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Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Historic Landmarks Commission

Minutes

May 12, 2003

 

 

Place: 2100 Randolph Road, Charlotte, N. C.

Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Present:

Ms. Tattie Bos/Mayor, HLC Treas., Finance Com Chair, Projects Vice-Chair

Mr. Jeff Bradsher/County, HLC Chairman

Ms. Deborah Cox/City, Survey Com. Chair

Mr. Scott Hirsch/City, Design Review Com. Chair

Ms. Yolanda Johnson-Gess/City, Nominating Committee Chair

Mr. Joseph B. C. Kluttz/County, Survey Committee Vice-Chair

Mr. John E. Misenheimer/County, HLC Vice-Chair, Rural Hill Schoolhouse Com. Chair

Mr. Len Norman/County

Mr. John J. Parker, III/Mayor, Projects Committee Chairman

Ms. ross Richardson/County, Education Committee Chair

Mr. Mike Sullivan/County, Education Com. Vice-Chair

Dr. Dan L. Morrill, HLC Consulting Director

Mr. Bryan Turner, HLC Projects Manager

Mr. Stewart Gray, HLC Consultant

Ms. Patricia Nystrom, HLC Attorney

Ms. Mary Lynn Morrill, HLC Recording Consultant

Absent:

Ms. Amy Hockett/City, Design Review Com. Vice-Chair

Ms. Ross Richardson/County, Education Committee Chair

Visitors:

John H. Thrower (Memorial Stadium)

Brent A. Rosser (ADA Cotton Mill)

Bob Silverman (Highland Mill)

Lisa Gray (Charlotte Trolley)

Neal Broome (Memorial Stadium)

J. Miller (S. 21)

Nick Copsis (S. 21)

Ellen Rogers (Highland Mill)

Paul Davall

Woody Farmer

Scott Tyler (Charlotte Trolley)

Valerie Lewis

Item #1 - Approval of Minutes

MR. HIRSCH PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. MISENHEIMER THAT THE MINUTES FOR APRIL 14, 2003, BE APPROVED AS DISTRIBUTED. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

MR. HIRSCH PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MS. JOHNSON-GESS THAT THE EXECUTIVE SESSION MINUTES FOR APRIL 14, 2003, BE APPROVED AS DISTRIBUTED. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

 

Item #2 - Chairman’s Report: Mr. Bradsher

Mr. Bradsher welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Mr. Bradsher reminded everyone to plan to attend the public hearing scheduled with the City on May 19. The properties being considered are the Armature Winding Company, Grand Theater, Parks Hutchinson School, the Newcombe-McElwee House and additional acreage for White Oak Plantation.

Mr. Bradsher encouraged everyone to attend the appreciation dinner for Deborah Cox after the Survey Committee meeting on Thursday, June 5.

Mr. Bradsher extended a special thank you to the Education Committee for the lovely thirty year celebration event held on May 1 at the Charlotte Cotton Mill. He thanked all Commissioners who attended. Best Impressions Catering donated the delicious food.

 

Item #3 - Director’s Report: Dr. Morrill

Dr. Morrill reported that in addition to next week’s public hearings, other public hearings are scheduled for June 16th. The hearings will include: Bryant park, Elmwood-Pinewood Cemetery, and the Calvin Neal House.

Dr. Morrill reported that all papers have been signed for the closing on the Croft Schoolhouse. He said that this brings to a close a five-year process for the saving of this property.

Dr. Morrill reported that the issue of the streetcar barn continues to evolve. The Board of County Commissioners will decide on May 20th whether it will commit $1.5 million of Land Bond money, as requested by the HLC, to the purchase of the Bland Street building. Dr. Morrill said that he will not be able to be present due to a prior commitment to speak at the Charlotte Museum of History.

Dr. Morrill reported that Attorney Patricia Nystrom continues to have discussions with Charlotte Trolley about the transfer of title of Streetcar 85 to that body. As you remember, the HLC wanted clarification from CATS as to whether it would be necessary for CATS to hold title in order to be able to spend Federal money on the restoration of the streetcar. Charlotte Trolley and CATS have been working on an operations agreement, which specifies that Charlotte Trolley can and will hold title to the streetcar as long as Charlotte Trolley exists and would be transferred to CATS thereafter if necessary.

