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by Dr. Thomas W. Hanchett
In 1911 developer Edward Dilworth Latta embarked on an expansion of his Dilworth suburb, begun two decades earlier. 1 To plan the new area he went to Boston, Massachusetts, to hire the Olmsted Brothers, America's best known landscape architects and city planners. Today Dilworth Road and the pleasant curving streets off Dilworth Road East and Dilworth Road West bear the mark of this outstanding design firm. 2
The 1911 expansion of Dilworth is the focus of the present report, but it is only a part of one of Charlotte's most historic neighborhoods. Begun in 1891, Dilworth is Charlotte's first suburb, the area that started the residential rush toward the edge of town that continues today. 3 Dilworth was one of the city's premier neighborhoods at the turn of the century when Victorian architecture was at the height of fashion, and today the neighborhood has one of Charlotte's finest collections of Victorian residences. The area contains, as well, the city's earliest experiments with the now-popular Colonial Revival style. The original section of Dilworth includes not only the last well-preserved pre-1910 upper-class residential area left in the city, but also Charlotte's pioneer "suburban industrial park."
Edward Dilworth Latta was a hard-driving New South entrepreneur. A South Carolina native educated in the North, he believed that Northern-style growth, industry and urbanization were what Charlotte and the South needed in order to be strong. He parlayed a Charlotte clothing store into a pants factory during the 1870s and 1880s, then formed the Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company in 1890. 4
Latta quickly made the 4Cs, as the company was popularly called, a major force in the small town's transformation into a city. The 4Cs got the gas franchise and the electric streetlight contract. 5 In 1891 the company introduced the electric streetcar to Charlotte, ushering in a new era of urban growth. 6 With the streetcar, middle-class people as well as the wealthy could own a "country house" outside the city, and still commute to work. Over the next twenty-five years Charlotte residence patterns turned inside out, as the upper middle-class and wealthy moved from the center of town out to the new streetcar suburbs.
Latta was not content to merely provide the streetcar system that spurred this growth. His 4Cs company also developed Dilworth, Charlotte's first streetcar suburb. In 1890 Latta had purchased an old 442 acre farm south of the city next to the railroad to Columbia. He had it laid out in a grid of streets ringed by a grand boulevard. The present East Boulevard, South Boulevard, and Morehead Street are part of this ring, the fourth side never having been completed. Today's city directory still shows evidence that the streets were considered part of a single grand drive, for South Boulevard and East Boulevard are listed as the Boulevard, East, and the Boulevard, South.
Near the east edge of the street grid was a large park, which Latta modestly named Latta Park, with ponds, pavilions and pleasure drives. Today's park is a smaller edition of the original. Close by, at the end of the trolley line on East Boulevard, Latta rented the city the land for its municipal fairgrounds, with a racetrack and baseball field. This rural site was popular with Charlotteans because it got them out of the city, it also meant lots of riders for Latta's trolley cars, and abundant free advertising for his houselots as passengers passed the fine homes along South and East Boulevards on their holidays. Today Dilworth Road West runs through the old fairground site.
In every respect the trolley was the lifeline of the new neighborhood. In fact the first lots in Dilworth were auctioned with great fanfare just two days after the streetcar began operation, May 20, 1891. 8 The cars from downtown ran out South Tryon to Morehead Street, then down Morehead over the city's first railroad overpass. The trolleys turned south onto South Boulevard, ran along it to East Boulevard, and turned left. At the present Intersection of East Boulevard and Park Road was a small loop track where the cars turned around, ready to retrace their route back to the Square.
The first grand houses were on South Boulevard and East Boulevard near where the two intersect. South Boulevard has since lost all its residences to commercial development, but a number of early upper-class homes remain on East Boulevard. The adjoining blocks of Kingston, Cleveland, Euclid and Park Avenue, off the trolley line, are a mix of middle and upper-class dwellings from the same turn-of-the-century period. It was several years before much was built on the streets closer to the city, near the present Morehead Street. People liked the idea of being out in the country.
