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William R. Barringer Hotel. 


The William R. Barringer Hotel is a massive twelve-story building located at the corner of North Tryon and Eighth streets in Uptown Charlotte.  The building sits on a 2.2 acre lot that occupies much of the city block bordered by Eighth, Seventh, North Tryon, and North College streets.  The lot slopes down to the northeast, and aside from the hotel building, the site includes a large parking lot and a small park-area bordering North Tryon Street.  When the hotel was built, ca. 1942, the block was more crowded, with the Saint Marks Evangelical Lutheran Church bordering the hotel to the south and the Elmore apartments, which faced 8th Street, to the rear of the hotel.  Attached and detached homes lined the block along College and Seventh Streets.


The Barringer Hotel features a granite-clad foundation, topped with limestone that veneers the tall first-story lobby.  Though late for the Art Deco Style, the building features some of the style's characteristics including tall fluted limestone pilasters, with stepped points.  The pilasters delineate the eight bays of the first story.  The facade is symmetrical, but the bays are not uniform.  The facade's  four exterior bays are wider, and the center two bays have been combined to allow for a wide entrance now filled by two sets of metal framed glass double-doors, protected by a rectangular metal awning.  The remaining bays are filled with replacement plate-glass windows that may have replaced metal divided-light windows.  In the larger bays the windows are surrounded with glass blocks.   Glass-block transoms are set above the windows and the entrance, separated from  the lower openings by plain limestone spandrels.   The top of the limestone veneer is decorated a narrow zig-zag band, typical of the Art Deco Style.


The building was originally eight bays deep.  The limestone veneer featured on the facade, wraps the building and was applied to the first three bays on the north elevation.  The south elevation features a shallow, one-story limestone entrance/atrium  that was oriented toward the building's parking lot.  The large limestone entrance sheltered a doorway and at least one recessed window bay, but is now partially obscured by metal awning and covered walkway added around 1952. 



 Detail - Barringer Hotel facade

Art Deco landmark Howard Automobile Co. Showroom, 1930, Berkeley, CA


The spacing of the bays established on the first-story continues on the upper stories where wire-cut brick replaces the limestone veneer.   The facade's  four wide  exterior bays contain paired double-hung windows, while the four interior bays contain single windows.   The limestone pilasters continue upward as brick piers for the full twelve stories of the building and are capped with  pointed and fluted stone capitals.  The setbacks of the bays caused by the piers that separate the bays are a distinctive design element of the building.  The walls are capped with a stone belt.  The north and south elevations of the original building continue the style of the upper stories of the facade but are not symmetrical.   The second and third bays are narrow and contain single double hung windows.  The remaining six bays are wider and contain paired windows.  The original section  of the hotel was constructed with a steel frame infilled with brick curtain walls and concrete floors. 






In 1951, a twelve-story, steel framed addition was added to the rear of the hotel.  The rear additon is five bays deep.  The rear elevation  features minimal fenestration with just three window openings on each story.  The notable setbacks found on the original building are absent on the addition, with the only the corners offset like piers or pilasters, and capped with pointed stone caps.  Veneered with wire-cut brick, the addition was constructed with concrete block curtain walls.  By 1952 a tall curved-front, flat-roofed dinning room was added to the hotel's south elevation.  The addition is capped with a simple stone band.  Tall metal-framed windows pierce the wall.

 Rear elevation of 1951 addition


While restrained in its use of the Art Deco elements, the Barringer Hotel is one of the few surviving uptown buildings with associated with the style.  Art Deco was popular in the United States from 1925 until 1940, and the relatively late date of the building and the restrained use of decorative elements and forms may be reflective of the conservative nature of Charlotte's 20th century architecture. 


Charlotte fire insurance map, 1929



Charlotte fire insurance map 1950




The William R. Barringer hotel In 1945.

2004 Site Plan

Green outline indicates current lot.