Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

Directors Reports


A.  Action Items.

1.  In December 2016, the Commission voted to set a limit for the amount of money it would spend for a generator and associated equipment to provide power to Streetcar 85.  A request for an increased amount of funding has been presented,  Staff recommends that this request be referred to the Projects Committee and that the Projects Committee be empowered to approve a final budget, subject to County approval.

Click For Background Information On Streetcar 85.

B.  Information Items.

1.  Charles E. Barnhardt House.  The refurbishment of the house and grounds has begun.  Peter Wasmer has been coordinating his management with the Barnhardt Ad Hoc Committee.  I am most appreciative of the time and energy given to this project by Laura Hoover, Tom Egan, and Garrett Nelson.  Eric Gamble, realtor, has also made important contributions to marketing strategy of the property.

2.  Torrence Lytle School.  Michael Sullivan, realtor, has been marketing the property and has shown it to many prospective buyers.

3.  Project Management Discussions.  HLC Staff and members of the Barnhardt Ad Hoc Committee and the Projects Committee have had discussions with County staff during the past month about alternatives that might be available for management of HLC projects.  The County has asked the Commission to develop a list of prospective projects for 2018-19 to justify changes in the current project management system.

4.  Dowd House and Former Fire Station Ten.  The prospective buyer of the Dowd House and Fire Station Ten have submitted its offer to Mecklenburg County.  The County is considering how best to proceed.  HLC Staff anticipates that it will be involved in future discussions.

5.  American Legion Memorial Stadium.  The County is considering the replacement of the current facility with a new multi-purpose stadium.  The HLC will be asked to participate in discussions, since the current stadium is a historic landmark.

6.  Meetings With Community Officials.  HLC Staff has met during the last month with officials in Matthews, Huntersville, Cornelius, and Davidson.  Future meetings will occur with Charlotte and Pineville officials.  The purpose of these meetings is to ascertain the preservation needs and challenges of each community.

7.  Edward Rozzel Farm.  The closing of the Rozzel Farm has occurred, and the new owners will be moving ahead with restoration of the historic structures on the property.  An article about the property will be appearing in the Charlotte Observer.

8.  Status of Revolving Fund.  The Revolving Fund is at a crossroads.  It continues to be a vital component of the HLC’s program.  The Commission has fewer current projects than it has had for many years.  This circumstance provides the current members with a challenging opportunity.

Respectfully submitted,

Dan L. Morrill





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. Staff recommends that the HLC prepare a National Register of Historic Places Application for the Charles E. Barnhardt House. The money to pay for the report would come from the Due Diligence Money set aside for HLC Projects. Staff believes that the tax credits would assist in marketing the house.  This matter must be considered in closed session.


Information Items.

1. Torrence Lytle School. Michael Sullivan, realtor, has listed the property for sale. The listing contract is for six months.

Torrence Lytle School

2. Charles E. Barnhardt House. The Commission has closed on the property. Peter Wasmer, Project Manager, is securing the necessary bids to begin the refurbishment of the house and the grounds. Preservation North Carolina will bring volunteers to help with cleanup of the interior of the house. Eric Gamble, realtor, is working with Staff on promotional materials for the sale of the house. The Charlotte Observer recently published an article on the Commission’s acquisition of the property.


Charles E. Barnhardt House



3. Edward Rozzel Farm. The prospective buyer is scheduled to close on the property on December 19th. The Commission did provide a credit on the purchase because of estimated repairs of the historic house.

Edward M. Rozzel Farm

4. James C. Dowd House and Former Charlotte Fire Station Number Ten. Staff met with County officials and a prospective buyer to discuss arrangements for the possible conveyance of the properties to the HLC. The HLC would sell the properties to the prospective buyer. The prospective buyer is performing due diligence. Staff is meeting with the prospective buyer to discuss design review issues.

Former Charlotte Fire Station Number Ten

5. The William and Nell Freeman House, Matthews, N.C. Staff has completed the Survey and Research Report on the property and will bring it to the Commission at its January Meeting. The Historic Preservation Advisory Committee of Matthews met with Staff to review the report. The Committee supports historic landmark designation of the property and will be working with the owner, Matthews Presbyterian Church, to devise a preservation strategy for the property.

