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Carolina Tire and Rim

 

306 North  Graham Street

The Carolina Tire and Rim Building sits adjacent to the sidewalk along North Graham Street in Charlotte's Fourth Ward.  The two-story brick building faces west on a site that slopes up to the north.  The narrow building is three bays wide.  Side elevations reveal that the walls were laid in American bond, but the facade is veneered with wire-cut brick laid in running bond.  Three store-front windows openings occupy most of the first-story of the facade.  Each opening is filled with two large divided lights topped with a transom.  The windows rest on brick knee walls separated by cast stone blocks set on the grade.  The openings are bordered by cast stone trim that rises from the blocks.  Around the windows, the cast trim is doubled, leaving a narrow strip of wire cut brick.  At the upper corners of the windows, the trim is capped with angled blocks.  The center opening features a segmental-arch with a cast stone keystone.  On the second floor, paired sixteen light windows are located above the lower arch.  The centered window opening is flanked by single sixteen light windows set lower in the wall.  The facade features a single raised center parapet. 

 

The building's south elevation contains the entrance, reflecting an early 20th-century shift in commercial  architecture that began to orient buildings around parking lots.  The entrance is three bays wide, with the same trim and transoms found in the front fenestration.  Other fenestration on the south elevation,  including a rolling metal door, windows and a second entrance, lacks the decorative trim of the entrance and facade.  The second floor features a row of five sixteen-light metal frame windows.  

The north elevation features a front and rear sections separated by a firewall. It is possible that the front section was built first.  The front section features a single door on the first floor, and a row of five 16-light metal frame windows on the second story.  The rear section features four large openings on the first floor, the first three containing paired twenty-light windows.  The rearmost opening contains a door accessed by a concrete ramp.  The second floor feature a row of ten window openings, each containing paired eight-light metal framed windows.

 

It appears that the building has a flat roof.  Sanborn maps indicate that the rear section features steel trusses and posts.  The building is attached to another brick building to the south.  This survey could not determine if the Carolina Tire and Rim Building was built before the adjoining structures, or if it was only a part of a larger structure.