1. Name and location of
the property: The
property known as the Pineville Commercial Block and is located at 312 –
330 Main Street, Pineville, North Carolina.
2. Name and address of
the present owner of the property:
The present owner of the
THE PERSIAN RUG HOUSE OF PINEVILLE
P.O. BOX 481
PINEVILLE, NC 28134 (310,312, 314, & 316 MAIN ST.)
W. A. YANDELL
RENTAL AND INVESTMENT CO.
PO BOX 386
PINEVILLE, NC 28134
CAPS OF PINEVILLE LLC
PO BOX 1073
PINEVILLE, NC 28134
LEWIS Z JR BAILES AND PEGGY L BAILES
PO BOX 113
PINEVILLE, NC 28134
CHARLES BRADFORD SMITH AND TAMMY NICHOLS
3913 LAKESIDE DR
CHARLOTTE, NC 28270-0411
J. A. ARDREY (HEIRS)
PO BOX 4026
TUBAC, AZ 85646
MILLER FAMILY LPI
4022 BARLCAY DOWNS DR
CHARLOTTE, NC 28209
photographs of the property:
This report contains
representative photographs of the property. Photographs are available at
the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission office.
4. Maps 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 tax parcel numbers associated with the property are: 20501301,
20501302, 20501303, 20501304, 20501305, 20501306, 20501307, 20501308,
20501309, and 20501310.
6. A brief historical
sketch of the property:
This report contains a brief historical sketch of the property.
7. A brief architectural
description of the property:
This report contains a brief
architectural description of the property.
8. Documentation of why
and in what ways the property meets criteria for designation set forth
in N. C. G. S. 160A-400.5:
Special significance in terms of its history, architecture,
and/or cultural importance: The Commission judges that the property
known as the Pineville Commercial Block does possess special
significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its
judgment on the following considerations:
The Pineville Commercial Block embodies important elements of the
culture, history, and architecture of Pineville.
The Pineville Commercial Block helps us understand the story of
Pineville’s most prominent families, who were not only the town’s
commercial leadership but were also central in the civic
cultural, and social development of the town.
The Pineville Commercial Block well represents the distinctive type of
small-town architecture that was once prevalent in Mecklenburg County,
and thus serves as a physical reminder of county's historic
b. Integrity of design,
setting, workmanship, materials, feeling and/or association:
The Commission contends that
the physical and architectural description which is included in this
report demonstrates that the Pineville Commercial Block meets this
9. Ad Valorem tax
Commission is aware that designation would allow the owner to apply for
an automatic deferral of 50% of the Ad Valorem taxes on all or any
portion of the property which becomes a designated "historic landmark."
The current total appraised tax value of the land and improvements is
10. Portion of property
recommended for designation:
The exterior of the buildings and the land included in the tax parcels are
recommended for historic designation.
Date of preparation of
August 15, 2006
Stewart Gray and Hope Murphy
Street in Pineville has been lined, for nearly a century, with the
businesses and homes of the town’s commercial, political, and civic
elite. Families such as the Yandells, Yountses, and Millers began
commercial development of the town shortly after the turn of the 20th
Century. While doing do so they also built the churches, schools, and
recreation places, that turned the town from an intersection of two
trading paths to a thriving Early 20th Century commercial
center. The economy of Pineville was based largely on the
cultivation, ginning, and milling of cotton; but many other business
interests developed in the town. Main Street, by the 1930’s, had
among its businesses: 5 grocery stores, 2 barbershops, a dime store,
drugstore, doctor’s office, blacksmith, and theater.
Retaining a high degree of physical integrity, the buildings along Main
Street are now rare and significant artifacts that can tell us much
about the town of Pineville. As an entity the 312-330 Block of Main
Street embodies important elements of the culture, history, and
architecture of Pineville. The buildings additionally relate the story
of Pineville’s most prominent families, who were not only the town’s
commercial leadership but were also central in the civic,
cultural, and social development of the town.
other Mecklenburg County town centers, once similar to Pineville, no
longer exist. The historic streetscapes of Cornelius and
Huntersville are radically altered. The structures on
Main Street Pineville, with their high degree of integrity, encompass
the distinctive characteristics of type, period, and method of
construction once prevalent in the small towns of Mecklenburg County,
and serve as a physical reminder of the town and region’s commercial
Pineville, North Carolina is located approximately eleven miles south of
the city of Charlotte. The small town, originally a cluster of log
cabins at the intersection of two trading paths, had its commercial
beginnings as a train stop when the South Carolina Railroad opened a
depot in 1852. The town, incorporated in 1873, became a busy
center for agricultural support and textiles in the next few decades.
