If you are the type of person who enjoys taking in a walking tour at your own pace there are a variety of tours to enjoy in Downtown Concord!
Use your smart phone to have historic photographs and written history of the buildings along Union Street right at your finger tips! This tour includes both buildngs that exist today AND those buildings that are no longer standing. Download the free Concord Downtown NC App and open the Walking Tour feature. Your phone will display buildings addresses as you walk by, simply click on the address and enjoy hsitoric photographs and written history.
Take in four historic districts in one tour using the information below for the Downtown Concord districts and two residential districts. One district leads right into the next for a day trip of exploring Concord's history.
Texts and photographs used for the Historic Walking Tour are gleaned from the publication, "The Historic Architecture of Cabarrus County North Carolina," by author Peter R. Kaplan and are reprinted with permission from Historic Cabarrus Association, Inc.
Welcome to North Union Street. This tour is designed to start from the downtown area and proceed north toward Buffalo Avenue. This was the primary residential area for merchants, industrialists, and professionals serving Concord during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and showcases some of the finest architecture in Cabarrus County. This tour highlights fourteen pivotal properties. However, other notable buildings, homes and churches can be viewed strolling the area including Spring Street and the Edgewood neighborhood. Concord's Historic Districts are an important part of North Carolina's architectural legacy.
E.T. Cannon Residence
First Presbyterian Church Fellowship House
This house, built in the late 1920's, is Cabarrus County's only example of the Jacobethan Revival style. This style shows well in the characteristic features of brick construction with decorative stone trim, bay and oriel windows, tall corbeled chimneys, and the use of roof parapets. An unusual features, used by the architect William H. Peeps, was the use of Tudor style stone surrounds at the principal doorways.
Daniel Branson Coltrane Residence
84 North Union Street
A combination of Colonial Revival and Queen Anne design, the Coltrane residence was constructed around 1983. The asymmetrical L-shaped form, steep facade and gable, the scalloped shingles and raised exterior panels reflect the Queen Anne influence. The use of tapered Tuscan columns and classical entablature and dentil course are some of the Colonial Revival details which were often used to embellish the Queen Anne designs.
Daniel Branson Coltrane was a Civil War veteran and secretary-treasurer of the Concord National Bank. His daughter, Ruth married Charles A. Cannon.
Charles Albert Cannon Residence
94 North Union Street
The home of Charles and Ruth Cannon, designed by the Philadelphia architect, Charles Keen, is a prime example of Neo-Federal residential design. The house, which was finished in 1928 exhibits a symmetrical form and broad facade. At the entrance, four fluted pilasters frame the sidelights and fan lit door. Other features to note are the three flemish bond chimneys and lattice balustrades at the porch.
David Franklin Cannon Residence
100 North Union Street
Remodeled in the Colonial Revival style in the early 1900's from a former Italianate design, this house was completely transformed by the heirs of D.F. Cannon. The simple, nicely restrained, exterior does house much of the original Italianate detailed woodwork on the interior.
James William Cannon Residence
122 North Union Street
This house, built prior to 1885, underwent considerable renovation in the early 1920's. However, its distinctive Italianate style is highly visible. A masonry structure, the main block of this home has a tall narrow form flanked by single-story wings. Beautiful Italianate trim, including a paneled frieze, adorns the cornice at the flat roofed main section.
James Cannon built his second house around 1900 at 65 North Union Street.
Dr. D.G. Caldwell Residence
130 North Union Street
A bold example of the Colonial Revival style, this house was built in 1908. A two-story portico, supported by paired Ionic columns, dominates the symmetrical facade. Other notable features include the stained-glass transoms over the first floor windows and the beautiful lattice work in the muntins on the upper window transoms.
Dr. Caldwell practiced near the present Odell School, in what was previously known as the Tulin Community, in upper northwest Cabarrus County.
William G. Means Residence
138 North Union Street
This picturesque home exemplifies the Queen Anne style. Built in the late 1800's, it possesses the typical L-shape form and asymmetrical facade. A two-story projecting gabled front plays off of another smaller projecting second floor balcony with a domed turnet roof. Extensive paneling can be seen within the gable and friezes along the eaves. The slate roof uses alternating bands of straight and hexagonal shingles.
A native of Cabarrus County, Mr. Means was a lawyer who served as mayor of Concord from 1890 to 1892 before becoming a member of the NC senate.
