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McMANAWAY HOUSE

This report was written on June 1, 1977

1. Name and location of the property: The property known as the McManaway House originally stood at 406 W. Trade St., the third dwelling on the north side of Trade St. east from Graham St. in Charlotte, NC. It now stands at 1700 Queens Rd. in the Myers Park section of Charlotte, NC.

2. Name, address, and telephone of the present owner and occupant of the property: The present owners of the property are:

David M. LaFave & Associates, Inc.
1900 Brunswick Ave.
Charlotte, NC

Telephone: (704) 375-9377

Robert Downie & Sally Cannon Saussy
2601 Roswell Ave.
Charlotte, NC

Telephone: 377-6154

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 property.

Click on the map to browse

5. Current Deed Book Reference to the property: The most recent reference to this property is found in Mecklenburg County Deed Book 3939 at page 288. The Parcel Number of the property is 153-063-05.

6. A brief historical sketch of the property:

Construction of the house began on the morning of Thursday, August 20, 1874, on a lot on W. Trade St. which Samuel Wittkowsky and Jacob Rintels, two prominent merchants, had purchased from Jacob Duls on December 30, 1873. In many ways this pretentious dwelling reflected the value systems and priorities which had shaped the careers of its initial owners. Both Wittkowsky and Rintels came to Charlotte in the mid-1850's as young adults who had immigrated from Prussia. They met as co-workers for Levi Drucker, a leader of the local Jewish community and owner of a mercantile establishment. In 1857 the two men formed a partnership for purposes of opening a general store in Ellendale, a small community in Alexander Co., North Carolina. Their total operating capital was less than $500. The firm was dissolved in 1859. Jacob Rintels then moved to Statesville, NC., where he met Bettie Wallace, sister of one of his partners in a newly-established mercantile house with which he became associated in 1860. They were married the same year.

In 1862 Jacob Rintels returned to Charlotte and joined forces once again with Samuel Wittkowsky. The firm of Wittkowsky & Rintels, located on S. Mint St., prospered and soon became one of the major wholesale mercantile establishments in North Carolina. That the proprietors functioned effectively in this era of laissez faire capitalism is certain. Indeed, by the early 1870's they belonged to the wealthiest elements in the community. Indicative of their economic prowess was their decision to expand into the retail market in 1874. They leased a building on W. Trade St. near the square and erected what many believed was the "most attractive sign in town." The issues of the Daily Charlotte Observer began to feature a large advertisement on the front page which described the "new and desirable goods" that the firm received by railroad from New York.

Jacob Rintels was the more flamboyant and colorful of the two entrepreneurs. He obviously enjoyed the making and spending of money. Although he and Wittkowsky jointly owned the house and lot on W. Trade St., Mr. Rintels and his family lived in the structure. No doubt its imposing and stately appearance pleased the ego of a man who had come to the community as an almost penniless immigrant. Now in his late 30's, Jacob Rintels had every reason to anticipate a bright and prosperous future. In early 1876 a daughter, Bessie, became the sixth child of Jacob and Bettie Rintels. The pattern of daily living at 406 W. Trade St., however, was decisively disrupted on the morning of June 13, 1876, when Jacob suffered a stroke and became completely paralyzed. He never recovered, dying on June 20, 1876, at the age of 40.

The Daily Charlotte Observer of June 21, 1876, announced that the funeral would take place at 9: 00AM the following day in "his late residence on Trade St." It was an impressive ceremony. The local Masonic lodge, of which Jacob Rintels had been a member, formed a procession at the Masonic Temple Building and marched to the house, where Mr. Mendelssohn, Jewish Rabbi of Wilmington, N.C., conducted the service. After the ceremonies at the house a funeral cortege was formed, consisting of a line of carriages "nearly a mile long," as well as a large number of mourners on foot. Internment was in "the Jewish Cemetery, about a mile and a half north of the city." Business establishments throughout the community were closed on the morning of June 22, 1876, to honor the memory of Mr. Rintels. The Daily Charlotte Observer lamented his passing. Indeed, when first reporting his malady, the newspaper had stated: "Mr. Rintels is a valuable citizen, and Charlotte Cannot afford to lose him. It is hoped that he will soon be entirely well."

Even more illustrative of his accomplishments was the fact that the Statesville American commented at length upon his career. (As reported in the Daily Charlotte Observer: "Mr. Rintels was noted for his business energy, having in that line no superior, and in connection with his partner, Mr. S. Wittkowsky, had founded one of the largest and most successful mercantile houses in the South, which has done more for the prestige of Charlotte than can well be estimated. In habits of business he was strict, in expenditures and deeds of kindness, liberal. In the community in which he resided, his place will be hard to fill, and can hardly be expected."

