Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


McEwen Building

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Institution Name: Queens University of Charlotte
Original/Historic Place Name: Science Building (1914-1924), Atkinson Science Building (1924-1966)
Location on Campus: Building 1
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1914original construction Hook, C. C.
1948addition of wing Unknown
1966interior remodeled Unknown
1990sremodeled Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: masonry
Walls: brick (exterior); plaster (interior)
Roof: Ludowici-style tile
ca. 1914other (offices)
ca. 1914gymnasium
ca. 1914classrooms (science laboratories, study rooms, domestic sciences, art)
ca. 2004-present (2007)museum (Shealy Gallery)
ca. 2004-present (2007)administration (Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences)
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (psychology, English, CORE Program in Liberal Arts, John Belk International Program, Learning Center)

Significance: architecture, culture, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The overall architectural classification would be Georgian. However, C. C. Hook was inventive in his adaptation of stylistic affects for an eclectic approach to the Georgian style. One of the original buildings built by C. C. Hook, it has the same stylistic adaptations as Burwell.

McEwen Building is named in honor of Dr. Mildred Morse McEwen, alumna and Professor of Chemistry (1924 - 1971). This building is one of the original five built in 1914 by Charles Christian Hook. C. C. Hook was Charlotte's first "full time" architect. His wife was an alumna of the College and served on the Board of Trustees from 1928-1940. He studied at Washington University and came to Charlotte in 1891 to teach drawing. The developer Edward Latta paid Hook to draw plans for houses. From this "humble" start, Hook became one of North Carolina's top designers. He designed Charlotte's City Hall, early buildings of Trinity College (Duke University), and mansions in Charlotte and other cities. The original five buildings have Hook's distinctive Georgian design with eclectic stylistic modifications. McEwen sports a design of tapestry brick for the walls. The roof is a hip-roof of "Spanish" clay tile. The "Neoclassical" porticos are of Indiana limestone as is the trim on the windows. Hook modified the Colonial double-sash window by exaggerating the height and balancing that exaggeration with elongated individual panes.

Originally, McEwen Building served as the science building, and it held the gym, art department and domestic sciences (home economics) on the second floor. Across the front of the first floor was a study hall for students to use when they were not in class. In 1922 the study hall was converted to three rooms. In 1948 a large wing was added to the back of the building. When the Walker Science building was constructed in 1966, McEwen's interior was remodeled to provided more space for classrooms and faculty offices. More remodeling was done in the 1990s. McEwen is home to various social sciences departments and the Office of the Dean of The College of Arts and Sciences.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Bishir, Catherine, et. al. Architects and Builders in North Carolina: A History of the Practice of Building. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1990.

Hankin, Lisa Bush. "Charles Christian Hook." Online (2006). Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, NC.

John Nolen Papers. 1890-1938, 1954-1960. Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Kratt, Mary Norton, and Thomas W. Hanchett. Legacy: The Myers Park Story. Charlotte, NC: Myers Park Foundation, 1986.

McEwen, Mildred Morse. Queens College, Yesterday and Today. Charlotte, NC: Queens College Alumnae Association, 1980.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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