MR. MISENHEIMER PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. NORMAN TO AUTHORIZE ATTORNEY PATRICIA NYSTROM TO PREPARE THE APPROPRIATE DOCUMENTS TO TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OF STREETCAR 85 TO CHARLOTTE TROLLEY, INC., SUBJECT TO THE COMMISSION’S CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL OF SUCH DOCUMENTS AT A FUTURE MEETING OF THE COMMISSION. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

Dr. Morrill reported that Ms. Belle Banks, the owner of Cedar Grove Plantation, has requested that historic landmarks designation be removed from the entire property. Dr. Morrill said that he met with her and the planning director of the Town of Huntersville, at the Huntersville Town Hall on May 8th. Dr. Morrill said that Ms. Banks did agree to allow staff to develop a proposal that would retain historic landmarks designation for a lesser amount of land. Staff will make that proposal and take it to the next meeting of the Survey Committee.

Dr. Morrill said that the HLC has received a proposal for the development of the W. T. Alexander Plantation. He said that the Projects Committee has appointed a subcommittee to investigate the proposal and to make a recommendation to the Projects Committee at its next meeting.

Dr. Morrill reported that National Register Study List Applications for the Sidney and Ethel Grier House, the Grier-Rea House, and the Rozzel House have been received by the North Carolina Division of Archives and History.

Dr. Morrill announced that the HLC was not awarded a Grant from the N. C. Division of Archives and History to survey signage and miscellaneous structures in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. He said that the State only had $67,000 to distribute State-wide.

Dr. Morrill reported that the lawyer representing the owners of the Ada Manufacturing Company has requested that the HLC table its consideration of this matter for 30 days, so the attorney can become fully informed on the consequences of historic landmarks designation.

Dr. Morrill said that discussions continue with the County about next year’s operational budget for the Historic landmarks Commission. He anticipates that the HLC will be able to continue its current level of operations but that approval of betterments is unlikely.

Dr. Morrill reported that Historic Charlotte will be vacating its office space at the end of the month. The living room will be converted into a meeting room for smaller groups.

Dr. Morrill reported that the HLC has received a letter with respect to the East Trade Street (400 block) properties where the new Arena will be built. He said that the HLC can consider the matter under the Projects Committee report.

Dr. Morrill reported that Staff will be writing a letter to officials of Queens University about the prospective designation of the Lethco House on Roswell Avenue. Queens University now owns the property which will be used as the residence of the University’s President.

Dr. Morrill reported that Staff will be presenting to the next meeting of the Survey Committee a report documenting the history of additional land to be included in a historic landmarks designation for the Oehler House. This is in response to a request from the Huntersville Town Board.

Dr. Morrill reported that construction has begun on the new pavilion building (classroom and bathrooms) at Rural Hill Plantation. The foundation is being built beneath the Grier-Rea House. Final construction drawings are being done by Copeland Architects. Don Yelverton is expected to appear before the HLC later this evening to present conceptual plans for the Grier-Rea House.

 

Item #4 - Projects Committee Report: Mr. Parker and Ms. Bos

Mr. Parker reported that the Projects Committee met May 5, 2003. Minutes can be found on the HLC’s website - www.cmhpf.org - and are on file at the HLC office.

THE PROJECTS COMMITTEE PRESENTED A SECONDED MOTION THAT THE SIDNEY AND ETHEL GRIER HOUSE, 4701 MCKEE ROAD, CHARLOTTE, N. C., BE RESTORED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PLANS PRESENTED BY COPELAND ARCHITECT, WHICH INCLUDES STABILIZATION, EXTERIOR FINISHING, AND INTERIOR RESTORATION TO BRING THE HOUSE TO THE PROPOSED SHELL CONDITION. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

THE PROJECTS COMMITTEE PRESENTED A SECONDED MOTION TO PURSUE PURCHASE OF THE YANDELL HOUSE, 129 MAIN STREET, PINEVILLE, N. C., SUBJECT TO THE PROPERTY’S BEING DESIGNATED AS A HISTORIC LANDMARKS BEFORE CLOSING. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

Dr. Morrill reported that the house will be referred to as the Oakley House from now on. Dr. Morrill said that the purchase of the house is contingent upon the historic designation of the house. He said that he will ask the Town of Pineville to consider sharing some of the costs with the HLC.

THE PROJECTS COMMITTEE PRESENTED A SECONDED MOTION TO MOVE AHEAD WITH THE PURCHASE OF THE GRAND THEATER, 333 BEATTIES FORD ROAD, CHARLOTTE, N. C., AND THAT ATTORNEY PATRICIA NYSTROM CONTACT THE OWNER TO EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITY OF NEGOTIATING A LOWER PURCHASE PRICE. THE COMMISSION APPROVED THE MOTION WITH A VOTE OF OPPOSITION CAST BY MR. PARKER.

Ms. Nystrom reported that she did contact the owner after the Projects Committee meeting and that the owner will not lower the purchase price.

