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715nchurch

Myers Park

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Lol.....it makes Charlotte seem so much higher class.....I'd love to hear a follow up, and if they enjoy life here. If feels good to hear that a family finally rejected sprawl.

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Lol.....it makes Charlotte seem so much higher class.....I'd love to hear a follow up, and if they enjoy life here.  If feels good to hear that a family finally rejected sprawl.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, by almost any measure, Myers Park would be considered sprawl. It is all single use zoning, many of the streets are dead ends, and the spacing makes practical living available via only the automobile. It was afterall one of the first neighborhoods where the well off looked to excape the nasty crowded city.

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I disagree on the dead-end aspect.....there are very few (if any) dead-end streets in the original portion (ok, Bucknell is). It is single use, neighborhood, but much denser than any post war single-family neighborhood in the city......not to mention there are still street-car rails running down the middle of Queens Rd, that allowed the original inhabitants to live car free.

Sprawl is a very loose definition. To the family in the documentary, being able to reach all destinations with less than a 1 mile drive was considered ideal. I feel that Myers Park is suburban in nature, but not sprawl simply because it functions as a community, as opposed to a isolated cluster of houses.

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When you can access these ammenities from neighborhood streets, therefore not making an impact on the thouroughfare system, then yes, I would say that it is not sprawl.

Not Urban does not equal sprawl. And likewise there can be urban sprawl as you have mentioned before that Birkdale Village is.

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So if we have a bunch of houses within a mile of say a church, school, store and hospital, then it is not sprawl?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm just wondering what would be your ideal defination of a non-sprawling society?

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I'm just wondering what would be your ideal defination of a non-sprawling society?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

According to Answers.com, monsoon is right:

Urban sprawl (also called suburban sprawl and occasionally Los Angelization) describes the growth of a metropolitan area, particularly the suburbs, over a large area. In examples of this phenomenon, such as Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas, new development is often low-density, where the metropolis grows outward instead of 'upward' as with higher densities. Environmentalists and an increasing number of urban planners disapprove of urban sprawl for several reasons.

Technically, Myers Park fits the definition.

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I'm just wondering what would be your ideal defination of a non-sprawling society?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Any city in Japan. Once you have been there, you realize that we have city building completly wrong here.

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I'm probably going to regret asking this, but Metro, isn't the area you moved to considered sprawl? If it was a greenfield development, the answer has to be yes.

Every city "sprawls". It's a word that needs careful useage. By definition, most of small town America would be conisdered sprawl. Some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the US would be considered sprawl. Every Olmstead designed neighborhood would fall into the category. Even "New Urbanist" neighborhoods fall into single use zoning: single-family houses surround a more dense core or edge with MUDD or MUDD-C zoning stuff like live/work or condominium/townhouse units or retail/office below apartments/condos.

Myers Park was an edge city, but it had something that new "New Urbanist" communites don't: mass transit. How many Americans actually had cars in 1910? These people rode the trolley to uptown for work and shopping.

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Urban sprawl (also called suburban sprawl and occasionally Los Angelization) describes the growth of a metropolitan area, particularly the suburbs, over a large area. In examples of this phenomenon, such as Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas, new development is often low-density, where the metropolis grows outward instead of 'upward' as with higher densities. Environmentalists and an increasing number of urban planners disapprove of urban sprawl for several reasons.

If this is true, the majority of this country with the exception of Downtowns and some metropolitan would be considered sprawl. Why be so critical and state the obvious? At least Myers park isn't a community with one entrance that spirals into 40 thousand culdesacs. And if we must state the obvious, then I think we must also lift the negative implications that this forum has placed upon the word sprawl.

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To me, Myers Park is not sprawl. It is not a townhome/rowhouse neighborhood like you find in Baltimore or all over the northeast/midwest, but so what? It is a compact, walkable neighborhood with mature trees and a mixture of housing styles, land usage and retail.

I could paraphrase, but why don't you read more about John Nolen's planning and ideas behind the neighborhood here.

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i have a hard time labelling anything within city limits pre-WWII as "sprawl", even if it can be fit into a definition. Frankly, much of downtown charlotte could be considered sprawl under some of these definitions... and that is just plain silly.

I think i agree most with the definition that the neighborhood residents can largely avoid the thoroughfare/freeway system. Myers Park is just a couple miles from two major employment centers with many street routes possible.

I've often heard of sprawl as being low quality development, for turning quick profits on cheap land, that is not designed or built for long term sustainability.... that would be the opposite of Myers Park.

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Now some people are being really picky :)

I'm aware there is a difference between early suburban development (late 1800's - early 1900's) & urban development. But to suggest these early suburbs as being sprawl seems to be either very cynical or possibly a little sneaky - "sprawl isn't bad, b/c these great early suburbs are sprawl too". But I love Myers Park, somewhat similar to Ansley Park in Atlanta, but even more refined.

But these early suburbs weren't simply exclusive from urbanity, they were well integrated into the urban core, but more of an appendage. They were usually connected via transit, were pedestrian oriented, and often had a retail core that served the community. Doesn't sound like a typical modern subdivision to me....

