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monsoon

Tear down Historic Houses for Condos?

Should Charlotte Approve the demolition of historic houses for condo development?   73 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Charlotte Approve the demolition of historic houses for condo development?

    • Yes
      32
    • No
      38
    • Indifferent
      3

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94 posts in this topic

This story describes a proposal to tear down 4 more 100 year old houses so more condos can be built in First w\Ward. I can't say I am familiar with these particular houses, but they do sound as if they are in bad shape. But the issue goes beyond what is happening in First Ward and into all close in neighborhoods as land becomes much more valuable than the structures that sit on them.

Should Charlotte allow developers to tear down historic private residences and replace them with denser condos?

Hopefully we will get some good discussion on the matter.

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This story describes a proposal to tear down 4 more 100 year old houses so more condos can be built in First w\Ward.  I can't say I am familiar with these particular houses, but they do sound as if they are in bad shape.  But the issue goes beyond what is happening in First Ward and into all close in neighborhoods as land becomes much more valuable than the structures that sit on them. 

Should Charlotte allow developers to tear down historic private residences and replace them with denser condos? 

Hopefully we will get some good discussion on the matter.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

IMHO, they should leave them up IF there is a historic designation to be had and if the residences can be restored to their former glory. It doesn't sound like either of those is going to happen. Two of them are actually empty right now and it sounds like the resident in a third has about had it. It's their property, let them do what they want with it. If someone comes along with a matching offer and wants to restore them, then fine, that would be best. That seems unlikely.

First Ward looks like a movie set right now, but don't worry, 100 years will pass quick enough and then it will be all beat up again.

:blush:

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Room must be made for progress. We all want the old buildings and housing in and around downtown to stay, but that limits our downtown from becoming what we want it to. Means more sprawl so why fight it? It's progress. I think unless they can restore them to their natural glory, then begone with them.

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I am not a strict presevationist, but i voted that they should not tear down these homes for condos. If they were tearing them down for a large park, or something that could not be built anywhere else in the city, that would be one thing, but condos?.... First ward, and Charlotte in general, needs to keep something of its past.

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Charlotte has never had a strong sense of history or shown much inclination to save historic structures. Downtown Charlotte reals lacks that blend of old and new that most cities have. Is it really asking too much to save four houses, that would at least give a glimpse of what Charlotte's past was like? Unless some rich fatcat banker or professional team owner gets behind the effort to salvage them, these too will fall to the wrecking ball.

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I have never been a fan of tearing down history, but there is nothing grand about these houses. I just drove by the area in First Ward this morning to take a look after I read the article. The houses are smallish and in pretty bad condition. I really don't think the neighborhood will miss them or their sense of "history". From the site plan and the rendering I saw, the Drakeford condos are much improved from their original design and should fit it nicely with the rest of the neighborhood if their built. Just my $.02.

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Let the people do what the want. The Drakeford Company is a small company and they certainly aren't bullying the homeowners......as the article mentioned, one owner is thrilled to get out of these houses. As far as former glory, these houses never really had a glory. They are typicaly houses of 1st ward, but certainly not some of the finer examples (which were torn down by the city 50 years ago). These houses are honestly eyesores. Charlotte has plenty of historic houses in 3rd and 4th Wards that are in much better shape and were more significant orignally. Preserve what is worth preserving and stop feeling guilty over past transgressions......

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IMHO, they should leave them up IF there is a historic designation to be had and if the residences can be restored to their former glory.

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Even after these condos are built there will still be 4 houses left...so history will be preserved. I don't think they are eyesores...in fact one of the 4 houses that will remain is owned by Barry Silberman...the guy in charge of Arena Operations for the Charlotte Bobcats. He is in the process of renovating it right now.

I personally know both people who live next to the houses and also people that live in the houses now that are selling. I also know the developer, Bobby Drakeford. All of them are nice people with obviously differeing opinions. Since the Meck Historical Commision decided not to classify these as historical then I am not going to protest the rezoning.

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Even after these condos are built there will still be 4 houses left...so history will be preserved. I don't think they are eyesores...in fact one of the 4 houses that will remain is owned by Barry Silberman...the guy in charge of Arena Operations for the Charlotte Bobcats. He is in the process of renovating it right now.