John Milton Odell Residence
288 North Union Street
The architect of the former Cabarrus County Courthouse, George S.H. Appleget, also designed this significant residence in the combined Second Empire and Italianate style. Elaborately turned posts support a broad wrap around porch. A concave mansard roof with dormer windows is a distinctive feature, as is the projecting central bay and tower with leaded glass windows. Cast Iron detailing including the fence surrounding this property are original. The porch on the south side of the house was enclosed as a sun room in the 1920's.
John Odell built his home across the street from his textile mill, which is now Locke Mill Plaza.
W.B. "Will" Archibald Residence
183 North Union Street
This impressive Colonial Revival style home was built in 1908. A tall, two-story Ionic portico with fluted columns rise to a broad entablature and a modillion block cornice with balustrade. The house has a hip-roofed main block pierced by two interior chimneys and a gable-roofed dormer. The sidelights and fan transom of the entrance, and the transoms over the flanking first floor window are leaded glass.
Will Archibald was a farmer.
A. Jones Yorke Residence
123 North Union Street
This home built in 1908, and designed by architect, L.L. Hunter of Charlotte, is perhaps Concord's most distinctive Colonial Revival design. Unusual stone trimmed parapets adorn the tan colored brick exterior walls. Tuscan columns grouped in threes support the porch which is capped with a balustrade. The six paneled entrance door, sidelights and transom are framed by thin colonnettes; details from the Federal style which influenced many homes in Concord in the 1920's.
J.P. Allison Residence
113 North Union Street
Built in the early 1900's, the Allison house is perhaps Concord's most ornate Queen Anne design. While it possesses the typical L-shaped plan and beautiful turned woodwork, it also features distinctive sawn and molded woodwork applied to the facade. Above the first and second floor windows the builder applied a cut-out tree-shaped motif frieze. Other exterior features to note are the corbeled and paneled chimneys with decorative inlays unique to this home.
John Allison was a merchant and financier. He helped found the Concord Telephone Company. He was also president of the Morrison-Flowe department store and vice-president of Concord National Bank.
N. Felix Yorke Residence
103 North Union Street
Built around 1900, this house combines styles from the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival periods. Slanted two-story bays project from the main, high hip roof at the front of this asymmetrical residence. The broad, flared eaves of the roof are unique. Colonial Revival detailing is seen on the porch and balcony. Tuscan columns are also used.
N. Felix Yorke was a Concord merchant who established the Yorke and Wadsworth Hardware Company during the 1880's in downtown Concord.
Joseph F. Cannon Residence
97 North Union Street
This house, built in the Colonial Revival style in 1912, has primarily a symmetrical form with a porte cochere and second floor sun room projecting on one side. Classical detailing is abundant. The entry has a two leafed door, sidelights and transom of leaded glass. A unique feature on the exterior is the large Paladian Dormer window at the center of the roof.
Joseph F. Cannon, a son of James William Cannon, served as president of Wiscasset Mills of Albemarle. He built the Cannon Building / Concord Theatre complex in downtown Concord in the early 1920's.
James William Cannon Residence
65 North Union Street
A combination of the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles, J.W. Cannon's second residence in Concord was built around 1900. This house is significant not only architecturally, but historically as well. Most architectural influence is from the Queen Anne style seen in the projecting two-story slanted bay, and a domed turret flanking the central entrance bay. However a variety of Classical detailing enhance the overall design. Fluted Ionic columns are used to support the roof of the wrap around porch and porte-cochere. The room of the porch projects over the entrance with a segmented arched pediment and garland ornament.
James Cannon's wife, Mary Ella Bost, continued to live in the house until after her husband's death in 1921. When, after her death, the house passed to a grandson. The Cabarrus Academy School occupied the house from 1969 to 1994. Many alterations were made during the time yet most was well preserved. The house is now occupied by a member of the Cannon family.
Concord, the seat of county government, was established in 1796. Support from the early textile industry is primarily responsible for the development of the wholesale and retail trade in the downtown district. This area saw tremendous growth in the late 1800's, when the street was completely lined with merchants from Cabarrus Avenue to Corbin Avenue. The owner's of Concord's businesses built stylish buildings, many of which can be seen today.
Note: Download the free Concord Downtown NC App and open the walking tour feature for a more detailed self-guided walking tour of the Downtown Concord district.
Cannon Building (Concord Theatre)
11-15 North Union Street
Joseph F. Cannon erected this three-story building containing offices and stores and a rear, two-story structure containing a theatre during the early 1920's. The arched passage at the center of the building originally provided access to the theatre from Union Street.
