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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.