In 1890 businessmen from Charlotte opened the Dover Yarn Mill in
Pineville. By the time the Mill had added a weaving department in
1902 over two hundred people were employed at the Mill.
1903 the population of Pineville reached 700; most residents were
involved in some way with the cotton industry. Those not employed
by the mill labored as cotton farmers. Autumn would bring farmers
to Main Street where they would form long lines in order to have their
cotton ginned. Saturdays would also bring farmers to town shop,
pay debts, or trade mules.
most of its history the south side of Main Street has been owned by the
Yandell family. W.A. “Willie” Yandell began acquiring land on the
south side of Main Street beginning in 1919. In that year he
purchased one-half acre from C.H. Griffin and his wife Rana.
In a 1987 interview in the Charlotte Observer Willeen Yandell, W.A.’s
daughter, recounted that when her father arrived in Pineville in 1912
Main Street was only a wagon path. The elder Yandell, recognized
that the growing town needed services like grocery stores and began to
June 1929 the business owners along the street petitioned the Mayor
of the town and Board of Alderman to “grade and pave” the road.
Property owners along Main Street agreed to pay one-quarter of the cost
of the project.
Into the 1930’s Main Street in Pineville remained only one of two paved
streets in Pineville, the other being Polk Street. By the 1930’s
Pineville housed along its two block business district: five
general stores, a dime store, a drug store, a doctor’s office, hardware
store, pool room, livery stable, blacksmith, post office, icehouse,
movie theatre, and funeral home.
Joe Griffin recounts that as a young boy in Pineville, during the
1930’s, most people who lived in or near Pineville shopped on Main
Trips to uptown Charlotte, rare in the 1930’s, became more so during
World War II when gas became rationed.
Griffin recounts that the sidewalk on either side of Main Street was
about four feet wide. Trees and grass were planted between the
sidewalk and the road. This grassy strip served as a place for the
stores to display items on nice days.
Main Street Pineville
Tom Eubanks, who grew up in the residential section of Main Street, recounts that cotton-laden, mule-drawn carts still often lined Main
Street after he returned from the Korean War in 1954.
He recalls that the character of the business district remained intact
until the 1960’s, and changed most radically in the 1980’s. As
Charlotte grew, some of Pineville’s small-town character began to wane.
In 1972 Pineville was home to 2000 people within its one square mile
corporate limits. The erection of apartment complexes, malls, and the Carowinds Amusement Park three miles west of the city brought traffic
congestion to the sleepy business center.
Charlotte Observer article posited that the shift in the type of retail
stores located along Main Street began in 1983. In that year the W.A. Yandell Rental and Investment Co. rented 329 Main Street to Betty
Hiltz. She opened the China Connection, an antique shop.
Within five years every address on the south side of Main Street, except
two, was occupied by antique stores. Presently over half of the
store fronts on the north side of Main Street are occupied by antique
act that signaled the end of Pineville’s rural character, Tom Eubanks
helped a local farmer remove his cows from the land on which the
Carolina Mall would be erected. The massive commercial development that
followed along Highway 51 between Pineville and Matthews, the expansion
of the City of Charlotte up to and around the boundaries of Pineville,
and the completion of the nearby I-485 beltway connecting to Interstate
77, have transformed much of the area around Pineville into a largely
312-330 Main Street block, with buildings dating from the 1910’s and
1920’s, is therefore, an important historic site. Taken as a single entity,
these storefronts are critical to understanding the historic development
of Pineville. The one and two-story brick corbelled buildings form, in
total, a place of important historic and architectural significance from
Early 20th Century Pineville.
312 Main Street
Main Street has changed ownership many times over the years.
Initially owned by the Hoover family, the building was bought by W.A.
