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Should Coffee Cup Restaurant be declared Historic?

Should Coffee Cup Restaurant be declared Historic?   58 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Coffee Cup Restaurant be declared Historic?

    • No - The Developer should be allowed to develop his property.
      24
    • Yes - Charlotte should preserve this part of its history.
      34
  2. 2. Could the developer change his plans to incorporate the Coffee Cup into the Plan?

    • No - it would reduce his profits
      13
    • Yes - there is no reason why this can't happen
      45

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61 posts in this topic

I sounds as if an Atlanta developer wants to come to Charlotte, build some condos around West Morehead, and in the process tear down what many consider a historic part of Charlotte, the Coffee Cup Restaurant. The people that currently operate the Coffee Cup want the place designated as an historic property which would prevent its demolition. So the question is, should the city designate the Coffee Cup as a historic property?

Photo I took of coffeecup in 2004

coffeecup.jpg

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Making a cinderblock building a historic landmark seems a bit much to me. Put up a plaque, save the sign and furniture and put the Coffee Cup restaurant back into some retail space of the new development.

It isn't the building that made the restaurant special, it was the business and people.

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I agree its the people and food that make the place special, not the building itself. Here is the link to the article in the Observer:

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/business/15337552.htm

I think a fair settlement would be for Beazer to incorporate either the current building, or have a space in a new building for the Coffee Cup that they can move into before closing down the current building. After reading the article in the Observer it seems the latter is what Beazer is offering.

If it does come to pass that Beazer forces the Coffee Cup out then I hope they are able to find a place nearby for the restarant.

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There is no reason that they couldn't build vertical on top of the CC, like what was done with Tic Toc on N. Tryon....well, in this case the reason is the developer is Beazer.....other than that, no reason.

There is a 1950's diner here in my neighborhood that is surrounded by large scale residential and office development (about 150,000 per sq. mi.) and I rather enjoy tucked away, though granted it has more charm (metal sided diner style).

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I agree with atlrvr. There is absolutely no reason that Beazer couldn't incorporate the Coffee Cup into the design. And dub, I disagree that the building doesn't make a difference. The fact that its a concrete block building is part of its charm and is what makes it such a great equalizer (in social terms).

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if theres one thing worse than an old cinder block building - i can imagine it would be ANYTHING that beazer builds... especially after 15 years of age to it. build around it and maintain some character and history to the area. what makes the coffee cup special is the total package (the 4 P's)... people, place, product, and price. this is an urban setting - it should retain some of it's remnents. i liken this to the practice of national developers razing entire mature forest, so they don't have to work around anything... only to plant a bradford pear on all the parcels. bland and short-sighted.

i voted that it should be made historic... although i do think that dubone is right to say that is a stretch. it shouldn't have to come to that, but, if thats what it would take to save the place... then i would be for it.

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Making a cinderblock building a historic landmark seems a bit much to me. Put up a plaque, save the sign and furniture and put the Coffee Cup restaurant back into some retail space of the new development.

It isn't the building that made the restaurant special, it was the business and people.

But you could probably say that about any "historic" building. Elmininating this one from consideration just because it's not of a currently fashionable appearance or vintage seems a little short-sighted. Some of the old shotgun houses Charlotte worked so hard to preseve were pretty ugly and cheap-looking as well, but they were historically valuable despite their humble appearance. Basing the decision on its appearance is a little subjective; some of us actually like old cinderblock buildings. :rolleyes:

That said, I'd argue that -- as much as I might like for it to happen -- the city has no business mandating that it be spared. If the city wants to preserve it, the city should buy it and do so, not force the property owner to.

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Beazer could incorporate the building, it is just easier not to and they are far from creative. It is sad, with 20 acres, that they could not work with this property and keep something that is apparently important to a lot of people. This mentality is why much of our history is in the landfill.

Beazer builds boring homes out of cheap materials. At least they could do this for PR. Maybe this is all a stunt to get everyone behind saving The Cup and getting the city to hand over some cash to help.

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The building looks horrible and needs to go away. That being said, the building did stand for something.

