NC Architecture Publications

North Carolina takes pride in the tradition of state and local publications generated out of the architectural survey and research program of the State Historic Preservation Office. While the design and printing costs of most of these books have been borne by local or private sponsors (in some cases with federal or state grant assistance or revolving fund loans from the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies), in almost every case the research, text, and photographs were compiled in surveys co-sponsored and supervised by the State Historic Preservation Office, usually with federal or state grant assistance. 

Until the mid-1970s, relatively few books and articles had been published about North Carolina's historic architecture. Two long out-of-print books -- Old Homes and Gardens of North Carolina by Archibald Henderson and Bayard Wooten (1939) and The Early Architecture of North Carolina by Frances Benjamin Johnston and Thomas Tileston Waterman (1941) -- are beloved classics and remain a source of inspiration for students of North Carolina history and architecture. Through the mid-twentieth century, a number of important articles on the state's historic architecture were published by Louise Hall of Duke University, John Allcott of the University of North Carolina, and Lawrence Wodehouse of North Carolina State University. 

The authors of the local survey publications have generally been the consulting architectural historians who conducted the field surveys and research in the various counties and municipalities. Drawing on the information gathered in these local surveys, present and past staff members of the State Historic Preservation Office have authored or co-authored several of the statewide publications.

The following list also includes a few works of related interest created independently of Historic Preservation Office programs.

Architects and Builders in North Carolina: A History of the Practice of Building. Catherine W. Bishir, Charlotte V. Brown, Carl R. Lounsbury, and Ernest H. Wood III. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990. Out of print. Check your library and used book dealers.

Architecture of the Old South: North Carolina. Mills Lane. Savannah, Georgia: Beehive Press, 1985. One of a series of excellent books by Mills Lane on the architecture of the southern states from the colonial through the antebellum periods. To order, contact the Beehive Foundation, P.O. Box 1121, Savannah, Georgia 31402. 800/896-9772.

Early Twentieth Century Suburbs in North Carolina. Catherine W. Bishir and Lawrence S. Earley, editors. Raleigh: North Carolina Office of Archives and History, 1985. Out of print. 

Carolina Dwelling. Doug Swaim, editor. Raleigh: North Carolina State University School of Design Student Publication, 1978. A collection of essays on North Carolina's vernacular buildings and landscapes. To order, contact the N.C. State University School of Design, Raleigh. 919/515-2204

Exploring the Old Mills of North Carolina. Grimsley T. Hobbs. The Provincial Press, PO Box 2311, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. 1985. $9.95. (Should be available through amazon.com and possibly other online bookstores).

A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina. Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996. The first of a three-volume field guide to the state's historic architecture, covering 41 tidewater and coastal plain counties from the coast to I-95. Click here for more information about the guidebook series. To order, contact the UNC Press, Chapel Hill, 919/966-3561.

A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina. Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003. (Available May 2003). The third of a three-volume field guide to the state's historic architecture, covering 34 central North Carolina counties. Click here for more information about the guidebook series. To order, contact the UNC Press, Chapel Hill, 919/966-3561.

A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Western North Carolina. Catherine W. Bishir, Michael T. Southern, and Jennifer F. Martin. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999. The second of a three-volume field guide to the state's historic architecture, covering 25 foothill and mountain counties. Click here for more information about the guidebook series. To order, contact the UNC Press, Chapel Hill, 919/966-3561.

North Carolina: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites. Brent D. Glass. Published by the Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service, 1975.

North Carolina Architecture. Catherine W. Bishir, with photography by Tim Buchman. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina, 1990. Award-winning overview of the state's architecture to 1940. To order, contact Preservation North Carolina, P.O. Box 27644, Raleigh NC 27611. 919/832-3652, or the UNC Press, Chapel Hill, 919/966-3561.

North Carolina Lighthouses. David Stick. Order from the Historical Publications Section, Office of Archives and History.

North Carolina's Metal Truss Bridges: An Inventory and Evaluation. George T. Fore. Published by the Office of Archives and History and the Department of Transportation, 1979. Out of Print.

Sticks and Stones: Three Centuries of North Carolina Gravemarkers. M. Ruth Little. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998. To order, contact Preservation North Carolina, P.O. Box 27644, Raleigh NC 27611. 919/832-3652, or the UNC Press, Chapel Hill, 919/966-3561.

A Travel Guide to Black Historical Sites and Landmarks in North Carolina. Lenwood G. Davis. Winston-Salem: Bandit Books, 1991.