Big news about the trolley. On June 15th City Council voted to spend $19.7 million on putting the trolley line through the Convention Center and into Uptown Charlotte. At long last, after 17 years of effort, the Commission's dream of putting vintage trolley service into operation in Charlotte will become a reality. Estimates are that service will actually begin in 2001.
Now that the City Council has voted to extend the trolley line into Uptown Charlotte, it is time to begin thinking about design issues, including the poles to carry the overhead wire. I vote for replicas of the original streetcar poles in Dilworth. Several are located along Dilworth Rd. East and Dilworth Road West, where the streetcar used to turn around and head back toward the Center City.
A Dilworth streetcar pole
Notice the distinctive crown on the top. That's for the Queen City. Don't you think we should use that design? Send us your ideas.
BusesChris Allen waves from the driver's seat of Bus 1072. The Commission is working hard to get this part of our transportation history up and running.
Bus 1072 ran on the streets of Charlotte until 1991. We want to bring it back.
UpdatesOn June 15th City Council voted to designate the Thomas Alexander House on Sharon Lane a historic landmark. Again, the Commission has secured protection and recognition of part of Charlotte-Mecklenburg's rural past.
On June 16th the Board of County Commissioners authorized the Historic Landmarks Commission to purchase, restore and sell with protective covenants the Croft Schoolhouse. This will be a challenging but exciting project.
Scenes from the Trolley Day celebration May 16
Over 2000 people came to ride the trolley on the first annual Trolley Day.
UpdatesThe Trolley Moves Forward. City Council took a straw vote on the trolley on May 18th. The project is still included in the proposed City budget for full funding. We aren't home yet, but the trolley picture looks better and better.
Also, on May 18th, the Planning Committee of the Planning Commission voted to recommend that the Historic Landmarks Commission purchase the Croft Schoolhouse. We should be moving forward in the near future to seek approval from the Board of County Commissioners. This will be a difficult but exciting project.
Hopefully, the general contractor for the restoration of the James A. Blakeney House will be selected within the next two weeks. Work should be underway in June.
The same is true for the Patterson St. houses in North Charlotte. The general contractor should be ready to begin within the next two to three weeks.
Trolley NewsAnother important development for the trolley line. The City Council has voted to purchase the railroad corridor between Stonewall St. and Scaleybark -- a distance of 2.9 miles. This means that the trolleys will now be running on City property, not land leased from Norfolk Southern Railroad. Now the City owns a rail line that runs from 11th St. to Scaleybark, except for the gap between the Convention Center and over Stonewall St. When that gap is eliminanted, the trolleys will be ready to roll!!!
The owners of the Croft Schoolhouse have accepted the Commission's offer to purchase the building and about .9 acres of land. The Commission will now seek the Board of County Commission's approval of the contract. Stay tuned. The Historic Landmarks Commission has begun emergency stabilization of the Croft Schoolhouse. Hopefully, the blue tarp will keep the rain out of the building until the HLC buys it.
Monthly Meeting ItemsThe Historic Landmarks Commission will be considering several important matters at its April 13th Meeting.
1. The Croft Schoolhouse: The Commission will be considering making an offer to purchase this unique historic building in the Croft Community just south of Huntersville. If acquired, the Schoolhouse will be restored and offered for sale with significance tax credits for the buyer. It will become an office building.
Trolley NewsApril will tell us a lot about how involved the City of Charlotte will be in bringing vintage trolley service to Uptown Charlotte. Pam Syfert, the City Manager, will be presenting her recommended capital improvement budget to City Council on April 21st. Watch out for these details. Will money for constructing the bridge across Stonewall St. and extending the trolley line through the Convention Center be included in the budget? If so, how much trolley money will be in the recommended budget? Where will Manager Syfert recommended that the money come from? City Council will hold public hearings on the budget in May, and the final budget will be approved in June. Stay tuned.
UpdatesOther important news. The Historic Preservation Foundation has obtained approval for the State Investment Tax Credits for the Patterson St. Houses. This means that whoever purchases these houses will get big tax savings.
The Historic Landmarks Commission needs your input as to what rural properties in Mecklenburg County are the most important to save. Look at our Rural Resources Report and send your comments to us. We will use your input to help formulate a request to be put on the ballot next year for historic preservation bonds.
Students from Carmel Middle School related their studies in geometry to Charlotte's architecture using the Uptown Walking Tour made available by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Preservation Foundation.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Preservation Foundation is assisting Carmel Middle School in their effort to customize the walking tours we have available to create something all Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools could use. The plan includes a walking tour of Fourth Ward, uptown, and a trolley ride. Be looking for news about this project as it develops.
Meeting NotesThe Historic Landmarks Commission made several important decisions at its meeting on April 13th.
The Commission will make an offer to purchase the Croft Schoolhouse. The plan is to renovate the structure and offer it as an office building. Because it is the National Register of Historic Places, lucrative tax credits will be available to the buyer.
The Commission will continue its efforts to buy the Gluyas House. Sturctural and mechanical inspections shall occur, and an appraisal will be conducted. Hopefully, the Commission will be able to buy, stabilize, and assure the preservation of this important part of our rural past.
The Commission voted to recommend the designation of the E. L. Baxter Davidson House as an historic landmark. The recommendation will be sent to the North Carolina Division of Archives and History for comment.
The Commission approved renovation plans for the First A.R.P. Church on North Tryon St. It will be exciting to see the renovation of this structure move forward.