Bettie Rintels lived in the house at 406 W. Trade St. until 1901, when she sold the property to B. D. Heath and Nettle M. Heath. Samuel Wittkowsky, who sold his interest in the property to Mrs. Rintels on January 22, 1878, moved into a house next door soon after Mr. Rintels's death, probably so he could assist the widow and children of his deceased partner. Mr. Wittkowsky continued to be prominent in local business affairs until his sudden death by heart attack on the afternoon of February 13, 1911. In the mid-1890's Mrs. Rintels hired Mrs. Lucy Nethers, and later Mr. William B. Gooding, to manage the structure as a boarding house, even though she and two of her daughters (Eugenia and Bessie) continued to reside there. It is reasonable to assume that this transformation resulted from the fact that Mrs. Rintels no longer needed the amount of space which she had required when all of the children had been young. In late 1900 or early 1901 Mrs. Rintels moved to New York City, probably to live with one of her sons.

On February 26, 1901, Dr. Charles G. McManaway purchased the house and lot at 406 W. Trade St. from B. D. Heath and Nettle M. Heath, the letter couple having acquired it from Mrs. Rintels on February 11, 1901. The structure continued to serve as a boarding house until 1911, when Dr. McManaway, having sold his previous home on E. 6th St., moved into the house.

Dr. McManaway was born in Bedford Co., VA, September 2, 1857, and received his medical training at Baltimore College and at the Medical College of Louisville, KY, graduating from the latter institution in 1883. He first practiced his profession in Franklin Co., near Louisburg, NC. On September 13, 1883, he married Miss Virginia Rella Harris of Wake County, who died in 1894. She bore him five children, three sons and two daughters. On May 9, 1900, Dr. McManaway married his second wife, Miss Josephine Pharr, daughter of Hugh Smith Pharr and Martha Means Pharr of Charlotte, NC. Born January 1, 1876, Miss Pharr graduated from Converse College in 1894. She had one child, Hugh McManaway, born in 1912.

Dr. McManaway lived at 406 W. Trade St. in 1911-13, sharing the house with several of his children, including his son, Charles R. McManaway, and his wife, Eloise Libro McManaway. By 1914 Dr. McManaway had moved to a house on Hawthorne Ln., an act probably prompted by the birth of his son, Hugh. His son and daughter-in-law continued to reside at 406 W. Trade St., where misfortune struck on April 14, 1914, when one of two infants (twins) was dead at birth. In 1916 Dr. McManaway moved the house to a lot on Queens Rd., which his wife had acquired on January 14, 1916, from the Stephens Co., initial developers of Myers Park. He, his wife, Josephine, a daughter by his first marriage, Moselle, and Hugh moved into the house in late 1916 or early 1917.

Like Jacob Rintels before him, Dr. Charles Gustavus McManaway died soon after moving into the house. In April 1917 he became ill. Since coming to Charlotte in 1890, Dr. McManaway had risen to the top of the medical profession of this community. Consequently, he received the best of medical care. His colleagues urged him to bring a specialist from New York City to diagnose his malady. An operation in September confirmed Dr. McManaway's suspicions. He had cancer of the liver, a condition for which there was no cure. The Charlotte Observer described what followed: "Brave man and able physician that he was, he faced the inevitable with heroic courage, knowing only too well the physical agony that must be his before the end would come. Days and nights of excruciating suffering followed. His fellow physicians ministered unto him with heart and skill. Two weeks ago his condition became desperate, and from that time he literally died daily."

Dr. McManaway died at home on February 15, 1918, with the members of his family at his side. Almost the entire membership of the Mecklenburg Medical Society attended the funeral at the house on February 16, 1918. Interment was in Elmwood Cemetery.

Mrs. McManaway and her son, Hugh, continued to live in the house at 1700 Queens Rd., until her death at 87 on February 11, 1963. She was the organizer of the Liberty Hall Chapter of the D.A.R. and a charter member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church. She is also buried in Elmwood Cemetery. Hugh McManaway lived in the house until early 1977, when he moved to the Green Acres Rest Homes at 9300 N. Tryon St.

On April 28, 1977, David M. LaFave & Associates, Inc., Robert Downie Saussy and wife, Sally Cannon Saussy, purchased the house. At this writing it is being refurbished.

