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Survey and Research Report
On The
South Twenty-One Curb Service Restaurant
1. Name and location of the Property: The property known as the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant is located at 3627 South Boulevard in Charlotte, North Carolina.
2. Name, address and telephone number of the current owner of the Property:
Mr. Nick C. Copsis
4918 Hardwicke Road
Charlotte, North Carolina 28211
Telephone: (704) 366-6557
3. Representative photographs of the Property: This report contains representative photographs of the Property.
4. A map depicting the location of the Property: This report contains a map depicting the location of the property. The UTM is 17 511465E 3894099N.
5. Current Deed Book Reference to the Property:
The tax parcel number is 14905452.  The current deed book number is 10997 / 882.  
6. A brief historical sketch of the Property: This report contains a brief historical sketch of the property.
7. A brief architectural description of the Property: This report contains a brief architectural description of the property.
8. Documentation of why and in what ways the Property meets the criteria for designation set forth in North Carolina General Statute 160A-400.5:
Special significance in terms of its history, architecture and/or cultural importance:
The Commission judges that the property known as South 21 Curb Service Restaurant does possess special significance in terms of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Commission bases its judgment on the following considerations:
1)  The Drive In represents a particularly Twentieth-Century American type of restaurant and dining experience. Predicated on the popularity of the automobile and the entrepreneurial creativity that capitalized on creating a business for a mobile clientele that demanded fast service and convenience, the Drive In became a part of the cultural and physical landscape between 1920 and 1960.
It also evolved into a popular cultural style associated with architectural style, social rituals, and food.
2)  The establishment of Drive Ins in Charlotte occurred during the period of robust post-World War II economic and population expansion.
3)  The immigrant businessmen who opened the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant are connected to Charlotte’s established Greek community, which has a historically strong tradition of entrepreneurialism, especially in the restaurant business.
4)  The South 21 Curb Service Restaurant is a rare local example of a well preserved small-scale commercial building built in the  Modernistic Style.
Integrity of design, setting, workmanship, materials, feeling and/or association:
The Commission contends that the architectural description included in this report demonstrates that the property known as South 21 Curb Service Restaurant meets this criterion.
9. Ad Valorem Tax Appraisal: The Commission is aware that designation allows the owner to apply for an automatic deferral of 50% of the ad valorem taxes on all or any portion of the Property that becomes an "historic landmark."  The current appraised value of the land containing .806 acres is $182,520.  The current appraised value of the building is $99,010.
Date of Preparation of this Report: 2002
Prepared by: Stewart Gray and Dr. Paula Stathakis
Historical Background Statement:

            Three Greek immigrants, Sam, George, and Nick Copsis, opened the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant  on December 3, 1954.  Sam Copsis remembers that they spent $182.00 for advertising and cleared $57.00 on that cold and rainy Friday. Cars got stuck in the then unpaved parking lot; and in between cooking orders, the three brothers had to run outside to push cars out of the mud. The restaurant was originally a small block building, barely large enough to accommodate one small grill, one toaster, two deep fryers, one worktable and a drinks area. The original staff included the three brothers and five African American employees who worked as cooks and car hops. Customers ate in the open air, as canopies were not added until 1959.1

            The Drive In was not a new idea in the 1950s; the concept had been developed since the 1920s and owed its success to the proliferation of the automobile. By 1920, the automobile was produced and marketed as the new freedom for middle class Americans. As automakers perfected mass production techniques, the rising American middle class settled into the post-war prosperity of the 1920s. Cars became an essential status symbol, and with the rise of the availability and the popularity of the automobile, American culture transitioned into the more mobile and convenience oriented society that came to define the twentieth century. Cars encouraged the growth of additional suburban rings, which were located farther out than older streetcar suburbs and were subsequently not dependent on trolleys for their development. Cars also fostered the practice of going out for recreational drives; motorists braved rough, unpaved, and lonely stretches of road to have the adventure and satisfaction of covering distance in a few hours that used to take days. Automobile manufacturers and advertising agencies successfully combined to make Americans fall in love with cars because the machines were not only reasonably priced and easy to finance, but they represented everything that was attractive to modern Americans: freedom, mobility, status, speed, and sex appeal. By the mid-twenties, cars competed with trolley and pedestrian traffic in all American cities, and would soon come to represent a significant aspect of American culture.