Among the noteworthy residences remaining is the Mallonee-Jones House at 400 East Kingston. Constructed in 1895, it is one of the city's best examples of the Queen Anne Victorian style with its distinctive "sunburst" gables. 9
There are also early Bungalows, such as the elaborate 1911 W. T. McCoy House at 429 East Kingston with its low spreading roofs. 10 At 311 East Boulevard is the Victorian cottage where novelist Carson McCullers worked on her classic novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter in 1937. 11 The house is today Eli's Restaurant, but it has been so carefully converted that one can still imagine the author playing her landlady's piano, inventing the music-loving tom-boy Mick Kelly.
Most architecturally significant are three dwellings designed by Charlotte architect Charles Christian Hook between 1896 and the early 1900s. The Gautier-Gilchrist House at 320 Park Avenue, the Villalonga-Alexander Home at 301 Park Avenue, and the Walter Brem residence at 211 East Boulevard are Charlotte's earliest examples of Colonial Revival architecture. 12 C. C. Hook experimented with the new style because he was disgusted with the over-elaborate "filigree" of the Queen Anne style. These three houses in Dilworth and his later mansion for J. B. Duke in Myers Park introduced Charlotte to an architectural style that remains popular to the present day.
With residents such as Charlotte Brick Company president John Villalonga, cotton broker R. O. Alexander, and chemical engineer Peter Gilchrist, Dilworth had its share of Charlotte's upper-class. Latta did not intend his new suburb solely as an enclave for the wealthy, however. Many middle-class dwellings were built both by private contractors and by the 4Cs itself. Latta devised an innovative long-term payment system to ensure that 4Cs houses would be available to middle-class buyers. Decades before the long-term mortgage, Latta was advertising Dilworth homes with the slogan "Buy a House with the Rent Money." 13 Over the years Latta developed his Dilworth property by three methods. In one he sold individual lots, and the buyers would either arrange to have a house put up or hold the property for resale. Researcher Janette Greenwood found that on Dilworth Road East and West, for instance, 36 percent of the 4Cs lot buyers built, while the rest resold. 14 Latta's second method was to sell large parcels along his new streets to subdevelopers, who divided them up into lots and sold them. The 1900 block of Dilworth Road was developed in this manner by real estate man B. C. Sherrill, who had the houses on the block built. 15 The third development method was to have 4Cs construction crews build houses, which Latta would sell to buyers. A large number of Bungalows along Tremont and Worthington were developed in this manner around 1910, all designed by architect Fred Bonfoey. 16
In his desire to make his suburb a complete community, Latta also included an industrial area. The land at the western edge of the development, between South Boulevard and the present Southern Railway quickly became what might be termed Charlotte's first suburban industrial park. Many notable early structures are still standing. At 2136 South Boulevard is D. A. Tompkins' Atherton cotton mill. 17
Tompkins, a key figure in the spread of mills across the South in the late 19th century, used this complex to test many of his influential ideas. A house at 2005 Cleveland Street, the lone survivor of a row of houses in the Atherton Mill village, for instance, appears to be a prototype of plans included in Tompkins' 1899 book Cotton Mills: Commercial Features. 18 Just off South Boulevard on Park Avenue is a large building with Spanish Colonial trim by architect Louis Asbury. Today the Dilworth Food Center grocery, it was the site in the 1920s of the annual "Made in the Carolinas" industrial exposition. 19
At 1400 South Boulevard on the corner of Bland Street are offices of Duke Power, the company that took over the 4Cs trolley system. The present truck garage, behind its modern front, is the old trolley barn for the city. You can still see the old brick-buttressed side walls that sheltered Charlotte's streetcar fleet until the change-over to buses in 1938. 20 On the other side of Bland Street in the 1300 block of South Boulevard are the large factory buildings of the Lance Company. Charlottean Philip L. Lance began selling peanut-butter crackers commercially in the 1910s, starting one of the South's largest snack-food companies. 21 Lance recently moved to a new site further out South Boulevard, and these 1926-1950 structures are now largely vacant.
Nestled next to the Lance factory are three earlier buildings that are even more important to Charlotte's history. At the rear of the property is Edward Dilworth Latta's own Charlotte Trouser Factory, which he moved out to this C. C. Hook designed Dilworth building in 1894. 22 Next door at 311 Arlington Avenue is Charlotte's earliest well-preserved industrial building. The red brick Park Manufacturing Company was constructed in 1895 and expanded in 1902. 23 Within sight of Park Manufacturing is the original Dilworth Fire Station, at 1212 South Boulevard with its brick arched facade dating from 1909. 24 Driving down South Boulevard today one can still see why the Charlotte Observer in 1895 dubbed it "the Manchester of Charlotte." 25
Dilworth was slow to catch on with Charlotteans. Some people, such as retailer Joseph H. Harrill whose 1895 house still stands at 329 East Kingston, soon moved back to the heart of the city because they could not get used to the commute to work. 26 In the 1900s, however, the original grid of Dilworth streets began to fill up, and Latta turned his thoughts to expansion.