7. A brief architectural description of the property: This report contains an architectural description prepared by Jack O. Boyte, A.I.A.

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 McManaway House is historically and culturally significant for two reasons. First, the structure has architectural worth because of the quality of the interior appointments. Second, and more importantly, it is historically important because of its association with the early history of the Jewish community in Charlotte, NC.

b. Suitability for preservation and restoration: As mentioned above, the house is currently being refurbished. Moreover, the present owner intends to restore much of the original exterior, including the upper portion of the front portico.

c. Cost of acquisition, restoration, maintenance or repair: At present the Commission has no intention of purchasing this property. It assumes that all costs associated with renovating and maintaining the structure will be paid by the owner or subsequent owners of the property.

d. Educational value: The property has educational value because of its historic and cultural significance.

e. Possibilities for adaptive or alternative use of the property: Although the property could serve as an effective house museum, the Commission believes that it is best suited to continue to function as a residence.

f. Appraised value: The current tax appraisal of the structure itself is $640. The Commission is aware that designation of the property as a historic property would allow the owner to apply annually for an automatic deferral of 50% of the rate upon which the Ad Valorem taxes are calculated.

g. The administrative and financial responsibility of any person or organization willing to underwrite all or a portion of such costs: As indicated earlier, at present the Commission has no intention of purchasing this property. Furthermore, the Commission assumes that all costs associated with the structure will be met by whatever party now owns or will own the property.

9. Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets the criteria established for listing in the National Register of Historic Places: The Commission believes that the property known as the McManaway House in Charlotte, NC, does meet the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places. Basic to the Commission's position is its understanding of the purpose of the National Register. Established in 1966, the National Register represents the decision of the Federal Government to expand its listing of historic properties to include properties of local, regional, and state significance. The Commission believes that the McManaway House is of local historic significance and therefore meets the criteria for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

10. Documentation of why and in what ways the property is of historic significance to Charlotte and/or Mecklenburg County: The McManaway House is historically important to Charlotte for two reasons. First, the structure has architectural worth because of the quality of the interior appointments. Second, it is important because of its association with the early history of the Jewish community in Charlotte, NC.


Bibliography

An Inventory Of Older Buildings In Mecklenburg County and Charlotte for the Historic Properties Commission.

Beers Map of Charlotte, 1877.

Charlotte City Directory (1875-76, p.72, p.89);(1879-80, p.86, p.101); (1893-94, p.116, p.119); (1896-97, p.155); (1897-98, p.114, p.231); 1899-1900, p.136, p.287); (1902, p.173 ; (1903, p.281, p. 488); (1910, p. 158, p.285, p.459); (1911, p.291); (1912, p.302) ; (1913, p. 291); (1914, p. 342); (1915, p.332, p.485); (1916, p. 317, p.620); (1917, p.360).

Daily Charlotte Observer (January 13, 1874, p. l,; (April 28, 1874, p. 1); (June 4, 1874, p. 1); (August 21, 1874, p. 1); (June 14, 1876, p. 1); (June 15, 1876, p. 4); (June 17, 1876, p. 4); (June 20, 1876, p. 4); (June 21, 1876, p. 1, p. 4); (June 22, 1876, p.47).

Estate Records of Mecklenburg County (Will Book K, p. 220).

Records of the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Office (Deed Book 4, p. 119); (Deed Book 9, p. 418); (Deed Book 156, p.81); (Deed Book 156, p.155); (Deed Book 276, p.38); (Deed Book 351, p.508); (Deed Book 3939, p. 2885).

Records of the Mecklenburg County Tax Office, Parcel Number 153-063-05.

Sanborn Insurance Maps of Charlotte (1885, p.2); (1896, p.2); (1900, p.9); (1905, p.12); (1911, p.3); (1929, p.412).

The Charlotte Observer (February 15, 1911, p.6); (February 17, 1918, p.12); (February 12, 1963, p. 9-B); (February 13, 1963, p. 11-A); (February 16, 1918, p. 8).

Vital Statistics of Mecklenburg County (Birth Book 1, p.4); (Death Book 1, p.939); (Death Book 3, p. 287).

