Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

Author: Dan Morrill

February 5, 2018 – 8:00 a.m.


1.  Chair’s Report:  Mark Miller

2.  Director’s Report:  Dan Morrill

Options For Project Management

Click For List Of Endangered Landmarks

3.  Update On Charles E. Barnhardt House:  Dan Morrill and Peter Wasmer

Charles E. Barnhardt House – 2733 Country Club Lane, Charlotte

Peter Wasmer is meeting regularly with the Barnhardt Ad Hoc Committee to discuss progress on the house.  Cleanup of the site and tarping of the roof have begun.  The Ad Hoc Committee is recommending that a tile roof be placed on the house, which will require asking the Board of County Commissioners for additional money.  

HLC Staff has scheduled a meeting with Leslie Johnson, Assistant City Manager, to discuss possible ways to secure additional project manager support for the HLC.  

      Eric Gamble, realtor, will attend the meeting.

4.  Update On Torrence Lytle School:  Dan Morrill

Torrence Lytle School – 302 Holbrooks Road, Huntersville

Michael Sullivan of the Norris Company is marketing the property for sale.  He has shown the property to prospective buyers but nobody has come forward with an offer.  Mr. Sullivan,  realtor, will attend the meeting.

5.  Update On Charlotte Streetcar 85

Charlotte Streetcar 85

In December 2016 the Commission voted to spend funds to secure a generator to power Streetcar 85.  The streetcar is now on a 5-year lease to the North Carolina Transportation Museum.  The Museum has informed me that additional money will be needed beyond that approved by the HLC.  Staff will be preparing a Request For Board Action for submission to the County for the approval of final amount of funds approved by the HLC.

Lakewood Trolley, a not-for-profit organization, is working to establish a vintage trolley line in West Charlotte.  The hope is that Streetcar 85 will return to Charlotte when Lakewood Trolley can demonstrate that it has the ability to operate the streetcar.

Click Here To See Video Of Streetcar Being Moved From Cats Garage

6.  Update On Former Fire Station Number 10 & Dowd House

Dowd House – 2216 Monument Street, Charlotte

Former Charlotte Fire Station #10 – 2136 Remount Road, Charlotte

Things are beginning to come to a head on this issue.  Money has been pledged by prospective buyers of the two buildings.  The County Attorney is considering the most appropriate ways the purchase money or some portion thereof might be earmarked for the HLC’s revolving fund.  Staff continues to participate in discussions.

7.  Update On The Walnut Avenue Project

Walnut Avenue Project – 817-19 and 821 Walnut Avenue, Charlotte

The Drakeford Company has decided that it will place preservation covenants in the deed to assure preservation.  Staff has put Bobby Drakeford in touch with Preservation North Carolina to discuss details.  The Drakeford Company is still seeking rezoning for the property. 

8.  Update On Holly Bend Project

Holly Bend – 3701 Neck Road, Huntersville

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation has decided to retain ownership of Holly Bend.  The HLC’s involvement in the project will be design review.

9.  Update On Edward Rozzel Farm

Edward Rozzel Farm – 11601 Old Rozzelles Ferry Road, Charlotte

The sale of the Edward Rozzel Farm has closed.  The photograph shows the buyers repairing the gutters on the Rozzel House.

10.  Old Business

11.  New Business

2017 HLC Annual Report

1. Projects Committee Revolving Fund Projects.

The Historic Landmarks Commission sold two properties during 2017 and placed a third under contract.  All had preservation deed covenants established which assured the property’s preservation.

A.  Properties Sold.

1) Delburg Cotton Mill House, 303 Delburg Street, Davidson.  This was the HLC’s first revolving fund project in the Town of Davidson.  It is a representative example of mill workers’ housing in Davidson.  It will be restored by the owner in 2018.

2) Phillips House and Morris Barn, 131 W. Charles Street, Matthews.  The Commission sold the house and barn, thereby assuring that the house and barn will be preserved.  The house is being restored by the owner.


B.  Property Placed Under Contract For Sale.

1) Edward Rozzel Farm, 11647 Rozzelles Ferry Road, Charlotte.  The Commission is scheduled to close on this property by January 12th.  Again, the sale will assure the preservation of this rural remnant of Mecklenburg County’s rural built environment by placing preservation covenants in the deed.

C.  Properties Purchased.

1) Charles E. Barnhardt House, 2733 Country Club Lane, Charlotte.  The Commission has purchased the house and will begin upfitting it in the near future.  The property is being marketed for sale.

D.  On-Going Projects.

1) General Motors New Style Bus.  The Commission is working to place the sole remaining New Style GM Bus in Charlotte back in service.  The bus is presently located at the CATS Garage.  Staff will be working to place it at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.


2) Charlotte Streetcar 85.  The Commission restored Streetcar 85 and placed it in service in Charlotte in the mid-1990s.  It is currently on lease to the North Carolina Transportation Museum.  There is interest in returning the Streetcar to Charlotte and placing it in service along the Stewart Creek Greenway.

