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Architectural Description

The Caldwell Station School is a one-story, side-gabled  frame building, set on a continuous brick foundation.  The principal section of the building is one room deep. The building faces west, is located on a one acre lot, and is set back approximately 100 feet from a one lane paved Caldwell Station Road.  The road runs near a north-south rail line, the former Atlantic, Tennessee, and Ohio.  The small road is separated from the rail bed by approximately 150 feet.  To the west of the rail line runs NC Hwy 115, a busy two lane highway that connects Huntersville and Cornelius.  The area around the schoolhouse contains elements of typical of the school's historic rural setting.  To the north and south of the school within a few hundred feet of the building are large open field.  Along Caldwell Station Road are several early 20th century houses.  There has also been significant late 20th century development around the schoolhouse, including a mobile home park to the south, and an industrial warehouse to the west across the highway.

View of Caldwell Station Road looking south

The fenestration of the facade of the Caldwell Station School is limited to three openings, a single doorway and two large window openings.

The Caldwell Station School features a doorway centered on the facade, bordered on each side by large banks of windows.  The doorway contains a Craftsman Style three-light two-panel door sheltered by a small gabled roof.  The doorway is not original, but may have been added during the 1930s.  The porch's gabled roof is supported by two 4x4" posts and features a plywood deck.  The porch roof and frame may be of recent construction.  A wooden porch floor and wooden steps cover an earlier brick stoop.

The most dominant architectural features of the Caldwell Station School are two banks of tall nine-over-nine double-hung windows.  Each bank of windows contains six windows that share a single wooden sill.  The windows rise to the top of the wall, with the roof's exposed rafter tails extending slightly below the top rails of the upper sashes.   

 

The building is covered with German siding, and features exposed rafter ends.  The continuous brick foundation runs uninterrupted without indication of piers.  The crawlspace is ventilated by cross-shaped openings left in the brickwork. The roof pitch is moderately steep and the roof is covered by asphalt shingles. 

The north elevation features a shallow gabled wing with a recessed porch.  This porch sheltered one of the two original side entrances to the building.  The porch roof is supported by a single 4x6" post.  German siding boxes the beams supporting the porch roof on the exterior and bottom of the beam, and beaded board is used on the interior side of the beam.  The porch ceiling is also covered with beaded board.   The porch walls are the same German siding found on the rest of the exterior.  An older six panel door appears to have replaced an older door.  The north elevation of the principal section features a louvered vent set high in the gable, and is otherwise blank.  Both original gables on the north elevation feature deep eaves supported by simple timber brackets.  The roof deck is visible in the eaves and is composed of tongue-and-groove boards. 

  

Several additions have been made to the Caldwell Station School.  None of them exhibit the same high level of finish and workmanship found on the original section of the building.  A low-pitched gabled wing was added to the north elevation and now obscured some of the original gabled wing.  The later wing contains paired double-hung six-over-six windows, and is covered with German siding.   An odd gable extension was built above a portion of the original wing to bridge a valley between the wings.  The extension is sheathed with vertical boards and has no overhanging eave.

 

The rear elevation features a large full-width shed addition.  The design of the continuous brick foundation continues from the original principal section of the building.  The shed addition is covered with German siding and is pierced on the rear by six wide window openings, filled with replacement windows.  The roof overhang is minimal.  Eaves on the sides of the addition reveal simple board decking and small wooden brackets, much smaller than those found on the principal section.  A large crawlspace door  is located on the rear foundation wall.

  

The south elevation clearly demonstrates the lower roof pitch of the rear shed addition.  The addition joins the principal section at the location of a simple brick flue.  A door pierces the south elevation of the rear addition.  The gable of the south elevation of the principal section of the building contains a louvered vent.  Much of the remainder of the north elevation is obscured by a recent gabled wing, with a new textured brick foundation.  This wing appears to be completely new construction.  However, it is in the location of an original wing that would have contained a recessed porch and an additional entrance. 

While significant additions have been made to the exterior, most of the additions were done early in the 20th century and contribute to the understanding of the building.  The building's integrity, condition and setting all contribute to the significance of the property.  

The interior of the Caldwell Station School has experienced considerable alteration, but important elements of the historic interior architecture have survived.  The 1925 building was expanded sometime in the 1930s when it became an American Legion post.  A large section of the original rear wall of the building was removed when a full-width shed addition was added to the building.  The high ceilings and open space of the original section has been maintained.  The shed addition is also largely open, but features a lower ceiling.  The spaces are connected through a large opening in what was the original back wall of the school.    

The floors of the school are entirely tongue-and-groove pine board.  When the rear addition was added, a similar pine flooring was used.  It is likely that the entire interior of the original section was originally paneled with tongue-and-groove pine boards.  Wallboard now covers the woodwork of the ceiling and much of the walls, but it is likely that much of the original wall material survives behind wallboard.  Below the level of the window sills the original beaded boards are exposed as wainscoting.  Simple wood trim surround the windows and the original doorway on the north end of the building, as well as the door set in the center of the front wall.  The other doorways appear to be recent openings. 

Despite the alterations to the interior, the much of the historic character of the interior remains.  The exposed original floors and the open classroom spaces help the visitor under stand the historic use of the building.  While covered by wallboard, the retention of the original wall paneling could allow for further restoration of the interior space.