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«NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES Savona Mill Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, MK2211, Listed 12/2/2014 Nomination by Richard Sidebottom and Jen ...»

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Office of Archives and History

Department of Cultural Resources


Savona Mill

Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, MK2211, Listed 12/2/2014

Nomination by Richard Sidebottom and Jen Hembree

Photographs by Richard Sidebottom, April 2014

Façade view

Rear view

NPS Form 10-900 OMB No. 1024-0018 United States Department of the Interior National Park Service National Register of Historic Places Registration Form This form is for use in nominating or requesting determinations for individual properties and districts. See instructions in National Register Bulletin, How to Complete the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. If any item does not apply to the property being documented, enter "N/A" for "not applicable." For functions, architectural classification, materials, and areas of significance, enter only categories and subcategories from the instructions.

1. Name of Property Historic name: _Savona Mill ___________________

Other names/site number: _ Savona Manufacturing Company, Alfred Cotton Mill, Old Dominion Box Company

Name of related multiple property listing:


(Enter "N/A" if property is not part of a multiple property listing ____________________________________________________________________________

2. Location Street & number: _528 South Turner Avenue_______________________________

City or town: _Charlotte_________ State: _NC_________ County: _Mecklenburg_ Not For Publication: N/A Vicinity: N/AN/A ____________________________________________________________________________

3. State/Federal Agency Certification As the designated authority under the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, I hereby certify that this X nomination ___ request for determination of eligibility meets the documentation standards for registering properties in the National Register of Historic Places and meets the procedural and professional requirements set forth in 36 CFR Part 60.

In my opinion, the property _X__ meets ___ does not meet the National Register Criteria.

I recommend that this property be considered significant at the following

level(s) of significance:

___national ___statewide _X__local

Applicable National Register Criteria:

_ _A ___B _X_C ___D Signature of certifying official/Title: Date _North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources __________________________

Stateor Federal agency/bureau or Tribal Government

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4. National Park Service Certification

I hereby certify that this property is:

entered in the National Register determined eligible for the National Register determined not eligible for the National Register removed from the National Register other (explain:) _____________________


Signature of the Keeper Date of Action ____________________________________________________________________________

5. Classification Ownership of Property (Check as many boxes as apply.) Private: X

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Number of contributing resources previously listed in the National Register ___N/A_____ ____________________________________________________________________________

6. Function or Use Historic Functions (Enter categories from instructions.) _INDUSTRY/Manufacturing Facility ___________________






Current Functions (Enter categories from instructions.) _VACANT__________ ___________________





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7. Description Architectural Classification (Enter categories from instructions.) _OTHER: Heavy Timber Mill Construction_ _OTHER: Reinforced Concrete Construction ___________________





Materials: (enter categories from instructions.) Principal exterior materials of the property: _BRICK, CONCRETE_________ Narrative Description (Describe the historic and current physical appearance and condition of the property. Describe contributing and noncontributing resources if applicable. Begin with a summary paragraph that briefly describes the general characteristics of the property, such as its location, type, style, method of construction, setting, size, and significant features. Indicate whether the property has historic integrity.) ______________________________________________________________________________

Summary Paragraph The Savona Mill is a series of four sections of different construction joined together in a linear arrangement along South Turner Avenue in the West End neighborhood of Charlotte in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The three historic sections of the building display three distinctive structural systems that correspond to changes in industrial design during the twentieth century. The Weave Mill, constructed 1915-1916, is a one-story rectangular brick building built of traditional heavy timber mill construction with segmental arched head windows, a low gable roof with exposed beam ends and a wood clerestory monitor roof. In 1921, the three-story rectangular brick Spinning Mill was connected to the north side of the Weave Mill using a combination of structural and finish materials including a poured concrete foundation, timber beams and floors, metal columns, and large rectangular steel windows. In 1951, the Old Dominion Box Company constructed the three-story Paper Warehouse addition at the north end of the Spinning Mill with a reinforced poured concrete frame, brick infill walls and steel sash windows. A non-historic one-story steel frame and metal siding addition built in 1996 connects to the south end of the Weave Mill via a concrete block and steel frame connector. The mill faces southeast to South Turner Avenue with the main pedestrian entrance located in the southernmost bay of the Spinning Mill. Railroad track and remnants of a trestle mark where a railroad spur from the Piedmont and Northern railroad entered the property near the intersection of State Street

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Narrative Description The Savona Mill at 528 South Turner Avenue is a brick and concrete manufacturing building just north of the intersection of State Street and South Turner Avenue 2.5 miles northwest of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. The building sits on 4.18 acres of land situated on a hillside sloping gently from South Turner Avenue to the southeast down to a railroad spur running along the northwest side of the building, where the entire height of the partial basement is revealed. The main elevation of the mill, hereafter referred to as the east elevation for simplicity, is setback from South Turner Avenue by approximately ten feet. Regularly spaced trees occupy the setback as well as a concrete retaining wall that creates an areaway along portions of the Weave Mill and Spinning Mill where a partial basement exists. A chain-link fence secures the property along South Turner Avenue, State Street, and a driveway at the north elevation of the building.

