Charlotte City Hall |
600 East Trade St.
On January 26, 1924, Mayor James O. Walker and the Charlotte City Council voted to negotiate a contract with the seemingly ubiquitous Charles Christian Hook to design a new Charlotte City Hall. The Classical Revival style building was completed in October of the next year, and City Council left the old City Hall at N. Tryon and 5th Sts. and held its first meeting in the new facility on November 1, 1925. Then located in the midst of a fine residential district, the municipal complex had a large front yard so that it would fit into the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the neighborhood is now gone.
The life of architect C. C. Hook is a fascinating story. It is filled with both great joy and wrenching tragedy. A native of Wheeling, W. Va. and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Hook came to Charlotte in 1891 to teach mechanical drawing in the South Graded School on the edge of Dilworth. By 1892, he was designing homes for Edward Dilworth Latta's Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company or Four C's, developers of Dilworth. By 1893, he had left teaching to become a full-time architect.
Hook prospered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By 1900, he was Charlotte's premier architect. He designed such important buildings as Duke Mansion in Myers Park, the Charlotte Woman's Club in Dilworth, and the Egyptian Revival Masonic Temple in Uptown Charlotte (destroyed in 1988). He was the architect of the Trinity College Campus in Durham, now the East campus of Duke University.
In September, 1938, a horrible event unfolded on South Tryon St. Hook plunged to his death from the bathroom window near the top of the skinny Commercial National Bank skyscraper in Uptown Charlotte. Shortly before, someone who had seen Hook enter the bathroom commented that the renowned architect looked disoriented. Fingernail marks on the window ledge suggested that Hook had lost his balance and had fallen accidentally. Regardless, the ghastly death of this skilled architect stood in marked contrast to the beauty he had fashioned over the years.
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Survey & Research Report: Charlotte City Hall