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.....

But these early suburbs weren't simply exclusive from urbanity, they were well integrated into the urban core, but more of an appendage.  They were  usually connected via transit,pedestrian oriented, and often had a retail core that served the community.  Doesn't sound like a typical modern subdivision to me....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Nope that is not what happened with Myers Park. A developer came in, stripped all the land for timber and took over a cotton field subdivided it into lots, and people built houses. A number of them were Sears Catalog houses. There wasn't a tree in sight and it looked like any new development that we see today. It took more than 50 years for it to achieve the look that it has today as the trees grew to their current look. The was the first major neighborhood to abandon the gridded street system.

It should also be noted that much of what is called Myers Park really isn't Myers Park.

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Yes, but inferior house styling and lack of tree canopy does not sprawl make.....though I would have to say that the oldest part of Dilworth (East, Kingston, Tremont and Worthington) and Elizabeth/Rosemont have a far greater percentage Sears homes than does MP....in fact, Sears homes I believe were banned on the grander streets (though I'd take a catalog home over most of the junk thrown up today, including my last house).

Again, I believe MP is not sprawl due to its relationship with the surrounding uses, though arguably, the forward looking design of John Nolen has allowed it to become much more integrated into the urban landscape than when it was first built.

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ok you say much of what is called Myers Park isnt really Myers Park.....please explain.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Originally Queens Rd. West was the western boundary or MP, and it didn't continue across Selwyn into Queens Rd (which dead ended at Selwyn where Queens University currently is)

Regardless, there were no dead-end streets in the original MP plat. (I was wrong about Bucknell, since the part that dead-end was part of the initial neighborhood).

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Again, I believe MP is not sprawl due to its relationship with the surrounding uses, though arguably, the forward looking design of John Nolen has allowed it to become much more integrated into the urban landscape than when it was first built.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm not sure how much of a relationship at the time the houses had with the cotton field they were plopped down into. And there was no surrounding businesses or retail when it was built. To the inhabitants of the city a the time, it looked just like the suburban sprawl that you could attribute to Ballentyne, Piper Glen, and numerous other places. The biggest difference are in the construction techniques.

BTW, quality of construction has little to do with suburban vs urban housing as that is mainly affected by the price point of the place. Tivoli for example is really constructed of some low end stuff.

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I'm probably going to regret asking this, but Metro, isn't the area you moved to considered sprawl?  If it was a greenfield development, the answer has to be yes. 

Every city "sprawls".  It's a word that needs careful useage.  By definition, most of small town America would be conisdered sprawl.  Some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the US would be considered sprawl.  Every Olmstead designed neighborhood would fall into the category.  Even "New Urbanist" neighborhoods fall into single use zoning: single-family houses surround a more dense core or edge with MUDD or MUDD-C zoning stuff like live/work or condominium/townhouse units or retail/office below apartments/condos.

Myers Park was an edge city, but it had something that new "New Urbanist" communites don't:  mass transit.  How many Americans actually had cars in 1910?  These people rode the trolley to uptown for work and shopping.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No don't regret it. I readily admit that I live in what many could consider sprawl, but 95% of the housing in the city is in the same category. I have lived in cramped condos and apts, and it just isn't my cup of tea. I would rather sit outside and have breakfast surrounded by trees and nature instead of concrete and car noise.

I do think that however that Huntersville does a much better job at containing it than Charlotte in general, but it could be much better. I have lived in almost every part of Charlotte, BTW, and we decided a number of years ago to move here to be close to the lakes. Both LN and MIL are very close.

As I said my idea would be a Japanese style city, but that is never going to happen here so living suburban doesnt bother me at all. With that said I am still very excited to see Charlotte change to the better direction it is headed. It is nice to visit DT for something unique. I just down want to live there.

In 1910, the only people in Charlotte who would could afford and probably did have a a car, were the people who moved to Myers Park. The car made that possible afterall. Think about it.

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this is an interesting discussion.

monsoon, do you have an all-encompassing definition for 'sprawl'? I can see many of your points, but still, it is instinctively hard for me to see myers park or (as i wrote earlier) any pre WWII neighborhood as sprawl.

In some ways, the original village of charlotte was sprawl, as they were just lots with little houses on them carved from the middle of nowhere. The only exception is that the grid in downtown is more geometrical, compared to myers park's more meandering, curvy street suburban grid (nothing like the virus-looking street designs of modern suburbia that all trace back to a single entrance on a thoroughfare).

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this is an interesting discussion. 

monsoon, do you have an all-encompassing definition for 'sprawl'? 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I guess that sprawl depends upon who is defining it. People will have differend definitions.

The best general definition that I can come up with would be the same one for "weed". "Something unwanted in your garden".

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Metro, I have to disagree. I think there is a HUGE difference between most of the neighborhoods going up now .vs the planning that went into Myers Park. Nolen's planning included mixed-income residential, commericial and even educational (what is now Queens University).

I don't see many projects going up right now that have the foresight or integrated planning that Myers Park did.

I will concede the point that at the time it was built the oak trees were pretty young.

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