HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Apr 14, 2020
Sitting in a gas station turned into a café and coffee shop along Rozzelles Ferry Road in Charlotte’s Historic West End, J’Tanya Adams, a longtime community activist, spotted a commercial real estate broker who has been working with developers interested in building new homes in the area. The conversation was brief, but packed with news. Adams is founder and program director of  Historic West End Partners, a non-profit which largely promotes economic growth and revitalization. She swapped information with Forde Britt about a potential dog grooming shop and other businesses for several nearby empty buildings along the  street. Such interactions are happening more often in the Historic West End as the historically African American community on the outskirts of uptown Charlotte braces for an anticipated spike in growth and development.
Sep 09, 2019
In one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., with rising rents and rapid changes in long-established neighborhoods, there’s sure to be a certain amount of churn in the local business scene. Angst and nostalgia are certain to follow. But as it grows and stretches, Charlotte is shedding pieces of its skin, and many don’t like the new identity they see emerging. 
Aug 23, 2019
Charlotteans often lament how many old buildings here have been torn down, but there are still structures worth saving, along with groups and developers willing to put in the work.  On Thursday, the Charlotte Museum of History announced the winners of its 2019 Historic Preservation Awards. The five honorees, from 27 nominations, include a historic high school gym, a hip, repurposed mill, and historic houses. 
Aug 22, 2019
The cluster of old factory buildings, a former munitions dump, missile assembly plant and warehouses just north of uptown has long glimmered with possibility - if you could look beyond the dingy facades and faded, rusty interiors.  Now, more of that possibility is becoming a reality at Camp North End, on a nearly 80-acre triangle of land between Statesville Avenue and North Graham Street. After years of planning and development, the biggest adaptive reuse project in Charlotte is coming together.
Aug 07, 2019
Breweries, apartments, hip food halls, creative offices, coworking spaces: Charlotte developers keep finding new uses for the city’s old mills. As a post-war, Sunbelt boomtown, Charlotte has garnered a reputation for tearing down its old buildings and replacing them with sterile plaques to make way for the city’s glittering new skyline. But while many once-grand buildings have fallen (Goodbye, Masonic Temple and Hotel Charlotte), the humble, sturdy mill has proved surprisingly resilient. 
Aug 06, 2019
Why do we care about old places, and why should we work to preserve them? A Huntersville native and prominent national preservationist takes a look at those questions through a lens that stretches from Eastland Mall to the historic wonders of Rome. 
Mar 29, 2017
If you’re thinking downtowns are dead, you haven’t been paying attention. I recently got an earful of downtown success stories from across the state. Commentary.
Nov 23, 2016
Can lower South End survive the large-scale cookie-cutter development now ravaging South End and NoDa? David Walters offers a way forward, based on lessons from Des Moines. Yes, Des Moines. Commentary.
Jul 12, 2016
Gastonia’s huge Loray Mill held its grand opening in March 2015, showing off the adaptive reuse of the building. Now the nonprofit Preservation North Carolina aims to restore many of the houses in the nearby mill village.
Apr 13, 2016
Charlotte's George E. Davis, a tireless advocate for education and one of the leading advocates for the building of Rosenwald schools, was a major reason that a number of these schools were built in North Carolina.
Apr 12, 2016
Only a fraction of the Rosenwald Schools remain, reminders of a remarkable early 20th-century partnership of rural black communities in the South and a Jewish philanthropist from Chicago. Those remaining in Mecklenburg range from lovingly restored to painfully dilapidated.
Apr 01, 2016
Bus 1074, one of GM's “New Look” buses that debuted in Charlotte in 1972, has found new life, thanks to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.
Jan 05, 2016
The efforts vary from city to city. Kannapolis, for instance, bought 50 acres of downtown property. Initiatives to revitalize downtowns across the Carolinas range from renovating aging buildings to building museums to trying to lure private hotel developers. 
Nov 30, 2015
In what local preservationists call a major victory, a century-old depot—the deteriorating relic of a lost era of Charlotte-Gastonia passenger rail—will be moved a short distance and repaired.
Nov 04, 2015
A proposal working its way through the city zoning process could create something new for Charlotte: a special kind of zoning designed specifically for one neighborhood, in this instance a part of South End that's touting its gold-mining history.
Oct 07, 2015
A torrent of development in some older Charlotte neighborhoods is wiping out more and more of the small, older buildings. This creates a significant, if little-recognized, problem for an entrepreneurial economy. Why is this happening, and what can be done? Commentary
Sep 01, 2015
As an important block on Camden Road faces likely development, its recent history reveals a complex narrative of a once-derelict area and a man with a vision, and shows how success changes a neighborhood. Commentary.
Apr 28, 2015
Compare the Charlotte skyline of 1975 with today’s, and the city is almost unrecognizable. In creating this newer city, we have destroyed much of the old. What are uptown's oldest surviving buildings?
Jan 27, 2015
Do you have a favorite Main Street, greenway, or historic rehabilitation? Join in this year’s competition to nominate and vote on your favorite North Carolina places.