3) Torrence Lytle School, 302 Holbrooks Road, Huntersville.  The Commission is actively marketing the property.  The realtor, Michael Sullivan, has a six-month listing.  The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

4) Morgan School, 500 South Torrence Street, Charlotte.  The Commission has submitted an offer to purchase the Morgan School.  It is awaiting a response from CMS. 

5) Walnut Avenue Project, 817-819 and 821 Walnut Avenue, Charlotte.  If the Drakeford Company secures rezoning, it will most likely approach the HLC about purchasing the two historic buildings located on the property.

6) Former Charlotte Fire Station No. 10 and the James C. Dowd House, 2136 Remount Road and 2216 Monument Street, Charlotte.  The Commission is working with the County on a possible transfer of ownership of the two properties to the HLC, which in turn would convey the properties to a private owner.


7) Holly Bend, 3701 Neck Road, Huntersville.  The Commission is in the earliest stages of discussing how the HLC might be involved in a long-term preservation strategy for this property.

2.   Survey Committee Activities

A.  Survey and Research Reports

1) Parkwood A.R.P. Church, 1017 Parkwood Avenue, Charlotte

2) Charlotte Fire Equipment, Charlotte

3) Freeman House, 201 South Ames Street, Matthews

4) Wilmore Elementary School, 428 West Boulevard, Charlotte

5) Former Charlotte Fire Station No. 10, 2136 Remount Road, Charlotte

6) Rudisil Gold Mine Pump Shaft Head, 317 W. Summit Avenue, Charlotte

7) Red Front Department Store, 1125 Belmont Avenue, Charlotte

8) Highland Park Mill Number One, 340 E. 16th Street, Charlotte

9) Charles E. Barnhardt House, 2733 Country Club Lane, Charlotte

10) Sherrill-Robbins House, 19726 Zion Avenue, Cornelius

B. Properties Designated As Historic Landmarks

1) Star St. Matthews Masonic Lodge, 124 Morris Road, Matthews


2)  Charles E. Barnhardt House, 2733 Country Club Lane, Charlotte

3) Sherrill-Robbins House, 19726 Zion Avenue, Cornelius

4) Red Front Department Store, 1125 Belmont Avenue, Charlotte

3.  Design Review Committee Activities.

The exercise of design review remains a major responsibility of the Historic Landmarks Commission.  In addition to the Certificates of Appropriateness listed below, the Commission also issued 44 Minor Works Certificates of Appropriateness.

A.  Major Certificates Of Appropriateness Issued.

1) Thrift Cotton Mill — partial demolition — Charlotte

2) Nebel Mill — material alteration — Charlotte

3) Craig House — material alteration — Charlotte

4) Wilson House — delayed demolition — Huntersville

5) Mabonsie  — material alteration — Davidson

6) Sandifer House — material alteration — Charlotte

7) Jennie Alexander Duplex — material alteration — Charlotte

8) Kilgo House — material alteration — Charlotte

9) Nebel Mill — material alteration — Charlotte

10) Johnston Building — material alteration — Charlotte

11) Phillips House & Morris Barn — material alteration — Matthews

12) Delburg Cotton Mill House — material alteration — Davidson

13) Query-Spivey-McGee — delayed demolition — Charlotte

14) Hennigan Place — material alteration — Charlotte

15) Rural Hill — material alteration — Huntersville

16) VanLandingham Estate — delayed demolition — Charlotte

17) Delburg Cotton Mill House — material alteration — Davidson

1.  Charles E. Barnhardt House.  Peter Wasmer is gathering the necessary quotes to prepare the Purchase Orders to commence rehabilitation of the property.  He is also coordinating a cleanup of the interior of the house by volunteers from Preservation North Carolina.  Eric Gamble, HLC realtor, will be placing the property for sale.  Staff will be producing promotional videos to assist with marketing.

2.  Parkwood A.R.P. Church.  Staff has been in touch with the new owners of the property about the prospect of historic landmark designation, which the Commission has already voted to recommend.  The Commission no longer needs to entertain the prospect of purchasing  property.

3.  Morgan School.  There have been no new developments regarding the status of the property.  The Charlotte Mecklenburg School System is still awaiting a decision about the City’s interest in purchasing the property.

4.  Rozzel Farm.  The Commission is under contract to sell the property.  The closing shall occur on or before January 12, 2018.  The Projects Committee agreed to delay the closing because of complications arising because of complexities of determining the boundaries of the property.

5.  Torrence Lytle School.  The property is currently being marketed for sale.  Staff will be working with Michael Sullivan, realtor, to assist with making the public aware of the property.

6.  Purchase of Fixtures at Barnhardt House.  In January 2017, an ad hoc committee of the Commission inspected elements that had been removed from the house by the Cramer family.  It was determined that the Commission should limit its purchase to those fixtures that had been attached to the house.  Staff recommends that it approve the purchase of these items, as they contribute to the historic integrity of the property. Click Here For Description

7.  Bruce Bowers continues to work on editing the video which explains the impact of the revolving fund on preserving historic landmarks in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  Staff will provide assistance as needed.

