Survey And Research
On The Queens Terrace
1. Name and location
of the property: The property known as the Queens Terrace
Apartments is located at 1300 Queens Road in Charlotte, N.C.
2. Name, address, and
telephone number of contact for the current owners of the property:
Mr. Harron Rudisill
Queens Towers Homeowners Association
1300 Queens Road
Charlotte, N.C. 28207
Telephone: (704) 376-5131
photographs of the property: This report contains representative
photographs of the property.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERY
4. A map depicting
the location of the property: This report contains a map depicting the
location of the property. The UTM coordinates of the property
are 17 515981.7E 3894651N.
Current Deed Book Reference to the property: The most recent deeds to
this property are set forth on Addendum A.
Addendum A --
Property Owners Addendum Sheet (All Queen's Terrace Unit Owners)
brief historical sketch of the property: This report contains a brief
historical sketch of the property prepared by Dr. Dan L. Morrill.
brief architectural and physical description of the property: This
report contains a brief architectural and physical description of the
property prepared by Dr. Dan L. Morrill.
Documentation of why and in what ways the property meets the criteria for
designation set forth in N.C.G.S 160A-400.5.
a. Special significance in terms
of its history, architecture and/or cultural importance: The
Commission judges that the Queens Terrace Apartments possesses special
significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases
its judgment on the following considerations:
1) The Queens Terrace
Apartments, built in 1960-61, was designed by Louis Asbury, Jr. and
Jack O. Boyte, both architects of local note.
2) The Queens Terrace Apartments
has a high degree of integrity and is among the earliest examples of
Modernist multi-family buildings in Charlotte.
3) The Queens Terrace Apartments is
the oldest Modernist apartment building located in the prestigious Myers
Park neighborhood of Charlotte.
4) The Queens Terrace Apartments has
been singled out as eligible for listing in the National Register of
Historic Places by a comprehensive survey of Charlotte's post-World War Two
built environment conducted by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic
b. Integrity of design,
setting, workmanship, materials, feeling and/or association: The
Commission contends that the architectural and physical description prepared
by Dr. Dan L. Morrill demonstrates that the Queens Terrace Apartments meets
Valorem Tax Appraisal: The Commission is aware that designation would
allow the owners to apply for an automatic deferral of 50% of the Ad Valorem
taxes on all or any portion of the property which becomes a "historic
landmark." The appraised values of the property are set forth on
The Tax Parcel Numbers of the property are 15304116 through 15304169.
10. Amount of Property
Proposed for historic landmark designation. The exterior of the
building, the entrance lobby, the upstairs lobbies and hallways, and the entire tax parcel except for the
parking lot and the car sheds.
Date of Preparation of this Report: November
A Brief History Of The
Queens Terrace Apartments
Dr. Dan L. Morrill
The Modernist-style Queens Terrace
Apartments, now Queens Towers Condominiums, located on the south side of
Queens Road just east of its intersection with Granville Road, was
constructed in 1960-61 by Towers Land and Development Company as luxury
apartments in the affluent Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte, N.C.
It was designed by Louis H. Asbury, Jr. (1912-1991) with Jack Orr Boyte
(1920-2005) assisting.1 The Queens Terrace
Apartments was one of several large-scale apartment buildings that began to
appear along this residential thoroughfare in the 1950s and 1960s.
"The location of these apartments have (sic.) been a key element of their
success all along," said Boyte in a 2001 interview.2
Illustrative of the local increase in
the demand for apartments in the late 1950s and early 1960s is the fact that
in 1959 only three out of every 100 family units being marketed in Charlotte
were apartments. In 1962, just three years later, the number had risen
dramatically to twenty-six out of every 100 family units.3
The Queens Terrace Apartments appeared during this surge in Charlotte's
multi-family market and during a growing demand for more intense development
in neighborhoods close to the center city. Charlotte was
experiencing robust suburbanization, which was induced in no small measure
by inexpensive gasoline -- 31.9 cents per gallon. Such
automobile-depended neighborhoods as Windsor Park, Providence Park,
Lansdowne, and Shannon Park were being actively marketed in 1959. That
same year Charlotte Country Day School announced plans for a new suburban
campus; and the Charlottetown Mall had its grand opening on October 28,
1959. The simultaneous growth of Charlotte's population, from
134,042 in 1950 to 201,564 in 1960, meant that developers were also anxious
to acquire large single-family homes in places like Myers Park, tear them
down, and replace them with apartment buildings. Such was the course
of events that led to the construction of the Queens Terrace Apartments.
Parcel in upper right hand
corner of map shows the site of the Queens Terrace Apartments.
Jack O. Boyte
Louis H. Asbury, Jr.
Architectural historians Sherry Joines
Wyatt and Sarah Woodard in their study of Charlotte's post-World War Two
built environment note that the late 1940's brought renewed optimism and
prosperity to the country. Expansion of the middle class in turn gave
rise to "suburban expansion, transportation improvements and accessibility,
and a renewed interest in Modernist ideas about architecture."