The success of the original Dilworth project was only one of the factors that led Edward Dilworth Latta to think of additional development in 1911. Charlotte was then in the midst of an economic boom that in many respects has never been equaled. The 1910 U. S. Census showed that city population had leapt from 18,000 to more than 34,000 people, an 82 percent increase. 27 Charlotteans felt a flush of textile-generated prosperity and were eager to invest in new homes. In 1910 Latta finally gave into pressure from J. B. Duke interests and sold the 4Cs streetcar system to Duke's Southern Power Company. 28 At about the same time, the City of Charlotte's lease expired on the fairground and ballpark at the end of the East Boulevard carline. 29 Now Latta had land, capital, and a market, and he plunged back into the suburban development business with vigor.
Latta, like the New South entrepreneur he was, wanted only the most up-to-date sort of development for his new area. Roland Park, a prestigious Baltimore suburb with winding drives begun in the 1890s, was considered the finest in the South. 30 Latta journeyed to Baltimore in the winter of 1910-11 and met with Roland Park's developer Edward Bouton. Roland Park, Latta found, had not been laid out by an engineer but by a landscape architect.
Bouton agreed to put Latta in touch with Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., whose Olmsted Brothers firm had done much of the design work on the Baltimore suburb. The Olmsted Brothers, sons of pioneer landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., were the leading planning firm in the U.S. Their projects ranged from New York City suburbs, to Seattle parks, to the White House grounds, to North Carolina's Duke University campus. 31 Edward Bouton's subsequent letter to Olmsted, introducing him to Latta and his project, still exists in the Olmsted collection at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The letter probably served its purpose, but Latta would have been shocked at Bouton's off-hand description of the creation of Dilworth: "This Mr. Latta. . has. . . been in the suburban land business in an amateurish sort of way." 32
The first thing the Olmsted Brothers did was to direct Latta to hire a local engineering firm to meticulously survey and map the existing topography and conditions. The resulting drawing by Charlotte's Holmes Blair and Brent Drane is still on file at the Olmsted National Historic Site in the Boston suburb of Brookline, Massachusetts. 33 The immense drawing, more than five by six feet in size, scaled 100 feet to the inch, provides a fascinatingly precise look at what Latta Park and the eastern edge of old Dilworth were like before expansion.
The tree-shaded park was larger than it is now, with a pleasure drive winding around a knoll near the present site of Linganore Avenue. There were almost no trees outside the park valley; the areas that are today Mount Vernon and Sarah Marks Avenues, for instance, were treeless in 1911. The Park grove extended up to East Boulevard beyond Park Road, the last street built in the original grid, providing a link to the city fairground. At the north end of the Park were a pair of large pavilions. The map shows that their site was just across Winthrop Avenue from the present Dilworth Community Center building.
A spring that surfaced near the foot of Winthrop Avenue had once been dammed to create the pond seen in old postcard views of the Park. By June, 1911, however, the pond had been drained and a small stream ran down the center of the valley much as it does today. Part of the dam still existed, though, just north of the present intersection of Park Avenue and Park Road. The map shows that the fourth side of the original Boulevard loop had been partially graded and would have crossed that dam, making Park Road the link between Morehead Street and East Boulevard if the Olmsteds had not interceded.
Up on East Boulevard, the double-tracked streetcar line narrowed to one track at Park Road and made a tight around-the-block loop over to Kingston and back to the Boulevard for the trip back downtown. At the end of the line on the south side of the Boulevard between Park Road and Lennox Avenue was the City baseball diamond and grandstand. Across Park Road were the fairgrounds buildings and horse track. Latta had all of these structures demolished in preparation for his new development.
