, they formed the Blowing Rock Development Company and acquired the landmark Green Park Hotel (built in 1891). In 1915, the Blowing Rock Development Company constructed a nine-hole golf course on surrounding acreage. This was no small feat, as the land they chose was entirely forested. In 1922, an additional nine holes was cleared. At some point, the Green Park Hotel was expanded and modernized by Craig and his partners. Craig and his family, however, may not have been regular guests of the hotel, as they had a cottage of their own in town.
By 1929, when the Craigs chose to build here, Myers Park was well established as a fashionable and exclusive neighborhood. The neighborhood was carved out of farmland once owned by John Springs ("Jack") Myers. Myers's son-in-law, George Stephens, had a vision and the business acumen to carry it out. He formed the Stephens Company, purchased the land from his father-in- law and set about creating Myers Park. The end result was the product of a unique collaboration between the Stephens Company, city planner John Nolen and landscape architect Earle Sumner Draper. The neighborhood began to take physical shape in 1912. Myers Park soon became the favored suburb for Charlotte's most successful and wealthy businessmen, and growth continued at a strong and steady pace throughout the next several decades.
Until next week!
Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
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