This is the private office of Oliver G. Carlton, a wealthy landowner in Brunswick County, North Carolina. Carlton was well known for his intellect as well as his eccentricities. The office is 900 square feet with 12-foot ceilings.
To put this square footage in perspective, the average size of a starter home in the United States is 800 to 1500 square feet. Yet, despite its size, the office is only furnished with a large desk and chair. Historians have debated why such sparse furnishings for such a grand space, with many theorizing he sold off or gave away excess furnishings to his beloved staff as he grew older. However, others point out that this office is a perfect example of Carlton’s eccentricity. Regardless, there is more to the office than its lack of furnishings and massive size.
On both side walls, three sunbursts are carved into each mahogany panel. However, there are no sunbursts carved into the back wall behind the desk. Instead, a large square is carved into the wall, measuring 7.5 feet by 7.5 feet. Within the square is a grid of numbers.