Stop The Demolition of Mosteller Mansion

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Hickory Landmarks Society
Hickory Landmarks Society signed this petition

The Hickory Landmarks Society is exploring ways and means to preserve one of Hickory’s most iconic landmarks, the 1983 William Mosteller House in Hickory, North Carolina.  Owners recently submitted engineering plans to the City of Hickory for construction of three apartment buildings on the site. Removal of the mansion is a part of the plan. The property is located south of Catawba Valley Boulevard, near both The Estates apartments and The Legends apartments.  The HLS Endangered Properties Committee added the house to its endangered list, a means to prioritize advocacy efforts.

Efforts have been made by HLS to offer our services to the owner as a “pass through” organization, helping to locate a buyer who would rehabilitate and preserve the structure.  One proposal that is favored by many is to rehabilitate the mansion and convert into an arts and cultural center for community benefit. Company owner Summit Management of Akron, Ohio  has said that they cannot subdivide the tract containing the structure from the nearby apartments due to contractual obligations with a federal mortgage lending agency.  That restriction may be negotiable.  As of this month, no demolition permit has been requested from Catawba County.

The Mosteller House was originally built by William Ross “Bill” Mosteller (1929-1988) on approximately 100 acres that his family acquired.  Mosteller was a furniture executive who developed a plastic extrusion business on site that replicated wood moldings and wood fixtures. Much of that process was incorporated into the three story, 14,500 sq. ft. mansion by Herman Sipe Construction Company. A large indoor swimming pool was included.  Together with his wife Louise and children, the Catawba County native family lived there briefly.  About 20 years ago, the Mosteller family sold the house with a large, subdivided tract. In 2004-05 subsequent owner Delphi Development constructed the Mosteller Apartments (a.k.a. The Estates today). In December 2012 the tract including the mansion and apartments were acquired by Summit Management of Akron, Ohio.  The 3-story Mosteller House’s condition is structurally sound, built with steel girders.  Despite maintenance expenditures by both the company and a catering firm leasing the property for events, some deterioration has occurred in recent years, particularly as it relates to the pool area.  

We believe the Mosteller House is a regionally important landmark property, based on its architectural significance and the family’s importance to Hickory’s economic development in the Modernist era.  The Hickory Historic Preservation Commission recently considered a request by a Hickory resident and adjacent property owner to support designating the property a local historic landmark, but declined in part due to age consideration, questions about its condition, and surrounding development.  More than 94% of National Register properties in the US are over 50 years old.

“We know that the life of this magnificent building is in danger”, said HLS Executive Director Patrick Daily. “The owners can and will do what they wish with it for their own reasons, but we will try our best to save it.”