The history of Second Ward and the history of Charlotte will help mold our future development. In every instance our history gives us clues to provide a better tomorrow. The successes and failures of urban redevelopment in both Charlotte and in cities across the country will help guide our decisions for such a historically significant part of our downtown.
The history of Second Ward reaches back to the beginning of the 19th century where the very diversified community of Second Ward thrived for several decades. The neighborhood of "Brooklyn", taken from Brooklyn New York in the early 1900's, represented a self-sustainable town within a town. The thriving mixed use neighborhood featured business ranging from J.R. Hemphill, Real Estate Man and Tailor; N.H. Tomas, Shoemaker; ACME Pressing Club; Eagles Drub Store; several barber shops and other neighborhood businesses all within the economically diverse neighborhood of Brooklyn. It was the home to some of the most wealthy and educated, as well as poor and uneducated portions of the black community.
In 1904, it provided Charlotte with Brevard Street Library, the first free black library in the South, in 1923 it established Second Ward High School, the first urban black high school in Charlotte, as well as establishing Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church which remains a part of the current Second Ward.
Our history will always remain a part of our lives. These are the things we remember, the places we grew up, friends we have made and it is in our history that we should look to see our future.
Historic Time Line
Charlotte, North Carolina is incorporated as a city1880's - Early 1950's
Brooklyn neighborhood is the heart of African American community.1886
Myers Street School is dedicated. Founded in 1882 in an old tobacco barn, the school was the largest elementary school in North Carolina1923
Second Ward High School is dedicated. The high school established in Brooklyn was the first school to serve African American teenagers in Mecklenburg County. Students attended from all parts of the county and were educated in classes ranging from grades 7-12.
Carver College opens a branch at Second Ward High School offering night classes to World War II veterans.1950
Several businesses were located in Brooklyn that served the African-American community1961
City Council votes to clear the eight blocks of Brooklyn at a cost of $2.4 million1963
The demolition of Second Ward businesses, homes, and churches begins.1967
Demolition of Charlotte's First Ward begins.1975
The restoration of Charlotte's Fourth Ward begins.mid 1980's
Third Ward redevelopment begins.1990's
Redevelopment of Charlotte's First Ward begins.2000
Charlotte's 2010 Vision Plan is adopted.2001
City of Charlotte issues a proposal for the redevelopment of Second Ward. This includes the introduction of:
Other various links:
Second Ward High School & Others Parade
Charlotte & Mecklenburg History
African American Album
African American Album Vol.2
For more information regarding the Second Ward Plan contact:
Mr. Richard Petersheim
Land Design (Consultant)
223 N. Graham Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202