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Guthery Apartments, ca. 1925

The Guthery Apartments is an ornate three-story masonry building adjacent to the sidewalk along North Tryon Street, about five blocks north of the Square.  The building is five bays wide and is relatively narrow but very deep stretching 33 bays to the rear of the block with the rear elevation adjacent to North College Street.  It appears that the eastern portion of the building is an addition to the original building, attached by a three-story hyphen.  Sanborn Maps indicate that the original Guthery Apartments building and the addition were erected before 1929.  The sloping topography of the site allows for a full basement level under the original section of the building.  The east addition is a full four stories, but appears to be the same height as the original section.  

The facade is symmetrical with the northmost and the southmost bays projecting slightly. The building's principal entrance is centered in the facade and is approached by a short walkway built over a door well that stretches the width of the building and gives access to the basement level.  The facade's first story is clad in a sandstone veneer.  The sandstone blocks are laid with deeply recessed horizontal joints and topped with a projecting sandstone band that acts as a sill for the central openings on the second story.  The principal entrance is recesses and protected by an awning.  Double eight-light casements topped with transoms flank the entrance.  Six-over-six double-hung windows topped with three-light transoms are located in the projecting sections.  The second-story features three elaborate window openings topped with decorative round-arch panels.  Paired eight-light casement windows separated by a stone mullion, are located in each of the openings.  Iron railings are attached to the openings, giving the impression of three small balconies.  

 

The remainder of the facade is covered with yellow wire-cut brick.  The projecting bays on the second and third stories contain six-over-six windows topped with stone lintels with keystones.  The center three openings in the third story contain paired double-hungs.   The facade is topped with a stone dentil cornice and a stone cap on the parapet..

The westmost sections of the south and north elevations are three bays wide, and due to their public nature, feature yellow wire-cut brick.  The central bays contain small segmental-arched window openings containing four-over-one windows.  These small windows are centered between larger double-hung windows, nine-over-one's on the first story and six-over-one's on the second and third stories.  The parapets are topped with corbelled brick.

The less public sections of the north and south elevations, the majority of the exterior walls, were constructed with common red bricks laid in American Bond.  The side elevations incorporate segmental-arch window openings and parapet walls topped by terracotta tiles.  The north and south elevations are pierced by a multitude of single, paired, and triple window openings in patterns dictated by the layouts of the apartments.  These patterns are generally consistent on each of the stories. While the north elevation is generally flat, the south elevation presents and uneven surface with numerous projecting two- and three-bay-wide wall sections. 

The rear elevation generally mimics the front elevation in materials and design, however the most ornate of the stone work found on the facade was not replicated on the five-bay wide rear elevation.  Architectural elements shared by both elevations include: wire-cut yellow bricks, stone lentils and sills, and a dentil cornice.  The first and fourth stories feature six-over-six windows.  The second and third floors are pierced by taller openings containing nine-over-nine windows.  Only the middle bays on the rear elevation are recessed, and on the second and third floors the window openings are topped with round-arch stone panels.  A flat metal awning with a crenellated edge is suspended by chains, sheltering the College Street entrance.

Sanborn maps indicate that several apartment buildings including the now demolished Colonial Arm Apartments, were clustered around North Tryon Street during the first half of the 20th century.  The Guthery Apartments is significant as an early 20th century building with a high degree of integrity that features numerous Classical Revival architectural elements, many rendered in stone.  The building is perhaps more significant as one of the few surviving substantial early 20th century apartment buildings in Charlotte.