I personally know both people who live next to the houses and also people that live in the houses now that are selling. I also know the developer, Bobby Drakeford. All of them are nice people with obviously differeing opinions. Since the Meck Historical Commision decided not to classify these as historical then I am not going to protest the rezoning.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks for the update, u/l.

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As the article in the Charlotte Observor states, the houses were never originally there anyway. they were moved there. From where they were moved the article does not say.....but if they were never originally there 100 years ago, go ahead and tear them down for something better. By the way, when will we see rendering of this condo project?

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I am studying Historic Preservation at UGA.

Before you purchase a property to restore, it's important to inspect the structure, starting with the roof. Is it leaking? (yes) Then move to the walls. Are they rotten? (yes) There is more to the checklist, but if those two fail and the toilet has fallen through the floor, the house cannot be "restored." You would have to rebuild it, making it a new house. Water damage is very serious, if left unchecked. It also sounds like any decorative woodwork and original details the houses may have had is now gone.

I would say let go of them. They can't be saved. I would guess this is why they aren't classified historic. They failed inspection. The development that will repace them sounds like a quality product that will improve home values and bring life to that section of the street. Focus restoration efforts on the four remaining houses that are sound.

Sometimes moving a house is the only way to save it. Just because it has moved, doesn't mean it's no longer of historic value to the neighborhood, county or city. If a house is still in good shape, all efforts should be made to save it, including moving it.

When restoring for a museum, feel free to remove all additions. If restoring for residential use, leave the additions (if you want) and rework them to look like they are original to the house. Times change, and your home should keep up with the times, but still retain it's historic character on the outside (and inside if you want to go all-out). I would suggest adding matching windows, bays and searching a salvage yard to help your additions match the rest of the house.

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Just because something is old, does not necessarily mean its historic. Perhaps in a literal sense, yes, but in this case, as mentioned above, the houses have been moved, altered, left practically uninhabitable and in one case, dangerous and worthy of being condemned. Where was the outcry and the sense of history and authenticity when the aluminum siding company came calling? Given their condition, they wouldn't do very well as living museums (okay kids, hold your buddy's hand and watch out for falling toilets!). I do think it was good foresight to preserve an actually historic, unaltered example of this type of original 1st W housing at the AACC to be shared with visitors and future generations.

I agree with the idea that if someone wanted to buy up those houses and rebuild them as replicas that would be one thing (although, then we're talking about replicas and not authentic history anyway). Here, we have an upfront, willing buyer and willing sellers. As long as the proposed plan will complement the neighborhood, I'm for it.

On a side note, I wonder if the protesting homeowners realize how much more rare (i.e. valuable) their own single-family lots will become as the supply continues to shrink.

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Just because something is old, does not necessarily mean its historic. Perhaps in a literal sense, yes, but in this case, as mentioned above, the houses have been moved, altered, left practically uninhabitable and in one case, dangerous and worthy of being condemned. Where was the outcry and the sense of history and authenticity when the aluminum siding company came calling? Given their condition, they wouldn't do very well as living museums (okay kids, hold your buddy's hand and watch out for falling toilets!). I do think it was good foresight to preserve an actually historic, unaltered example of this type of original 1st W housing at the AACC to be shared with visitors and future generations.

I agree with the idea that if someone wanted to buy up those houses and rebuild them as replicas that would be one thing (although, then we're talking about replicas and not authentic history anyway). Here, we have an upfront, willing buyer and willing sellers. As long as the proposed plan will complement the neighborhood, I'm for it.

On a side note, I wonder if the protesting homeowners realize how much more rare (i.e. valuable) their own single-family lots will become as the supply continues to shrink.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

All the houses are not inhabitable...only one has the toilet falling through the floor. You can't take a story about 1 of the houses and apply it globally to all of them. That said I still agree with the new condo project...since the other 4 will remain. The fact that the houses were moved is not a big deal in this case....they were moved from 2 blocks down the street so that Charlotte could build Earle Village, so they are native First Ward houses.

The shotgun houses your reference at the Afro-American Cultural Center are not native to First Ward...they were moved from Bland St which is in modern day SouthEnd.

