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
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
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
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.