            The first American Drive In was the Pig Stand, which opened on the Dallas-Fort Worth Highway in 1921. Texan entrepreneurs Jesse Kirby and Reuben Jackson combined ideas and resources to create a new type of eating establishment with appeal to the growing number of motorists, who had very few options for roadside dining in the early 1920s. Kirby’s philosophy for bringing the food to the car was “People with cars are so lazy they don’t want to get out of them to eat!”2 The original Pig Stand was so successful that Kirby and Jackson opened a chain of them. Other types of Drive Ins or curb service restaurants followed this example, and motorists flocked to this style of restaurant that offered fast and convenient service, even if they only stopped for a cold drink. The Drive In also influenced the American love of fast food, as curb service restaurants usually only offered grilled sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and soda fountain specialties. These shops required less capital and less overhead than traditional restaurants and cafes, which made them attractive businesses ventures for entrepreneurs who were short on start up money, but who wanted to make a good return on their investment.3

            During the 1920s and 1930s, Drive Ins rapidly became an American phenomenon, and were especially popular in California. Students of Drive In culture assert that the institution owed its early popularity to Prohibition. The twenties were a dry decade, and the Drive In temporarily replaced the tavern as a local gathering venue, and was one that was suitable for families and ladies.4 Charlotte, however, did not have a Drive In until 1948. The Central Drive In was the city’s first, located at 1152 Elizabeth Avenue. By 1948, Charlotte also had a Drive In Theater, located on Wilkinson Boulevard.5 By 1950, the Central was joined by Robertson’s Drive In at 1901 South Boulevard.6

            Curb Service restaurants were only part of the local scenery of drive up convenience. In 1950, The Charlotte Observer noted Charlotte’s growing affinity for service brought to the car: “Men and women in automobiles, becoming less and less inclined to use their feet and legs to get what they want, allow more of the things they need to be brought to them as they sit in their motor vehicles.” The article mentions the large number of drive up bank windows, as well as drive in restaurants and theaters, and questioned if drive in grocery stores and churches would not be next.7 In this aspect of popular culture, Charlotte had caught up with the national current of drive up convenience.

            Post-Second World War Charlotte regained much of the economic vigor that it enjoyed in the years before the Great Depression. Building on its original economic underpinnings of the banking, transportation, manufacturing, marketing and wholesale industries, the city expanded this base in the 1950s. Charlotte had maintained its status as a regional financial center, and was on its way to becoming the financial center for the southeast. By the close of 1954, Charlotte had over 500 manufacturing operations. Most of these were textile plants; but included in this figure were also food products, electrical machinery manufacturing, printing and publishing houses, and chemical plants. Textiles were the city’s largest manufacturing employer with over 8000 on their payrolls. Between 1953-1954, eleven manufacturers opened plants in Charlotte, representing a total investment of over two million dollars. The most recent jewel in the manufacturing crown was the addition of an ordnance plant operated by the Douglas Aircraft Company, which planned to employ 1500 in the production of Nike missiles.8

            Increased financial growth resulted in greater public and housing amenities. Millions of dollars were dedicated to street improvement and parks expansion. Construction starts were also strong; city building permits issued for 1953 were valued at $30,921,044.00, down only slightly from the record of $32, 011, 577.00 set in 1950. A number of major public construction projects were underway, such as the Charlotte Auditorium and Coliseum, a new terminal at  Charlotte Douglas Airport, the Jefferson Standard Building, and a new public library on North Tryon Street. Independence Boulevard, then regarded as an “efficient six lane thoroughfare that handles east-west traffic” was being extended at a cost of over two million dollars. Suburban housing starts were also up in the early 1950s. Over 60 million dollars was invested in suburban development southeast of the city creating the Foxcroft and Cotswold neighborhoods, as well as a new shopping center at Cotswold. New neighborhoods for African Americans such as University Park, Double Oaks, Newland Road and Brookhill relieved the cramped conditions of segregated housing in the city.9