"These three national trends" Wyatt and Woodard assert, "created the three
local contexts of community planning, transportation, and architecture in
which Charlotte’s post-war Modernist architecture developed."5
Louis H. Asbury, Jr., the architect of
record for the Queens Terrace Apartments, joined his father's architectural
firm, Louis H. Asbury & Son, soon after graduating from North
Carolina State College in 1939. Like his father, Asbury was
trained in the revivalist tradition and accordingly fashioned buildings
which harkened to the past, such as his design of the St. Paul United
Methodist Church on Dorchester Drive in Charlotte's Sedgefield neighborhood.
Louis H. Asbury, who retired in 1956, and Louis H. Asbury, Jr. understood
that they needed to bring someone into their firm who had formal training in
Modernist design. Accordingly, in 1952 Louis H. Asbury & Son hired
Boyte, who had earned a B. S. Degree in architecture from the Georgia
Institute of Technology the previous year.
A native of Charlotte and graduate of Charlotte Central High School, Boyte
served as an apprentice under Louis Asbury and Louis Asbury, Jr., from 1952
The College of Architecture at Georgia
Tech was deeply committed to Modernism and the design philosophy of the
Bauhaus. Especially influential in this regard was Harvard-trained
architect Paul M. Heffernan, who joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 1938.
One can reasonably assume that Boyte imbibed the design philosophy that
Heffernan and others emphasized.7 In his 2001
interview Boyte commented that he was taught "no traditional architecture at
all." " Matter of fact" he continued, "they had a minimum curriculum
on the history of architecture."8
Paul Heffernan on left
According to Boyte, the Queens Towers
Apartments was always intended to be "a contemporary building" and was
a "radical departure" from multi-family design in Charlotte. " .
. . when I came into the Asbury firm I was just very reluctant to even
attempt a traditional building," Boyte explained. "I did a great
deal of modern work for them when I first came into the office." ". . . my
modern period kind of ended . . . during the . . . the 60s., "
said Boyte. "Well, . . . , when I worked on that design with Louis Jr.
I guess I designed" the Queen Terrace Apartments.
9 Wyatt and Woodard explain that Modernism "emphasized function and utility; abstract
beauty, sculptural form, and symbolism; honesty in materials; and the use of
modern materials and technology as well as an emphasis on the use of natural
materials."10 All of these attributes are
evident in the Queens Terrace Apartments.
The Queens Terrace Apartments differs
substantially from the multi-family housing units that had appeared earlier
in Myers Park. Four extant examples will suffice to demonstrate this
truth -- the apartments at 500 Queens Rd., 1500 Queens Rd., 1610
Queens Rd, and the apartment at Granville Rd. and Hopedale Ave., all of which harken to the past. The Queens Terrace
Apartments, on the other hand, is a strikingly bold design for its day
and is only one of two Modernist multi-family buildings in Charlotte that
have been declared eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic
|500 Queens Road
||1500 Queens Road
|1610 Queens Road
||Granville Rd. &
An Architectural And
Physical Description Of The Queens Terrace Apartments
Dr. Dan L. Morrill
The Queens Terrace Apartments is a
virtual textbook of Modernist functionalism. As one would expect in
buildings of this architectural genre, the structure is supported by
piers and has non-load-bearing walls with no
protruding decoration. The framing is steel. Alternating elongated vertical bands of windows
and brick accentuate the building's height. The windows provide even
illumination and are large rectangles framed in aluminum with a single
casement, which in
combination with the supporting piers raise the building's architectural
volume, strengthen its connectivity to the land, and evoke a sense of
lightness or floating in the architecture itself. Again, as expected,
the roof is flat, the eaves are broad, and sliding glass doors provide
access to the terraces, some of which have been enclosed.
The Queens Terrace Apartments has only
three residential floors, thereby respecting the tree canopy of the
neighborhood, unlike the nearby Carlton Condominiums. The building
pays homage to the principles of the Garden City espoused by such notable
Modernist architects as the Swissman Le Corbusier. According to
Corbusier, structures should function like machines, where land, people, and
building work together with maximum efficiency. A swimming pool
with a broad carpeted surround is situated in a courtyard to the immediate
right rear of the building fronting on Queens Road. Yard sculpture and
tropical plants are distributed on the property. None is original.
There are, however original concrete benches on the front lawn.
A large lawn with mature trees runs the entire length of the property
between the building and Queens Road as well as along the border with
Granville Road. Unfortunately from a design perspective, the parking
area beneath the building from the outset was filled with crushed stone and
used as a place of assemblage, even having a sand-filled bocce court; and a
large, unsightly paved parking lot has been built at the rear of the lot
with intrusive metal car sheds.
The lobby is small but distinctive in
its Modernist style features. The side walls are glass with glass
doors providing access to the interior The predominant interior wall is
composed of glazed marble panels and is punctuated with a single, solid
elevator door A replacement circular metal clock of contemporary
design adorns the marble wall, and an elevator control box with buttons is
to the immediate right of the elevator door. The floor of the lobby is
dark terrazzo. The north wall of the lobby is drywall painted beige.
Replacement circular overhead light fixtures are in keeping with the lobby's
understated, restrained feel. A door leads from the lobby to a paneled
room originally inhabited by a building manager. It is now used as a
mail room and a meeting room. Each of the residential floors has an
elevator lobby with carpeted hallways leading to the various living units. The
overhead protruding lights are original as are the solid entrance doors for
Mail Room/Meeting Room
Upstairs Elevator Lobby
Not surprisingly, many of the original
apartment units have undergone major renovations, thereby compromising their