Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

Director’s Report — August 12, 2019

1.  Standards for Preparing Survey and Research Reports on Prospective Historic Landmarks

State Statute requires that all Survey and Research Reports be submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office for comment. Amber Stimpson is the individual responsible for producing letters of comment. Ms. Stimpson has recently circulated a checklist of items which Survey and Research Reports should contain. Staff recommends that Ms. Stimpson be invited to meet with the Historic Landmarks Commission to explain the purpose of the checklist.  

2.  Future Revolving Fund Activities

Currently, the Historic Landmarks Commission has six active real estate projects. They are: Ingleside, Torrence Lytle, Wallace Property, Barnhardt House, Louise Cotton Mill House, and Former Standard Oil Service Station. I believe that until the new Director is hired, the Commission should focus on completing existing projects and not undertaking new projects.  Depending upon HLC action tonight, the Commission might only have two properties within its purview — Torrence Lytle and Wallace Property.

The HLC might want to be less active in securing fee simple interest in properties.  Activities that might be considered are securing options to purchase historic properties, including structures in local historic districts.  The Commission might also want to approach owners of historic landmarks about establishing preservation easements on their property.  As you know, historic landmark designation alone does not assure the preservation of the historic landmark.

3.  Consequences of Historic Landmark Designation

The Commission might consider expanding the consequences of historic landmark designation to include retaining designation, consequently design review, after the principal structures on the landmark have been demolished. Another dimension of designation might be to pursue including in the ordinance the prohibition of demolition by neglect. 

4.  Bland Street Shotgun Houses

I have learned that the City plans to build affordable housing on the site presently occupied by two Shotgun Houses that the Commission moved to the location in the 1980s. The Commission should consider alternative locations to which the Shotgun Houses might be moved.  

5.  Excelsior Club, 921 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, N.C.

On Friday, representatives of several agencies involved in historic preservation met with Darius Anderson, the prospective buyer of the Excelsior Club. Mr. Anderson reported that he plans to close on the property in the near future. He also explained that restoring the building because of its deteriorating condition is unrealistic. Mr. Anderson stated that he would seek to develop the property in a way that respects the heritage of the Excelsior Club. He will be returning to Charlotte and wants the group to visit the building and to react to concepts for developing the property as an adaptive reuse. 

6.  The County Commission voted last week to approve the sale of the James C. Dowd House and Former Charlotte Fire Station No. 10.  This is an important preservation victory, especially because Former Charlotte Fire Station No. 10 was scheduled for demolition by the County.  The HLC should anticipate receiving some money for its Revolving Fund from this sale.

7.  Preserve Mecklenburg.   Preserve Mecklenburg continues to work on preservation strategies for Edgewood Farm and the Shaw House Property.  Preserve Mecklenburg welcomes on-going cooperation with the HLC.

Below is a video on the Former Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 412 Campus Street, Charlotte, N.C.


Below is a video on the status of the McConnell House, 4009 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, N.C.