Martin Boyer (1893-1970) is well known by architectural historians in Charlotte for the beautiful homes he designed in many of our most prestigious old neighborhoods. His family moved to Charlotte in 1908 from Virginia. Opening his own design firm in 1920, he worked in Charlotte during the 1920′s to 1960′s and blessed us with a wide range of classical and mid-century designs. Some of his most prestigious designs include Carol Hall, near Queens college built for the J.L. Snyder’s in 1901 and called Pinehaven at that time, the Hamilton C. Jones III house on Cherokee Road and the Major Stuart Cramer house on Hermitage Road.
A favorite recent listing of Rossier Realty is a Martin Boyer design at 2208 Sherwood Avenue, in Myers Park, built in the 1930’s for Irving Bullard, a prominent textile executive. It has many wonderful, unique features including a two level entry hall, plaster moldings inspired by the textile industry, and original wrought iron work on the front porch. Although the front facade is a classic Georgian design, the rear facade appears more like a French country house with two projecting wings topped by hipped tile roofs. There are even two original Juliet type balconies facing the rear yard.
One of the many things of interest to me about Martin Boyer was his wide range of work. Not only did he design several prominent homes, but smaller, unique houses too. I used to live on Westfield Road, just off of Selwyn Avenue, and the adjacent house was a wonderful small Spanish revival home designed by Martin Boyer. It was definitely not typical of Charlotte, NC, and looked like it had been transplanted from Hollywood! What a charming house with a great sunroom on the front, and yet not a large mansion. The current owners love this unique home, and are taking good care of it.
Other houses in Charlotte that Boyer designed cover a wide variety of styles: Tudor Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Colonial Revival, Georgian Revival, and late in his career, mid-century Modern! Not only did Martin Boyer design homes, but the old S&W Cafeteria that stood on Trade Street was one of his wonderful designs.
The special collections department at the UNCC library has a wonderful collection of Martin Boyer house plans. Many of the drawings show architectural details that are fascinating. I will be the first to admit that many of Charlotte’s historic buildings have been demolished, but thank goodness several of Martin Boyer’s wonderful homes remain and are being appreciated by their current owners!