Update For HLC January 28, 2018

1.  Dowd House and Former Fire Station No. 10.

I have had discussions with Ned Hardison of the Dowd Foundation Board and Bernie Funck, the prospective buyer of the Dowd House and Former Fire Station Number Ten.  I should know within the next two weeks whether Ranger Counstruction will move ahead with purchasing and upfitting the two buildings.  If so, there will have to be discussions with the County about how the HLC will be involved in the transaction.  The HLC will receive the properties from the County under yet finalized terms and transfer the properties to Ranger Construction.  

If arrangements with Ranger Construction are terminated, the HLC Staff will investigate how the HLC might still be involved with a preservation solution for the two properties.  The Dowd House is a designated historic landmark.  The designation of the Fire Station will await the finalization of terms for the sale of the properties.

2.  Charles E. Barnhardt House.

The refurbishment of the Barnhardt House is underway.  Peter Wasmer is communicating regularly with the ad hoc committee about specific issues.  Cleanup of the site should begin in the near future.  Peter Wasmer is also securing bids for tarping the roof to protect it until the roof is replaced.  The County has determined that volunteers cannot work on the cleanup of the property.  Peter Wasmer has determined that the property will be covered by County insurance.  A Request For Board Action will be prepared to seek additional funds for the project.  

Peter Wasmer informs me that the Purchase Order for the tarping of the roof has been issued and that the work should occur by January 30th.  The clearing of the grounds will begin next week as well.  I will be taking photographs.

Staff has contacted the County about the possibility of having a Project Manager assigned exclusively to the Historic Landmarks Commission and housed at the HLC Office.  It is my belief that this would allow the HLC to undertake more projects with its revolving fund at a faster pace.  A meeting to discuss this possibility will occur in the near future. 

3.  Walnut Avenue Project.

The Drakeford Company, which is seeking rezoning for a parcel in the Wesley Heights Historic District, has decided to commit to placing preservation covenants or easements on the two residential structures on the property as part of its rezoning application.  I have put Bobby Drakeford in touch with Preservation North Carolina to discuss the details.  The HLC will not have to be involved further in the project.

4.  Streetcar 85.

The Historic Landmarks Commissiion voted in January 2016 to spend up to $30,000 to acquire a generator to power Streetcar 85.  Streetcar 85 is a designated historic landmark and has been declared eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  The HLC restored Streetcar 85 and placed it in service in Charlotte in 1996.  It is now on a 5-year renewable lease to the North Carolina Transportation Museum.  The hope is that the streetcar will be returned to Charlotte and operate on the Stewart Creek Greenway.  The North Carolina Transportation Museum will be conducting tests on Streetcar 85 in the upcoming weeks.  At its February meetinng, the HLC will be asked to move ahead with acquiring the generator.

Frank Bragg, former HLC Commissioner, will speak to the HLC at its February meeting about the status of the group that is working to bring Streetcar 85 back to Charlotte.  I will also be receiving an updated budget for the generator, which is estimated to cost up to $50,000.  The Projects Committee will be asked to make a recommendation about this expenditure for consideration at the February HLC meeting.

5.  Holly Bend.

Holly Bend on Neck Road is one of the finest Federal style ante-bellum homes in Mecklenburg County.  Meckenburg County owns the house and is considering how best to assure its preservation in the most cost effective manner.  Among the possibilities considered was for the County to convey Holly Bend to the HLC.  The HLC would have sold the house as a residence with preservation covenants in the deed.  Discussions are still underway.  The County Park and Recreation Department has decided instead to retain ownership of Holly Bend.  

6.  Morgan School.

The Historic Landmarks Commission submitted an offer to CMS in 2016 to purchase the Morgan School in the Cherry Neighborhood.  The school has been vacant since June 2017 and is subject to vandalism.  The HLC's offer  to buy the building has not been presented to the School Board.  The City has expressed interest in joining with a developer to make the former school available for affordable housing.  It is disappointing to the HLC staff that a preservation solution for the property has not been found.

I have informed Councilperson Larken Egleston about the situation.

7.  Wadsworth House.

The Wadsworth House in the Wesley Heights Historic District is for sale.  Meetings have occurred with the owner.  Current zoning permits residential and office use.  Discussions continue.

I did meet with Tim Mills, realtor for the owner.  A prospective buyer has come forward who wishes to do residential infill on the property.  I told Mr. Mills that the prospective buyer needed to meet with me, Stewart, and Joe Elliott to look at preliminary schemes.  I anticipate that an application for a Certificate of Appropriatness will be forthcoming.

8.  Excelsior Club.

The owner of the Excelsior Club has contacted Staff.  The owner is most likely not going to move forward with renovating the structure.  Staff will await developments and will consider preservation options.  

I anticipate a call in the near future from the owner's attorney to explore options.

9.  Edward Rozzel Farm.

The closing on the Edward Rozzel Farm has occurred.  The owners have started repairing the gutters.

10. Torrence Lytle School.

The Torrence Lytle School is listed for sale.

11.  Freeman House.

The Historic Landmarks Commission has voted to recommend that the Town of Matthews designate the Freeman House as a historic landmark.  Further actions will be the responsibility of the Town of Matthews.

​​12.  Public Hearings.

At the February 12th meeting the Historic Landmarks Commission will hold public hearings on two prospective historic landmarks.  They are: 1) Historic Fire Equipment, and 2) Wilmore Elementary School.  Charlotte City Council is scheduled to hold public hearings on the same properties.

13.  Survey and Research Reports.

The Survey Committee will scrutinize two Survey and Research Reports at its meeting on January 29th.  They are reports on: 1) Dr. Reginald Hawkins House, and 2) Charlotte Fire Station Number 8.

14.  Hennigan Place

The Historic Landmarks Commission has approved an infill residential plan for the Hennigan Place on Tilley Morris Road.  It has not yet approved the design of the individual new houses.  The owner has identified a builder and has requested a meeting with Staff and Joe Elliott to obtain feedback on the proposed house designs.  
Dr. Dan L. Morrill
139 Middleton Drive
Charlotte, N.C. 28207
[email protected]
R. J. Reynolds High School - 1956
Wake Forest University - 1960 (B.A.)
Emory University -  1961 (M.A.)
Emory University - 1966  (Ph.D.)
Professor Emeritus of History UNCC
Director, Charlotte-Mecklenburg 
                  Historic Landmarks