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Waddell Construction Company records

Identifier: MS0418

Scope and Contents

The Waddell Construction Company records consist of drawings, blueprints and specifications for a variety of construction projects in and around the Charlotte, North Carolina area from 1936 to 1978. Some of these drawings were produced by the Waddells (James R. Waddell and Robert E. Waddell), while others came from some of the architects in the Metropolitan Charlotte area. Other than Charlotte, the Waddells built projects in Wadesboro, Statesville, Greenville, Matthews, and Kings Mountain in North Carolina; and Union County, South Carolina. There is only a limited amount of uniformity in the ways in which these drawings were produced. The scales of dimensions and measurements vary from one drawing to another. Some are real blue prints, while others are technical drawings on plain paper. The sizes of the drawings vary from a few inches to a few feet. Some of the drawings specify the name of the client, and the address and date of the building project; while others have no identification. The same is true of the architects who made these drawings-some are identified and others are not. Also, there are only ten sets of construction specifications in this collection of 104 sets of drawings.


  • Creation: 1936 - 1978
  • Creation: 1942 - 1962


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

The history of the Waddell family's construction contracting businesses began in the early twentieth century with Robert D. Waddell, who started his career in Rockingham, North Carolina. His son, James Robert Waddell, started his own general contracting company in Charlotte, North Carolina in the early 1920s and worked until his death in 1955 at the age of 62. James' contracts included building and renovating houses, schools, office buildings, churches and other structures in and around the metropolitan Charlotte area. His firm used a variety of corporate names over the years, including J.R. Waddell, Inc., the J.R. Waddell & Sons General Contractors, the Waddell Construction Company, Inc., and Waddell Contractors. James had four sons (Robert Edward, James Beckett, George Marion, and Joe Davis Waddell) and all of them joined the family company following their military service in World War II. One of James' sons, Robert E. Waddell, drew blueprints for the construction of houses and buildings along with his father on selected projects. By the mid-1960s, all four of James's sons had their own businesses, connected to the construction industry in one form or another.

The Waddell Construction Company had a working relationship with several architectural firms in the Charlotte area, and many of the drawings found in this collection came from them. These architects and firms were: Louis H. Asbury; Charles Benton & Sons; James H. Benton; Charles W. Connelly; Louis Duval; Frank Wooten & Associates; Richard Gillespie; Charles Morrison Grier; Walter W. Hook; Marsh & Hawkins; A.G. Odell, Jr.; Sloan & Wheatley; Mangum W. Sloan; Paul L. Snyder; R. Edwin Wilson; Wilber, Kendrick, Workman & Warren; and Wooten, Inc. Other drawings found in this collection were drawn by either James R. Waddell or his son, Robert E. Waddell.


5.8 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This is a collection of architectural drawings and specifications produced between 1936 and 1978 and used by the Waddell Construction Company, of Charlotte, NC to build and renovate homes, schools, businesses and churches in Charlotte, Greenville, York County, Gaston County, NC.


The blueprints, drawings and specifications in this collection are arranged alphabetically by the name of the client or the name of the project. Unidentified drawings are listed under "U" for "unidentified." The drawings are stored in oversize folders in a map case. The construction specifications for these projects are stored in a smaller box separately from the drawings.

Missing Title

  1. Waddell, James Robert, 1892-1955.
  2. Waddell, Robert E.
  3. Asbury, Louis H. (Louis Humbert), 1877-1975
  4. Benton, James H., architect
  5. Duval, Louis, architect
  6. Gillespie, Richard, architect
  7. Odell, Arthur Gould
  8. Sloan, Mangum W.
  9. Snyder, Paul L.
  10. Charles C. Benton & Sons
  11. J. R. Waddell & Sons
  12. Frank Wooten & Associates
  13. Marsh & Hawkins
  14. Sloan & Wheatley
  15. Wilber, Kendrick, Workman & Warren
  16. Wooten, Inc.
  17. Architects�North Carolina�Charlotte.
  18. Architectural drawing�North Carolina�Charlotte.
  19. Public architecture�North Carolina�designs and plans.
  20. Architectural specifications�North Carolina�Charlotte.
  21. Architecture, Domestic-North Carolina-Charlotte-Designs and plans.
  22. Charlotte (N.C.) � Buildings, structures, etc.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from R. Alvin Waddell, in August 2009

Related Materials

Louis H. Asbury Papers, Mss 145 ; Biberstein, Bowles, Meacham and Reed Papers, Mss 148 ; Blythe and Isenhour, Inc., Records, Mss 165 ; Wayne C.W. Fu Papers, Mss 15 ; J. Norman Pease Papers, Mss 97 ; Beaumert Whitton Papers, Mss 117.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes, September 2009.


J.R. Waddell & Sons records
Robert A. McInnes
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

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

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