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Western Newspaper Union Building

217 North Graham Street

The Western Newspaper Union Building sits adjacent to North Graham Street in Charlotte's Fourth Ward.  The three-story brick building faces east in the center of the block bounded by Fifth Street and Sixth Street, and is located on a site that slopes down to the north. The facade is constructed of wire-cut brick laid in Flemish Bond.  The building is four bays wide, with the entrance in the northernmost bay.  The entrance is accessed by two stone steps and contains paired paneled doors, each with a large single light.  The doors are topped with a five-light transom.  Above the transom is a deep cornice supported by curved and fluted brackets, with decorative pendants and moulded crown.  Above the doorway's cornice is a row of three two-light windows. 

The facade is symmetrical and features triple nine-over-one windows in the two center bays, with the southernmost bay  containing a twelve-over-one window.  A corbelled soldier course serves as a continuous sill for the windows.  The openings that pierce the first story of the facade are topped with brick lintels highlighted with a keystone.  Above each opening is a recessed brick panel highlighted with a stone lozenge.  The second and third stories feature window openings that align with the first story fenestration.  Windows on the second story rest on stone sills, and are topped with brick lintels highlighted with keystones.  Above the lintels runs a continuous soldier-course band.  Above this band, stone lozenges are set into the wall, aligned with the keystones.  Above the lozenges is a shallow corbelled ledge.  Third-floor windows are set upon another soldier-course band.  These windows do not have either a sill or a lentil, however each opening is highlighted by a keystone integrated into a corbelled band.  A lozenge is set into the wall above each opening.  A corbelled brick cornice is topped with a stepped parapet with a stone cap.  The center raised parapet is highlighted with a stone shield.   

Facade - Third Story

South Elevation

 

The decorative masonry detail featured on the facade are continued on the first bay of the south elevation.  The building is ten bays deep and features paired nine-over-one sash in segmental-arch openings.  The Flemish Bond found on the front of the building is replace on the south and rear elevations with common brick laid in American Bond.  The corbelled band between the second and third stories is continued on the south elevation as is the corbelled cornice.   The parapet is topped with terracotta tile.  An arched doorway is located in the third bay.  An overhead door is located in the ninth bay.  Segmental-arched openings with stone sills are located adjacent to the rear elevation in the second and third floors.  A steel beam projects from the building above these openings and may have been used as a hoist.

The rear elevation is five bays wide and features a three-story elevator tower.  Short narrow windows are located adjacent to the tower.  Two chimneys project from the rear parapet.  A steel fire escape is attached to the rear of the building.  The north elevation is largely obscured by a neighboring building.