North Charlotte represents an important phase
in making Charlotte the city it is today. North
Charlotte, a National Register Historic District,
is located 2 miles north of uptown at North Davidson
and 36th Street.
The area flourished as a powerhouse in the NC Textile
Industry from 1903 to 1975. This textile community
functioned as a self-contained village separated
from the city of Charlotte by farms and fields.
After the 1975 closing of it's last mill, North
Charlotte was all but forgotten until the 1980s.
This decade brought young artists into the area
who had a vision of developing a new art community
for Charlotte residents.
Please review our slideshow for highlights of a
few of the historic spots in the area we now refer
to as NoDa (short for North Davidson Street). Also,
feel free to by and see how the new mill home owners,
the old textile mill owners and the business district
are coming together to support the reemergence of
an early 1900s neighborhood.
Timeline (please refer to slideshow above right
for the photos (by number))
February 1903 – Charlotte Observer announces
the start of construction the first electric driven
mill. Located on the 3000 block of North Davidson
Street in North Charlotte, it was called the Highland
Manufacturing Company #3 (1). Its
designer Stuart Cramer would also develop the mill
homes around the mill – creating the first
mill village in North Charlotte. By the end of the
textile age of North Charlotte over 200 mill homes
will have been built.
May 1903 Mecklenburg Mill (2) later
referred to as the Mercury Mill was also built in
North Charlotte it was much smaller but did develop
a small mill village.
June 1903 The Charlotte Observer reported that there
was would be 80 mill homes (3)
in the North Charlotte Mill area and they were going
up at a rate of a dozen a day.
1903 - A two block commercial district was developed
with the mill villages and provided the first Pharmacy
in North Charlotte in 1905, Hands Pharmacy (4).
1904 The Costner House was built (5).
1913 Charles Worth Johnston established the Johnston
Mill (6) south of the Mecklenburg
Mill on North Davidson Street.
1929 The commercial district included a barbershop,
drug store, lunchroom, doctor’s office and
five small grocery stores (7).
1936 The Charlotte Fire Department established Engine
1943-45 Stores were built on 36th Street including
the Astor Movie Theatre (9).
1951 David R. Johnston, grandson of the North Charlotte’s
founder and now in charge of the Johnston, Mecklenburg
and Highland Park #3 built a large red brick community
center and was made available as the new home of
the North Charlotte Branch YMCA (10).
1969 Highland Mill #3 and the Mecklenburg Mill Closed.
1975 Johnston Mill ceased operations; Charlotte
was no longer a textile-manufacturing city.
1986 Paul Sires and Ruth Ava Lyons, 2 young artists,
arrived in the now dilapidated and neglected mill
village and became captivated by the areas character.
They bought and renovated the Lowder Building (11)
as well as several other store fronts and mill house.
Starting the revitalization and transformation of
an abandoned mill village into a community for the
2003 North Charlotte now know as Noda is Charlotte’s
Historic Arts District is now attracting the attention
of both old and new residents of Charlotte as the
place to go for a bit of culture, good food, nostalgia
and of course fun (12).
Mill #3: first electric driven Mill, currently being
renovated for 90 apartments and retail space.
(2) Mecklenburg Mill: currently
(3) 2815 Yadkin Avenue: 103 year old mill house,
also used in the movie 'Carrie 2 The Rage'
(4)Hands Pharmacy: first
pharmacy in North Charlotte, currently, Cabo Fish Taco
(5)Costner House: converted
from boarding house to the new Mellow Mushroom, Pizza Eatery
(6)Johnston Mill: closed
1975, currently apartments
(7)Old Street Scene
(8)CFD Engine #7: established
1936, built with a 2 cell jail for the rowdy mill workers.
(9) Astro Theatre: now the Neighborhood Theatre,
entertaining 6 days a week
(11)Lowder Building: the beginning
source for North Charlotte’s rejuvenation