Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

Surveys

Neighborhoods Identified During the 2019-2020 Beatties Ford Road Corridor Survey
and the 2021 Update


Beatties Ford Road


This survey concentrated on the houses, commercial buildings, and institutional buildings that front directly onto Beatties Ford Road. All pre-1945 structures were inventoried, and any property built before 1970 with potential architectural or historical significance was inventoried.

Beatties Ford Road Historic Properties Inventory Spreadsheet


Dalebrook


Dalebrook, another neighborhood designed and built by Charles Ervin and his Ervin Construction Company, launched in 1960 and quickly sold out within its first year. The self-contained community (located within the larger Lincoln Heights neighborhood) was the premier neighborhood in northwest Charlotte in the early 1960s, but was specifically intended as a segregated subdivision from its inception. Dalebrook was also the boyhood community for former Charlotte Mayor and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. A brief history of Dalebrook can be found here, and several related historic resources may be found under the “Dalebrook” entry on the interactive map available on the “Charlotte’s Historic West End” website hosted by JCSU’s James B. Duke Memorial Library.


Lincoln Heights


In the 1920s, the Southern Realty and Development Corporation initially developed the Lincoln Heights neighborhood as a subdivision for white Charlotteans, and even attempted to lure Durham’s Duke University to relocate to Charlotte’s West End. Those efforts proved unsuccessful, leaving the neighborhood largely undeveloped until the post-World War II era. Lincoln Heights experienced significant growth in the 1950s and 1960s due in large part to the forced relocation of African-American families in the wake of the urban renewal that razed downtown’s Brooklyn neighborhood. Lincoln Heights is currently the home of Northwest School of the Arts (formerly West Charlotte High School), Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park, and the Beatties Ford Road branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library. A brief history of Lincoln Heights can be found here, and several related historic resources may be found under the “Lincoln Heights” entry on the interactive map available on the “Charlotte’s Historic West End” website hosted by JCSU’s James B. Duke Memorial Library.


McCrorey Heights


McCrorey Heights, located northeast of the JCSU campus, just adjacent to the I-77/I-277 exchange, started in 1912, thanks to the efforts of then-JCSU president Reverend Henry L. McCrorey, who served the University in that capacity for forty years. The neighborhood grew quickly between the early 1950s and early 1970s into what historian Tom Hanchett has described as “a premier neighborhood for Charlotte’s highly educated African American elite.” Many McCrorey Heights residents participated actively in the civil rights movement, offering their support locally, regionally, and nationally. A thorough historical and architectural study of the McCrorey Heights neighborhood authored by Dr. Hanchett may be found here. The neighborhood currently includes approximately 167 homes, many of which are mid-twentieth-century custom-designed brick ranch-style houses.


Oaklawn Park


Dating back to 1954, the Oaklawn Park neighborhood lies just north of McCrorey Heights. Oaklawn Park was designed and built by Charles Ervin, a Charlotte-based developer whose Ervin Construction Company became the nation’s seventh largest homebuilder by the 1960s. According to Dr. Hanchett, the neighborhood was constructed specifically for African-American families during the waning days of racial segregation, and is one of Charlotte’s best-preserved post-World War II suburbs. The primarily blue-collar neighborhood also counted among its residents several educators, school principals, ministers, and physicians. In part because the neighborhood, consisting primarily of brick ranch houses and split levels, remains as originally platted and built between 1954 and 1961, the Charlotte Historic District Commission has been working with residents to secure a historic district designation for Oaklawn Park. Those efforts have generated several valuable informational resources about Oaklawn Park, including an extensive property-by-property neighborhood survey and a local district designation report that incorporates a historical essay authored by Dr. Hanchett.


University Park


No general history of the University Park neighborhood could be identified by HLC Staff, and thus the production of a concise history of the neighborhood became a priority of the project.

University Park Historical Essay

University Park is a large neighborhood, containing hundreds of homes. A complete inventory of the neighborhood was not deemed feasible for this project. Instead the project concentrated on homes with strong architectural or historical significance.

Significant University Park Properties Spreadsheet

The University Park neighborhood grew in stages, and initial research into the area failed to identify a definitive boundary of the neighborhood. Using recorded subdivision maps, HLC Staff and the historical consultant were able to develop a boundary of the historic neighborhood. An interesting finding of the Survey is that the residential blocks along Maribe Avenue, Estelle Street, Taylor Avenue, McDonald Street, and portions of Remington Street were parts of an early 20th Century un-named neighborhood developed by the Biddleville Development Company.

University Park Boundary Map


Washington Heights


While there has been solid academic research into the history of Washington Heights, the HLC previously did not have an inventory of the properties in the historic neighborhood. 112 structures in Washington Heights were identified during the survey.

Washington Heights Inventory Spreadsheet


Charlotte’s West End has factored prominently in the history of the city’s African-American community since the nineteenth century. Anchored by Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU), which was founded in 1867, the area has developed into numerous neighborhoods, including the McCrorey Heights, Oaklawn Park, Lincoln Heights, and Dalebrook communities profiled below. Additional information about these neighborhoods and other areas along the Beatties Ford Road corridor may be found at the historysouth.org website, authored by Charlotte historian Dr. Tom Hanchett. Also, the staff of JCSU’s James B. Duke Memorial Library has created an extensive website entitled “Charlotte’s Historic West End” about the historic neighborhoods and communities that surround the University, including the neighborhoods profiled here. The site offers an informative interactive map of the lower Beatties Ford Road corridor accompanied by a wealth of online resources – newspaper articles, plat maps, photographs, oral histories, and other materials – about the West End communities and historic resources that have contributed to the Queen City for more than a century.


