C.C. Coddington's business prospered, paralleling the growth of the city itself. Ironically, it was the streetcar, not the automobile, that first made it possible for society's well-to-do to move to new communities known as suburbs.
In 1917, Coddington hired London-born architect William Peeps to design his home to be located on an ample corner lot at East Morehead Street and Berkeley Avenue in the heart of the suburb known as Dilworth. Peeps' commission was to design a residence patterned after Mrs. Coddington's family home in Pennsylvania and to that end he fashioned the gracious and stately clapboard mansion and grounds that stand today.
Built in 1917, the story of the Inn actually begins in the year 1907 when a Northerner, Charles Campbell Coddington, was granted exclusive rights to distribute Buick automobiles in the Carolinas.
As the story goes, Coddington was driving from New Jersey to Charlotte in the first Buick south of the Mason-Dixon Line, when he happened to stop at a local drug store in Greensboro, North Carolina. There he laid eyes on the eighteen-year-old Marjorie Lyon, herself a native of western Pennsylvania.
It is said that Coddington was so taken with the young beauty that he put his business on hold until he could meet her. Their courtship blossomed and Marjorie and Charles were married the next year. After their marriage, the Coddingtons moved to Charlotte in 1908.
Tragically, however, our romantic story ends far too soon, as Mrs. Coddington died in 1925 of a heart attack, during her eleventh pregnancy, leaving three young sons. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Coddington sold the Morehead Street house and purchased the Duke Mansion in Myers Park. Coddington's own life was cut short when he too died tragically aboard a yacht in the Pamlico Sound in 1928.
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Remarkably, the residence that became known as the "Old Coddington House", managed to survive. While other similar properties on Morehead Street eventually gave way to the needs of commerce, the Coddington house remained a private residence until 1980. Opened to the public as the Morehead Inn in 1984, the house once again began to experience the acclaim and appreciation of its many visitors. Subsequently the property's significance was recognized by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, and the entire Dilworth community, Charlotte's first street car suburb, has been designated a National Trust Historic District.
ABOUT BILLY MADALON
Finding homes that serve up royal elegance, Southern Style is tough in Charlotte, a city where history often seems to mean what happened last week. But for Billy Maddalon finding them, running them, and making sure that every detail is perfect has become a career.
Billy runs the business with his father, Mark Maddalon, who is also a managing partner. The father-son team, with a group of local investors, formed a holding company known as Unique Southern Estates. Mark Maddalon, who is a commercial real estate broker, handles most of the financial issues, Billy the in-house issues, like menus, and a full time staff.
Billy Maddalon spent part of his childhood in his grandparents home on Euclid Avenue, just around the corner from the Morehead Inn. As a boy, Maddalon says he used to think "..boy, this is a big old house." That years later he would help to preserve the old house he used to admire and turn it, not into a profitable venture, but also one of the most respected places to hold special events, like weddings and business luncheons, remains something of a marvel to him.
Maddalon spares little expense. When it comes to food, everything is fresh! The furniture, fixtures, and many of the decorations are antiques. He's always looking to buy more antiques and many Charlotteans have figured this out. They call Maddalon when they are selling things or holding estate sales. He never pays retail for anything. And he never stops acquiring, which is probably a good idea. Given his ambition, he may be furnishing and running a lot more unique houses in the North Carolina and South Carolina regions.
Although Maddalon always has his eye open, he says timing is everything. It's not too often everything clicks as well as the Morehead Inn and the Vanlandingham Estate have. Some day, something else will, and the wait is fine with him. If it happened more often, it wouldn't be Unique, would it?
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Billy Maddalon's Achievements & Community Involvement:
Alexander Youth Network, Board of Visitors, 1998-2000; Board of Directors, 2000-present
Central Carolinas Voices and Choices Environmental Coalition, land use action team, 1998-2002
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneur of the Year, 1998
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council, 1998-2001
Charlotte Business Journal, chosen "40 Under 40" most influential persons in Charlotte
Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau, Board of Directors, 1999-2004
Foundation for the Carolinas, Impact Fund, Class of 2000
Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Board of Directors, 2004-2005
North Carolina State University Alumni Association, Board of Directors, 1999-present; President, 2006-2008
North Carolina State University Humanities Foundation, Board of Advisors, 1998-present; President 2004-2005