Lumberton Municipal Building
- 6,600 square feet
- Lot Size: .15 acres / Zoning: B-1
, Regional Director
Preservation NC, Piedmont Office
An ideal adaptive reuse opportunity! A dignified assemblage of classical elements, the former Lumberton Municipal Building (Old City Hall and Fire Station) was built in 1917 during a period of economic expansion in this important 19th century trading center. Sited on a prominent corner in downtown Lumberton, the Lumberton Municipal Building is just a block and a half from the Lumber River and Riverwalk, across the street from a new performance pavilion and site of downtown arts events, and near the History Museum, and the historic Carolina Civic Center.
Architectural and Historical Information
The building is a two-story brick veneered edifice with an ornately designed Palladian front entrance on one side and two garage bay openings for firetrucks balancing out the other side providing a sense of symmetry. The double-leaf front door with fanlight is flanked by sidelights and Corinthian pilasters supporting an entablature and open pediment. An elaborate historic iron light fixture remains above the fire truck bays. Windows on the first floor along the street include single and tripartite arched openings of nine-over-one sash topped by keystones. Second floor, flat-arched windows are nine-over-nine sash with keystones. The first and second floors are divided by a stuccoed string course. Other exterior features include four interior chimneys, cornice modillions, a hipped slate roof crowned by a wood balustrade surrounding a classical octagonal cupola. The old siren is still there! Interior features include an attractive pressed metal ceiling in the entrance conference rooms, a wood staircase with balustrade, wood and tile floors, and chamfered posts separating the garage bays.
An early postcard shows the original smaller, domestic-scale building as five bays wide and five bays deep along with the original light fixture over the bays (it’s still there, though without the globe!). In the late 1940s, the Lumberton Municipal Building was expanded into its current size with a rear addition that seamlessly maintained the original stately details and proportions. A basement with room for mechanical systems and public restrooms was also added. The building served as city offices, the library and fire station until the 1970s. It was then rented out to various non-profits. Some renovations were initiated in recent years including wiring, suspended ceilings (that can easily be removed), some ductwork, and the replacement of original wood windows. Fortunately, several of the historic windows were kept on-site including the beautiful fanlight window over the main entrance, which can be restored and re-installed. The interior is divided into large and small spaces including several bathrooms (floor plans are available). The fireman’s pole is long gone, but the opening remains.
The Lumberton Municipal Building is in fair structural condition. It has incurred damage from roof leaks, most notably through failed flashing around the roof balustrade. A condition report from Century Slate Roofing Co. is available for review. It will require restoration and repair of the roof balustrade and cupola, all new mechanical systems (electrical, plumbing, HVAC), restoration carpentry of woodwork, some floor repair, along with interior and exterior rehabilitation as needed for its proposed use. The Old Lumberton Municipal Building is zoned B-1 and must be used for commercial purposes including retail, office, second floor loft apartments, etc.
The Lumberton Municipal Building is a contributing structure in the National Register Historic District and is eligible for tax credits.
Ideally located on Interstate 95, Lumberton is known as the halfway point between New York and Florida. Just South of Lumberton’s city limits at Exit 13, I-74, another major interstate, intersects I-95. Hike and bike on the Riverwalk near Historic Downtown as you enjoy the beauty of the Lumber River, listed as a National Wild and Scenic River and voted one of North Carolina’s Top Ten Natural Wonders. The natural setting of Lumberton contributes to its charm almost as much as the people and offer assets including– moderate climate, affordable housing, excellent medical care, natural beauty, entertainment, historic and cultural attractions, recreation, and nearness to the beach, mountains and great golf! Click here for more on Lumberton.