The Reid House is a late Victorian Queen Anne style cottage situated on a spacious downtown Matthews lot. Though the house is not overly large, it displays a wealth of interesting details typical of the period during which it was built. The one story frame house is weather boarded, except for the front porch area, which is covered with narrow siding. The corner of the turret and tower are covered with scalloped shingles. The turret and the porch are the primary exterior decorative features of the house. It is particularly attractive as the rounded shape of the tower contracts with the angles of the rest of the house. The turret is topped by a polygonal roof, which contracts well with the three-sided bay found on the other side of the house.

turret and porch photo

top of turret photo

The front porch extends only across a portion of the front, encompassing the entranceway and flanking the windows. In keeping with the irregular form of the Reid House, the porch projects outward in front of the entrance. The porch combines many different architectural facets with fluted posts, pinwheel design brackets, frieze with panels and turned pendants and fluted balustrade vaguely related to the Chinese Chippendale style. The front entrance door features two glass upper panels set above two wooden panels. The panels themselves have fluted surrounds with bulls-eye corner blocks. The original portion of the house has 2/2 sash windows with wood louvered hinged shutters, held in place with iron S hooks. These shutters were used as protection from the hot afternoon sun. The roof is edged with boxed eaves and gutters. The house originally rested on a brick pier foundation, though now the spaces between the piers have been closed with brick.

porch detail

The exterior of the house had a veranda, which encircled two sides of the house. The change made in the 1920s emphasizes the turret on the left, which forms an interesting oval corner for the parlor inside. The veranda was enclosed to make the bathroom, which is found in that room. Other alterations to the exterior include replacement brick steps with ironwork handrails and several additions to the rear of the house. These additions have been architecturally sympathetic to the original design of the house.

The interior of the Reid House features a center hall plan with rooms on either side. All interior decorative detailing is late Victorian style. The center hall, decorated with bead board wainscot, is divided into a front hall and a rear hall by double panel doors. To the right and left of the front hall, doors lead to a parlor and sitting room. The doorway on the right has been enlarged. The room on the right angles out to reflect the projecting bay, the room on the left bows out at the corner reflecting the rounded tower. Behind the two front rooms and sharing chimneys with them, are the dining room on the right and bedroom on the left. To the rear of these are other rooms, largely additions including the kitchen and sunroom.

center hall

Early notes on the room configuration of the Reid House follow:

FRONT HALL - The front hall has 14-foot ceilings and floors of original heart pine floors. Originally, it was used as the waiting room for the doctor's office.

FRONT ROOM RIGHT - Originally Dr. Reid medical office.

FRONT ROOM LEFT - Originally a bedroom. The bathroom was added during the 1920s remodeling when the veranda was changed.

SECOND ROOM RIGHT - Now a dining room, it was originally a bedroom. The chandelier is thought to be a smaller version of one in the White House. The light was probably purchased through Anderson Electric in Charlotte. The present kitchen was the first dining room, with the early kitchen at the back of the house. The first kitchen was probably an out kitchen.

SECOND ROOM ON LEFT - While Dr. Reid was living, he had a big desk in the back hall near his bedroom. Nancy had a collection of porcelain birds displayed over the mantel in her bedroom. They are now at Erskine College.

NOTE: Architectural information by Laura Phillips based on her fieldwork - January 1980.


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Matthews Reid House P.O. Box 1117 Matthews NC 28106
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