The 200-300 acre parcel that Blair and Drane mapped was roughly shaped like an hourglass, with a large northern section and a larger southern section connected by a slim-waisted strip of creek bottom at Latta Park. Latta's son E. D. Latta, Jr., who handled the details of the expansion project, made it clear in a letter to Brookline that market conditions would not allow both sections to be developed at once. 34 Olmsted had no qualms with this, but he insisted that it was "essential, however, that the entire tract be considered." 35
The design that the Olmsted firm sent to Charlotte in 1912 did just that. 36 A curving grand drive tied the two disparate sections together. Smaller sidestreets would branch off this backbone. To create this drive, undeveloped Morehead Street would be diverted southward through the northern section of the parcel, cross the waist at Latta Park, then split into two parallel branches called Eastway and Westway that would rejoin in the southern section. "Way" seems to have been the favorite Olmsted name for a tree-lined grand drive, as evidenced in Boston's Fenway and Arborway among many others. 37 The loop created by Eastway and Westway was necessary because part of it was also to be the route for an extension of the East Boulevard trolley. Cars would turn south on the Westway, then loop back up the Eastway to the Boulevard for the trip home, a scheme that would put all the new houses in the southern section within an easy walk of the cars.
One of the Olmsteds' most interesting unbuilt proposals for Dilworth involved present-day Morehead Street, which overlooked black Second Ward. The Olmsteds and Lattas believed it was necessary to clearly separate this area from white suburban Dilworth, and planned their street pattern accordingly. 38 A series of short, dead-end "Garden Courts" ran off Morehead Street on that side. Detailed drawings by the Olmsted office showed how each cul-de-sac was to be built up with townhouse apartments, facing onto a small common park in the center of the short street. That plan was never carried out, perhaps because Charlotteans were not accustomed to townhouse living.
Though its curves were radically different from the earlier straight grid, the Lattas were evidently quite receptive to the grand drive. The proposed road was built just as the Olmsted draftsmen drew it in 1912. Latta, however, ignored the Olmsteds' suggested names and called the main drive Dilworth Road and the southern loop Dilworth Road East and Dilworth Road West instead of Eastway and Westway, leading to a semantically confusing intersection today where the two streets cross.
The southern section of the "hourglass", containing the Dilworth Road East and Dilworth Road West loop, was the first part of the expansion parcel to be developed. It was the area further from town, in keeping with the romantic rural connotations that suburban Dilworth still retained in the 1910s. The Lattas were eager to get underway with their project, and sent several letters to Brookline urging the firm to complete its plans well in advance of the 1912 construction season. 39 The 4Cs had undertaken construction of a large number of Bungalows on Worthington and Tremont streets in the original grid in 1910, and they undoubtedly wanted to get the new streets open so that they could build more before the boom faded. 40
The whole section south of Latta Park, straddling East Boulevard, was built exactly to the Olmsted plan. From the backbone of Dilworth Road East/West hang numerous smaller streets: Ideal Way (originally Arlington), Magnolia, Charlotte Drive, Ledgewood Lane, Sarah Marks Avenue, Carling, Ewing, Isleworth, and the curving section of Worthington. Only Buchanan is not as drawn, a change necessitated when St. Patricks Catholic Church took up a large piece of property fronting on Dilworth Road East that the Olmsteds had assumed would be a block of small house lots. The Olmsted streets are a delight to travel on foot because of the firm's skillful use of curves and topography to present an ever-changing sequence of vistas as one moves from block to block.
An indication of the strength of the Olmsted Brothers' design is the fact that this section has continued to be a sought-after residential neighborhood. This was true even in the 1960s when the old grid-street area, including dwellings on Tremont and Worthington of the same vintage as those in the Olmsted section, fell into decline before the advent of the 1970s historic preservation movement. Not only does the Olmsted street pattern survive intact, but today the street trees that they proposed are at full maturity. Every street from modest Sarah Marks to relatively grand Dilworth Road East/West shows the Olmsted Brothers' care.
