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EASTOVER

This is Charlotte's last New South Neighborhood. Unlike the others, Eastover was designed for commuters with automobiles. Therefore, there are no grand boulevards with a street car median to unite the development. However, Eastover's creator, Edward Colville Griffith, was determined to rival Myers Park and Dilworth in their elegance. He too hired Earl Sumner Draper to lay out plans for his suburb in 1927. He also stipulated on early house deeds that there should be no "residences of Spanish architecture" since he considered the style incompatible with the historical and cultural traditions of the region. He was obviously not fond ofthe Reynolds-Gourmajenko house on the edge of his new suburb!

48. The house on your left immediately after the junction with Fenton Place is the Hamilton Jones House. E. C. Griffith would have whole-heartedly approved of this grand Tudor-style house built for Hamilton and Bessie Jones in 1929-30. The designer was Charlotte architect Martin Boyer, whom Griffith also chose as the architect for his own house just down the road. Once again, the house displays many of the dominant features of the Tudor Revival style: half-timbered gables, patterned brickwork, octagonal chimney pots, clay tile roof, and a Tudor arch capping the doorway.

Griffith would also have approved of the house's prestigious owners. Hamilton C. Jones III (nephew of John S. Myers) was a prominent attorney, jurist, civic leader, and member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1946 to 1952. His wife Bessie was noted for her tireless philanthropic work at the Good Samaritan Hospital, the Thompson Orphanage, and St. Peter's Episcopal Church.


Hamilton Jones House

Turn left at the next intersection onto Eastover Rd. Stop near the first house on your left. (no. 201)

49. This rather conservative Colonial Revival house was Griffith's own home. It was intended to set the tone for the neighborhood when it was built in 1929. By the late 1920s, Griffith was an experienced developer. His first project had been a subdivision of Myers Park, and this was followed by other projects, including part of Elizabeth. His earlier developments had followed inexpensive grid plans with modest lots, but Eastover was designed to follow the natural contours and make use of undulating topography.


E. C. Griffith's house in Eastover

50. At the other end of the block, just before the intersection with Colville Road, pronounced "Callville," notice the house on the right. This is one house that breaks with the dominant patterns of Colonial or Tudor Revival styles in Eastover. The Herman Horton house is built in what is called the Florida style. Horton started one of Charlotte's first trucking companies in 1917, and helped to make Charlotte a national trucking center.

Cross Colville and continue to the junction with Hempstead Road.

51. Ahead of you is the first branch of the U.S. Mint. The building was transported here in pieces from its original location Uptown and reconstructed under the guidance of Martin Boyer< who had marked every stone before its demolition. The Griffith Company donated the site, the Civil Works Administration, one of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal Agencies, provided labor, and local supporters made sacrifices in order to resurrect the building as the Mint Museum of Art< in 1936. It was one of Charlotte's early acts of historic preservation.

The building is a reminder of a period of local history which is often forgotten. During the early nineteenth century, Charlotte was at the hub of the country's first Gold Rush; during its heyday, mining was carried out within a mile of Uptown Charlotte and throughout Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. Charlotte became a significant trading center during this period, and requested a branch mint to assay gold and produce coins. After five years of debate, Congress at last granted the request to what it considered to be an insignificant little town. By 1837, the building stood proudly on W. Trade St., a local landmark. Although mining declined soon afterwards, the mint continued to operate until the Civil War. The building, a classic example of the Greek Revival style, was designed by William Strickland<, the noted Philadelphia architect.

Today the Mint houses galleries of American, European, and Pre-Columbian Art. For information call (704) 337-2000.

The entrance to the museum is now off of Randolph Rd. To get there, return to Colville Rd. and turn right. At the traffic lights, turn a very sharp right onto Randolph Rd. The museum entrance is on your right at the bottom of the hill.


The Mint Museum of Art

This completes the tour of the New South Neighborhoods.

To return to Charlotte or I-77, return to Colville Rd. and turn right. At the traffic lights, make a very shallow left turn onto Randolph Rd. This will eventually become 4th St. Continue straight to return to the city center. For I-77, follow signs for I-277. You will pass under the overpass after Independence Blvd, and turn left at the lights. This will get you on I-277 which merges with I-77 North and South.


Continue touring...

Route I: South Mecklenburg Route II: South & East Charlotte Route III: North & Northeast Mecklenburg
Route IV: North Charlotte & Biddleville Route V: North Mecklenburg Route VI: Northwestern & Western Mecklenburg
Uptown Walking Tour Charlotte & Mecklenburg County for Visitors Streetcar Line Tour

This site was created using a Macintosh Performa 6290 by Bruce Schulman. This site is maintained for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission by Bruce R. Schulman.