National honor bestowed on Charlotte’s humble, largely forgotten Fire Station No. 4

Staff Photographer

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources announced Thursday that Charlotte Fire Station No. 4 is one of six properties in the state now added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Charlotte Fire Station No. 4, at 420 West Fifth Street, was built in 1925-1926 and served the western section of downtown Charlotte and the Fourth Ward from its construction until 1972. It is one of only six pre-World War II extant buildings in Charlotte that are or were associated with firefighting.

The building is considered a rare reminder of what emerging industrial and commercial cities had to do to prevent widespread destruction of its man-made environment by fire.

“The increased concentration of structures, many built with highly combustible materials, and some soaring to unprecedented heights, jeopardized the viability of urban life and necessitated the development of more systematic means to combat conflagrations,” says the Web page of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.

Fire Station No. 4 is one of six places in the state added to the Historic Register of Historic: One district in Winston-Salem and five individual properties spread across the state.

“Cultural resources are part of North Carolina’s rich history and they need our protection,” said a statement from Gov. Roy Cooper. “By becoming part of the National Register of Historic Places, preservation of these historic sites will be promoted for generations to come.”

North Carolina now has 3,000 listings in the National Register of Historic Places, said Susi H. Hamilton, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

“If we count all of the buildings classified as contributing to the significance of listed historic districts, it is estimated that North Carolina has more than 75,000 National Register Properties.”

Being on the National Register is a tool used to preserve historic sites, which are often in danger due to newer development.

The listing of a property in the National Register places no obligation or restriction on a private owner using private resources to maintain or alter the property.

Listed below are the other locations chosen to be on the Historic Register.

Oak Crest Historic District, Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, listed 12/20/2016

Oak Crest Historic District, an intact residential neighborhood in north Winston-Salem, is architecturally important for its variety of architectural styles and house forms dating from the 1920s through the mid-1960s. The neighborhood stands out among Winston-Salem’s middle-class suburban development due to its high level of architectural integrity. It was initially subdivided by the Fries brothers in 1923 and expanded south of Polo Road in the late 1920s and 1937. The fan-shaped neighborhood is particularly well represented by the Craftsman, Period Cottage, Colonial Revival, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch house styles. The district also contains a distinctive Rustic Revival round-log house, a small number of Modernist/contemporary houses, and a Modern style gas station.

Seaboard Air Line Railway Depot, Cherryville, Gaston County, listed 12/20/2016

The Seaboard Air Line Railway Depot in Cherryville was built in 1924 and has retained a high degree of historic integrity. It is the successor building to the town’s original railroad depot built in the late 19th century. Plans to replace the depot were put on hold during World War I, and in July 1924 the construction contract was finally approved. The one-story brick depot with its large freight and baggage room and separate African American and white facilities is architecturally significant. It shares Craftsman style-influenced design features, such as deep overhanging hip roof eaves and knee braces, with other Seaboard railway depots dating to the 1910s and 1920s.

Dr. Calvin Jones House, Wake Forest, Wake County, listed 12/20/2016

The Dr. Calvin Jones House stands among Wake Forest’s oldest historic buildings. Originally located on the campus of the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute, the ca. 1820 residence was moved in 1956 for the third time to its current location on North Main Street. The significant Federal-style house has retained a remarkable degree of its original design, building materials, and craftsmanship. The two-story, hall-and-parlor-plan frame dwelling includes a distinctive stair hall within an engaged two-story shed-roof rear extension. The two-story front portico and the mantelpieces are especially indicative of the early-nineteenth-century classical-inspired design in Wake County.

Kate and Charles Noel Vance House, Black Mountain, Buncombe County, listed 12/20/2016

Designed by Asheville-based architect Allen Melton and constructed circa 1894, the Kate and Charles Vance House is locally significant as an intact and rare example of a Queen Anne-style summer house in Black Mountain. The exterior of the dwelling is fairly restrained, with character-defining features including the one-story wraparound porch and mix of weatherboard and wood shingle siding. The interior is highly representative of the Queen Anne style and features ornate overmantels and other decorative woodwork, especially in the entry hall. The house dates to the peak of Black Mountain’s popularity as a summer destination.

Midtown Motor Lodge, Kinston, Lenoir County, listed 12/27/2016

The 1963 Midtown Motor Lodge is a Modern style motor inn constructed as an upscale, automobile-friendly alternative to the downtown hotel. As travelers came to and through Kinston, the Midtown Motor Lodge served as modern accommodations for them and their cars. The Midtown Motor Lodge is a “U”-shaped, two-story, concrete block, aluminum and glass building comprising three wings with balconies/walkways providing exterior access to rooms. The motor lodge retains a high degree of historic and architectural integrity and is significant as an example of the motor inn building type utilizing curtain wall construction. Both stylistic and functional in nature, curtain wall construction is characterized by large window walls, or panels, typically glass or steel, set into a metal frame.