The Latta family waited to start work on the northern section of the "hourglass", that section straddling Morehead Street, until development of the southern section was well underway. When plat maps for the section were filed with the Register of Deeds Office in the early 1920s, they surprisingly bore no relation to the Olmsteds' proposals. 41
It is a mystery why the Lattas discarded the Olmsted Brothers' 1912 design. In the mid teens Morehead Street was extended from Dilworth Road to Myers Park, but this would have necessitated altering only a portion of the plan. Correspondence during preparation of the general 1912 plan and subsequent revisions to the southern section indicate the Lattas were impatient with the time the Olmsted Brothers took. 42 They may have decided when it came to the northern section that they would have someone else do the revisions. The Lattas may also have wanted greater changes than they thought the Olmsteds would do. Latta was skeptical of "wasting" land for what would now be called "pocket parks" and the Olmsted plan called for just such a triangular park where several roads came together. 43
Whatever the reason, Edward Dilworth Latta substituted a different street pattern, but kept vital points of the Olmsted design. The tree-lined streets still curved, though not as picturesquely as in the southern section. Dilworth Road remained the parcel's backbone. And the small streets north of Morehead were laid out to discourage travel between adjoining black Second Ward and white Dilworth.
In the late 1920s city maps indicate that a streetcar track was extended from the South Boulevard intersection down Morehead Street and into this northern section. It ran up Dilworth Road, then looped around Berkeley, Myrtle and Mount Vernon and back to Dilworth Road. The width and easy grade of these streets today is a reminder of the streetcar era.
Though most of the northern section was in place by the end of the 1920s, including Berkeley, Carlton, Lafayette, Lexington, and Arosa streets, a couple of areas were not developed until much later. About 1940 C. D. Spangler Construction, still a major Charlotte homebuilder today, bought land along Romany Road and Park Avenue overlooking Latta Park. 45 These streets basically follow the 1912 Olmsted plan, but their small brick tract houses date from the years right before World War II. Another parcel, between Linganore and Kenilworth, remained undeveloped until the 1950s. This area, today Belgrave Place, was marketed as "St. John's Wood" and built up with luxurious custom-designed ranch houses, including the home of architect Walter Book. 46
The architectural mix in the two sections of new Dilworth reflects their differences in development. The southern portion includes both 1910s frame Bungalows and later brick Bungalows, Colonial Revivals and Tudor Revival cottages from the 1920s. The later northern section has predominantly 1920s dwellings, with a number of more recent ranch houses along Myrtle, Mount Vernon and Linganore as well as Belgrave. All houses in the southern section are small and middle-class, while the northern section has some large upper-class residences along Dilworth Road and Linganore.
Interestingly, research in city directories, shows that Dilworth today has many more lawyers, doctors, architects and other professionals than it did in the 1910s and 1920s. When they were built, an overwhelming number of these snug cottages housed the families of traveling salesmen, the most common occupation in this city built on warehousing and distribution.
The current survey has identified a handful of noteworthy structures in the new area of Dilworth, and more may come to light as community residents do in-depth research on their own properties. The grandest house in the area is Frank O. Sherrill's red brick Georgian Colonial Revival mansion built in 1928 on Dilworth Road between Berkeley and Linganore. 47 Sherrill was co-founder of the S & W Cafeteria chain, which today still has branches throughout the Southeast.
Nearby, at 1301 Dilworth Road, is the home of movie star Randolph Scott. Scott spent much of his boyhood in Charlotte's Fourth Ward. In 1927 his father, an accountant, moved the family to this newly-constructed Colonial-influenced house in suburban Dilworth. Randolph Scott lived in the house for about a year before leaving for Hollywood in 1928, where he quickly became one of the most popular leading men in movie Westerns. He made some 150 films before retiring in the 1960s. In the 1970s his name came before the public again in a nostalgic best-selling country-pop song by the Stadler Brothers entitled "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott?" The house on Dilworth Road, where his mother Lucy Scott continued to live for many years, is the last remaining building in Charlotte that was closely associated with Randolph Scott.
Not far away at 800 Mount Vernon lived Reverend Edwin D. Mouzon, Methodist Bishop for North and South Carolina from the late 1920s until his death in 1937. 48 The 1927 residence by Charlottean Marvin Helms, a leading church architect in the region, is in the Tudor Revival style with a wood and stucco "half-timbered" second story. Another interesting Tudor Revival is 2000 Dilworth East, at the corner of Ideal Way. From the front on Dilworth Road East it looks like a tiny English cottage of brick with a quaint steep-pitched roof. Rounding the corner on Ideal Way one realizes that it is in fact a substantial house befitting its original owner, J. E. Jones. Jones was the company secretary for the mammoth J. A. Jones Construction Company, one of several company officials and Jones family members who lived in Dilworth. In the 1960s the residence was the home of Urban Renewal Director Vernon Sawyer, who leveled much of the old Central City residential area in the decade.