            As the city expanded and flexed beyond its old boundaries, industrial, commercial, and residential growth was evident along its major arteries. Areas that were once farm and pasture land gave way to shops and houses as development along Independence and Wilkinson Boulevard (US 74), North Tryon (US 29), and South Boulevard (US 21) illustrate. The South 21 Drive In is on the 3600 block of South Boulevard, or US 21, which was one of four federal highways that traversed Charlotte. Nicknamed the Lakes to Florida Route, as it originated in Cleveland, Ohio and connected with US 1 and US 17, which continued into south Florida, US 21 sliced though Mecklenburg County passing through Davidson and Huntersville in the north, Charlotte, and Pineville in the south, as it continued into South Carolina, connecting Charlotte to Rock Hill and Columbia.10 As Charlotte grew into a significant regional center for commerce and banking, highways such as US 21 became increasingly well traveled as businesses and homes were built on and near it in previously undeveloped areas, and as commercial travelers found more reasons to commute to and from Charlotte. By 1954, over 2,000,000 people lived within a seventy-five mile radius of the city, and this consumer base consumed $365,701,000.00 worth of groceries and spent $1,504,024,000.00 in retail purchases.11 When the South 21 Drive In opened in 1954, on what was the outer limit of development along South Boulevard, it was poised to attract customers from the growing volume of traffic that used this road, as well as from the new neighborhoods and shops budding around it. Because the Copsis brothers located the Drive In on a developing segment of South Boulevard, they had room to expand the parking area to ultimately accommodate 54 cars; a space consideration that would not have been possible or feasible in the more densely built areas of South Boulevard to the north of their location.

            As much as the South 21 Drive In is part of the context of the national emergence of the drive in and part of Charlotte’s post war expansion, it is also the success story of three immigrant brothers who made their way from Greece to Charlotte by 1955, hoping to rebuild their future on an American foundation. Conditions in post-war Greece were bleak, and those who could, left the country to make their fortunes elsewhere. Like the previous wave of Greek immigrants who had come to the United States in the early twentieth century, this next swell of immigrants came without language skills, without capital, and without very much education. Their lives were disrupted by the Second World War and by the highly destructive and divisive Greek Civil War.  The poverty and social and political chaos ensuing from these events left many Greeks with little choice but to leave home. Those who were lucky enough to get out and make their way in America and other countries sent money and clothes to those left behind.

  Of the three brothers, Sam, the eldest, emigrated first, in 1951. He was followed shortly afterwards in the same year by his brother George, and the youngest brother Nick came to America in 1955.12 The Copsis family came from the Peloponnesian village of Arachova, a town that contributed a significant number of immigrants to the Carolinas in the early twentieth century. The majority of those immigrants made their home in the burgeoning Carolina Piedmont towns of the 1920s, especially in Charlotte, Gastonia, Spartanburg, Columbia, and Rock Hill. In this case, persons who were friends and neighbors in Arachova followed each other to the Carolinas, where they maintained a closely-knit ethnic community, which they shared with immigrants from other parts of Greece. All of these immigrants became independent businessmen, and nearly all of them owned restaurants.13 Others were “Birds of Passage, “ who made trips back and forth across the Atlantic depending on their economic needs and whims. For example, Christos G. Copsis, the Copsis brothers’ father, came to America on three separate occasions: first at the turn of the century to work in railroad construction in the western states, and subsequently to work with other Greeks from Arachova who had businesses in Greenwood, South Carolina.14

Before Sam Copsis arrived in the United States, he had his first restaurant experience running a village coffee shop that he started in 1938 at the age of fourteen, after he completed the his education at the village school. From 1940-1943, he worked as a traveling merchant peddling dry goods in Greek villages and towns, which he abandoned in 1943 when he became a soldier with the Greek partisans against the Italians and the Germans. In 1946 he volunteered for the Greek army to fight against the communists in the Greek Civil War. He was captured by the communists, but somehow managed to escape to rejoin his unit until he was discharged in 1948. He briefly had a store in Piraeus in which he sold agricultural products, and left for America in 1951, under The Displaced Persons Act, arriving on March 8, 1951, with $1.57 in his pocket. He knew no English, and a travel agent was commissioned to take him from his ship to Grand Central Station where he was put in a train destined for Spartanburg, South Carolina, where joined his uncle. He worked in his uncle’s restaurant where he learned English, how an American restaurant operated, and where he became generally acquainted with American society and culture. After a few years he returned to the dry goods business and sold ladies’ ready to wear first out of Columbia, and later out of Charlotte. Once in Charlotte, he saw an opportunity to go into the restaurant business.15

            His brothers George and Nick joined him as partners in the business that would become the South 21 Drive In. George Copsis also emigrated to the United States in 1951, and also went first to Spartanburg and worked in the uncle’s restaurant. From there, he moved to Columbia in 1952, and then to Chicago where he was employed at the Sherman Hotel from 1954-1955. Nick Copsis was drafted into the Greek army in 1951 and served as a communications officer until his discharge in 1953. He emigrated in 1955, joining his brother George in Chicago, and they came to Charlotte later that year to partner with Sam.16

