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Preservation News

For members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Preservation Foundation and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

2100 Randolph Road
Charlotte, North Carolina 28207

(704) 375-6145
(704) 372-4584 (fax)

Spring/Summer 1998 Newsletter

Blakeney House Update


The Historic Landmarks Commission is currently rehabilitating the James A. Blakeney House on Blakeney Heath Road in southern Mecklenburg County, a Queen Anne Victorian home built around the turn of the century. Yelverton Architects is assisting the Commission on the project, and has drawn plans and solicited bids from contractors. These bids will be reviewed and contracts awarded shortly, after which work will begin. We are aiming for a fall completion date, at which time the Landmarks Commission will place the property on the market. The buyer will be eligible to obtain North Carolina residential historic rehabilitation tax credits. If you think you might be interested in the property, please fax your name and address to the office at the number above. We are keeping a list, and will notify those who have expressed interest when the property is ready to go on the market. We are excited that this beautiful building will remain a part of Mecklenburg County's heritage.

North Charlotte Mill Houses

The Historic Preservation Foundation is currently at work rehabilitating three mill houses in the North Charlotte National Register Historic District. All three houses are on Patterson Street. Yelverton Architects has completed the working drawings and the Foundation is currently reviewing bids for completing the rehabilitation work. Purchasers of these properties will be eligible to receive North Carolina residential historic rehabilitation tax credits as well. The North Charlotte neighborhood is becoming quite popular, judging from the number of incoming calls we've had asking when the properties will be ready for sale. Lois Moore Yandle's new book, Heritage of a Proud People, profiles the neighborhood, and is a "must read" for anyone interested in the area. Also, check out the "Neighborhoods" section of our website for an essay on the history of North Charlotte.


If you think you might be interested in purchasing one of these houses this fall, please fax your name and address to us at the number above, and we will put you on the list of people to be notified when the properties will be going on the market. Thanks again to everyone who made donations to the Historic Preservation Foundation recently - your dollars are helping us save these important houses which contribute so much to North Charlotte's character.

Website

If you haven't already done so, take a few minutes the next time you are at your computer to check out the Foundation's Website at www.cmhpf.org. The site has all kinds of news, essays on Charlotte's historic neighborhoods, a kids' area, Survey and Research Reports on designated historic landmarks, and much, much more. Special thanks should go to our Webmaster, Bruce Schulman, who has done such a wonderful job making this a substantive and user-friendly site.

If you don't have a computer at home or work, you can sign on to one at a branch of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library.

First A.R.P. Church Plans Set

The Historic Landmarks Commission recently approved plans for work on the ruin of the First A.R.P. Church on North Tryon Street. NationsBank has generously underwritten the adaptive reuse of this building, which will turn it into a cutting edge arts center. The church, which burned over ten years ago, will include studio space for artists as well as gallery space open to the public. Along with the reuse of the old Montaldo's building for a branch of the Mint Museum, this project will further distinguish North Tryon as a cultural district that Charlotte can be proud of. Many thanks to NationsBank for their commitment to saving these wonderful uptown landmarks.

Uptown Buildings Threatened

Yet again, it appears that days are numbered for some historic buildings in uptown Charlotte. The Wilson Building, perhaps better known as the Jack Wood building (home of the Jack Wood Ltd. menswear store for many years), is to be demolished to make way for what will apparently be another surface parking lot.

The Wilson building was constructed in 1926 by the children of textile magnate George Wilson Sr., and is one of the few remaining buildings from that era in Charlotte's Center City. Unfortunately, because this building is not a designated historic landmark, the Landmarks Commission has no way to prevent its demolition. The only thing that can be done is to write the owners, The Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company (as suggested by Charlotte Observer associate editor Mary Newsom in a recent column), and ask them to reconsider (at least until they have an alternate plan for the site). The two people to contact are:

Bruce Fernald
Cornerstone Realty Advisers
Suite 1780
1050 Crown Pointe Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30338

and

Kenneth Hargreaves
Executive Director of Real Estate
Mass Mutual Life Insurance Co.
1295 State St.
Springfield, MA 01111

Time is of the essence - last reports indicate that demolition is scheduled for early June.

Old Settlers' Cemetery

Charlotte's first cemetery, the Old Settlers' Cemetery, is undergoing a major restoration project that is just getting started.. The cemetery is Charlotte's oldest public burial ground, with graves dating from 1776 to 1884. A feature article on the project was carried in the January 25th Mecklenburg Neighbors section of the Charlotte Observer. Mecklenburg Historical Association is raising money to match what the city has earmarked, and is looking for old photographs and information on the cemetery especially photos taken before 1970. If you have any old photos or information, please call Linda Dalton at 364-1618.

Carolina Theatre Preservation Society Formed


A group has been formed to preserve the old Carolina Theatre in uptown Charlotte. Designed by prominent Charlotte architect C.C. Hook and NY theatre architect R.E. Hall, the theatre was Charlotte's grandest movie palace for over 50 years. It is currently in a serious state of disrepair and is in need of restoration and retrofitting to bring it back to its former glory. The non-profit Carolina Theatre Preservation Society is dedicated to "saving the theatre, identifying its appropriate use, and raising funds to restore and retrofit this historic hall."

If you are interested, please contact the Carolina Theatre Preservation Society at 4815 Autumn Leaf Lane; Charlotte, NC 28277.

New Historic Landmarks Designated

Congratulations to Charlotte- Mecklenburg's newest historic landmarks -- The Addison Apartments building on East Morehead Street and Atherton Cotton Mills on South Boulevard. The rehabilitation of the Atherton Cotton Mills has helped to spark the resurgence in South End, and saving the Addison Apartments has preserved a critical part of Dilworth's streetscape. Charlotte City Council recently voted to designate these two important properties, which join the 200+ previously designated historic landmarks in Mecklenburg County-- more than any other county in North Carolina.