Date of Preparation of this Report: June 1, 1977

Prepared by: Dr. Dan L. Morrill, Director
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission
139 Middleton Dr.
Charlotte, N.C. 28207

Telephone: 332-2726

Architectural Description

Jack O. Boyte, A.I.A

When first built the house rested on a high foundation wall which enclosed a full, inhabited, cellar seen today the large square building rests on a low foundation and has an excavated, partial service cellar below ground. Originally there was a broad piazza across the front, supported by delicate posts. Centered in the front was a wide stair rising eleven steps from grade and flanked by solid stuccoed wing walls. Massive square pedestals anchored these wing walls at the ground and supported planters filled with lush greenery. The stair was abandoned when the house was moved, and now the piazza rests on grade one step above the yard. Surrounding the building the projecting roof is supported by a wide bracketed overhang. Here and there the frieze is dotted with cast iron medallions formed in stylized floral patterns.

An extraordinary balustrade enclosed the original piazza at the main floor with closely spaced, sturdy, turned balusters. Under a molded cap, this railing connected columns of typical Victorian elegance and set off the elaborate facade, which included paired windows in three panels on each of three floors. The projecting center panel provided a base for an elaborate mansard tower which rose high above a low, tin covered roof. With empire dormer windows centered at each side, this tower crowned the symmetrical front with extroverted elegance.

Windows on all floors are tall double units with single center muntins in upper and lower sash emphasizing vertical lines. Heads are all arched with plain stucco surrounds. On the second floor front, the center pair of windows has an extra dimension in height which creates access from the center tower to the piazza roof. Above these tower windows are arched molded bonnet heads with center garland cresting. At each side paired second floor windows have straight sided arches with molded architraves bent around curved heads, again with styled garland crests.

When the house was moved, the delicate balustrade was lost, as was the spectacular tower. In the new location Dr. McManaway replaced piazza roof supports with thick wooden Doric columns. In addition he had a narrow porte cochere at the left which connects to a side entrance. This roof is also supported by Doric columns which deny the Victorian-Tuscan origins of the first design. At the rear there is a substantial enclosed two-story wing added during the latter remodeling. On the right there is another small added wing which provides a bright, many-windowed sitting area adjacent to the original dining room. All of these additions are carefully stuccoed to match the original exterior wall finish window and door openings, however, are not arched in concert with the original openings, and the later windows have divided lights quite unlike the original center muntin vertical units typical of all Victorian modes.

The plan of this house is classically symmetrical. Center halls run front to rear on both floors. Opening to each side there are two huge rooms. At the left front downstairs is a lofty music room featuring a carved, brown and black marble mantel. There is no overmantel. Small white ceramic tile surrounds the fireplace opening, where a cast iron coal grate is installed. A narrow hearth consists also of small white ceramic tile. The entrance to this room and to a matching parlor at the right is through sliding paneled doors which roll into wall pockets. These doors tower ten or more feet above the floor, reaching nearly to the thirteen foot ceiling.

On the left a large bed chamber appears behind the music room. Here a simple oak framed mantel and overmantel encase a fireplace. The overmantel contains a wide beveled mirror. Typical of fireplaces in all rooms, there is a cast iron coal grate and an elaborate figured cast iron removable closer.

Across the hall and adjoining the front parlor is an even larger dining room where wall treatment is noteworthy. Surrounding the room are repeated panels of pressed leather, divided and cased with molded natural pine trim, all rising to a wide plate shelf six feet above the floor. This room also contains an oak framed fireplace with white ceramic tile trim.

In the wide center hall an imposing stairway rises in one run of twenty-four treads to the upper hall. From a massive carved mahogany first floor newel, turned balusters and a molded rail rise with the stair. At the second floor the stairwell is surrounded by a solid rail which is finished in repeated panels of wood trim and patterned wallpaper sections. The rail above this is unusually wide and of dark oak with the dating of age and wear clearly evident.

On the second floor there are four large bed chambers, each with a small coal burning fireplace trimmed with oak and small white ceramic tile. At each side these rooms connect through bath compartments where tub and lavatories were placed. There is one water closet for the floor located in a small hall closet at the rear of the center hall.

Important and delightful appreciation of the quality of work in the original house comes from the fine millwork throughout the interior. In each room door and window openings are trimmed with extraordinarily wide molded casing which forms fluted and reeded frames around each aperture. Windows in all rooms have wide extended lambrequin enclosures designed to receive full length, adjustable louvered blinds. At the floors the molded wall baseboards are wide and scaled correctly for the unusually high ceilings.

Throughout the interior on both floors the well preserved plaster wall surfaces are covered with varying patterns of early wallpaper. Reputed to be unique, these decorative papers are in fine condition and present a rare glimpse of Victorian decorative art.

This house has been preserved with obvious care and concern by the McManaway family reflecting much of the warmth and charm of Victorian architecture, the structure is an important segment in Charlotte's architectural heritage.