Mobile Workshop – Hidden Gems of HerStory: Tour of Charlotte’s History

8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Enjoy a guided history tour of Charlotte. Sights will include:

  1. The beautiful Myers Park neighborhood: Myers Park was designed by noted planner John Nolen the early 20th century and was called at the time the “finest unified subdivision south of Baltimore.” Nolen hired the landscape architect Earle Sumner Draper to turn the almost treeless farmland into a suburban park. Willow, oak, tulip poplar, and elm were selected to grace the sidewalks and gardens, and they now give the neighborhood the feeling of “a city in a forest.” The neighborhood includes fine examples of period architecture.
  2. A swing by the Charlotte Mint: This visit will include discussion of the first U.S. gold rush which occurred here in North Carolina.
  3. A drive through the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood. Plaza-Midwood was first established in 1910 as a streetcar suburb of Charlotte. The Oakland Land Company was responsible for the layout of the roads within the neighborhood. Through the Great Depression, Plaza-Midwood would thrive, before its decline commenced in the 1950s. By 1975, the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association was established to protect and preserve the neighborhood. Since the mid-1990s, the area has seen a dramatic comeback as reinvestment has transformed once dilapidated homes into funky urban dwellings. Plaza-Midwood’s Historic District is located in the western section of the neighborhood and is maintained by residents and business operators. The area along The Plaza, Thomas Avenue and parts of Pecan and Clement were designated as a Local Historic District in 1992.
  4. Stop at Historic Hezekiah Alexander Home or Rosedale Plantation: We’ll take a stop here for a snack.
  5. A drive through 4th Ward. The historic Fourth Ward neighborhood artfully blends restored 100-plus-year-old Victorian homes with luxury condominiums, urban apartments, parks and businesses. This collection of quaint and charming meets urban contemporary offers a residential experience that has made Fourth Ward a premier uptown community.
  6. Swing by Biddle Hall at Johnson C. Smith University: Biddle Memorial Hall was constructed in 1884. It was the first substantial building erected on the current campus of Johnson C. Smith University, formerly Biddle University), and is the oldest surviving structure on the campus. The school was founded to prepare former slaves for freedom.

Tour Guide:  Dr. Tom Hanchett is a community historian in Charlotte, NC. Previously he served as Staff Historian for 16 years at Levine Museum where he curated the permanent exhibition Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers (named best in the Southeast by the South East Museums Conference), and a string of national-award-winning temporary exhibitions including COURAGE about the Carolina roots of the Brown v Board Civil Rights case. Tom’s writings range widely on urban history and Southern culture: a book about Charlotte’s neighborhoods, Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class & Urban Development in Charlotte(UNC Press); an essay exploring the history of US shopping malls; a monthly newspaper column Food From Home; and more. Educated at Cornell University, University of Chicago, and UNC Chapel Hill, he plays fiddle.

Type: Bus and limited walking

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