The finest Tudor Revival home in the area and one of the very best in the city is found at the corner of Linganore and Romany facing Latta Park. It was built in 1930 for Mr. and Mrs. Ira Stone. Stone was one of the thousands of Charlotte residents involved in textiles, vice-president of Royal Manufacturing Company, processors of cotton waste. 49 The building permit for the wood framed, brick-covered structure says it cost $10,000, an impressive figure in that Depression year. The architect was listed as "P. P.", meaning published plans, and the contractor was William Pabodie. Pabodie must have been quite a skilled mason, for the structure's walls feature the most amazing brickwork in the city. Brick is laid vertically, horizontally, and diagonally with playful abandon. Some headers project, some stretchers project. There are few level courses, as mortar lines undulate up and down at random. The rough handmade texture of the walls combines with the asymmetrical massing and steep roofs to provide a stronger aura of quaintness and age even than that usually seen in Tudor Revival dwellings.
As important to the neighborhood as these buildings are some nonresidential properties. Along Dilworth Road East and Dilworth Road West there are still old iron light poles with simple decorative tops. These are souvenirs of the trolley car era. Projecting arms on these poles once carried the streetcar's overhead wire. Perhaps the single most important site in Dilworth neighborhood is also not a building. This is Latta Park, the centerpiece of the area. It is a long wooded glen with a stream flowing its length. There are flower beds where Dilworth Road crosses, and a small area of swings and picnic shelters at its east end but mostly it is woods. Though the Olmsted Brothers apparently did not dictate the specifics of its design, the park's shape follows their plans closely and its emphasis on quiet enjoyment of nature is quite in keeping with the Olmsted philosophy of recreation.
Along with Latta Park and the other older sites, there are a few newer structures that may eventually be judged of historic significance. 1300 Dilworth Road is a large brick Rambler built in the 1950s for Charles Ervin. Ervin was the city's largest homebuilder through much of the post-W.W. I era and at one point the seventh largest in the entire U. S. Ervin ranks with fellow Dilworth resident E. D. Latta as one of the principal shapers of the Charlotte we know today.
At the corner of Dilworth Road and East Morehead Street is Covenant Presbyterian Church built in the early 1950s when Second Presbyterian Church followed its parishioners and moved out of the Central City. Covenant's stone sanctuary, education buildings, and fellowship hall were designed by Charlotte architect J. N. Pease and his partner James Stenhouse around an internal courtyard, emulating Medieval village design. The church's Gothic Revival spire can be seen for miles, marking the Dilworth Road entrance to the new portion of Dilworth.
1 Edward H. Bouton letter to Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. February 13, 1911. Letter at the Library of Congress in the "Olmsted Associates, Inc." collection, job file 5109, container B287.
2 Olmsted Brothers, "Dilworth," Job 5109: sheet 7 and revisions. Drawings are on file at the Olmsted National Historic Site, Brookline, Massachusetts.
3 Ruth Little-Stokes and Dan L. Morrill, "Architectural Analysis: Dilworth: Charlotte's Initial Streetcar Suburb" (Charlotte: Dilworth Community Association, 1978), section 2, p. 1.
4 Ibid. See also Dan L. Morrill, "Edward Dilworth Latta and the Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company (1890-1925): Builders of New South Charlotte," 1983 (draft manuscript in the files of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission), p. 1.
5 Morrill, "Edward Dilworth Latta...." pp . 11-12, 17-19.
6 Little-Stokes and Morrill, pp. 1, 9-10.
7 Morrill, "Edward Dilworth Latta. . .," p. 4.
8 Ibid., pp. 1-6.
9 Dan L. Morrill, Mallonee-Jones House: Survey and Research Report" (Charlotte: Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, 1980).
10 William Huffman, "W. T. McCoy House: Survey and Research Report" (Charlotte: Charlotte Historic Properties Commission, 1982).
