Architecture of the House
Renowned architect A.D. Gilchrist designed and built the house in 1921 for Rock Hill Mayor, W. R. Armstrong. A native of Manchester, England, Mr. Gilchrist is known for many buildings in the area including the old Ebenezer School, the first wing of York General Hospital, the Coca-Cola Building on Cherry Road, St. John's Methodist Church in Fort Mill and the remodeling design of the President’s house at Winthrop University. He also served as Associate Architect for Byrnes Auditorium and the Thurmond Building on the Winthrop campus.
The original architectural drawings, long thought to be lost, were discovered stored in two family homes by the architect's grandson, Alfred Gilchrist, in December of 2001. The drawings, along with over 200 others are now stored in the Winthrop Archives. Photos of two of the six Armstrong-Mauldin drawings are displayed in the clubhouse.
The house, of Spanish and American Colonial style, has two stories with 4000 square feet, plus a basement and side porch. It is located in the Charlotte Avenue/Aiken Avenue Historic District which was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
House becomes the family home of the Mauldins
The house was purchased in 1923 by W. M. Mauldin, President of the Rock Hill Coca- Cola Bottling Company, and remained the family home until the death of Mrs. Mauldin in 1969. During the time the Mauldins lived in the house several renovations were made to enhance space and add convenience.
Many family social events were held indoors, as well as in the gardens. The formal gardens, designed and built during the early 1930s, included brick walks, a pergola, a reflecting pool and a lily pond. The grounds were tended with loving care by Mrs. Mauldin, who was known for her gardening interest and skills. The small shed at the rear of the property, restored in 2002, was her potting shed and is still being used.
The Woman's Club purchases the house for its clubhouse
In 1971 the Woman's Club of Rock Hill bought the house from a Mauldin daughter Ann Bruce "Brucie" Mauldin Faircloth. Since then, it has been used for club meetings and activities and for public meetings, weddings, and other special occasions.
In the mid-seventies the pergola, the center piece of the Mauldin garden collapsed, reportedly in the midst of a period of windstorms.
The Woman's Club makes improvements to the property
The Club members prepared the house to make it suitable for meetings and for public events. In the early 1980’s the downstairs interior was redecorated according to a design of the ASID student chapter at Winthrop.
A major transformation of the house and gardens took place as a result of the Designer Showhouse in April 2002. The Showhouse included a Café and Gift & Garden Shop, all of which were staffed by members and volunteers.
Maintenance of the Historic Property
The Rock Hill Woman’s Club members, with some help from husbands, maintain the house and the gardens. The Club pays for major repairs, yard mowing, and for routine cleaning of the house prior to and after rentals.