The property is just a portion of the historic acreage associated with the Savona Manufacturing Company and the Old Dominion Box Company but includes all of the extant manufacturing resources. Several brick and frame support buildings associated with the manufacturing operations were located on land between the mill and Stewart’s Creek, located approximately 600 feet northwest of the building. However, a previous owner subdivided that portion of the site into five parcels and demolished all of the ancillary buildings between 2000 and 2010. The demolished buildings included the bleaching and finishing building, boiler house, engine house, and several warehouses built by the Savona Manufacturing Company and a pulp mill constructed by the Old Dominion Box Company. Many of the houses in the surrounding blocks to the east and northeast of the mill were constructed by the Savona Manufacturing Company to house mill workers including those along State Street, Katonah Avenue, and South Bruns Avenue. The mill housing is now separated from the mill by a series of vacant lots and parking areas between Coxe Avenue and State Street, which once included the company office and a store. A modern onestory brick office building with concrete lattice panels just north of Coxe Avenue separates the mill from additional residential buildings to the north and east of the mill. Two additional modern one-story brick office buildings sit north of the mill property, dividing the property from single family houses along Rozzelle’s Ferry Road.

Weave Mill, Mill No. 1 (1915-1916)

The one-story brick Weave Mill is the original building constructed on this site and put into operation in 1916. 1 The structure is laid in 7:1 common bond with flemish headers and stretches twenty-two bays along South Turner Avenue with a low-pitch gable roof with exposed rafter tails. A five-foot-high wood clerestory monitor with nearly flat gable roof and exposed rafter tails projects above the main roof for all but the southernmost bay of the Weave Mill. The large 1 “Charlotte, NC.” America’s Textile Reporter: For the Combined Textile Industries, Vol. 30. January 13, 1916, p. 110.

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Historic loading door openings along the main façade consist of lower lintels and lower sills but both are now altered. A loading door in the south end bay has been filled with concrete block while the opening in the third bay from the north end of the Weave Mill has been partially filled with brick to create a window. The northern end bay of the Weave Mill holds a doorway with a paneled wood door with six window lights but the door opening is now covered with plywood and a modern flat canopy roof supported with metal pipe columns. The door is accessible from Turner Avenue by a short concrete bridge crossing the areaway immediately in front of the building. Short window openings with arch heads sit within the areaway to light the partial basement in the five northernmost bays.

The south end of the Weave Mill has an additional one-story frame bay now covered with synthetic siding. A large portion of the brick south wall was removed when this frame addition was added in the later part of the twentieth century. An exterior doorway at the east end of the addition provides access directly into the Weave Mill.

The non-historic concrete and steel addition at the south end of the mill is built on a poured concrete foundation. The walls of the building have a concrete block base and vertical steel paneling above. The irregularly-shaped addition has both loading doors and a pedestrian door facing south to State Street. It is joined to the Weave Mill by a concrete block connector with flat metal roof. The connector has a loading dock and a pedestrian door facing east to a driveway and South Turner Avenue.

A concrete loading platform lines the west side of the Weave Mill with a two-bay rectangular brick restroom wing projecting onto the platform just south of the center of the elevation. Two non-historic “lean-to” structures have been erected along the loading platform just north of the restroom wing, one with failing concrete block walls and one with a lower roof and metal wall.

Window openings along the west elevation are covered with plywood but most still contain the original paired nine-over-six wooden sash windows with pivoting six-light transoms. Two window openings on the west side of the Weave Mill were lowered to create doors, one in the second bay from the south end and one near the center of the building, four bays north of the restroom wing. The only historic loading door with a lower lintel occupies the fourth bay from the north end of the building, but the opening has been widened which has further required a partial brick infill with brick of the neighboring window opening.

The interior of the Weave Mill is largely open with regularly spaced original wood columns supporting an exposed timber beam ceiling. Slightly more than half of the original wood columns are still in place. Many wood columns have been replaced with circular steel columns of the same dimension which fit appropriately into the existing metal capitals. In the easternmost row of columns two modern steel columns have been inserted to reinforce the structure. The Section 7 page 6 United States Department of the Interior National Park Service / National Register of Historic Places Registration Form NPS Form 10-900 OMB No. 1024-0018 Savona Mill Mecklenburg Co. NC Name of Property County and State building is five structural bays wide (east to west) with a wood frame monitor roof structure above the center bay. The monitor is lined with 15-light mechanically operated pivoting clerestory windows. Although covered with plywood most of the original wood window sashes are intact within the segmental arched openings. Each opening holds paired 9/6 wood sash windows with a six-light tilting transom above. A poured concrete floor was likely added in place of a wooden floor during the period of significance. The last four bays at the north end of the building cover a partial basement and retain the earlier wood flooring in most of this area. A freight elevator in the northwest corner of the building and a frame partition in the northeast corner of the building are the only structures obscuring the otherwise open floor plan.

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