Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

Rosedale Plantation

This report was written on November 24, 1976

I. Statement of Purpose: On January 13, 1975, the City Council of the City of Charlotte approved an ordinance (Ordinance 501-X filed in Real Estate Book 3734 at Page 115) which designated the structure known as Rosedale at 3427 North Tryon St. within the City of Charlotte as “historic property.” At its meeting of November 10, 1976, the Commission voted to recommend that the City Council of the City of Charlotte, acting under authority provided by N.C.G.S. 160A-399.4, amend Ordinance 501-X to include 7.78 acres of land (see attached map) within the historic property known as Rosedale. It is the purpose of this report to set forth the factors which caused the Commission to make this recommendation.

II. Justification for the Recommendation:

A. Historical and Cultural Significance of the Property:
The 7.78 acres contain or did contain a number of outbuildings, especially in the barn lot. A smoke house and a wash house, both dating from the 1890s, remain. The old cotton house now serves as the garage. The other outbuildings (two barns, a corn crib, a carriage house, an ice house, a smithy, a garden house, a piggery) are not extant. However, they were located within the boundaries of this property – a factor which suggests that the 7.78 acres might qualify as a significant archeological site. For example, recent investigations of the barn lot with a metal detector uncovered some old harness. Moreover, shards of old ceramics wash up from time to time around the roots of trees in the yard. In addition to the outbuildings, the property contains a line of English boxwoods running parallel to and 61 feet from the south or town side of the main plantation house. These formed the centerpiece of the original formal garden of Rosedale. In 1926 Mrs. Craighead Davidson, who had come to Rosedale in 1914, initiated the development of a formal garden adjacent to the location of the original garden. In 1956 she began work on the original garden site. In 1948 she added a rose garden within the boundaries of earlier gardens. The 7.78 acres contain the results of Mrs. Davidson’s efforts – a magnificent formal garden which is 227 feet long and 80 feet deep. There are more than 3000 boxwoods in the garden. The property also contains several significant trees. For example, a yellow poplar in front of the wash house is 22’1″ in circumference at a height of four feet from the ground and is therefore over two hundred years old. A little to the right of the front door of the plantation house is a Chinese elm which was full grown at the time it was photographed about 1886. Finally, the property contained many of the early walkways, driveways, gates and fences of the plantation. On balance, the evidence demonstrates that the 7.78 acres are culturally and historically significant. Therefore, the Commission believes that the 7.78 acres do meet the criteria set forth in N.C.G.S. 160A-399.4, including the criteria for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

B. Suitability of the Property for the Tax Deferral:
The legislation providing the opportunity for a deferral of 50% of the rate upon which the Ad Valorem taxation on “historic property” is calculated is intended to provide a means by which historically significant property can escape the rigors imposed by appraising property according to the “highest and best use.” The current tax appraisal value of the 7.78 acres, including the outbuildings, is $119,440. The current tax bill is $2006.59. The Commission believes that designation of the property, especially since it constitutes a portion of a plantation which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is in accordance with the purpose a of the tax legislation.

Date of this Report: November 24, 1976