Yandell and his wife in 1944, from S.F. Hoover and his sister Frances.
Yandell, as the owner of every property on the south side of Main
Street, was one of Pineville’s most prominent businessmen. While
he leased most of that property to other businesses, he ran a hotel and
general store from a large building at 331 Main Street. 312 Main
served both families as an investment property. The building
initially served as a five-and-dime store and later became the Gold and
Williamson Grocery Store. Gold and Williamson was among the five
grocery stores along Main Street, and ten that operated in the town.
Grocery store ownership was a potentially lucrative business, even in a
small town with so much competition. Store owners extended credit and often
held a crop lien on over-extended farmers.
314 Main Street
Main Street was initially the home of Pineville Savings and Loan.
Its first known president was C.S. Oakley, a prominent businessman who
also owned the Pineville Lumber Company. The bank closed in 1929, during
the Depression’s first wave of bank closings. Its closing was a
hardship to Pineville’s residents, as another bank did not open in
Pineville until 1960 when the American Bank and Trust Company opened its
doors on the south side of Main Street.
W.A. Yandell filled in this gap in services by providing check cashing
and loan services from his office on the other side of Main Street.
In the 1930’s, 314 Main Street housed Robert Hair’s Drugstore. Joe
Griffin who worked as a soda jerk there in the 1950’s remembers that the
store was a popular gathering place for Pineville’s teens. They
could buy a soda or single dip of ice cream from the soda fountain for a
nickel. It was also the first place Griffin saw a television
set. He recalls that the American Legion, as a fundraiser,
displayed a television in Hair’s store and sold raffle tickets for it.
Though the TV showed a test pattern for much of the day, Griffin
recounts, most everyone in town would come, and watch the television for
Hair, like many of Pineville’s business leaders, was also involved in
the civic and political life of the town. He served one two-year
term as mayor after the Second World War, and another four years, from
1955-1959. Hair’s father, M.G. Hair, also served as Mayor of Pineville,
from 1917 to 1937.
Initially located above the store was a Masonic Lodge. The Pineville
Masonic Lodge No. 455 was chartered in 1893. Though it is not
clear what year the lodge first occupied this building, the lodge had
been there for many years when it went defunct in May 1931.
In the early 1940’s Dr. Ralph C. Reid occupied the office space over the
drug store. Dr. Reid, as the only doctor in the community, quickly
outgrew the space. In 1947 he moved out of the building and opened a
small community hospital, Pineville’s first.
316 Main Street
Main Street was originally the Younts General Store. The business
was started by Samuel Younts, a blacksmith from Davidson County, who
came to Pineville after the Civil War. A 1989 Charlotte
Observer article reported that Mr. Younts was one of the most
successful businessmen in Pineville. His store, according to the
article, generated between $150,000 to $175,000, in receipts each year.
When the town was being incorporated in 1872 Younts served as the town’s
first mayors; and according to local lore, surveyors determined the
town’s bounds by measuring a half mile in each direction from Younts’s
In 1888, Younts was among the founders of the Pineville Cotton Mill.
The Cotton Mill, which processed much of the 6000 bales of cotton grown
in the fields nearby, was the economic backbone of the town of Pineville
from its founding to its closing in 1992.
1930’s, 316 Main Street became the Howard Brothers Grocery Store.
The store like the other grocers on Main Street carried a wide variety
of products including meats and produce, hardware, and clothing.
This grocer remained open until the early 1970’s. At that time a
salvage business occupied the space. In the 1980’s the store
became an antique store.
Click here to view photographs of
the interior of 316 Main Street
318 Main Street
Main Street was owned until 2002 by the Miller Family. The Miller
family has owned much of the north side of Main Street since the early
1920’s. The Miller brothers, Leightner Miller and J.R. Miller,
were among the wealthiest men in town. In addition to owning
commercial property, they were among the largest farmers in Pineville.
Additionally, they owned the town’s cotton gin. Joe Griffin recalls that
the gin ran night and day in the fall, after the cotton harvest.