A copy of a letter dated May 9, 2003, from James W. Schumacher, P. E., City Engineer, was distributed to each Commissioner’s seat regarding the four buildings in the 400 block of East Trade Street scheduled for demolition when the new Arena is built. The letter stated that the arena project schedule requires that the buildings be demolished beginning by July 1. The City would require a contract with the party by June 30, specifying the terms of the facades’ removal and the associated coasts. The Construction Manager’s estimate for removal, storage and reconstruction of the facades is $1,500,000. The contract amount for their removal and delivery to another location only would be a lesser amount, to be determined by the low bid of the demolition contractors. A predicted range for that cost would be $400,000 to $800,000. The arena Construction Manager will take bids from qualified demolition contractors, manage the work, and deliver the components to a specified storage location to be provided by the party.

MR. NORMAN PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. HIRSCH THAT THE HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION CONTINUE TO SEEK A PRESERVATION SOLUTION FOR THE ENDANGERED PRE-1920 STRUCTURES IN THE 400 BLOCK OF EAST TRADE STREET (401, 405, 409 and 411) , CHARLOTTE, N.C., AND THAT DR. MORRILL PREPARE A DRAFT OF A LETTER ON BEHALF OF THE HLC TO THE MAYOR OF CHARLOTTE AND THE CHARLOTTE CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS STATING THE HLC’S CONCERNS AND THAT THE LETTER BE SIGNED BY MEMBERS OF THE HLC. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

MR. PARKER PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. HIRSCH THAT THE HLC TABLE ANY MOTIONS REGARDING A LISTING AGREEMENT FOR THE CHARLOTTE COTTON MILL BUILDING "B" , 508 W. FIFTH STREET, CHARLOTTE, N. C., SO THAT ATTORNEY PATRICIA NYSTROM CAN COMPLETE HER NEGOTIATIONS WITH PAPPAS PROPERTIES AND REPORT TO THE COMMISSION. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

Mr. Parker said that the Highland Mill motion will be considered in Executive Session later in the meeting.

Item #5 - Design Review Committee Report: Mr. Hirsch

Mr. Hirsch reported that the Design Review Committee met April 29, 2003. No motions were presented. Design concepts were discussed for the Sidney and Ethel Grier House and for the Grier-Rea House. The minutes can be found on the HLC’s website - www.cmhpf.org. The Committee is scheduled to meet again May 27, 3002.

 

Item #6 - Survey Committee Report: Ms. Cox

Ms. Cox reported that the Survey Committee met April 24, 2003. Minutes can be found on the HLC’s website.

MS. COX PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. MISENHEIMER THAT THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ADA COTTON MILL, 630 W. 11TH STREET, CHARLOTTE, N. C., BE DELAYED FOR AN ADDITIONAL 30 DAYS. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

MS. COX PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. HIRSCH TO DEFER CONSIDERATION OF THE FRANK LYTLE HOUSE, 16829 HUNTERSVILLE-CONCORD ROAD, HUNTERSVILLE, N. C., AN ADDITIONAL 90 DAYS. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

The owners of the South 21 Curbside Restaurant were present to ask that the property not be processed for historic designation. The Survey Committee presented a motion at its January 30, 2003, meeting that the property (interior, exterior, and land associated with the tax parcel) be processed for historic designation.

MR. HIRSCH PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. SULLIVAN TO PROCESS THE SOUTH 21 CURBSIDE RESTAURANT’S SIGN, 3631 SOUTH BOULEVARD, CHARLOTTE, N. C., FOR HISTORIC DESIGNATION. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

Representative were present in support of the HLC’s recommending historic designation for the American Legion Memorial Stadium. Mr. Broome presented interesting photographs and information. Dr. Morrill gave a presentation of the property. He said that the integrity of the stadium has been compromised due to renovations, but that enough of the original structure is intact for the property to be considered historically noteworthy. Mr. Thrower was present in support of historic designation and a copy of his letter was distributed to each Commissioner. The HLC members understand that a baseball park is being discussed to replace the current stadium.

THE SURVEY COMMITTEE PRESENTED A SECONDED MOTION THAT THE AMERICAN LEGION MEMORIAL STADIUM, LOCATED BETWEEN SAM RYBURN WALK AND EAST SEVENTH ON EAST INDEPENDENCE BOULEVARD IN CHARLOTTE, N. C. (ENTIRE STADIUM AND AMOUNT OF PROPERTY TO INSURE ITS SETTING) BE PROCESSED FOR HISTORIC LANDMARK DESIGNATION. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

Mr. Gray presented a Survey and Research report on the Oakley (formerly called Yandell) House. The house, located on .96 acres of land, was built in 1920 on Main Street in Pineville, before the paving of the street in 1925.

