The Charlotte office of LaBella Associates – an architecture, engineering and planning firm – has donated its archive of historical photographs, slides and newspaper clippings of prominent Charlotte architecture to the University of North Carolina Charlotte and to Central Piedmont Community College. The “LaBella Collection” will be housed at the UNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library, Special Collections and University Archives. In addition, a collection of archived CPCC documents will reside at CPCC’s Central Campus.
"J.N. Pease Associates was an incredibly important architecture and engineering firm of the 20th century Modernist movement in Charlotte. We are thrilled about the acquisition of these architectural records and plans, which are so vital to understanding the history of the built environment in our city,” said Dawn Schmitz, Associate Dean for Special Collections and University Archives, J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte. “These records are a fitting and valuable addition to our extensive collections of materials documenting the city's history of architecture and urban development, which include the records of J.N. Pease's contemporary and fellow modernist A.G. O'Dell, Jr. We look forward to preserving these records and making them available to students, scholars, and community members for their research and appreciation."
LaBella Associates’ presence in Charlotte began in 2010 with the acquisition of Pease Engineering & Architecture, a firm with a rich history of designing facilities in the Queen City dating back to 1938. This legacy includes iconic buildings and infrastructure around Charlotte such as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, Charlotte Water Works - Vest Station, WSOC-TV, and others.
“JN Pease ranked among the most important institutional architect/engineering firms in the Southeast. In the latter half of the twentieth century its designs – from CPCC and UNCC campus buildings, to Charlotte’s government center, to commissions as far afield CIA offices at Langley, Virginia – made it a premier influence on the built environment. LaBella’s donation of the JN Pease archive to UNC Charlotte is a red-letter day,” said Dr. Tom Hanchett, community historian.
LaBella Associates is currently merging three of its Charlotte metro area offices into one location on the 13th floor at 400 South Tryon in uptown Charlotte. In preparing for the move, the firm wanted to find a way to preserve the historical project documents it had on file, so it formed a partnership with Dr. Hanchett, UNC Charlotte and CPCC. The initial donation of documents now resides at the UNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library and can be viewed by the public. A collection of CPCC historical documents have been donated to CPCC’s archives.
Adds Keith Garbrick, PE, Southeast regional vice president at LaBella Associates, “LaBella’s story in Charlotte is one of heritage, growth, and renewal. As we celebrate our tremendous growth in the region and move into our new uptown space, we are excited about teaming up with the UNC Charlotte J. Murrey Atkins Library, CPCC and Dr. [Tom] Hanchett. This partnership enables us to preserve the legacy of our projects that showcase Charlotte’s history and that further support our commitment to this community.”
About LaBella Associates
Headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., LaBella Associates is a nationally recognized Design Professional Corporation. Founded by Salvatore LaBella in 1978, the multi-discipline A/E firm has four key service offerings: buildings, energy, infrastructure, and environmental. LaBella has more than 750 employees across 21 offices, including Charlotte. For more information, visit https://www.labellapc.com.
Contact: Jenni Walker