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Where did part of North Myers Street go?

01 Jan

I was doing so research into my next entry about the old Abbie’s Apartment House which was listed in the 1957 Hills Charlotte City Directory as the “finest hotel for Negros”.  As many of you know, this was during the Jim Crow era which by law and custom, travelers had to stay in separate hotels.  White travelers could stay in the Hotel Charlotte or the Barringer Hotel which blacks had to stay at the Hotel Alexander or the Ebony Guest House.  But when I went to photograph where the hotel was located at 516 North Myers Street, I found this:

This would have been the 500 block - the street was removed during urban renewal.  Photo taken by the author on December 31, 2014.

This would have been the 500 block – the street was removed during urban renewal. Photo taken by the author on December 31, 2014.

Which leads me to another question, why was this part of North Myers Street taken out?  This area, known as First Ward could count as its residents people such as Bishop George Clinton of the AME Zion Church, Thad Tate who not only had a successful barber shop, but also co-founded several business’ including the Mecklenburg Investment Company.  But, I am digressing somewhat and let me get back to my original question.

According to a 1935 Charlotte City map, Myers Street extended north to 12th Street:

1935 Charlotte City Map Courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

1935 Charlotte City Map Courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

The street was still complete in a 1962 map, but by the early 1980’s, the 500 block was gone.

While Charlotte has bulldozed not only buildings but also its streets to accommodate the city’s growth. Streets that people may remember from the 1940s and 1950s may have had their routes or names changed or eliminated altogether.  While most people that visit our city often complain about streets that change names sometimes in the middle of an intersection (think of the intersection of Woodlawn Road at South Tryon Street, Woodlawn Road turns into the Billy Graham Parkway).  I’ll be exploring more streets in upcoming entries that have either been plowed under in the name of progress, changed names or had their route changed due to progress.

I hope you will take this journey with me.

Happy New Year!

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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Streets

 

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