Farmhouse MK 2335
Synopsis of Significance: The Alexander
farmhouse is a rare surviving example of an early 20th century
African American farmhouse. The house has a high degree of integrity,
having retained much of its historical material and setting. John Murray
Alexander bought the property from a white family, the Davises. According
to his daughter, Eliza Alexander Ross, Mr. Alexander raised cotton, worked
as a blacksmith, and with his wife raised nine children in the house.
The Alexander house sits on the original small
ten-acre farm, which is now within Charlotte’s city limits. The property
has remained open, but farming has stopped and the property is surrounded by
low-density suburban housing.
The 1917 front-gabled house was built on brick
piers, now infilled with block. The house is three bays wide and two rooms
deep, and it shows the influence of the Craftsman Style with exposed rafter
tails, eave brackets, and shingled gables. The house’s recessed front porch
is typical of the bungalow form. The house has retained it’s original
single-light front door and six-over-six windows. Two chimneys pierce the
roof near the ridgeline. One of the chimneys might be an added flue.
A one-room gabled addition was added to the
west front bay of the house early in the 20th century. The
addition also features a shingled gable. All the house’s gables contain
louvered vents. A small bathroom was added to the rear of the house, and a
rear engaged porch was enclosed. Most of the house is covered with asbestos
shingles, but original siding has been retained on the front elevation and
on part of the front addition.
1940, one of Mr. Alexander’s sons built a side-gabled house next door. This
simple house features German siding, six-over-six windows, and exposed
rafter tails. A frame garage sits behind the houses.