McCrorey Heights


McCrorey Heights, located northeast of the JCSU campus, just adjacent to the I-77/I-277 exchange, started in 1912, thanks to the efforts of then-JCSU president Reverend Henry L. McCrorey, who served the University in that capacity for forty years. The neighborhood grew quickly between the early 1950s and early 1970s into what historian Tom Hanchett has described as “a premier neighborhood for Charlotte’s highly educated African American elite.” Many McCrorey Heights residents participated actively in the civil rights movement, offering their support locally, regionally, and nationally. A thorough historical and architectural study of the McCrorey Heights neighborhood authored by Dr. Hanchett may be found here. The neighborhood currently includes approximately 167 homes, many of which are mid-twentieth-century custom-designed brick ranch-style houses.


Oaklawn Park


Dating back to 1954, the Oaklawn Park neighborhood lies just north of McCrorey Heights. Oaklawn Park was designed and built by Charles Ervin, a Charlotte-based developer whose Ervin Construction Company became the nation’s seventh largest homebuilder by the 1960s. According to Dr. Hanchett, the neighborhood was constructed specifically for African-American families during the waning days of racial segregation, and is one of Charlotte’s best-preserved post-World War II suburbs. The primarily blue-collar neighborhood also counted among its residents several educators, school principals, ministers, and physicians. In part because the neighborhood, consisting primarily of brick ranch houses and split levels, remains as originally platted and built between 1954 and 1961, the Charlotte Historic District Commission has been working with residents to secure a historic district designation for Oaklawn Park. Those efforts have generated several valuable informational resources about Oaklawn Park, including an extensive property-by-property neighborhood survey and a local district designation report that incorporates a historical essay authored by Dr. Hanchett.


Lincoln Heights


In the 1920s, the Southern Realty and Development Corporation initially developed the Lincoln Heights neighborhood as a subdivision for white Charlotteans, and even attempted to lure Durham’s Duke University to relocate to Charlotte’s West End. Those efforts proved unsuccessful, leaving the neighborhood largely undeveloped until the post-World War II era. Lincoln Heights experienced significant growth in the 1950s and 1960s due in large part to the forced relocation of African-American families in the wake of the urban renewal that razed downtown’s Brooklyn neighborhood. Lincoln Heights is currently the home of Northwest School of the Arts (formerly West Charlotte High School), Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park, and the Beatties Ford Road branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library. A brief history of Lincoln Heights can be found here, and several related historic resources may be found under the “Lincoln Heights” entry on the interactive map available on the “Charlotte’s Historic West End” website hosted by JCSU’s James B. Duke Memorial Library.


Dalebrook


Dalebrook, another neighborhood designed and built by Charles Ervin and his Ervin Construction Company, launched in 1960 and quickly sold out within its first year. The self-contained community (located within the larger Lincoln Heights neighborhood) was the premier neighborhood in northwest Charlotte in the early 1960s, but was specifically intended as a segregated subdivision from its inception. Dalebrook was also the boyhood community for former Charlotte Mayor and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. A brief history of Dalebrook can be found here, and several related historic resources may be found under the “Dalebrook” entry on the interactive map available on the “Charlotte’s Historic West End” website hosted by JCSU’s James B. Duke Memorial Library.


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission has completed a survey project that concentrated on identifying historic African American resources along a portion of Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte. The area studied is located between the Brookshire Freeway and Interstate 85, and includes the Washington Heights Neighborhood, the University Park Neighborhood, and the many houses and commercial and institutional buildings that front directly onto Beatties Ford Road. While nearby areas associated with the African American community had been investigated and/or inventoried, no inventory of the subject area’s important historic resources had been made. In addition, the HLC recognized a need to develop general history of the large and prominent University Park Neighborhood.

Under contract with the HLC, historical consultant and Johnson C. Smith University Archivist Brandon Lunsford began the survey work and historical research in late 2019. The results are impressive and important for understanding the development of African American communities on Charlotte’s West Side and the overall history of Charlotte. 

Overview of the Beatties Ford Road Corridor Survey Project

2021 Update:  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission has supplemented this survey project with additional research and resources focused on the African American communities bordering the Beatties Ford Road corridor. Those materials – focusing on the McCrorey Heights, Oaklawn Park, Lincoln Heights, and Dalebrook neighborhoods – may be found here.

  • 2600 Beatties Ford Road

Washington Heights


While there has been solid academic research into the history of Washington Heights, the HLC previously did not have an inventory of the properties in the historic neighborhood. 112 structures in Washington Heights were identified during the survey.

Washington Heights Inventory Spreadsheet


Beatties Ford Road


This survey concentrated on the houses, commercial buildings, and institutional buildings that front directly onto Beatties Ford Road. All pre-1945 structures were inventoried, and any property built before 1970 with potential architectural or historical significance was inventoried.

Beatties Ford Road Historic Properties Inventory Spreadsheet


University Park


No general history of the University Park neighborhood could be identified by HLC Staff, and thus the production of a concise history of the neighborhood became a priority of the project.

University Park Historical Essay

University Park is a large neighborhood, containing hundreds of homes. A complete inventory of the neighborhood was not deemed feasible for this project. Instead the project concentrated on homes with strong architectural or historical significance.

Significant University Park Properties Spreadsheet

The University Park neighborhood grew in stages, and initial research into the area failed to identify a definitive boundary of the neighborhood. Using recorded subdivision maps, HLC Staff and the historical consultant were able to develop a boundary of the historic neighborhood. An interesting finding of the Survey is that the residential blocks along Maribe Avenue, Estelle Street, Taylor Avenue, McDonald Street, and portions of Remington Street were parts of an early 20th Century un-named neighborhood developed by the Biddleville Development Company.

University Park Boundary Map