Both of the brothers participated in the civic life of Pineville, and
served terms on the Pineville Board of Alderman during the 1930’s and
Carroll operated Carroll’s Grocery Store from this location. The
store, which began operation in the 1930’s, continued in business until
the late 1960’s. Pineville Radio and T.V. then occupied the
SCAN MILLER PIC GRIFFIN
320 Main Street
Niven Family purchased 320 Main Street from W. A. Yandell in the 1920’s.
E. E. Niven and his wife Theresa owned the Niven-Mercantile Company,
which leased the property to hardware store operator Charlie Howie.
Joe Howard Griffin, Sr., who worked in the store as a teenager in the
1940’s, recalls that Howie’s store served as a gathering place for local
farmers on the weekends. Open until midnight on Saturdays, the
store, Griffin recounts, had customers up until that hour. When
E. E. Niven died in 1932, his wife inherited the property, which she sold
back to the Yandells in 1947.
In 1958 Kenneth Wilkerson purchased the hardware business from Howie.
Wilkerson and his son Ken ran the business for 31 years, which closed in
1989. Increased car traffic on Main Street made parking
difficult, and the competition from the influx of large warehouse
home-improvement stores contributed to the closing.
Like most of the other storefronts on both sides of Main Street, 320
Main is now occupied by an antique store.
322 and 324 Main
1906 Walter B. Bailes bought the lot at 322 and 324 Main Street from W. A.
Rodgers and S. C. Rodgers. 322 Main, which is still owned by the Bailes family, is home to the
purported oldest existing business in Pineville, Bailes Recreation. The
business was initially a barbershop. Men were able to receive a
haircut, shave, shampoo or even shower while visiting the shop.
Owner Bryant Bailes later added a poolroom in the back of the shop.
shop also served as a community gathering place for men. Bailes’s,
and McCoy’s barbershop across the street, were where the men of
Pineville came to catch up on local news, gossip, and talk politics.
“You never heard such arguments on politics,” Joe Griffin recounts.
The store front at 324 Main Street, no longer owned by the Bailes family. In 1913, the building served as the home for the Pineville Pharmacy and has housed a number of businesses since the 1960’s including a
beauty shop and consignment store.
326-328 Main Street
Built in the early 1900’s, 326 and 328 Main Street have been owned
by the Ardrey family for most of Pineville’s history. The Ardrey Family
is one of the oldest families of Pineville. Dr. Joseph Alexander Ardrey
was the town’s first medical doctor and began practice there in the late
1870’s. He was additionally one of the major investors in the
Pineville Cotton Mill that opened in 1888 and a principal founder of
the Pineville United Methodist Church.
Dr. Ardrey’s son, J.A. Ardrey, owned a gun shop at 326 Main Street, and
was among the eleven business owners who petitioned the Pineville Board
of Aldermen to pave Main Street in 1929.
Louise Ardrey, Dr. Ardrey’s daughter, taught school in Pineville and
operated a beauty salon from 328 Main Street, the current location of
the Pineville Gun Shop.
330 Main Street
building, which has been owned by the Miller family since 1948, when L.S.
Miller and his wife Mary bought the property from the Niven family, was
home for over 70 years to the Blankenship Feed and Oil Store. The
initial patriarch of the family was Captain Stephen Pettus Blankenship,
a Civil War veteran. Blankenship walked home to Pineville, from
Maryland, after being captured by Northern troops.
Captain Blankenship’s son, William F. Blankenship, Sr., opened the feed
store, prior to the 1930’s. In addition to the feed store
Blankenship owned an icehouse on the south side of Main Street.
Before the Second World War, when few in Pineville owned electric
refrigerators, Blankenship made daily, door-to-door deliveries of ice from his large
William F. Blankenship, Jr., who later ran the business with his father,
became involved, like many of the other merchants on Main Street, in
Pineville politics. After losing his seat on the town board of
commissioners in 1965, Blankenship was reappointed to the board in
and reelected to the seat in 1969.
Blankenship Feed, like the Pineville Gun Shop and Bailes Recreation,
stayed in business through many economic changes. It was not
until after the beginning of the 21st Century that Blankenship Feed, perhaps
the Main Street business most connected with Pineville’s agricultural
past, ceased doing business.
The location presently houses an antique store.
