Charlotte NC MYERS PARK-The Duke Mansion
A wonderful example of Colonial Revival architecture in North Carolina is just outside your Charlotte front door in historic Myers Park. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Duke Mansion is a stunning display of architecture, with walls that tell so many stories of Charlotte history, dating back to 1915. Many of our most elite Charlotte leaders have called Charlotte NC Myers Park- Duke Mansion home, each contributing significantly to Charlotte’s wonderful history.
The Duke Mansion, originally named “Lynnwood” by Southern Public Utilities’ former president, Zebulon V. Taylor , was erected on 14 acres in Myers Park. Mr. Taylor called Lynnwood home for four years. James B. Duke (‘Buck’), founder of Duke Power Company (formerly Southern Public Utilities), then purchased the estate and tripled the size of the home to its current size of 32,000 square feet. During James Duke’s tenure in the home, many lasting legacies were created on the grounds, including Duke University, Duke Power Company and the Duke Endowment.
After a year of vacancy, Martin L. Cannon, son of the founder of Cannon Mills, purchased the home in 1929. Mr. Cannon, whose family was very active in the Charlotte community, renamed it “White Oaks.” This prominent family name can be seen all across the area such as the Cannon Campus of Charlotte Country Day School and the Cannon Research Center at Carolinas Medical Center. The Cannons, who opened White Oaks up as an ‘official guest house for special visitors,’ began the tradition of bed and breakfast for the the elite, which it continues to serve as today.Buck Duke died in 1925, and local radio station (WBT) owner, C.C. Coddington, who owned the (one and only) local Buick dealership, purchased the home and lived there until his own death, three years later.
For 20 years, the Cannons built the elite status of Whit Oaks and in 1949 the Cannons bequeathed White Oaks and three of its acres to Myers Park Presbyterian Church. In need of funds, Myers Park Presbyterian later sold the home (in1957), to Henry & Clayton Lineberger. A Belmont textile family, the Linebergers, enjoyed the home and spent years restoring the structure and the grounds to their original splendor.
Seven years after the Linebergers purchased the home (in 1966), the entire third floor was gutted by a massive fire and the Linebergers once again, spent years with restoration. In 1976, at Mr. Lineberger’s death, the home was left to the Duke Endowment. The home was then protected as a community ‘treasure’ and became a community conference center for only one year. Developer William Allan then purchase the Mansion, which was then converted into condos and remained as such until 1989.
In 1989, Rick & Dee Ray (Raycom Sports) purchased the home and restored it to its original splendor once again. Now known as the ‘Grand Dame of Myers Park’ the home is now permanently protected as a nonprofit and in 1998 became an Historic Inn and Meeting Place.
In the year 2000, Duke Energy donated a $4.5million gift to transform the home and help the foundation then become debt-free. There are now 20 rooms available for guests and the grounds are simply breathtaking! The Duke Mansion will be celebrating her 100th birthday in 2015.
Today, the most prestigious weddings and meetings are held here on the grounds of the Duke Mansion. The facility has a full staff of event planners and chefs and the rooms are lavishly furnished for your incredibly luxurious overnight stay! You simply must visit ‘The Mansion;’ envelope yourself in the splendor that is rich in our wonderful Charlotte history!
If you’re visiting Charlotte and to search homes for sale, the historic Myers Park community is one of the grandest in the city.