Concord National Bank and Hotel Building
2-14 North Union Street
Constructed circa 1925, this six-story structure of reinforced concrete construction was one of the largest commercial buildings built in Cabarrus County in that period. The style in Beaux Arts Classical Revival. The high first floor with tall arch windows is faced with ashlar limestone ornamented with classical motifs.
28 South Union Street
This small infil building was built in a narrow alley way sometime between 1911 and 1921 as a doctor's office. Pilasters frame the narrow storefront and terminate in decorative concrete crosses that may have been intended to symbolize the medical professional.
35 South Union Street
This structure dates back to the Civil War when, in 1861, it served as a commissary or military market. Afterward, the store housed the Phifer Brothers' dry goods company. The Dayvault Grocery store was located here in the early 1900's. In 1995 the building underwent extensive renovations to uncover and restore the original storefront which was found under two facades. The current stucco facade matches the original color of the brick which could not be repaired.
36-40 South Union Street
This three story, rusticated stone veneer building was built in 1902 by the Pythian Realty Company. Originally built to accommodate upper level offices and ground floor shops, the Ritchie Hardware Company occupied one of the stores for several decades. Five arched bays rise to the third level where windows are set in yellow colored, paneled brickwork. The corbels at the cornice in the center bay rise to form an open pavilion on the roof. The storefronts, though altered through the years, still posses many original features including broad, leaded glass transoms over the display windows.
42-44 South Union Street
This building dates from about 1890 and has been restored in the past few years. The unaltered upper portion of the facade shows much of the original window trim and panels in addition to the wooden cornice and decorative sawn brackets. G.W. Patterson operated the grocery at this location during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Cabarrus Bank and Trust Building
57 South Union Street
Built in 1923, about the same time as the Concord National Bank and Hotel Building previously noted, this building shares much of the same styling as that structure. As an important Beaux Arts classical Revival building, it is also clad in ashlar limestone at the first two levels. Above the second story cornice, yellow brick pilasters with Corinthian capitals rise to a broad frieze and a cornice trimmed with dentils and modillion blocks.
Historic Cabarrus County Courthouse
South Union at Means Ave.
The seat of local Government for nearly 100 years, the courthouse, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is Cabarrus County's pre-eminent historic and architectural landmark. The building designed harmoniously with Greek Revival, Italianate, and Second Empire styles is also one of North Carolina's finest examples of late nineteenth century public architecture. Designed by architect George S.H. Appleget, it was the third courthouse built after the second courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1875. Two additions including a three story rear wing are apparent today. It is the home of Historic Cabarrus Inc. and the interior houses many significant documents and artifacts from the area. The first courthouse stood at the intersection of Union Street and Corban Avenue.
50 Spring Street S.W.
The three acres of Memorial Garden were originally purchased by the First Presbyterian Church in 1804 for construction of its first sanctuary in 1810. When the church was moved from the site in 1874, the land was used as a cemetery and over the years, neglected, until Sally Phifer Williamson restored its beauty as a memorial to her mother in 1931. It is considered to be one of North Carolina's hidden treasures.
South Union Street
Welcome to South Union Street. This area of Concord did not emerge as the important residential thoroughfare that it is today until after the city had been in existence for over 100 years. Maps show this street leading away from the downtown area only as far as present-day Washington Lane as late as 1882. Soon after however, both sides of the street were lined with the beautiful homes that can be seen today. Many of the early residents from this area were merchants who owned businesses in downtown Concord.
Although this tour only highlights the "pivotal structures" found on South Union Street, there are many significant homes located here. Fine examples of the early 20th century bungalow-style can be found in the 300-block vicinity.
St. James Lutheran Church
100 South Union Street
This Gothic Revival style sanctuary was constructed in 1928 of smooth-faced, random-coursed granite. The accentuated vertical facade is composed of a central gable projecting from the nave's main roof line, and a tall, two stage bell tower is set at a right angle to the nave.
John Osborne Wallace Residence
154 South Union Street
This house, built prior to the Civil War, is a good example of the Italianate style seen notably in the bracketed cornice, the slanted bay window on the south side, and the shallow, segmented arches over the windows. Another distinctive feature of this house is the pair of interior chimneys that rise out of the roof from the center hall below. The front porch and sun room are early twentieth century additions.