330 Main Street, Pineville, N.C. - Flood
Click here to view photographs of
the interior of 330 Main Street
The Pineville Commercial Block is located along the north side of Pineville's Main Street, and is composed of the storefronts that are numbered 312 –
330. The buildings face south and sit adjacent to a wide concrete sidewalk. One other building is attached to this block, however in contrast to rest of the buildings and storefronts in the Pineville Commercial Block, 310 Main Street appears to have lost its integrity with new brickwork on the facade, and stucco obscuring the exposed east side
The storefronts vary greatly in width. Although there is only one two-story building in the block, the heights of the all the buildings vary greatly. Several of the storefronts feature tall parapet walls. The designs vary from
building to building, but all utilize solid brick construction. The buildings all feature brick corbelling and wide storefront-openings supported with metal lintels.
The Pineville Commercial Block presents ten storefronts. An inspection of the rear of the buildings show that there are nine distinct building-spaces. Most of the buildings are not complete buildings at all.
Instead, many of the buildings share sidewalls. It is possible that one or more of the buildings may be composed of a facade and rear wall built between two pre-existing buildings.
Store-front building with a single wide opening in
the façade. The brick building was laid in American bond. Unlike many
of the storefronts in the block, the store-front opening is set in
slightly from the side wall. And unlike many of the other buildings on
the block, 312 appears to be a complete building, one with four complete
walls. For example, the neighboring building to the west, 314, is built
against and on top of the preexisting western wall of 312. This may
indicate that 312 is among the oldest of the surviving buildings on Main
Street. The store-front opening is now filled with metal double door
and modern window framing built upon brick knee walls. Curved sawn
brackets support a shallow pent roof. The purpose of the pent roof, a
feature on most of the buildings in the block, is to both afford some
protection to the entrance and the display windows, and to hide the
metal lintel that allows for the large opening in the brick wall.
Above the pent roof is a recessed panel composed of
six courses of brick. Above the panel is a substantial brick cornice.
Corbelled pendants decorate the bottom of the cornice, which projects
from the building. The top of the cornice features corbelled bands
sandwiching a row of bricks set at a 45-degree angle. The eastern end
of the cornice appears to have been damaged and has lost several bricks.
Two-story brick storefront building laid in
The building features one large opening on the first floor, and a
secondary doorway. The opening is formed with a single lintel that
rests in the solid brick side walls. 314, is built against and on
top of the preexisting western wall of 312. Storefront framing may be
original or an early replacement. A doorway to the east of the
storefront may lead to the second story and the door may be original.
The second floor fenestration features
segmental-arched opening with double-hung windows. Above the
windows is a recessed panel. The facade is topped with a
pronounced corbelled cornice.
Two-story brick storefront building laid in
The building features one large opening on the first floor. The opening
is formed with a single lintel that rests in the solid brick side walls.
Double doors centered between plate-glass display windows may be
original. A recent shingled pent roof probably replace a smaller
pent roof that was designed to cover the lintel. The side walls
are decorated with a single one-wythe-wide recess.
the first story, the building features three square vents topped with
arched lintels and deep sills. Above the vents is a thin corbelled
band. The parapet is crenellated and topped with a corbelled cap.
The outer crenellations feature recessed panels.
This building appears to have been built after the building at 316 Main,
sharing its western wall. 318 is the narrowest of the storefronts
included in the commercial block. Granite foundation stones and
threshold may be original. Replacement textured brick kneewalls and an
aluminum-framed door occupy the storefront opening. Boxing hides the
opening’s lintel. Above the opening in the façade the brick are laid in
American bond. The top of the façade is highlighted with corbelled
bands with corbelled pendants.