MS. COX PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MS. BOS THAT THE OAKLEY HOUSE, 129 MAIN STREET, PINEVILLE, N. C. (INTERIOR, EXTERIOR, AND ENTIRE TAX PARCEL) BE PROCESSED FOR HISTORIC DESIGNATION. THE COMMISSION PASSED THE MOTION WITH MR. KLUTTZ ABSTAINING FROM THE VOTE AND MR. HIRSCH CASTING A VOTE OPPOSING THE MOTION.

THE SURVEY COMMITTEE PRESENTED A SECONDED MOTION THAT THE REID HOUSE, 136 MAIN STREET, PINEVILLE, N. C., AND THE SHAW HOUSE, 2400 MECKLENBURG AVENUE, CHARLOTTE, N. C., BE PLACED ON THE HLC’S INVENTORY LIST. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

THE SURVEY COMMITTEE PRESENTED A SECONDED MOTION THAT STAFF PERFORM A FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR CONDUCTING A CENTER CITY SURVEY. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

 

Item #7 - Education Committee Report: Ms. Richardson & Mr. Sullivan

Mr. Sullivan reported that the Education Committee met April 28, 2003, to make final arrangements for the "Celebrating Three Decades of Preserving Our City-County Heritage" event which was held Thursday, May 1, 2003, at 8:30 a.m., at the Charlotte Cotton Mill, 508 W. 5th Street. He said that Best Impressions Caterers donated the food and drinks. Edgar Love, the HLC Chairman in 1974, Jeff Bradsher, Ross Richardson and Dan Morrill spoke at the occasion. The Kenneth Whitsett mural was displayed.

 

Item #8 - Rural Hill Schoolhouse Report: Mr. Misenheimer

Mr. Misenheimer reported that the concrete pad is in place for the classroom/bathroom facility which will accompany the Davidson Schoolhouse at Rural Hill. He said that the Scottish Valley Scottish Society is interested in co-hosting with the HLC a special opening event for the new building.

 

Item #9 - Treasurer’s Report: Ms. Bos

Ms. Bos reported that she, Mr. Norman, Mr. Turner and Dr. Morrill met April 25, 2003, to discuss and evaluate the bond fund’s financial condition. She said that the Committee recommends that the County audit the HLC’s bond fund.

Mr. Sullivan left the meeting at this point - 7:30 p.m.

 

Item #10 - Nominating Committee Report: Ms. Johnson-Gess

Ms. Johnson-Gess presented the Nominating Committee’s (Ms. Johnson-Gess, Chr., Mr. Hirsch, Ms. Hockett) proposed slate of HLC officers for fiscal year 2003-2004 as follows:

Mr. Bradsher, HLC Chairman

Mr. Misenheimer, HLC Vice-Chairman

Ms. Boss, HLC Secretary

Mr. Sullivan, HLC Treasurer

Ms. Johnson-Gess said that the vote for officers will be held at the June 9, 2003, meeting, and that nominations can be made from the floor.

 

Item #11 - Old Business

Mr. Parker reported that the Projects Committee approved a motion in Executive Session at the May 5th meeting recommending that HLC Staff develop a bottom line money figure that the HLC can afford to assist in the Highland Mills Restoration being undertaken by Winter Properties. Ms. Nystrom explained the details of the situation. The HLC cannot loan money for projects with revolving bond fund money. Ms. Rogers was present from Bank of America, the bank which will lend Winter Properties the money for the project, to answer questions. She said that BofA has no comps to compare this project to, that it is a risk, but that due to the success of Winter Properties in Atlanta, that the bank feels comfortable making the loan for the Highland Mills Project. The bank will not loan the entire amount needed for the project without additional guarantees, however, and that is why the HLC’s help is needed for this important designated historic landmark located in North Charlotte. Mr. Silverman was present from Winter Properties to answer questions and to explain the proposed project. Winter Properties would sell the HLC a specific section of the mill for restoration with a yet undetermined amount of bond funds, and then Winter Properties will buy back the section owned by the HLC under certain proposed conditions not firmly in place.

MR. HIRSCH PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MR. NORMAN THAT THE HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION CONVENE IN EXECUTIVE SESSION. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

MR. MISENHEIMER PRESENTED A MOTION SECONDED BY MS. COX THAT THE HISTORIC LANDMARKS COMMISSION RECONVENE IN ITS REGULAR SESSION. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MOTION.

The HLC voted in Executive Session to make every effort to be involved with the Highland Mills restoration project subject to a satisfactory contract.

 

Item #12 - New Business

No new business was presented.

 

The meeting adjourned at approximately 9:00 p.m.