I agree with dubone and I think the best way to honor that is with some type of memorial where people can walk by everyday and see racial integration in the new restaurants, shops, and homes in that area.

Don't keep the building..it's nasty....Even if the bars are removed from the windows !!

Just my opinion....

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Enough about the Coffee Cup. When is Beezer planning on breaking ground. Will it be condos are single family homes? It's a great location.

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Enough about the Coffee Cup. When is Beezer planning on breaking ground. Will it be condos are single family homes? It's a great location.

The article says January 07. Mix of residential, office, commerical. I hope it is better built and more innovative than Lela Courts. There is so much potential with 20 acres in that location to make this part of Morehead great or average. So far they have been average with their other projects.

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Poor Coffee Cup. Historic-no way. The food there wasn't even good but they did have the fatback biscut. If the Coffee Cup get historic status then so should Gus's Sir Beef.

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I don't care about the Coffee Cup so much in and of itself, but the fact that we can't seem to keep any older structures. I love the new and love the denser development, but we will end up looking like Disney or some other fake town if 10 years from now everything is new and you have no older structures to put the history of the city in context.

One of my favorite cities is Toronto. They have old and new mixed all over their downtown areas. You can find highrises built right behind 120 year old structures that are used for the entrance or other part of the project. I love the ability to see where the city was and were it is now. We are quickly getting rid of anything that will show "old Charlotte". It is an ugly building -- so are many of the buildings that are left, but it is a tiny part of this huge project and would show an awful lot off goodwill (I know, good luck expecting that out of a corporation) to save it or build around it.

Maybe that is becoming our problem -- we are so ready for new we easily discard the old.

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There are two major reasons to preserve a building - either for the architectural style in which it was built, or because of some historical significance to the area. I have lived in Charlotte for a long time and have never heard of or seen this place. Maybe I just don't get out enough. But to me the only reason to save this building is if it was historically significant. I agree with Dubone, I don't know how anyone can consider cinderblock buildings such as this historical.

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Every building that has been torn down in Charlotte is because the current inhabitants didn't think much of it but future generations thought they were crazy for getting rid of it. All of these lowrise places in Charlotte look just like each other and for once it would be nice if there was something distinctive about a property such as including the Coffee House restaurant. The fact that it is a hole in the wall joint is refreshing as this is something that has almost disappeared from downtown. Real cities have hole in the wall places where you can get cheap home cooked food and Charlotte is desperately short of this. A cinder block building makes it even better as replacing it with another fake stone/EFIS structure isn't going to add anything to the character of downtown Charlotte and in fact makes downtown more "sterile".

If we are hell bent on reproducing Ballentyne in downtown, albiet with taller buildings, then we are going to end up with the same kind of nothingness. I hope they keep the Coffee Cup Restaurant, cinder blocks and all. They won't of course because it is all about the bucks and the city council has shown that it is more interested in building Star Bucks instead of preserving some of the character of the city.

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I hope they keep it too. Too much of Clt history is being wiped out

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A cinder block building makes it even better as replacing it with another fake stone/EFIS structure isn't going to add anything to the character of downtown Charlotte and in fact makes downtown more "sterile".

Absolutely.

The idea that only sufficiently "cute" buildings deserve presevation is what's driving the trend toward cities that look like theme parks rather than cities that look like cities, a trend which is way too prevalent in Charlotte already, where we've bullodzed so much of our real urbanism in a misguided quest for some cartoon version of "urban lite".

I've always thought that the everyday buildings that are actually part of people's lives are much more important preservation targets than mansions and other grand structures the average person never sets foot in, because these everyday buildings show us how people actually lived their lives.

But I still don't think the poor sap who buys the property -- even if he is an unimaginative developer -- should be saddled with the full responsibility (not to mention the bill) for our preservation goals, particularly when he had no warning what he was getting himself into when he purchased the property.

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But I still don't think the poor sap who buys the property -- even if he is an unimaginative developer -- should be saddled with the full responsibility (not to mention the bill) for our preservation goals.

