Morrow Brothers and Heath Building
- 7,992 square feet
- Lot Size: .125 acres / Zoning: Commercial
, Regional Director
Preservation NC, Piedmont Office
Oldest brick store building in downtown Albemarle with exciting mixed-use possibilities—just 1 hour east of Charlotte! The stately two-story brick building at 115 W. South Street was built in 1891 and opened with great fanfare in 1892 as the first brick business building in Albemarle. It is now considered the oldest commercial building in town. The adjacent building at 117 W. South Street started out as a one-story garage and eventually grew to its current 3-story height.
Known locally as the Morrow Brothers & Heath Building, both buildings are being offered for one price and have excellent potential for an exciting mixed-use project. The buildings will require complete rehabilitation including repair of the roof leak, and cosmetic and system updates. The buildings are in a local historic district and municipal service district in the Uwharrie Lakes Region, near Morrow Mountain State Park. The City of Albemarle participates in the Main Street program and offers matching grants to assist in building improvements. We are currently exploring National Register designation which would make the buildings eligible for historic tax credits.
Architectural and Historical Information
The original trio of buildings initially housed C.P. Cox, Dry Wadsworth & Company and R.B. Kluttz & Son. By 1896, these inaugural businesses relocated and the building became home to another large mercantile outfit Morrow Brothers & Heath. Though this enterprise moved to another block in 1902, the building is still commonly referred to as Morrow Brothers & Heath. The building was a grocery store for several years until becoming the location of a Pepsi-Cola Bottling Works. The store front portion located to the east of 115 W. South St. became dilapidated and was torn down in 1958. The remaining section of the original building is now considered the oldest brick.
By 1922 the adjacent building at 117 W. South Street appeared. Starting out as a one-story garage, it eventually grew to its current 3-story height serving as an auto parts store, a realty firm, and finally law offices. The painted signs on the west side of the building bespeak past uses.
These attractive buildings offer large glass fronts letting in plenty of light and recessed entries. The building at 115 W. South St. exhibits a more ornamental façade with brick corbelling along the cornice, arched vents and windows. The interior has been divided into offices on both floors. An original skylight remains on the second floor. The building at 117 W. South St. has a more streamlined façade, yet displays arched windows on its west side. Its interior has also been divided into offices on the first floor; the second floor and third floors are more open and display interior brick walls. A roof leak has caused visible damage to ceilings in the 115 W. South St. building.