The Chapel Hill Methodist Church opened on July 3, 1853. A Mr. Horn (or Horne?) of Pittsboro, NC was likely the architect/builder of the original structure, built on property purchased from UNC. The property was sold when a new Methodist church was built in 1889 on Franklin Street and the congregation moved into it.
View north, early-mid 1900s
H. W. Hubbard, the purchaser of the building, started a Congregationalist Church and school in it, which was an integrated (i.e. both black and white people sat side-by-side in the congregation). The brick “lean-to” or shed-roofed structure on the west side of the building was likely constructed for use as classrooms by the church at this time; it originally had a taller facade and entryway.
In November 1900, the Congregationalist Church sold the building to the Chapel Hill Improvement Company (CHIC). The CHIC sold it to Joseph Hyde Pratt in May 1905. By 1926, the building was utilized as an automotive garage by the MacMillan Motor Company, and circa 1933-1934 was used for building airplanes by Montrose Tull (until he was killed in a plane crash in October 1934).
View north east, circa 1940
In 1949, architect James M. Webb
started his architecture practice in the building, and was soon joined by his brother, John, who was also a very talented architect.
Over the years/decades, the building was also used variously as a laundry, storage facility, market, filling station, woodworking shop, and by a software company...and likely several other businesses.
An artist's rendition of what the church may have looked like in 1853 (painting by Michael Brown)
Since 2011 the property has been owned by Unity Properties, LLC.
View north east, August 2019 (via Google Streetview)