I agree, but am not sure what bills the developer would be stuck with. They might have a smaller profit margin due to not being able to build new on that one spot, but is that really more than a drop in the bucket for a developer that has 20 acres?

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I agree, but am not sure what bills the developer would be stuck with. They might have a smaller profit margin due to not being able to build new on that one spot, but is that really more than a drop in the bucket for a developer that has 20 acres?

Look at it this way: if you owned a 20-acre farm and the state wanted to take enough of your land to build a 1500 square-foot building in the middle of it, wouldn't you expect to be compensated for your inability to use that land as you wanted?

Plus, there are costs associated with "designing around" something. A good developer might figure out a way to do it as a goodwill gesture (or even as a selling point) but I'm a little uncomfortable mandating it, especially by changing the rules after he's already bought the land and started making plans.

But this debate is as old as the Constitution. Older even. There are compelling arguments on both sides, obviously.

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That building has always looked poorly kept up. I say if the owner cares so much about it, paint it, and I would maybe be for saving it. As it stands, I say tear it down, save the cute coffee cup sign, and bolt it on a new building that would look a lot better. That building doesn't say history to me, it says 'rundown'.

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Look at it this way: if you owned a 20-acre farm and the state wanted to take enough of your land to build a 1500 square-foot building in the middle of it, wouldn't you expect to be compensated for your inability to use that land as you wanted?

Plus, there are costs associated with "designing around" something. A good developer might figure out a way to do it as a goodwill gesture (or even as a selling point) but I'm a little uncomfortable mandating it, especially by changing the rules after he's already bought the land and started making plans.

But this debate is as old as the Constitution. Older even. There are compelling arguments on both sides, obviously.

Maybe I should have been more clear. I would just like for it to stay. I don't think the developer should be forced to keep it or should be economically hurt. I think many developers are short sighted and take the easy route for everything. Tearing this down is the easy route. I also believe in putting your money where your mouth is. If so many "movers and shakers" eat there and love the place, buy it from Beazer at a fair market value and keep it up'n'runnin'. That, of course, won't happen because people like to complain more than they like to actually do something.

In an overall sense it is just a shame that we can't seem to hold on to any of our history.

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In an overall sense it is just a shame that we can't seem to hold on to any of our history.

I couldn't agree more. It will be a tragedy to see the place go, and, unfortunately, it's almost certainily a goner. I wish the city could come up with some attractive incentives or a purchase offer myself. It's probably not gonna happen, though. Which is a pity.

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Although many would consider the 1928 Ratcliffe Flower building on S. Tryon to be a bit more historically significant, I firmly believe the Coffee Cup could be incorporated into the architects design similar to what happened with Ratcliffe's. Charlotte, has bulldozed too many of it's old buildings and once they are gone, they are gone forever. It should be saved, IMO.

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Although many would consider the 1928 Ratcliffe Flower building on S. Tryon to be a bit more historically significant, I firmly believe the Coffee Cup could be incorporated into the architects design similar to what happened with Ratcliffe's. Charlotte, has bulldozed too many of it's old buildings and once they are gone, they are gone forever. It should be saved, IMO.

I have to agree. Why can't it be incorporated into the new development like the Ratcliffe? After reading most of the posts to this particular topic, I am seeing a common thought process. Charlotte is becoming too "Disneyfied". What was actually one of the things that drew me to move down here is now one of the things that irritates me about living here.

Where I lived up north seemed old and nothing new was happening - in terms of development or construction. It was depressing. Here was Charlotte with all kinds of potential, yet it had that southern charm too.

I guess my rhetorical question would be is where is the concern for those things that are unique to Charlotte? I'm not talking about just restaraunts either. There is way too much bulldozing going on; and it is happening at an alarming rate.

Save the cup!!! I will readily admit I have never stopped in, but drive by it on the way to work every day. But that won't stop me from wanting a piece of Charlotte's past to be retained.

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I think it has a good chance of winning historic designation. This will at least throw a temporary wrench in Beazer's plans and the city can move to protect it during this time. I think Beazer's offer of space in their new development is insulting.

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