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  The Stratton House is located at 911 West Fourth Street Extension in the Third Ward section of Charlotte.  The House faces north and is set back approximately thirty feet from the street.  Originally named Grove Street, the street running in front of the house was widened to four lanes late in the 20th century.  But it appears that Stratton House lot was minimally affected by the road widening, and the house has retained its historical orientation to the street.  Sanborn Maps from 1929 and 1951 show that the house was situated on a large lot isolated from the neighboring houses.  Now sitting on an approximately .75 acre lot and bordered to the east by a vacant .25 acre lot, the historical setting of the house has been preserved.  The lot and much of the surrounding land are largely grassy and open, dotted with mature hardwoods.  The land slopes down to the rear of the lot, and also slopes down toward Irwin Creek located approximately 800 feet to the west.  Surrounding lots contain single-family homes.

The half-timbering in the principal gables clearly identifies the house as Tudor.  The steep roof pitch, overlapping gables, and open soffits found on the Stratton House all are elements of the Tudor Style.  Lacking any exuberant Tudor elaborations, the skill of Charlotte architect William Peeps is evident in the successful use of off-the-shelf building materials to produce an easily recognizable example of the style.

The house is in very good condition, and has a very high degree of integrity.  The house is virtually unaltered, interior and exterior.  The windows, trim, doors, flooring, ceiling materials, and hardware are largely original.

 

 

The Stratton House is one-and-one-half stories with a basement that is fully exposed on the rear elevation.  The side-gabled house features a steep roof (approximately twelve-over-twelve) and is four bays wide. The frame house is covered with a veneer of wire-cut brick laid in a running bond.  The fašade is dominated by a two-bay-wide front-gabled porch set adjacent to the west elevation.  Like the rest of the exterior, the porch foundation is brick laid in running bond.  Two brick steps with concrete corner blocks give access to the porch.  The porch floor is bordered by a horizontal soldier course of brick, and the floor is covered with broken terra cotta tile set in concrete. Three square brick columns, connected by simple wooden handrails, rise from the masonry porch floor to support the gable.  The columns, along with similar pilasters, support steel beams that bear the weight of the large gable.  The steel is largely hidden by moulded trim on the bottom, and a veneer of soldier-course brick.  In the gable, above the soldier course are two courses of brick laid in running bond.  Above the brick, the gable is stucco with six evenly spaced vertical timbers set in the stucco.  A six-over-six window is centered in the gable.  The eave features simple but substantial rake boars, and the soffit is open to the tongue-and-groove roof deck.  The side elevations of the porch roof feature exposed rafter tails above the soldier course.

 

Like the rest of the exterior, the porch walls are brick.  The porch shelters the front entrance which projects forward from the rear wall of the porch. A six-light two-vertical-panel door with moulded trim is topped with a soldier course. The rear wall of the porch is pierced by a wide window opening containing a pair of six-over-one windows set on a sloped brick sill.  All of the door and windows openings in the brick walls are topped with a soldier-course header.  The porch ceiling is narrow tounge-and-groove boards.

Adjacent to the porch, a shallower overlapping gabled bay projects from the principal section of the house and contains a pair of six-over-one windows like those found on the porch.  The running bond veneer rises from a grade-level projecting rowlock watertable. Unlike the larger stuccoed gables, the running bond brick veneer is laid up to the peak of the gable. The east elevation of the projecting bay is exposed and contains a single six-over-one window.  The fašade to the east of the projecting bay is pierced by a wide window opening containing a pair of six-over-one windows set on a sloped rowlock brick sill. The easternmost bay of the front elevation contains a of six-over-one windows.

                                    

 

 

The west elevation is four bays wide.  A wide, exterior, half-shouldered chimney set forward of the roof peak is bordered by two narrow four-over-one windows. The half-shoulder chimney has two sloped shoulders, both on the front side of the chimney. One as the chimney rises to the second story, the second after it passes through he eave. The third and fourth bays contain single six-over-one windows.  The basement is partially exposed and is pierced by a single six-over-one window.  The brick veneer is laid part way in the gable to allow for a brick sill under paired six-over-one windows. The remainder of the gable contains stucco and evenly set vertical timbers.