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Room must be made for progress.  We all want the old buildings and housing in and around downtown to stay, but that limits our downtown from becoming what we want it to.  Means more sprawl so why fight it?  It's progress.  I think  unless they can restore them to their natural glory, then begone with them.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

They way I see it, the community needs to get to gether and decide whether or not they really want these bulidings to say. I've not seen them myself, but I can relate. A similar situation happened a couple years ago here in Columbia where USC wanted to bulid an inn and demolish two dilapidated and abandoned houses to do so. The local historical preservation people came together and basicly forced USC to compromise by incorporating these houses into the design of the inn. So maybe this structure could somehow incorporate the two houses.

I generally am not a preservationist, but I also don't think you should go through and tear down every building without thinking about it. My hometown of Spartanburg has removed large sections of its downtown in the name of "progress" and has paid the price. But I suppose hindsight is 20/20.

I sounds to me like these houses really aren't worth saving. Perhaps a deal could be made to add the other 4 houses to the historic places list or something to that effect.

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There are two definitions of Historic House/Building. A structure that is important to history (former President or town founder lived there, etc) and a structure that existed in the past (these four houses existed 95-100 years ago and fit in that category). If any of them are sound (no water damage/rotting load bearing beams), then the community should look into saving them. In many cases, the original siding and/or wood shingles are below the 60's/70's aluminum siding. There are also many craftsmen who can build original 2 over 2 windows to match existing windows or you can buy new 2 over 2 windows that are more energy efficient. For trim, there are a number of companies and even scrap yards where you can find a match for woodwork in old photos or on other houses in the neighborhood. These four however sound like they are not in good shape and can't be saved.

the houses have been moved

if they were never originally there 100 years ago, go ahead and tear them down for something better

These houses, on the other hand, have been moved

Moving a house is not always a bad thing. Just because it has been moved, doesn't mean it's no longer historic or worth saving.

http://www.cmhpf.org/site-pix/victoria.jpg

/\ This house (click the link above) was moved from Uptown Charlotte's North Tryon Street to Plaza Midwood's The Plaza. It's clearly 25+ years older than the other homes in the neighborhood. I would ask anyone who thinks moving a house makes it not worth saving to think about this example. Moving a home is a good way to save history and an option that should always be considered. In a city like Charlotte, it would be nothing to raise the money to move and save. Sometimes you can move a house, fix the roof and do some temporary fixes until a buyer can be found to restore a home.

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For an office building that is going up on 3rd St they are moving the house to an empty lot before building the new office building.

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For an office building that is going up on 3rd St they are moving the house to an empty lot before building the new office building.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is that the yellow house at third/queens/hawthorne?

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The old Alexander-Rea house was moved to the corner of Alexander and Providence in south Charlotte from it's original location that was recently developed.

Supposedly it's gonna be fixed up, but I haven't seen much work done on it for the past year.

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How did the hearing go last night for the 8th street project? Were there a lot of speakers against? How did the council/planning staff respond?

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They showed a nice rendering of the project...it looks really nice. There were 3 speakers signed up apposed to the project...and 2 speakers in favor of the project plus the developer. The most interesting speaker for me was the pastor of the Little Rock AME Zion Church. He has members that are both opposed and in favor of the project...so he diplomatically said that he approved it.

Council Reaction was wondering if some of the houses could be saved by moving them to another site. Bobby Drakeford the developer said he was looking into that but it did not look promising. Council will make a decision at next month's zoning meeting. The Planning Staff says they support the project...the Planning Commision has not weighed in on the project yet.

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It appears the 1st Ward HOW has voted against the zoning which would allow the houses to be torn down. Will be interesting to see how the Charlotte City Council decides to vote on this one.

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"A developer offered Monday to save one of four century-old homes he had planned to demolish to make room for a condominium complex in First Ward "

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/news/10959157.htm

The observer reported today that the developer (Drakeford) is offering to save one of the houses if they are moved. I think that is a reasonable deal.

The house they are offering to save is the one i like the least, but it would still be a good compromise.

Now that i see that they are "four century-old", i've changed my tune on the historicity! they predate the country! ;)

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