11 Virginia Spencer Carr, The Lonely Hunter: a Biography of Carson McCullers (Garden City, N. 1975), p. 74-78.
12 Little-Stokes and Morrill, section 1, pp. 4, 11-14, 16, 18, 21-26. Dan L. Morrill, "Gautier-Gilchrist House: Survey and Research Report" (Charlotte: Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, 1981). Dan L. Morrill, "Villalonga-Alexander House: Survey and Research Report" (Charlotte: Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, 1978). William Huffman, "Walter Brem House: Survey and Research Report" (Charlotte: Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, 1983). For more on the rise of the Colonial Revival in Charlotte, see also the section of the present report entitled "Charlotte Architecture: Design Through Time."
13 Little-Stokes and Morrill, section 2, p. 12.
14 Janette Thomas Greenwood, unpublished "reverse title search" notes on file at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission.
15 Janette Thomas Greenwood, "1901 Dilworth Road East" (research paper presented to Dr. Dan L. Morrill, History Department, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 1981).
16 Morrill, "Edward Dilworth Latta..... ," p. 26.
17 Little-Stokes and Morrill, section 19 pp. 35-36; section 29 p. 13.
18 Dan L. Morrill, "Atherton Mill House: Survey and Research Report" (Charlotte: Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, 1981).
19 Beth Lee, "Research on Dilworth , (unpublished manuscript on file at the City of Charlotte Historic Districts Commission).
20 Little-Stokes and Morrill, section 1, p. 33.
21 LeGette Blythe and Charles R. Brockman, Hornets' Nest: the Story of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, (Charlotte: McNally of Charlotte, 1961), p. 276.
22 Morrill, "Edward Dilworth Latta. . .," p. 8.
23 Dan L. Morrill, "Park Manufacturing Company: Survey and Research Report" (Charlotte: Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, 1980).
24 Jane McKinnon, "Old Dilworth Fire Station No. 2" 1979 (unpublished manuscript on file at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission).
25 Charlotte Observer, October 23, 1895, quoted in Morrill, "Park Manufacturing Company. .".
26 William Huffman, "Harrill-Porter House: Survey and Research Report" (Charlotte: Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission, 1982).
27 Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, "1950 Census Data" (Charlotte: Chamber of Commerce, 1950). This report conveniently includes figures back to 1850.
28 Morrill, "Edward Dilworth Latta. . .," pp. 23-25.
29 Ibid., p. 22
30 Robert A. M. Stern, ed., The Anglo-American Suburb, in the Architectural Design Profile series (London: Architectural Design, 1981) p. 39.
31 Architecture and Design 3:8 (August, 1939). Entire issue is devoted to the Olmsted Brothers' work. See also Stern, p. 32-34, 39, and Mel Scott, American City Planning Since 1890 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969), passim.
32 Edward E. Bouton, letter to Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., February 13, 1911, Library of Congress collection.
33 Blair and Drane, "Topographic Map of Property of Edward Dilworth Latta, Esquire, Dilworth, Charlotte, NC," job 5109: sheet 2. Drawing on file at the Olmsted National Historic Site. See also Olmsted office, letter to E. D. Latta, April 11, 1911. Library of Congress collection.
34 E. D. Latta, Jr., letter to Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., April 15, 1911. Library of Congress collection.
35 Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., letter to E. D. Latta, Jr., April 24, 1911. Library of Congress Collection.
36 Olmsted Brothers, "Dilworth," job 5109: sheet 7.
37 Cynthia Zaitzevsky, Frederick Law Olmsted and the Boston Park System (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1982), pp. 17, 92-94.
38 Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., letter to E. D. Latta, Jr., January 26, 1912. Library of Congress collection . Olmsted Brothers, "Preliminary Plans for Garden Courts," Job 5109: Sheet 16. Drawing on file at the Olmsted National Historic Site.
39 E. D. Latta, Jr., letters to Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., October 3, 1911; January 20, 1912. Library of Congress Collection.
40 Morrill, "Edward Dilworth Latta...," p. 26.
41 Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds office, map book 3, pp. 10, 348, 397.
42 E.D. Latta, Jr., letters to Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., October 3, 1911; January 20, 1912; March 28, 1913; August 10, 1914. Library of Congress collection.
43 Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., letter to E.D. Latta, Jr., June 19, 1912. Library of Congress collection. The Olmsteds did manage to implement one small triangular park, which still exists at the corner of East Boulevard and Dilworth Road West, where the trolley veered off the boulevard.
