MATTHEWS – Two historic homes are getting a facelift courtesy of the city. The town issued its second annual Façade Grant for exterior improvements at the Reid House and the Plaxco House, two 19th century belles in need of some TLC.
Built in 1890, the Reid House at 134 W. John St. is a rare Queen Anne Victorian in Matthews. The home has been owned by the Matthews Historical Society since 1987, when the nonprofit received the property as a gift.
The house was the long-time home of a country doctor, Dr. Thomas Neely Reid who practiced medicine in the area for 57 years until his death in 1946. Reid’s youngest daughter, Nancy, was born at the house in 1898 and lived in the gingerbread-adorned home with 12-foot ceilings and windows and original pine floors and wood trim until her death in 1986.
Matthews is donating $5,000 for needed painting and gutter work. Paula Lester, president of the Matthews Historical Foundation, said the money will go a long way to help fix up the house with $15,000 coming from matching funds that the foundation has raised by renting out the space for weddings, teas, showers and other social functions.
“We are very grateful to the town for their assistance with this project,” said Lester.
The second grant, $2,500, will go towards repainting the exterior of the Funderburk- Plaxco House at 316 E. Matthews St.
Constructed around 1880, the Plaxco House was owned by Ellison James Funderburk, one of Matthews’ first city commissioners and a cotton farmer and landowner. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission calls the property “one of the oldest homes still standing in the town” and states that “in its grand scale and fashionable style this house clearly asserted the Funderburk family’s rank among the leading early citizens of Matthews.”
Jeff and Paula Fuller bought the foursquare property in September. The couple is in the process of renovating it so they can move their business, Fuller CPA, there. They’re spending $5,848 for painting and will also work on updating bathrooms and improving landscaping and parking. Fuller said the home appealed to him for its history and location.
Matthews’ Façade Grant Program aims to help property owners with the maintenance of the city’s oldest commercial properties in the Downtown Overlay District.