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Mecklenburg African American Resources

Samuel Arthur Grier House

421 Montrose St.

Grier Heights                                                      MK 2340




Synopsis of Significance:  The Samuel Arthur Grier House is among the most substantial residences built by African Americans in Mecklenburg County before WWII.   The Grier House was built in 1922 just within the city limits, and its significance is amplified simply because there are no large surviving residences associated with African Americans in Charlotte’s historic urban core (Charlotte’s Brooklyn neighborhood and the majority of the black sections of Charlotte’s First and Third, were lost during the era of Urban Renewal).  As the owner of Grier Funeral Home and as a developer of commercial property along Monroe Road, S. A. Grier was among the most prominent black Charlotteans in the first half of the 20th Century. 

The frame construction, two-story, side-gabled Grier House was built in 1922.  The massed house is three-bays wide and features a prominent two-story gabled portico supported by four large boxed posts that measure 14” across.   The front elevation’s fenestration is symmetrical.  The Craftsman Style three vertical light front door is bordered by picture windows, topped with wide operable transoms.   Fenestration on the second floor of the front elevation, two sets of paired four-over-one windows, is also symmetrical but does not align with the lower openings.  Fenestration for the east and west elevations are asymmetrical with paired and single windows.  A one-room gabled wing extends from the west side elevation.  

The house features Craftsman Style four-over-one double-hung windows and brackets supporting the eaves.  Other details include a water table and wooden louvered vents in the gables.  The foundation is brick, and a brick single-shouldered exterior chimney is located on the east elevation.  Two small four-over-one windows, set high, flank the chimney.  Two brick flues have been added to the house, one on the west elevation and another to a rear addition. 

Siding on the gabled rear addition has a smaller exposure.  The east elevation of the rear addition features paired four-over-one windows on the first floor, and triple narrow four-over-one windows on the second floor.  The west side of the rear addition appears to be an enclosed porch, that cantilevers over a small shed roofed rear porch enclosed with lattice.

To the rear of the house is a hipped-roof frame garage.