44 Morrill, Edward Dilworth Latta...," p. 46.
45 Charlotte Observer, December 19, 1982.
46 Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds office, map book 3, p. 413.
47 Information on individual structures in the post-1911 section of Dilworth was developed using city directories and the vertical files at the Carolina Room of the Charlotte Public Library, except as noted. Janette Thomas Greenwood assisted in drawing this material together.
48 Glenda Whitley, "800 Mount Vernon Avenue" (research paper presented to Dr. Dan L. Morrill, Department of History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 1981). For more on Mouzon, see Charles Tillett, Merry Christmas (Charlotte: privately published, 1926), pp. 72-79.
49 Todd Paris, "Report on 1165 Linganore" (research paper presented to Dr. Dan L. Morrill, History Department, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 1981).
DILWORTH: 1911 EXPANSION
RANDOLPH SCOTT HOUSE
|1301 Dilworth Road|
Movie star Randolph Scott spent his boyhood in a now-demolished house in Fourth Ward near downtown Charlotte. In the 1920s his father, an accountant, moved the family to the more fashionable suburbs. Randolph lived here with his parents for about a year before leaving to try his luck in Hollywood. He quickly developed into a popular star of movie westerns, and made some one hundred and fifty films before retiring in the 1960s. A hit song in the 1970s by the Statler Brothers called "Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott" made him a symbol for the optimism arid innocence of American popular culture in the first half of the century. This handsome Colonial Revival dwelling continued to serve as his parents home for many years, and it was here that he stayed when visiting Charlotte. The residence is believed to the remaining Charlotte building closely associated with Randolph Scott.
FRANK O. SHERRILL HOUSE
|1401 Dilworth Road|
This rambling Georgian Colonial structure is the largest residence in the post-1911 section of the Dilworth neighborhood. The red-brick structure was built for Charlotte business leader F.O. Sherrill. He co-founded the S&W Cafeteria chain and served as its president for many years. S & W was one of the first large southern food-service chains.
J. H. JONES HOUSE
|2000 Dilworth Road East|
The J.H. Jones House is a well-detailed Tudor Revival dwelling of brick on a prominent corner lot. From Dilworth Road East it appears to be a quaint little cottage with a steep-gabled, half-timbered entry. A look at the side of the house dispels the illusion: it is a substantial middle-class residence. The structure was built by the mammoth J.A. Jones construction company for the company secretary. It is one of several Jones family members' houses in the neighborhood. In the 1960s, the house got a resident as noted for demolition as the Jones had been for construction. Redevelopment Commission director Vernon Sawyer presided over the Urban Renewal program that leveled much of Charlotte's central city.
IRA STONE HOUSE
|1165 Linganore Place|
This is the finest Tudor Revival style residence in Dilworth and a superb example of masonry craftsmanship. The brick of the exterior walls are laid with total abandon; vertically, horizontally, at right angles, and with undulating courses. The brickwork, along with the steep-pitched roofs and round-arched wooden front door provide an aura of quaintness and antiquity much sought after in the Tudor Revival period of the 1920s and 30s. The residence was built at the cost of $10,000, a substantial sum in 1930. The owner, Ira Stone, was a cotton broker, one of the hundreds of men who kept Charlotte's textile economy humming.
BISHOP MOUZON HOUSE
|800 Mount Vernon Avenue|
Edwin D. Mouzon served as Methodist Bishop for North and South Carolina from the 1920s until his death in 1937. He was an outspoken leader of the campaign against Catholic Presidential candidate Al Smith, and was also one of the first Charlotte religious leaders to urge public action to clean up Charlotte's slums. His house is in the Tudor Revival style, featuring wood and stucco "half-timbering" on the second story. The designer was Marvin Helms, a leading church architect in the region.
|Park Avenue and Romany Road|
This pleasure ground opened in the early 1890s as the centerpiece of Dilworth, the city's first suburb. It originally boasted pavilions, a lake for boating, and winding carriage drives. In 1911, Edward Dilworth Latta decreased the size of the park to provide additional land for residential development, and drained the lake and demolished the pavilions. The Olmsted Brothers evidently provided the design for curving Park Avenue and Romany Road, the two new streets that have since defined the boundaries of the wooded glen. It is not known who provided the plans for the park as it now exists. Latta Park is today a city property, and still the centerpiece of the Dilworth neighborhood.