Abee Architect, PA

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Abee Architect, PA is a longstanding architecture firm based in Hickory, NC. The firm was founded in 1935 by Dallas Carroll Abee Sr., and has been integral to the design of much of Downtown Hickory. For almost 80 years, this family business has designed churches, hospitals, businesses and homes. In 1978, Dallas Abee Jr. became a full partner of the business, eventually leading the company after his father’s retirement.

The elder D. Abee concentrated heavily on building homes until World War II, when his focus changed, as did the focus of many Americans. He began to design Army hospitals, and worked extensively on the Manhattan Project in Tennessee. After the war, he partnered with Aiji Teshiro, and together they designed Lutheridge, a Lutheran camp in Arden, NC. In 1953, Abee began a partnership with James E. Biggs. The business continued to work on churches, while also designing many homes and commercial spaces.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeanwhile, Dallas Abee Jr. graduated from Hickory High School, majored in architecture at NC State College of Design, and upon completing his Studies moved to Asheville. He worked with Six Associates, a large firm that worked all over Western North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. One of Dallas Abee Jr.’s more memorable early projects was student housing at Appalachian State University. He also worked extensively on the Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville.

In 1965, Dallas Abee Jr. moved back to Hickory and began working at his father’s firm. During this time, Hickory was a bustling manufacturing town, and Abee Architect was quite busy designing furniture plants, including Hickory Furniture, Century Furniture and Hickory Chair, and textile mills including Whistnant Mill and the Cline Hosiery Mill.

From 1974 to 1977, Hickory experienced a Downtown Urban Renewal. Abee Architect, PA, was responsible for redesigning over half of Downtown Hickory during this time. Much of the overall look of the city’s center was developed by Dallas Abee Jr. and his father.

loungeIn 1989, Dallas Abee Sr. retired, leaving his son at the helm. In the time since then, Dallas Jr. has designed a staggering number of buildings. He is responsible for designing all of the Sagebrush buildings, which span NC, SC, TN and VA. He also designed 240 Western Steer restaurants and 30 I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt shops. He works with Frye Regional Medical Center and has worked with Catawba Valley Medical Center as well.  This is in addition to the many churches and businesses, including the local Atlanta Bread Company.

He is currently working with School of the Deaf Foundation on a deaf and blind retirement community  on College Street in Morganton, and a 10 site affordable housing development for Habitat for Humanity, called The Glen at Green Park. He is also continuing his work with many churches across the state and a medical office in Moore County.

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Dallas Abee Jr. has also been an exemplary citizen of Hickory. Born and raised here, leaving only for the Army, college, and a brief stint in Asheville, Dallas has a true love of the town. He and his wife Judy raised 3 children here, and have been involved in many civics projects and activities.

Being a hickory Native has made me aware of how wonderful a city it is to raise a family. For Hickory to be so small, it has many cultural opportunities. I’m a very active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and the Rotary club-I think in my younger years, being a member of Jaycees was wonderful. I got to be with and know lots of future leaders of Hickory, including Bill McDonald, Glenn Hilton and Charles Snipes.”

 

Abee Architect, PA, has left a permanent mark on Hickory, North Carolina, making it ever more beautiful as time goes on. The business exemplifies: Design. Well Crafted.

 

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