By the time the Copsis brothers opened their drive in, there were already ten curb service restaurants in Charlotte.17 They rented a small building and lot on South Boulevard for $350.00 a month, which they later bought for $65,000.00.The original streetside sign was designed and made by a Greek friend in Columbia, South Carolina, Steve Christostomithes, who also recommended the name South 21. The parking lot remained unpaved for the first three months of business. The brothers credit their initial success to having a menu that was different from other Charlotte drive ins; instead of a limited selection of grilled sandwiches, South 21 also offered a fried chicken dinner (39 cents), a hamburger steak dinner (39 cents), BBQ plates (59 cents), hot dogs (10 cents), and a variety of drinks, including coffee for 10 cents a cup.18

South 21’s business increased as economic growth extended down South Boulevard. Complimenting the drive in theme of the block, Queens Drive In Theatre opened across the street in the early 1960s, and a string of companies and shops lined the South Boulevard corridor south towards Tyvola Road by the late 1950s. The increased traffic along the road brought greater opportunities for the Copsis brothers to enlarge their business potential.

By 1958, the brothers believed that to remain competitive with other drive ins, they would have to expand. They purchased the adjacent vacant lot to make room for more customers. The new lot was leveled and paved by an American friend for $2900.00 who knew that the Copsis brothers needed more space and that they were also strapped for funds, so he proposed that they could pay him as they were able, which they did. By 1959, the business was doing well enough to expand again, and the brothers opened South 21 No. 2 on Independence Boulevard, which was managed by George Copsis. The Independence Boulevard location is similar to the South Boulevard layout. It was with the acquisition of the second restaurant that the brothers decided to add the canopies, which were also designed by Steve Christostomithes of Columbia. In the March of 1960, Charlotte had an unprecedented amount of snow, and some of the casualties of these unusually heavy storms were the canopies at both the South Boulevard and Independence locations. The collapse of the canopies meant that both locations suffered a significant loss of business until the debris could be cleared. The Squires Construction Company rebuilt the canopies for $12,000.00.19

Between the costs of expansion and the costs to repair structural damage, the Copsis brothers faced an uncertain financial future. By 1961, the business was running deeply into debt. Sam Copsis had a personal visit from Howard Biggers Sr., owner of Biggers Brothers, a large wholesale food and produce supplier in Charlotte. Sam Copsis believed that Mr. Biggers had come to actualize his worst fear, which was to terminate his credit and shut down the restaurant. Instead, much to Copsis’s amazement, Biggers came to discuss how to keep South 21 in business. He began by telling Sam Copsis a seemingly irrelevant story about three brothers who started a humble pushcart business selling produce on the streets of downtown Charlotte, and who through years of hard times and hard work finally built a successful company from their efforts. Copsis did not realize at first that Biggers was telling him about the early days of Biggers Brothers. Biggers compared the trials of the three Biggers brothers to the current predicaments of the three Copsis brothers, offered to take on the debt that South 21 had accumulated and proposed to hold it while he continued to supply the business until it stabilized. The only provision was that the brothers had to pay the deliveryman. Sam Copsis credits Howard Biggers’s extraordinary generosity and compassion with saving the restaurants. He and his brothers were able to stay in business, and to pay back the debt, which Biggers chose to hold interest free. In their own gesture of gratitude, the Copsis brothers calculated what they thought was a reasonable interest on the money Biggers extended to them, and presented him with an additional check of $3000.00 for his trouble, which Biggers framed and displayed in his office.20

Once the Copsis brothers cleared this hurdle, they continued to grow their business, and opened a third location on North Tryon Street in the early 1960s. South 21 No.1 is still in business and has weathered years of progress and decline along South Boulevard. By 1992, South Boulevard had become a ten-mile segment of solid development connecting Charlotte to Pineville. Several businesses along this corridor are also owned by immigrant entrepreneurs; many of them Greek, and lately Asians and Latinos have joined the mix. The Norfolk Southern Railroad line runs parallel to South Boulevard and will in future serve as the spine for light rail service between Pineville and Charlotte, a venture that will contribute to increased revitalization of the area.

1.Interview, Sam Copsis, November 29, 2002, Charlotte, N.C.

