Johnston Building (Charlotte, North Carolina)

The Johnston Building (now called Midtown Plaza) is a 17-story skyscraper in Charlotte, North Carolina with an approximate height of 81m. The building's official height has never been released. Originally 15 stories when completed in 1924, it was the tallest building in Charlotte until 1926.


Located at 212 South Tryon Street, the lot was home to the Trust Building, which burned in 1922. Anchor Mills Company bought the site for $100 in 1923 from the Textile Office Building Company. William Lee Stoddart, a New York City architect known for large hotels, had designed the Hotel Charlotte, which was under construction and had Charles Worth Johnston as an investor. The builder was Hunkin-Conkey Construction, and the cost was reported to be $600,000.[1]

The Neo-classical[2] steel frame building had limestone blocks for the facade, and buff-colored brick, but these were only for appearance and did not support the building.

Rental agent Thomas Griffith said the Johnston Building had tenants booked even before completion. Offices housed cotton brokers, insurance agents, attorneys, and realty companies.[1] Among those located in the building when it opened: the E.C. Griffith Company, architect C.C. Hook, and Cameron Morrison.[2] Southern Bell took over the entire fifteenth floor by 1926 and had all of three floors and parts of others by 1947.

A 1927 Chamber of Commerce report said the Johnston Building had 125,000 square feet (11,600 m2) of "first class" office space. Only the First National Bank Building, which superseded the Johnston Building as Charlotte's tallest in 1926, had more space with 160,000 square feet (15,000 m2).

Late in the 1920s, two more floors were added.

David R. Johnston, son of Charles Worth Johnston, took over the family business interests. Anchor Mills decided to sell the property in 1975 due to the younger Johnston's health problems. Johnston Building Inc. assumed a $2.1 million mortgage with New York Life Insurance Company, which took over the building in 1981 when payments could not be made. That same year, New York Life sold the Johnston Building to Howard, Howard and Barnard of California, after which renovations began. The appraised value of the building and lot in 1991 was nearly $17.2 million, $2 million of that for the lot.[1]


Preceded by
Independence Building
Tallest Building in Charlotte
81 m
Succeeded by
112 Tryon Plaza

Coordinates: 35°13′34″N 80°50′41″W / 35.2262°N 80.8448°W / 35.2262; -80.8448

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