September News Briefs1. The Historic Landmarks Commission will be buying the James A. Blakeney House on Blakeney Heath Road on September 30th. This will be a major undertaking for the Commission. Plans are to restore the house and offer it for sale next Spring. The Commission will be applying the the investment tax credits available for certified rehabilitations of historic structures.
2. On Saturday, September 27th, the grand opening was held for the Hidden Garden Restaurant and the Holiday Haus Store in Matthews. These buildings are located in part of the Funderburk project, which the Historic Landmarks Commission restored and sold early this year. This is another example of cost-effective historic preservation.
3. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Preservation Foundation has bought three more houses in the North Charlotte Historic District. They are located at 509, 517, and 601 Patterson Street. The Foundation is most grateful to Marcus and Lois Yandle and the Culbertson Foundation for helping with this most worthwhile project. The Foundation will offer the houses for sale after they are restored.
Middle School Students Study Charlotte's UrbanizationEighth grade students in Mr. Schulman's science classes at Carmel Middle School have been studying the environment and human-environmental interactions. As a focus to this, students have been researching the effects of urbanization on Charlotte-Mecklenburg's natural resources and determining methods to accommodate development and preservation. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmakrs Commission Consulting Director Dr. Dan L. Morrill came to Carmel on Sept. 22 to address students. Dr. Morrill the social and environmental implications of continuity in the built environment. He also presented and narrated a slide show detailing some of Mecklenburg County's rural properties and landscapes.
Losing Another Part of Charlotte's PastThe demolition of the Federal Reserve Bank Building is underway. Charlotte is also losing an important part of its banking history.
Some UpdatesIt looks like the Historic Landmarks Commission will not have to purchase Beaver Dam Plantation after all. Negotiations are underway to have Davidson College buy it. That would be great. We never try to compete with anyone who is truly able and interested in preserving the historic places in Mecklenburg County.
The date for closing on the James A. Blakeney House has been set for September 24th. Restoration planning will begin soon thereafter, with work beginning soon after the first of the year.
The Historic Landmarks Commission is very concerned about the status of the Croft Schoolhouse. The owners are obligated to stabilize the building -- something they have failed to do. If necessary, the Historic Landmarks Commission will have to consider acquiring the building and restoring it ourselves. Stay in touch.
MOBILE HOME FOR SALE--!
Let us know if you have some ideas.
Beaver Dam Purchase PlannedThe Historic Landmarks Commission has submitted a contingency contract to purchase Beaver Dam on the Davidson-Concord Road. It was here that the meeting was held to decide where to place Davidson College. The original owner of the house was William Davidson II, who gave the land for the campus. More recently, it was the home of Dr. Chalmers Davidson. The only contingency is approval by the Board of County Commissioners.
First A. R. P. Church Renovation Planned
NationsBank announced plans to renovate the burned-out First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church on North Tryon Street. NationsBank bought the structure about two years ago and envisions creating an artists' colony in the building. Renovation is planned to be completed by late 1998.
Park Elevator Building UpdateArchitect Jim Gross has purchased the Park Elevator Company Building in South End. The Historic Landmarks Commission has the demolition of the building until June 1998. Negotiations are underway to see if some part of the building can be incorporated into a new development on the property. Stay tuned.
Another part of Uptown's history will soon be bulldozed. It's the Federal Reserve Bank Building erected in 1940 on South Tryon St. Ironically, First Union National Bank is participating in the destruction of the strongest historic symbol of Charlotte's banking industry.
Read our report on this building...
The grounds of the James B. Duke Mansion, originally Lynnwood, are undergoing major landscape renovations to allow this magnificent Myers Park mansion to become a leadership conference center. Here again adaptive reuse is saving one of Charlotte's most important historic landmarks. The Historic Landmarks Commission has reviewed and approved all of these changes.
Rural Mecklenburg Does Exist, But Can We Save It?
