UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

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Brown and Alexander (née Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed) records

 Collection
Identifier: MS0148

Scope and Contents

This collection contains selected records of the Charlotte architectural firm, including drawings, files, and photographs. The following criteria were used for the initial donation of files: 1) all projects for Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, Stanly, and Union counties, N.C. and foreign countries; 2) all projects prior to 1940-3) and all comprehensive projects, i.e., entire villages in addition to the mills. The Biberstein, Meachem, Bowles, and Reed Records are loosely organized by project type and listed alphabetically by name of project. The latest donation of Brown & Alexander materials are listed alphabetically.

This does not constitute a complete record of the firm. Many files were lost due to the deterioration and subsequent demolition of a storage shed located behind the firm's office.

Dates

  • 1895 - 1960
  • 1920 - 1995

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Founder Richard C. Biberstein (1859-1931) was one of the South's most prolific mill architects. Born in Fredericksburg, Tex., Biberstein was a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He worked for firms in New Jersey and Indiana before coming to Charlotte in 1887 as a draftsman-designer for the Mecklenburg Iron Works. From 1902 to 1905, he worked for Stuart Cramer, who designed and supplied mills throughout the South and who later founded Cramerton, N.C. In 1905, Biberstein organized his own firm and was joined by his son, Herman "Dick" Von Biberstein (1893-1966), in 1915. From 1915 to 1930 the firm was known as H.V. Biberstein. In 1930, H.V. Biberstein was joined by William A. Bowles and the firm was known as Biberstein and Bowles for the next 18 years. The two men were joined by Louis H. Meacham in 1948, at which point the firm became Biberstein, Bowles & Meacham. The firm took on new partners over the years eventually becoming Brown & Alexander, Inc. before dissolving in 2017.

Additionally information about Richard Biberstein can be found on North Carolina Architects & Builders biographical dictionary website maintained by NC State University - http://ncarchitects.lib.ncsu.edu/.

Extent

142 Linear Feet

Overview

Records of a Charlotte, North Carolina architectural firm founded in 1905 by Richard C. Biberstein (1859-1931), who had come to Charlotte in 1887. The firm became Biberstein & Bowles, Inc. then Biberstein, Bowles & Meacham later Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed and eventually Brown and Alexandera. Contains job files and drawings for projects, primarily textile mills and villages in North Carolina and Virginia. Also includes similar material for residences, schools, churches, commercial buildings, as well as mills in other states.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Louis H. Meacham, 1984. Brown and Alexander materials donated by John Brown and Bob Alexander, 2017

Separated Materials

Items relating to N.C. State University and Duke Power have been transferred to the respective archives of those institutions.

Processing Information

Processed by Brian Barbee, Adria Hockenberry, and Kimberly Hotaling, 1994; Julie Henry and Andrew Pack, 2017-2018.
Title
Brown and Alexander (née Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed) records
Status
Incomplete
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Contact:
Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated