MATTHEWS – William Henry Freeman built many of the bungalows in town during the 1920s, but his personal home at 201 S. Ames St., was the most sophisticated, according to Mecklenburg County historian Dan Morrill.
“In essence, this house was really somewhat of an advertisement of his skill,” Morrill said.
Morrill, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, gave a pitch to town commissioners Oct. 28 to designate the property as a historic landmark. He said the most important element is the barn.
“In the 1920s, the division of the town and countryside was not nearly as clear as today,” Morrill said. “People had chickens, people had pigs, people had cows in town. This is the only barn that survives that was built contemporaneously with the house, so it is an important historic resource.”
Matthews Presbyterian Church owns the property. Freeman’s grandson, Mac Crisco, intends to move the house and barn over to the lot he owns next door.
If so, the landmarks commission intends to ensure these elements are preserved and return before commissioners to remove the historic landmark designation from the church property and request it be placed on the neighboring lot, Morrill said.
Luke Mabry, senior pastor at Matthews Presbyterian, said his church acquired the property about four years ago for the land.
“Matthews Presbyterian Church is landlocked, and we feel called to the town,” Mabry said. “We don’t want to move. We want to serve the town where we are but we need some more land.”
Mabry told commissioners the church was unaware of the historic nature of the property at the time of purchase, but it has been working with the Crisco family.
“The Freemans have always been a part of the church,” Mabry said. “They helped build the old sanctuary. We want to honor them and help them in any way that we can. If they want to move that structure, we support them in doing that.”
Town commissioners are expected to approve the designation at their Nov. 11 meeting.