Freeman House

6. Charlotte Fire Station Number Eight and Cornelius School Agricultural Building. Staff will be preparing Survey and Research Reports on the two properties in the upcoming months. One report, and perhaps both, will be presented to the Survey Committee at its January meeting.

Charlotte Fire Station Number Eight 

Cornelius School Agricultural Building

7. Walnut Avenue Project. Staff continues to await the rezoning decision on the two properties on Walnut Avenue in the Wesley Heights Historic District. The Drakeford Company continues to have an interest in having the Commission purchase the two historic homes on the property. If it secures approval for the rezoning, the Drakeford Company will resume negotiations with the HLC.

Walnut Avenue

8. Certified Local Government Report. Staff has prepared the annual report required for its participation in the Certified Local Government Program.

9. Revolving Fund Video. Bruce Bowers and I spent a day interviewing individuals and filming HLC projects. Work on the video continues.

10.  Morgan School.  500 South Torrence Street, Charlotte.  There have been no new developments regarding the Morgan School.  The HLC’s offer to purchase the property has still not been submitted to the Board of Education.  Staff has prepared a brief video on the status of the property.

Morgan School

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Dan L. Morrill, Consulting Director


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

1.  Charles Barnhardt House  — Charlotte.  The owner has informed the HLC Staff that the map and plat of the property will be filed this week.  City Council will vote on the prospective designation on October 16th.  Soon thereafter, the Commission will close on the property.

Charles Barnhardt House


2.  Alexander Farm — Huntersville.  The Commission continues to discuss preservation strategies with the Town of Huntersville.

3.  Torrence Lytle School — Huntersville.  The prospective buyer has until October 11th to close on the property.  The prospective buyer has requested an extension.  After October 11, the Commission could place the property back on the market for sale.

Torrence Lytle School

4.  Former Fire Station Number 10 and the James C. Dowd House — Charlotte.  The County has acquired an appraisal on the property.  Stewart Gray is awaiting the completion of the environmental cleanup of the Fire Station, so he can complete the physical description of the property.  Staff anticipates that the County will want to hold meetings to discuss preservation strategies.


Fire Station #10

James C. Dowd House

5.  Edward M. Rozzel Farm — Charlotte.  Eric Gamble, realtor, has listed the house in MLS and is receiving many inquiries.  An offer has been received.  HLC will consider it under New Business.


Edward M. Rozzel Farm

6.  Star St. Matthews Lodge — Matthews.  The public hearing of the Matthews Town Board on the prospective historic landmark designation of the property will occur on October 23rd.


Star St. Matthews Lodge

7.  Huntersville & Huntersville ETJ Survey — Huntersville.  As directed by the Commission, Staff contacted the Town of Huntersville about the prospect of participating financially in the project.  Huntersville declined.  Staff consulted with HLC Chair and is moving ahead with the survey.

8.  Pump Shaft Head of the Rudisill Gold Mine — Charlotte.  Staff has received word that the owner of the property on which the Pump Shaft Head of the Rudisill Gold Mine objects to historic landmark designation of the property.  Legally, owner consent is not required.

Rudisill Hill Gold Mine

9.  Congratulations to Larken Egleston for his election as the District One representative on the Charlotte City Council.  Unfortunately, Larken will have to resign from the HLC in December.  The Commission must name a new Vice Chair.

10.  Walters’s Barbershop — Huntersville.  WBTV has requested that all HLC public documents, including emails, related to the purchase and sale of the Walters’s Barbershop be submitted to WBTV.  HLC attorney Sandy Carnegie has advised the HLC Staff to comply.



Walters’s Barbershop

11.  Work has begun on the adaptive reuse of Former Charlotte Fire Station #4 on West 5th Street.  Here is another example of excellent adaptive reuse.

Former Charlotte Fire Station #4


Respectfully submitted,


Dan L. Morrill