2. Michael Karl Witzel, The American Drive In . History and Folklore of the Drive In Restaurant in American Car Culture, (Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International Publishers, 1994), pp. 25-26.

3. Ibid., Witzel cites several examples of  lucky entrepreneurs who built empires from Drive In restaurants, most notably the McDonald brothers, founders of the McDonald’s chain.

4. Jim Heimann, Car Hops and Curb Service.  A History of American Drive In Restaurants, 1920-1960, (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1996), p. 24. Witzel makes a similar argument.

5. Charlotte City Directory, 1948.

6. Charlotte City Directory. 1950.

7. “Its Drive-In Service Now!” The Charlotte Observer, February 28, 1950, p. 5G.

8. “Charlotte. A Good Place to Live and Do Business,” The Charlotte News, December 7, 1954.

9 Ibid.

10.  Randolph Norton, “Charlotte Grows into Gigantic ‘Hub’ as Highways Branch Out From City,” The Charlotte News, February 28, 1950, 12 G.

11. The Charlotte News, December 7, 1954.

12. Chris P. Leventis, et al, Karyatika, Vol. II, (1970), pp. 176-178.

13. Paula M. Stathakis, “Almost White: Greek and Lebanese-Syrian Immigrants in North and South Carolina, 1900-1940” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of South Carolina, 1996), p. 174.

14. Leventis, Karyatika, p. 179.

15. Ibid., Interview, Sam Copsis.

16. Leventis, Karyatika, pp. 176-7.

17. Charlotte City Directory, 1955. There were also 3 drive in theaters in town.

18.  Interview, Sam Copsis

19. Ibid.  According to historian Connie Forlidas, her uncle, Angelo Forlidas, designed the South 21 Restaurants that were established on East Independence Boulevard and North Tryon Street.  For additional information, see Connie Forlidas, Survey and Research Report On The South 21 Curb Service Restaurant, December 13, 2001.

