Historic Myers Park in Charlotte
After finishing their monumental design for the forest and gardens of Biltmore in Asheville, the Frederick Law Olmstead firm was commissioned to designed Charlotte’s first planned suburb, Dilworth, at the turn of the 20th century. With the success of Dilworth, a large farm just to the east was the next area to become a “Streetcar Suburb”, close to the center of Charlotte. Owned by the Myers family, the farm would be called “Myers Park”, and the first homes were constructed in 1911. Designed by Harvard trained landscape architect, John Nolen, Myers Park’s curvy avenues followed the contours of the hilly land, and featured parks, a country club and golf course, gates, and the expanded campus for Queen’s College, an all female liberal arts school. The design concepts Nolen executed in Myers Park forever changed the concept of suburban planning in Charlotte. Few suburbs in the United States have exhibited this level of planning. The neighborhood’s planning was so significant that it became a model for surrounding cities and saw the rise of many southern landscape artists, who went on to plan hundreds of neighborhoods across the south inspired by Myers Park.
Charlotte had become the leading textile manufacturing city in America, and the wealthy owners of these large corporations chose to build their mansions in Myers Park. Today, that original district is on the National Register of Historic Places, designated as a historic neighborhood in 1995. The architecture in the district is a mix of Colonial Revival, Bungalow, American Craftsmen, and English Tudor. Each property features professionally designed gardens, and there’s no better time to appreciate their incredible beauty than in Spring, when the Azaleas, Dogwood, and Japanese Maples are in full display.
This small cottage, a later addition to the district, was one of my favorites…