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Brown and Alexander (née Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed) records

Identifier: MS0148

Scope and Contents

This collection contains selected records of the Charlotte architectural firm, including drawings, files, and photographs. The following criteria were used for the initial donation of files: 1) all projects for Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, Stanly, and Union counties, N.C. and foreign countries; 2) all projects prior to 1940-3) and all comprehensive projects, i.e., entire villages in addition to the mills.

This does not constitute a complete record of the firm. Many files were lost due to the deterioration and subsequent demolition of a storage shed located behind the firm's office.


  • Creation: 1895 - 1960
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1920 - 1995

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Founder Richard C. Biberstein (1859-1931) was one of the South's most prolific mill architects. Born in Fredericksburg, Tex., Biberstein was a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He worked for firms in New Jersey and Indiana before coming to Charlotte in 1887 as a draftsman-designer for the Mecklenburg Iron Works. From 1902 to 1905, he worked for Stuart Cramer, who designed and supplied mills throughout the South and who later founded Cramerton, N.C. In 1905, Biberstein organized his own firm and was joined by his son, Herman "Dick" Von Biberstein (1893-1966), in 1915. From 1915 to 1930 the firm was known as H.V. Biberstein. In 1930, H.V. Biberstein was joined by William A. Bowles and the firm was known as Biberstein and Bowles for the next 18 years. The two men were joined by Louis H. Meacham in 1948, at which point the firm became Biberstein, Bowles & Meacham. The firm took on new partners over the years eventually becoming Brown & Alexander, Inc. before dissolving in 2017.

Additionally information about Richard Biberstein can be found on North Carolina Architects & Builders biographical dictionary website maintained by NC State University -


142 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Records of a Charlotte, North Carolina architectural firm founded in 1905 by Richard C. Biberstein (1859-1931), who had come to Charlotte in 1887. The firm became Biberstein & Bowles, Inc. then Biberstein, Bowles & Meacham later Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed and eventually Brown and Alexander. Contains job files and drawings for projects, primarily textile mills and villages in North Carolina and Virginia. Also includes similar material for residences, schools, churches, commercial buildings, as well as mills in other states.


The collection is divided into two series, the first of which is further divided into sub-series. The two series are: Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed and Brown & Alexander. The Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed series are loosely organized by project type and listed alphabetically by name of project. The Brown & Alexander materials are listed alphabetically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Louis H. Meacham, 1984. Brown and Alexander materials donated by John Brown and Bob Alexander, 2017

Separated Materials

Items relating to N.C. State University and Duke Power have been transferred to the respective archives of those institutions.

Processing Information

Processed by Brian Barbee, Adria Hockenberry, and Kimberly Hotaling, 1994; Julie Henry and Andrew Pack, 2017-2018.

Brown and Alexander (née Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham & Reed) records
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
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