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Latta Arcade

S. Tryon St.


Edward Dilworth Latta hired architect William H. Peeps, an Englishman who had moved to Charlotte from Grand Rapids, Mich. soon after 1900, to design the Latta Arcade. The building opened in January, 1915. Latta, a South Carolinian who had come to Charlotte in 1876 to open a men's clothing store with his brother, was one of the wealthiest men in town by the early 1900's. In the early 1880's, he opened a trousers manufacturing plant. In 1891, as president of the Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company or Four C's, he introduced electric streetcars or trolleys in Charlotte and constructed a line to Dilworth, a suburb that he and his partners were developing just south of town.

Edward Dilworth Latta

An exemplary New South booster, Latta had no uncertainties about what he wanted Charlotte to become. "I realize we have attained that juncture when we must decide whether we will adopt the sluggish inactivity of the provincial town of aspire with zealous hope to become one of the independent cities of the New South," he proclaimed. The Four C's had "no doubts about the possibilities of Charlotte. We have anticipated her doubling yea trebling her population in the near future," wrote Latta in 1891.

The Latta Arcade, where Latta had his own offices, was part of a grand scheme for stimulating development along South Tryon St. In 1913, Latta had joined with officials of the Southern Power Company, now Duke Power, to form the Mercantile Development Co., which acquired a large tract of land on South Tryon St. and South Church St. It was there that Latta erected the Latta Acrade, which he regarded as his favorite project.

The Charlotte Observer was unrestrained in praising the building. "The ornate quarters of steel brokers in Pittsburgh or Wall Street geniuses in New York have little to outdo the splendor of the Latta Arcade in physical appearance."