Dec 10, 2014
The first major survey of Charlotte historic resources in 30 years says demolition and development have shrunk historic sections of three local historic districts. It also recommends possibly adding more historic districts, especially in northwest Charlotte.
Aug 12, 2014
Could downtown Cornelius one day be home to an artsy district like Charlotte’s NoDa or Asheville’s River Arts District? As a tap room prepares to open next month, some local arts supporters are enthusiastic about what they’re calling Old Town Cornelius.
Jun 19, 2014
PlanCharlotte kicks off an occasional series of conversations with planners around the metro region. The first visit is with Keith Wolf of Albemarle, a town dealing with slow population growth. (Photo: Chuck McShane) 
Jun 06, 2014
Have recent construction projects in Dilworth violated the historic district guidelines? Some neighbors say yes, and the city's historic district administrator agrees. (Photo: Chuck McShane)
Feb 12, 2014
The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan applied research institute offering consulting services and public outreach for more than 40 years. We provide research and information to help the public understand the Charlotte region. Through our websites we offer articles and data on a range of issues that could be useful to neighborhood groups. (Image: Dylan McKnight) 
Oct 30, 2013
Oct 08, 2013
An artists’ colony in downtown Gastonia? That may sound far-fetched to those who remember Gastonia's textile mill past. But the Community Foundation of Gaston County is working with the nonprofit Artspace to build a project in Gastonia by 2016. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Sep 04, 2013
Four properties proposed for historic landmarking will go before the Charlotte City Council on Monday – from the ruins of a Colonial-era grist mill site to a 1960s Modernist home. (Photo: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission)
Sep 04, 2013
With help from a federal grant, the City of Charlotte will for the first time in 30 years survey its historic buildings and neighborhoods to identify potential historic districts and landmarks. (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Mar 21, 2013
Two of the region's main streets have won this year’s Great Places in North Carolina competition. Union Street in Concord and Main Street in Davidson were recognized among the state’s top downtowns in a competition from the N.C. chapter of the American Planning Association.(Photo: Nancy Pierce)
Feb 28, 2013
The historic Duke Mansion was nearly lost once to fire and later to plans to convert it to condominiums. Its historic landscape is just as vulnerable. But some outstanding efforts are preserving its tree-studded setting. (Image: Bing Maps)
Jan 08, 2013
In Charlotte: The Praise Connor and Harriett Lee House 3714 Country Ridge Road in the Mountainbrook neighborhood Built in 1963; designed by architect Praise Connor Lee Designated in 2002 The Robert and Elizabeth Lassiter House 726 Hempstead Place in Eastover neighborhood Built in 1951 (...
Dec 06, 2012
Ghosts and cities often occur together, and not only in fiction. Kevin Lynch writes about how we "read" cities. Many descriptions of our surroundings are accompanied by the ghosts of what used to be there. Changes can leave scars on our mental map.
Dec 06, 2012
When I moved to Charlotte more than 30 years ago, Matthews was the suburb. Years of attracting people looking for a small town and a private getaway have built a fabric of large lawns and scattered houses, and more lawns and more houses. Where does a it go from here?
Oct 05, 2012
In any other time, the request might not have been so hard. But a nonprofit developer’s plea for $2.3 million in city money from federal grants to restore a historic NoDa textile mill came after a lingering economic downturn, and after the city had already put $6.7 million into the property. Why is it so hard to restore an important piece of city history? Well, it’s complicated ...
Oct 03, 2012
Downtown Salisbury has been named one of “10 Great Neighborhoods” for 2012 by a national planning organization. The town remained vibrant through the decline of the textile industry by maintaining its historic character and promoting agri-tourism and an authentic North Carolina experience through culture, arts and food rooted in its picturesque setting.
Aug 16, 2012
Charlotte city officials are pushing two groups with competing visions for the future of the Carolina Theatre to work together to help save the history-rich venue that’s been vacant, on a prominent uptown corner, for more than 30 years.
Jun 05, 2012
Missing from recent discussion about granting more public money for a privately developed baseball park in Third Ward is any talk about the potential advantages of using the land for public purposes year-round. Architect Murray Whisnant would save the Virginia Paper Co. building and build an Energy Park.
May 07, 2012
The Charlotte neighborhoods of Belmont and Villa Heights are experiencing an influx of white, professional residents in search of affordable housing close to uptown. Piedmont Courts, a housing project that dates to the 1940s, is gone, and crime is declining.  Click here to read the article...
May 04, 2012
How has uptown Charlotte changed in the past century? An interactive graphic shows you how the 1911 urban pattern of small lots and small buildings has become a modern quilt of big projects filling whole blocks.
Mar 27, 2012
New York City and Gastonia don’t, at first glance, appear to have much in common. Yet both can offer an example of “urbanism.” And both suffered harm from well-intentioned “progress.” Charlotte architect Terry Shook reminisces ...
Feb 24, 2012
Around the Charlotte region, many downtowns share similar histories: A long-ago heyday followed by decay as dollars and foot traffic flowed to suburban malls and interstate eateries.