232 North Trade
months of restoration work, the Matthews Historical Foundation reached
their goal in 2010 of renovating and restoring one of the earliest
homes in downtown Matthews, returning it to a useful part of the
community. The renovated building will house the new Matthews Heritage
Museum and Matthews Historical Foundation office. The Museum will
explore the first 100 years of Matthews history. We are looking for
local artifacts and memorabilia. For more information on the museum
and how you can donate, please see our website
House, built in 1880, was home to two different families, the Massey’s
and later the Clark’s until 1977, when it was acquired by the Town of
Matthews. Then it served as the home of the Matthews Help Center for
25 years, until 2004. The Matthews Historical Foundation acquired the
home in 2009 with a plan to restore the building. Read more about the
Historical Foundation hired Leslie Kesler in June to assist in
research and the development of exhibits and interpretive panels for
the new Matthews Heritage Museum. She works part-time and her museum
knowledge has been a valuable asset to Paula Lester in the preparation
and planning for our heritage museum.
Leslie comes to
us with more than twenty years’ experience in North Carolina history
museums. She has worked in all museum fields from researching and
cataloguing artifacts to developing educational programs. The last
five years of her career have been spent as historian and curator with
the Charlotte Museum of History. Her full-time position was
eliminated due to budget cuts but she continues part-time work for
energetic, Leslie adds enthusiasm and excitement to our project. From
listening to new ideas to checking if all our necessary paperwork has
been filed, she is an asset who, we hope will continue on after the
heritage museum opens as museum and foundation director.
Commemorative Brick Order Form
Massey-Clark House History
December 2009, the Matthews Historical
Foundation acquired the Massey-Clark House. In January 2010, plans
were underway for the renovation of this 1880 home situated in the
heart of downtown Matthews. Urban Architectural Group was selected as
the architect and SQ Construction the general contractor.
After plans were finalized and a permit
issued, the first order of business was to remove additions added over
the years and evaluate the overall structure. The original central
hall had a bathroom and closet in the middle. A room with a connecting
hallway had been built onto the rear of the building. This addition
had a low ceiling and was leaking when we took possession. All the
walls and ceilings had been drywalled, probably in the 1950s. The
kitchen area in the home was an early 1920s addition; however, when
the drywall was removed it was in poor condition and needed reframed.
Insulation was installed wherever possible.
Scott Query from SQ Construction removed the
bathroom and closet in the middle of the home, returning it to the
original central hall design. The room and hallway at the right rear
of the building was completely removed. After a new foundation was
poured, the bathroom, storage closet and hallway was constructed in
its place. The small porch at the back was added. The doorway
between the kitchen and middle room was enlarged, making one room.
The kitchen floor had several layers of linoleum, which was removed
and the original floor refinished, nail holes and all. All the
drywall was removed from the walls and ceilings, revealing the
original “tongue and groove” wood. We found heavy paper tacked under
the drywall popcorn ceilings and some walls. These tacks were removed
during the restoration and the walls and ceilings sanded in
preparation for painting. The windows on the Kristopher’s side were in
extremely poor condition and had to be replaced. The other windows
are original. The windows are extremely low by today’s standards.
One theory is the house had a dirt floor when it was built. Later,
the addition of a wooden floor brought the window height down.
As in all renovations with buildings 130
years old, there were challenges.