 

 

 

 

The rear elevation is four bays wide and features a shallow three-bay-wide hipped-roof projecting wing.  The basement is fully exposed on the rear elevation.  At the basement level the center bay of the wing contains a very narrow, short doorway in the center bay.  The purpose of this diminutive door design is unclear. The slab door is not original. The basement  elevation of the wing is also pierced by two evenly spaced six-over-one windows like those found on the rest of the house.  Separated from the basement level by a rowlock band, the first-story fenestration includes a short and narrow four-over-one window set roughly in the center of the elevation.  Like the doorway below it, the window is bordered by two evenly space ix-over-one windows.  While the windows on the basement and first-story elevations are similarly aligned, they are spaced slightly differently and do not directly line up.  The wing is topped with a low-sloped hipped roof.  A shed-roof dormer is perched on the hipped roof and contains a short six-over-one window.  The roofing is asphalt shingles, and the dormer is sided with the same material.  The narrow side elevations are pierced by window openings containing six-over-one windows, and are blank at the basement level.  

To the west of the wing, the rear elevation is pierced by a window opening containing a six-over-one window.  At the basement level the elevation is blank except for an iron coal shoot door.

 

 

The east side elevation is two bays wide.  A bay roughly centered in the elevation contains paired short six-over-one windows.  To the rear of the central bay is a narrow four-over-one window with a header-course sill.  Set between the two window opening and highlighted by rowlock courses is an original hinged kitchen vent cover.  The gable is similar to the gable on the west elevation and contains paired six-over-one windows, stucco cladding, and six evenly spaced vertical timbers set in the stucco. The basement level is pierced by a six-over-one window, and a doorway containing a slab door that may have been added.

An iron fence encloses the front yard.  A tall modern metal fence surrounds a portion of the back yard.  On the east side of the house, an original concrete wall retains the rear of the front yard.  A stone retaining wall runs parallel  to the east elevation and extends into the rear yard.

Interior 

The extraordinary integrity of the exterior is mirrored by a largely intact and unaltered interior.  The original plaster walls, oak flooring, painted millwork, built-in cabinets, light fixtures, bathroom tile and fixtures, and kitchen cabinets are largely original and in good condition.  While the partially finished upper half-story and basement have been somewhat altered as need arose, the principal story (first story) has seen no significant alteration. 

A simple foyer with an arched opening leads to the living room.  The living room has retained all of its original interior details including its narrow-strip oak flooring, iron radiator, fireplace mantle and simple red tile hearth.  All of the principal rooms feature baseboard is topped with moulded trim, and moulded crown molding.  The windows and door are all trimmed with moulded edging that wraps the case mouldings.  The window feature projecting stools with a moulded apron.

A plaster arched opening leads from the living room to the dining room.  The living room also features a six-panel door that lead to the central hallway. All of the full sized interior doors feature two small square raised panels at the top of the door, with four vertical panels aligned below.

The Stratton House has retained all of its significant original built-in millwork.  The breakfast room features a large built-in pantry/sideboard with lower sliding doors and a row of four drawers.  The drawers are topped with a wide wooden sideboard. Above the sideboard is a cabinet with four six-light sliding doors.  A similar cabinet is found in the kitchen with two nine-light sliding doors. Lower cabinets are also original.  The breakfast room and kitchen contain scalloped window valences that may be original.

 

The bathroom in the first story is largely intact, with original tile floor and partially tiled walls.  The tub is original, as is the medicine cabinet and the accessory elements (soap dish, towel rack, etc.) set in the tile work. 

 

 

The integrity of the interior of the Stratton House is enhanced by the presence of many other features that are typically removed or replaced in early-twentieth-century houses.   One such feature is the original built-in ironing board.  The house is especially notable for the retention of most of the the original light fixtures, such as the wall sconce shown below.