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Local History




This apartment block is noteworthy for its polychrome terra cotta, the most colorful use of the material in the city. It dates from the era when multifamily dwellings began to replace the large houses within walking distance of the central business district. Among its residents was W.J. Cash, an editorial writer for the Charlotte News who in the 1930s achieved national prominence for his book The Mind of the South, partly written here.


  • Having trouble identifying brick patterns, shingle patterns, or other parts? See the Illustrated Guidebook for help!
  • Notice the variety of brick patterns on the building. The colorful tiles you see on the walls are terra cotta, which is made from baked clay. Flower pots are made from another type of terra cotta.


    At the site...

  • Sketch the doorway. Notice all of the shapes in the frieze (above the door).
  • Sketch each of the different patterns of brick you see and identify them. You should be able to find herringbone, stack bond, and others on the front. Notice that some of the bricks on the side are different.
  • The big windows are 6/12 sash. That means, the top half have six panes (divided into 6 pieces of glass) and the bottom half has 12 panes (12 pieces of glass). Sketch one of the big windows and label it.

    On your own...

  • Apartment buildings have changed a lot since the Frederick was built.
    Create a Venn Diagram that shows similarities and differences between the Frederick and modern apartment buildings you have seen.