Construction Boom During 1920s

Beginnings of Construction Boom

The 1925 Sanborn map shows the block bounded by Carthage, Moore,Wicker and Steele streets as almost fully developed with construction underway on numerous buildings in the area comprising the historic district, as Sanford participated in the construction boom which swept the nation during the 1920s.

During this period, the old bottling works building on the north side of the intersection of Chatham and Charlotte streets was probably remodeled to its present polychromed Art Deco appearance by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company (#82).

Landmark Buildings

Many of the district’s landmark buildings were constructed during the 1920s, including the Masonic Lodge building (#4), the Makepeace Building (#75), and the Temple Theater (#6).


The Lodge is a three-story structure in blond brick featuring granite pilasters rising to a horizontal band above the second floor windows with four raised medallions bearing the Masonic symbol; this treatment is repeated on the west elevation.

Makepeace Building

The five bays of the Makepeace Building are divided by brick pilasters; at the roof line, these divisions are marked by spheres on plinths. Above the narrow central bay is a terra cotta name panel topped by a pediment and flanked by decorative brick inset panels.

Temple Theater

Finally, the facade of the Temple Theater is an eclectic blend of classical and Art Deco details with handsome decorative brick panels, horizontal terra cotta bands and arches, and terra cotta relief panels.

Central Business District

Within the next few years, several other significant structures rose in the thriving central business district and remain important anchors in the area.

Wilrick Hotel

The six-story Wilrick Hotel (#43), the area’s tallest structure, features restrained classical detail; its first two stories are distinguished by a stone surface capped by a molded cornice, while the sixth floor windows are topped by a bracketed skirt roof of ceramic tile.

Cole Pontiac Building

Representing the change from horse powered personal transportation to the automobile is the Cole Pontiac Building (#1) at the western edge of the district, the last remaining building in downtown Sanford of the early service stations and automobile sales and repair structures which replaced the livery stable and carriage and buggy shops.

This extensive brick structure features a stepped and arched parapet with stone coping, two ranks of five large arched windows on the west elevation and a variety of terra cotta ornament.

Hubbard's Shoe Store

Molded terra cotta and cut stonework also ornament the commercial building which is home to Hubbard’s Shoe Store (#36), reflecting the Tudor Revival style so popular in the 1920s.

Contemporary Structures

The contemporary structure (#63) on the southeast corner of Wicker and Steele streets, formerly used as a post office, also features terra cotta decoration, in this case of classical design, including egg and dart molding, modillion blocks, and a scrolled shield medallion above the main entrance.

Simpler buildings also survive from the period, but all display some degree of decorative brickwork, including horizontal and vertical banding, patterned panels, and tapestry and varicolored bricks, reflecting the town’s growing status as a brick making center for the nation.