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J. A. Jones Construction Company records

Identifier: MS0340

Scope and Contents

The collection primarily consists of project files with accompanying photographs and project information sheets arranged alphabetically and by project number. These files are mainly from the 1940s-1980s, however earlier projects as well as some more recent ones are also included (see inventory list). There is a significant amount of printed material that includes the company's annual reports and magazines, mainly between the 1940s-1980s. The collection also contains a little over two boxes of photographs kept in large scrapbooks as well as one box of loose photographs in protective sheets.


  • Creation: circa 1940-circa 2000

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The J.A. Jones Construction Company records are the physical property of J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. 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 J.A. Jones Construction Company was founded in the 1890s by James Addison Jones in Charlotte, North Carolina. James A. Jones was born in 1869 in Farmer, North Carolina in Randolph County. After working for a construction company in the 1880s that was building some of the first cotton mills in Charlotte, Jones decided to go out on his own. He received his first job as an independent contractor from Southern Railways, building a dining car addition to the Southern Railways Station. This marked the beginning of the J.A. Jones Construction Company that would go on to become one of the largest and most respected construction firms in the Southeast. The first major project J.A. Jones undertook was the construction of the 12-story Independence Building in uptown Charlotte in 1909, which has been called "Charlotte's first skyscraper." A few years later, James Jones moved his office into the Independence Building and it became the headquarters for the company. This was just the beginning for the company's work in uptown Charlotte, in addition to the Independence Building, J.A. Jones has also constructed Belk's Department Store, Efird's Department Store, Ivey's Department Store, the Carolina Theater, the YMCA, the Selwyn Hotel, Hotel Charlotte, the Charlotte Observer Building and the Duke Power building.

J.A. Jones survived the Great Depression by receiving a contract to build a military airbase in the Canal Zone in Panama. The success of this job allowed the company to expand into military work during World War II, when they built Camp Shelby in Mississippi as well as hospitals, supply depots and air bases in South America. J.A. Jones also expanded into naval construction during the war, in which they constructed a shipyard and built 212 cargo ships and tankers over the course of the war. James A. Jones died in 1950 and the leadership of the company passed to his son, Edwin, who continued to grow the company during the '50s and '60s as they received ever larger projects, including missile bases, missile tracking stations, atomic energy plants and large highways. Edwin's son, Edwin Jones, Jr. took over the company in the 1970s and continued to grow revenue and sales as they received contracts for high-defense projects and large commercial buildings. In 1979, Edwin, Jr. decided to sell the company to A.G. Holzmann, an international construction conglomerate. Charles Tompkins Davidson then took over the company and focused on international markets, including Tokyo, where they built the Robot FA Center. One of the company's last and most well-known projects were the Petronas Towers in Kualu Lumpur that J.A. Jones Construction helped build in 1998. Subsequently, Holzmann got into financial difficulties and J.A. Jones was forced to declare bankruptcy and sell its subsidiaries. The company played a very important role in the development of uptown Charlotte's early skyline and grew to have a major influence on construction in the Southeast and eventually the world, leaving an important legacy.


14 Linear Feet


The J.A. Jones Construction Company was founded in the 1890s by James Addison Jones in Charlotte, North Carolina. The collection primarily consists of project files with accompanying photographs and project information sheets.

Related Materials

Louis H. Asbury Papers (Mss 145). Charlotte Building Inspection Department (Mss 502). Charlotte Engineering Department (Mss 323). Hawkins-Kibler Associates Architects (Mss 275). Waddell Construction Company Records (Mss 418).

Processing Information

This collection was inventoried and described in 2016 by Brittany Strong and Andrew Pack, student assistants.


J. A. Jones Construction Company records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

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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