wide single storefont building, with a tall front parapet. The store
windows rest on brick knee walls made of textured brick that probably
replaced earlier paneled kneewalls. The side walls project past the
façade, and it is notable that the eastern side wall features a tall
one-wythe-wide recess, like those found on 316 Main. The lack of a
similar decoration on the west wall may indicate that the shared west
wall predates the building at 320 Main. Replacement doors are centered
in the façade and door and windows are topped with a narrow row of
window opens, now filled with solid panels, except over the doors, where
the area is glazed up to the lintel. Two posts in the window frames my
help support the long lintel. Like most of the other store fronts on
the north side of Main Street, the building at 320 Main utilized metal
and wooden trim to disguise the metal lintel that make possible the wide
opening in the fronts of these buildings. A building with an exposed
lintel can be found across the street at 327 Main Street. Above the
fenestration, the front brick wall is recessed slightly from the solid
brick mass of the side walls. The brick are laid in American bond with
five rows of stretchers between rows of headers. A panel consisting of
seven courses of brick is set back from the rest of the wall. The top
of the façade is highlighted with corbelled bands with corbelled
pendants. The wall has been capped with terra-cotta tile.
small storefront that was altered sometime after 1913. Sharing a common
wall with 324, 322 appears to have been the earlier of the two
buildings. Brick work and archival photos seem to indicate that 322 was
originally a much lower building with a pronounced corbelled cornice.
When 324 was constructed, their common wall was extended upward. Later,
the façade of 322 may have been added to, to accommodate additions on
the rear of the building. A taller façade would have been needed
because, as on all of the buildings in the block, the composite roof
slopes to the rear. A deeper building requires a taller façade. Low
brick walls have replaced original paneled knee-walls shown in archival
photos. But the wooden-framed windows appear to have preserved the
original from of the storefront and may date from the middle years of
the 20th century. Just above the storefront windows, a very
shallow pent roof extend across the width of the building. The shallow
roof is supported by curved and fluted brackets and features beaded
fascia. The wall above the fenestration is plain except for a single
recesses panel composed of five courses of brick. The top of the wall
is highlighted by a corbelled cap.
324 Pineville Pharmacy ca. 1913
very simple building with a single storefront opening that has been
filled with modern brick and aluminum framed doors and windows. Sharing
a common wall with 322, 324 appears the later of the two buildings.
Brickwork and archival photos seem to indicate that 322 was originally a
much lower building with a pronounced corbelled cornice. When 324 was
constructed, their common wall was extended upward. Modern wooden
boxing and moulding supports a short pent roof over the entrance, and
obscures some sheet metal that appears to cover the front lintel. The
wall above the fenestration is plain except for a single recesses panel
composed of five courses of brick. The top of the wall is highlighted
by a corbelled cap. The partially exposed west wall is stepped, and
still features some faded lettering from early signage.
One of the lowest buildings in the block, 326-328 extends above
neighboring 330 because of the sloping site. This building also
demonstrates the relatively pronounced slope of Main Street, with
several more courses of brick under the western front window. The
building is a duplex-store-front type, with a symmetrical façade pierced
by two door openings in the center of the building, and large, almost
square, window openings to either side of the doors. 326 may have an
original four-light, three-panel door, while 328 has a replacement
door. Both doorways featured transoms that have been filled, and both
doorways now have metal security gates. The plate-glass windows sit in
opening that lack any well defined sill. Wooden trim hides a lintel
that spans the front of the building.
The brick building was laid in American bond with five rows of
stretchers between each row of headers. The front wall is topped with a
corbelled cap laid in a dentil pattern.
One-story storefront brick building laid in common bond with five rows
of stretchers between rows of headers. The building features one large
opening. The opening is formed with a single lintel that rests in the
solid brick side walls. The lintel supports a large brick panel above
the storefront opening. The panel is recessed back from the side walls,
and features two bolt plates that may indicate that front wall is
anchored to some of the interior framing. The panel is topped with four
rows of corbelling that bring the front wall flush with the side walls.
The wall is topped by another corbelled row. The front parapet is
topped with metal to prevent water from soaking into the wall.
The storefront does not appear original. Plate glass windows are
supported by low brick walls and brick has been in-filled between the
windows and the original brick opening. Between the windows, plywood
panels surround recent aluminum paired single-light doors. Unlike most
of the buildings that make up the commercial block, 330 Main Street
features an exposed side wall. The west elevation is a plain parapet
wall, topped with two courses of corbelled bricks. The wall features
three steps. A simple corbelled brick flue is flush with the exterior
wall. Several bricks are missing from the top of the stack. A single
segmental-arched door opening, now in-filled with brick, is located in
the side wall. The arch is composed of two courses of soldiered