Charles Newton Parker, Architect [1885-1961]
Charles Parker, a native of Hillsboro, Ohio, moved to Asheville in 1904 with his mother and brother, Harry, a civil engineer. Parker worked as a draftsman for Richard Sharp Smith, who joined with Albert Heath Carrier in the firm of Smith and Carrier in 1906. Parker was clearly influenced by Smith's individual style and stayed on until around 1913, when he opened his own practice. Parker concentrated on Asheville's lucrative residential market during his career, designing several imposing Tudor Revival style houses in Biltmore Forest, but he became best known as the architect of the Grove Arcade (NR, 1976), a monumental Tudor Gothic commercial building constructed in the late 1920s on the site of the old Battery Park Hotel. One of the city's most prominent developers and owner of the Grove Park Inn, Edwin Wiley Grove conceived of the Arcade, a reinforced concrete and steel structure covered with glazed terra cotta panels, as the base of an office tower, but Grove's death and the onset of the Great Depression halted the project before the tower was built. Parker later joined the firm of Six Associates after World War II and continued to practice architecture until his retirement in the late 1950s. He died at his home in Asheville in 1961.