20. Ibid.

Brief Architectural Description
Built in 1955, the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant is a well-preserved example of the Modernistic Style applied to a relatively small commercial building.  The flat-roofed one-story building was an important feature of Charlotte’s mid-20th century landscape, being located along what was then arguably the city’s most important transportation corridor.  The restaurant is in good condition and retains a very high degree of integrity in its original design, materials, and setting.
The South 21 Curb Service Restaurant is located in Charlotte, south of the city’s center along South Boulevard, which also formerly served as North Carolina’s Highway 21.  The restaurant sits on the east side of the four-lane undivided roadway.   Directly across from the restaurant and only some fifteen feet from the edge of the roadway sits the raised bed of the Southern Railroad, which runs parallel to South Boulevard.  The topography of the site is typical of land adjacent to a rail line: generally flat and sloping away from the tracks.  In front of the restaurant, a narrow strip of grass planted with several modest trees separates the roadway from a concrete sidewalk.  The sidewalk abuts the black asphalt parking lot that surrounds the restaurant.  Narrow grassy strips bordered by red-painted concrete curbing define the north and south boundaries of the site and separate the restaurant from neighboring low-rise commercial buildings.   The red curbing continues to the rear of the property.  A narrow grassy strip, a hedge, and a fence separate the parking lot from an overgrown wooded lot to the rear of the restaurant.
Perhaps the most prominent feature of the property is the restaurant’s freestanding red and white neon lit Art Moderne influenced road sign.  The Art Moderne movement, which reflected the trends of streamlining in industrial design, emphasized rounded corners and smooth surfaces.  Art Moderne had a great influence on post WWII Modernistic Style commercial architecture.   The present sign is a replica of the original sign, which was blown down in 1989 by Hurricane Hugo.  The main body of the sign spells out “South 21 Curb Service” on both sides in neon.  The number “21” is exaggerated in size and is outlined in red blinking neon against the background of a large white circle, and a neon arrow wraps the curved outer edge of the sign.   A changeable signboard is suspended below the sign.  A second signboard reading “Super Boy,” along with an artistic rendering of a burger and fries, is perched on a pole extending from the top of the main body of the sign. 
Another prominent feature of the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant is a flat-roofed metal canopy extending from the front of the restaurant building and from its north and south elevations.  The canopy is approximately 160’ wide, wide enough to accommodate twenty cars parked side-by-side across the front of the restaurant.  Directly in front of the restaurant the canopy is narrowest, sheltering only a single row of cars.  To the north and the south of the building, the canopy is double-loaded, deep enough to shelter two cars parked nose-to-nose separated by a wide center walkway, which is raised under the longer southern section of the canopy.  The entire canopy is supported by 21 pairs of round steel posts attached to 21 steel I-beams that support steel corrugated roof panels.  The posts closely flank the central walkways, forming two Modernistic Style colonnades leading to the restaurant.  The western edge of the canopy, which faces the road, is decorated with a bar of colorful lights running the entire length of the canopy.  A decorative round sign connected to the light-bar rises above the center of the canopy and features concentric circles of colored lights.  Many of the canopy’s colored light bulbs are missing, and a section of the light-bar fixture at the southernmost end of the canopy appears to have been crushed by a tall vehicle. 
Each parking spot under the canopy is serviced by a stainless steel lighted menu stand equipped with an intercom and tray holders.  All of the stands are two-sided and mounted on short metal posts.  
The flat-roofed, one-story restaurant building was erected on a concrete slab.  The building faces west.  Its front elevation features ribbon windows, in this case sheets of plate glass glazed directly into painted wood wall framing.  Above and below the directly glazed windows, red enameled panels fill the wall framing, which rests on two courses of masonry block.  Two single-light doors, one for customers and the other for staff, also pierce the façade.  The generous use of glass combined with the narrow framing and the use of fabricated wall panels, are elements of the Modernistic Style.  The rest of the building’s walls are masonry block construction.   The south elevation features a projecting bay that is setback slightly from the front elevation.  An exterior closet designed for garbage cans is accessible by a Dutch door on the west elevation and an unglazed window opening on the south elevation.  A straight vertical joint in the south elevation’s masonry wall may be an indication of a rear addition.  The rear elevation features external metal refrigerator units, and a single door.  The westernmost section of the north elevation features more plate glass.  Here the glass is again glazed directly into the wall framing and topped with red panels.  This section of wall, however, lacks the lower panels found on the front elevation.   The north elevation also features a louvered vent, a gas meter, and two bathroom doors sheltered by an extension of the flat roof.  
The roof eaves on the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant are thick and boxed with plywood.  Grooved plywood siding panels have been used for the soffit.  Two cantilevered beams support the boxing on the north elevation.  The end of a similar beam is visible on the south elevation, but may be obscured by a rear addition.  Numerous exhaust fans and vent pipes projects above the flat roof, which slopes gently to the rear. 
Signage mounted on the restaurant is plentiful.  A large painted sign stating “A Charlotte Tradition Since 1955” is centered in front of the restaurant on top of the canopy.   Numerous two-sided lighted signs featuring the Coca-Cola logo and house specialties such as “Fried Chicken” and “Speckled Trout” hang in front of parking spaces.  A neon “Open” sign is mounted in a central window.
The interior of the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant is well lit by the abundant plate glass windows.  The northwest corner of the building contains a small customer waiting area defined by high counter but otherwise open to the kitchen.  The kitchen itself is purely utilitarian, with the front section of the kitchen reserved as staging area for the staff that carries food out to the customers waiting in their cars. 
The South 21 Curb Service Restaurant on South Boulevard in Charlotte has operated for nearly fifty years.  Changes have obviously been made to the property as different needs of the business developed.   Built in the Modernistic Style, this building utilized materials such as masonry blocks, plate glass, and corrugate steel, which are commonly available and still widely in use today.  Repairs and changes made to the building have not resulted in the loss of historic materials to any great degree.
 Significance of the Architecture of the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant in Terms of the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
The South 21 Curb Service Restaurant was identified by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission as a significant historical property during a survey of post-WWII resources in Mecklenburg County conducted in 2000.  The property was also found to possess the requisite condition and integrity of setting and material to be considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. 

The Praise Connor Lee House


      Home Federal Savings and Loan

Modernistic Style residential architecture in Charlotte such as the Praise Connor Lee House shares some architectural elements with the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant such as roof design and building materials.  Larger Modernistic Style commercial buildings such as Charlotte’s Home Federal Savings and Loan Building may have incorporated more elements of the style than did the builders of the South 21 Curb Service Restaurant, but some basic characteristics of the Modernistic Style such as unadorned flat surfaces and the employment of continuous ribbons of windows are shared.  However, using the Commission’s survey, one can conclude that examples of small-scale commercial Modernistic Style architecture with the degree of integrity found at South 21 Curb Service Restaurant are rare if not unique in Charlotte.