8.  The issue of the County’s conveying the Former Charlotte Fire Station 10 and the James C. Dowd House is still in process.  Staff has been meeting with a prospective buyer concerning design review issues.

9.  Len Norman and I met with Roy Johnson of the North Carolina Transportation Museum, who is overseeing the work needed to place Streetcar 85 into active service.  The aim is to complete the process in the first half of 2018.

10.  Len Norman and I met with City Council members Gregory Phipps and Larken Egleston and with staff and board members of the Charlotte Museum of History to discuss strategies for preserving the Siloam School.  

11.  The Drakeford Company has filed for rezoning of the property on Walnut Avenue on which it intends to build townhouses.  If the rezoning is successful, the Drakeford Company might approach the Commission about the prospect that the HLC will purchase the historic structures on the property.  

12.  Staff has met with the Cornelius staff to discuss how the HLC can assist in advancing historic preservation in the town.  Staff has arranged for meetings with Matthews, Davidson, and Huntersville.  Staff is also seeking meetings with Charlotte and Pineville.

Respectfully submitted,

Dan L. Morrill






Action Items.

1.  The Town Board of Cornelius has voted to request that the Commission prepare a Survey and Research Report on the prospective designation of the Agricultural Building at the Cornelius High School for historic landmark designation.  Staff believes that it the building is worthy of historic landmark designation and therefore recommends that the property be placed on the Study List of Historic Landmarks.  Staff will bring the issue of preparing a Survey and Research Report before the Survey Committee at its January 2018 Meeting.


Agricultural Building




Information Items.

1.  Work has begun on the Phillips House in Matthews.  The plans have been approved by the Historic Landmarks Commission.  It is important to underscore the fact that preservation covenants have been placed on the property to assure that it is preserved in perpetuity.

Phillips House


2.  The Town of Matthews is seeking to develop a preservation plan for the William Henry Freeman House at 120 Ames Street.  The Town has funds to pay for Survey and Research Reports, and I am under contract to develop a report on the Freeman House. When completed, it will be submitted to the Town of Matthews.


William Henry Freeman House


3.  I worked with Mark Price of the Charlotte Observer to have articles published on the HLC’s acquisition of the Barnhardt House and its processing of the Wilmore School as a historic landmark.
Wilmore School Article


4.  The Wadsworth House in Wesley Heights is being marketed for sale.  Mark Miller and I met with Tim Mills, the realtor for the owner.  Staff will be keeping a close eye on developments.

Wadsworth House


5.  Mark Miller and I met with the owner of the Van Landingham Estate.  The Commission will be working cooperatively with the owner over the next few months to develop a preservation plan for the property.

VanLandingham Estate


6.  Discussions with the County about the potential sale of the James C. Dowd House and Former Charlotte Fire Station Number 10 continue.  The processing of the Fire Station for historic landmark designation will await developments.

Former Charlotte Fire Station Number 10


7.  The Edward Rozzel Farm is under contract for sale.  The closing is scheduled for early December.  Events are moving forward as expected.

Edward Rozzel Farm


8.  The Commission is no longer under contract to a prospective buyer of the Torrence Lytle School.  The Projects Committee will have a recommendation on future strategies regarding the property.

Torrence Lytle School


9.  Videographer Bruce Bowers and I will spend November 14th conducting three interviews for the HLC’s approved video on the impact of the Revolving Fund.  We will be interviewing:  Ronald Carter, President of Johnson C. Smith University; Abigail Jennings, realtor; and Lee Myers, former Mayor of Matthews.


10.  Bobby Drakeford has approached the Commission about the HLC participating in a development on Walnut Avenue that will involve the preservation of two structures.  The Projects Committee has asked Mr. Drakeford to present the cost of the HLC’s participation.  That information is expected to be available in early 2018.

Walnut Avenue


Fiscal Year — July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018

Approved Budget For Survey And Research Reports:  $20,000

Spent to Date:  $7000

Survey and Research Report on Parkwood A. R. P. Church:  $1500
Survey and Research Report on Historic Fire Equipment:  $1500
Survey and Research Report on Former Charlotte Fire Station 8:  $2000
Survey and Research Report on Rudisill Hill Gold Mine: $2000
Survey and Research Report on Highland Park Mill No. 1: $0.00 (Owner paid)

Encumbered Funds:  $3000

Survey and Research Report on Former Wilmore Elementary School:  $3000

Funds Spent Or Encumbered To Date:  $10,000

Remaining Funds:  $10,000

Recommended Survey And Research Reports:  $5800

Survey and Research Report on Charlotte Fire Station No. 8:  $2000
Survey and Research Report on the Berry-Caldwell Farm:  $2000
Survey and Research Report on the Ames Street House:  $0 Matthews will pay for the study.
Survey and Research Report on the Dr. Bonnie E. Cone House:  $1800

Tentative Survey and Research Reports:  $6000

Survey and Research Report on the Alexander Farm:  $2000
Survey and Research Report on the Cornelius Agricultural Building $2000
Survey and Research Report on the Derita Gymnasium:  $2000