The photograph above illustrates one of the properties identified during our six weeks of fieldwork in Mecklenburg County. This farm, located on McKee Road near Matthews, is still in operation. Its farmhouse dates from the mid-1930s, and the gambrel-roofed barn in the photo may be from that period. There are also some modern farm outbuildings. The complete report on Mecklenburg's rural resources is currently in progress and will be posted when completed.
Lillian Arhelger Memorial Is Being RepairedCongratulations to the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department for repairing the Lillian Arhelger Memorial in Independence Park. This is a special place that reminds us of unselfish sacrifice. Read about the story in our Essay section. By the way, that's Bruce Schulman, our webmaster, walking down the hill to inspect the Memorial.
Commission Plans and ActivitiesAt its July meeting the Historic Landmarks Commission voted to recommend that the Atherton Cotton Mills be designated as a historic landmark. The joint public hearing with City Council will probably occur in September.
The Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on August 12th to consider the designation of the Thomas T. Sandifer House as a historic landmark.
Historic Landmarks Commission Will Help Save Historic Water Fountain
Tucked away in an obscure corner of Elmwood Cemetery is a water fountain that was installed by the City in 1911 near the intersection of South Boulevard and East Morehead Street. The Charlotte Humane Association headed by Julia M. Alexander paid for it. The fountain was used by the many horses that used to pull wagons from Uptown Charlotte to Dilworth. Tradition has it that students entering Alexander Graham Junior High School were also dunked in the fountain as part of their initiation to the school.
The Historic Landmarks Commission is working with the City to relocate the fountain in the plaza area of a new office building that Lincoln Properties is constructing on West Morehead St., less than 3 blocks from the fountain's original location. Hopefully, the fountain will be designated as a historic landmark.
Historic Preservation Foundation Has Exciting Plans For Schoolhouse
This one-room schoolhouse was built in 1890 and continued as a County school for white children until 1911. The Historic Preservation Foundation is seeking funds to complete the construction of a visitors center that will allow students from the public and from the private schools of Mecklenburg County to use the schoolhouse to experience local history and to study nature. Let us know if you would like to get involved.
Welch-McIntosh House SoldOn July 1st the Historic Preservation Foundation sold the Welch-McIntosh House to Karl Logan and his wife. Built in 1907, the Welch-McIntosh House at 3301 Gibbon Road is the finest Queen Anne style transitional cottage in the Derita community. Preservation covenants were placed in the deed to assure the protection of the house for years to come.
The restoration of the Welch-McIntosh House was supported by a $25,000 grant from the NationsBank Foundation. Also, the house was donated to the Foundation by the owner, Ruby McIntosh. The Foundation will deposit approximately $102,000 in its account, which will be used to buy other endangered historic structures in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
The gentleman on the right of the picture is Karl Logan, who has just bought the Welch-McIntosh House on Gibbon Road. The house was acquired by the Historic Preservation Foundation, restored, and sold with protective covenants in the deed. The gentleman in the rear of the picture is Van T. Hill, chairman of the Historic Landmarks Commission and Chairman of the Board of the Historic Preservation Foundation.
Trolley #1 RestorationThis photograph shows Trolley No. One at the Stonewall Street Station. The Historic Landmarks Commission bought this car in 1987 and had it shipped to Connecticut, where it was restored. Hopefully, Charlotte Trolley, Inc. will put Trolley No. One into service on the Uptown section of the trolley line in the near future.
Rural Properties Survey UnderwayThis photograph of the McCorkle House on Shopton Road in the Steele Creek community of southern Mecklenburg County shows how threatened our rural heritage is. The property is for sale. The floor foundation of the porch has obviously collapsed. The Historic Landmarks Commission is currently conducting a major update of its inventory of endangered rural properties. It will be finished by August and available on this website. Stay tuned.
Designation Process UnderwayThe Historic Landmarks Commission is processing 3 properties for historic landmark designation. They are: the Thomas T. Sandifer House, the Welch-McIntosh House, and the Atherton Cotton Mills. You can find Survey and Research Reports on each of them on this website.