D. L. Bost Residence
158 South Union Street
An outstanding example blending the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles, this house was built in 1905 by the Charlotte architectural firm, Hook and Sawyer. The dominate Queen Anne feature is the semi-circular second story facade that is crowned by a witches cap roof pierced with dorners. A principal Colonial Revival element is the use of Doric columns that support an entablature over the porch.
D.L. Bost was a grocer, and later, president of the Dove-Bost Company
Moses L. Brown Residence
168 South Union Street
Originally built in the Italianate style around 1880, this well preserved house received many Queen Anne embellishments around the turn of the century. Most notable of these features is the fine sawn and turned detailing found on the wrap-around porch with a sharply pitched roof over the entrance. Italianate features include the molded upper cornice and brackets, in addition to the principal entry way with molded architrave, sidelights and a transom. Moses Brown operated a livery stable just north of the 1876 courthouse for over three decades.
178 South Union Street
While not listed as a pivotal structure in the Historic District, this building completed in 1939 is a unique example of Colonial Revival Architecture in the area. Notable features include the use of decorative cast concrete trim especially around the main entrance and corner porches.
The original owner was Preston E. King, Sr. who, during his travels to Turkey as a foreign tobacco buyer, learned the word, "Yuva" which means, "nest" and had it spelled out in colorful mosaic tiles, which he may have imported from Turkey. The sign is placed over the building entrance.
James E. Cline Residence
184 South Union Street
Erected sometime between 1902 and 1908, this house combines a somewhat irregular Queen Anne form with some exterior detailing that is predominately Colonial Revival. The L-shaped plan, projecting side bays, and wrap-around porch are Queen Anne. The sun room was added during the 1920's but retain the original Tuscan columns that highlight the home's Colonial Revival styling.
James Cline was a partner in the grocery business of Cline and Smith, originally in the Forest hill community. He later moved his business downtown in 1916.
Willian H. Blume Residence
188 South Union Street
A blending of Italianate and Second Empire styling, this house was built around 1882. A distinctive feature is the mansard roof with gabled dormer windows. Principally Italianate trim includes pendant drop cornice brackets and the segmented arched detailing over the windows. The primary entrance consists of a two-leaf, four-panel door with a broad raised hood mold over the top.
William Blume was a tanner whose business stood on South Union, a short distance north of the house.
Rufas Alexander Brown Residence
205 South Union Street
Erected shortly after 1882, this house is an impressive example of the Italianate style. Features include clipped gable roofs, segmental-arched windows, the molded cornice supported by brackets with turned pendant drops, and friezes with rectangular panels. The broad wrap-around porch with masonry columns was constructed during the early 1900's.
Rufus Brown was a Concord merchant who operated a cotton gin, a brickyard and a woodworking plant.
James Dayvault Residence
216 South Union Street
This residence is thought by some to be one of Concord's finest examples of Queen Anne architecture and was built around 1901. The abundant use of sawn and turned woodwork and the asymmetrical massing and wrap around porch typifies this style. Other notable features include the ornate brackets, friezes, and balustrade, and the pair of interior chimneys that rise to support arched, projecting caps.
James Dayvault was a partner in the meat packing plan of Dayvault and Guffey, established in 1892.
Paul B. Means Residence
287 South Union Street
Built sometime between 1885 and 1895, this residence with Italianate and Queen Anne features, is one of the oldest and architecturally significant of several two-story, L-shaped houses along South Union Street. The colonial Revival porches were early twentieth century replacements. The paired columns that support the broad arched opening over the entrance are of the Tuscan order. The house also retains the original chimneys with their distinctive corbeled brickwork caps.
Paul B. Means was a Concord attorney.
George Patterson Richie Residence
401 South Union Street
This residence, built by Franklin C. Niblock in the late 1920's, combines details of the Neo-Federal style with features that give the house a distinctive Mission Revival look. Neo-Federal details include the main entrance and the use of Doric columns flanking the portico, and fanlight over the doorway. The block and dentil cornice, tiled roof and cream colored brick support the Mission Revival style.
Franklin C. Niblock Residence
449 South Union Street
A fine example of Colonial Revival architecture, this house was designed by architect Louis Asbury in 1929. Set back a distance from the street, the residence has a symmetrical, five-bay facade with simple exterior trim that include a molded frieze and a cornice that is trimmed with small closely spaced brackets. The doorway is also distinctive with a six-panel door, sidelights and a fan-shaped transom.