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Well, neighbors, the time has come. I’ve guided this newsletter through some big changes in the past year and am proud to say that it’s now more vibrant than ever.

As I get more involved in commitments to my daughter’s education, I find myself stretched way too thin and must unfortunately step down as editor of this newsletter. I’m passing the torch to my very capable friend and neighbor, Hardin Minor. If you know this man, you know that energetic doesn’t even begin to describe him, and I’m sure he and Little Shiva will make a great team in continuing to shape the look and feel of this publication. As the new content wrangler, Hardin will be the person to contact with your story

submissions. His address is Since Dave Behrens also needs to step down as ad wrangler, we’re in need of volunteers to help keep the ads coming in and making sure they get paid for. Please contact Hardin if you could help us with this. It’s been fun while it lasted. Keep up the good work! —Babak Emadi Front cover: Montgomery fountain at the corner of Clement and Bay. Back cover: demolition of a good house at the end of Jackson Avenue: the vacant house with a great skyline view was set on fire–twice! Photos by Babak Emadi. Photo of Laleh and Babak Emadi (left) by Jim Guyton.

ECA BOARD 2005 Elizabeth website: name


work tel.

e-mail (home or work)

Peter Tart

1517 E. 8th St., 28204


committee ECA prez / zoning committee

Rachel Eldridge 2423 Vail Ave., A13, 28204

333-1887 ECA secretary / race committee

Jean Galloway 2101 E. 5th St., 28204


ECA treasurer

Linda Nash

1921 E. 9th St., 28204


social committee / block captain

Terry Lett

2107 Greenway Ave., 28204 377 0052

social committee

Brad Miller

1812 E. 8th St.,28204


traffic committee / block captain

Babak Emadi

725 Clement Ave., 28204


zoning, trees, community development

John Shurley

2342 E. 7th St., 28204


zoning + festivals committees

Tony Miller

1515 Sunnyside Ave., 28204 377-8500

zoning committee

Roxie Towns

1512 E. 8th St., 28204


zoning + beautification committees

Kris Solow

2109 E. 5th St., 28204


beautification committee

Ruffin Pearce

2121 Greenway Ave., 28204 331-4989

zoning committee

JoAnn Brown

1615 Elizabeth Ave., 28204

business representative


Dianna Desaulniers 

the people pages

membership committee

John Nolen, neighborhood-maker by Tom Hanchett 100 years ago in Charlotte, NC, John Nolen began a career that would make him a worldrenowned pioneer of urban design. In May 1905, Nolen’s professors at Harvard gave him permission to skip final exams and travel to south to create his first project, Independence Park in the heart of the new suburb of Elizabeth. JOHN NOLEN: NEIGHBORHOODMAKER, an exhibit on view at Queens University through July 2,

explores Nolen’s Charlotte work and his illustrious national career. Based in Massachusetts, John Nolen planned over 400 projects

nationwide–neighborhoods, parks, entire cities. Today his ideas are inspiring the “New Urbanism” movement, including such developments as Baxter, Birkdale and Vermillion in the Charlotte area. In the 1910s, Nolen drafted a city plan for Charlotte that called for a greenway park along Sugar Creek–a vision finally being realized today. His most important local project was the gracious neighborhood of Myers Park, begun in 1911. Nolen took a tree-less cotton farm, designed curving avenues, laid out parks, and moved in hundreds of trees to create one of the South’s most important garden suburbs. Nolen’s

detailed landscape drawings for Myers Park, discovered in the archives of Cornell University, are the exhibit’s highlight. JOHN NOLEN:

NEIGHBORHOOD-MAKER is open free to the public at the Watkins Art Gallery, Queens University, through July 2nd. It will then travel throughout the Charlotte region. The exhibit is curated by former Elizabeth resident Dr. Tom Hanchett of the Levine Museum and Chantilly neighborhood resident Tom Low, a planner with Duany Plater-Zyberk Associates, funded by grants from Crosland, Inc., and the John Nolen Research Fund of Cornell University Library. To read more on the history of Nolen and Independence Park: ependencepark.htm Slurp, splash, smile, gurgle, lap lap...ahhhhh! by Hardin Minor Wow! Neighbors! Have you seen the contribution that Steve and Eileen Montgomery have made to our neighborhood? The corner of Clement Avenue and Bay Street (see cover) is now resplendent with the Montgomery’s new handcrafted stone surrounding wall. What makes it so unique and generous is the gift of water that has been incorporated into this most lovely spot. A combination drinking fountain–higher level for people and lower level for dogs–defines the quintessential spirit of this neighborhood. Here you can refresh for a moment any time of day you choose to come by on your the people pages

jog, ride, stroll or walk. You can appreciate the four corner panorama of the nearby properties that have been so thoughtfully cared for, maintained and refurbished. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the M&M’s (that’s the Montgomery twins, Maddie and Max) who seem to be planted and growing in the front yard at times. It’s a privilege to live in a neighborhood where a family consciously chooses to uplift their corner with all the rest of us in mind. That’s contagious goodness. Thanks to the Montgomery family! Slurp, splash, smile, gurgle, lap lap...ahhhhh!—submitted in appreciation by Hardin, Linda, Massie and Tucker Minor Centennial Celebration of Independence Park by Matthew Ipsan Mark it on your calendar: Art!Elizabeth, a juried arts festival, will highlight, along with the 15th annual Elizabeth Home Tour, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Independence Park, on October 8th and 9th, 2005. Hosted by the ECA and the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, the first-ever Art!Elizabeth will feature artists from around Charlotte and the Carolinas, showing and selling their work in our historic park. Art!Elizabeth will be free and open to the public. 

the people pages

Community involvement: sweet as honey by Peter Tart

Innovative art, enchanting music, unique food, beautiful homes and truly original architecture will provide the backdrop for a weekend of celebration for one of Charlotte’s most prized assets. So please join us for what we hope will be one of the most entertaining and enjoyable events of the year. If you have any questions or interest in being part of the Centennial Celebration of Independence Park, e-mail Chefs needed by Kris Solow Love to cook? Then we need you to play a part in the Art!Elizabeth festival which is planned for this October to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Independence Park and is in conjunction with the Elizabeth Home Tour. A reception for participating artists for the festival will be held on Friday evening, October 7th, and hors d’ouerves and baked goods are needed. If interested, please contact Kris Solow by email: or leave a message by calling 704-333-6713.

Greetings, residents of the Elizabeth community. The Elizabeth Community Association, consisting solely of volunteers (you and your neighbors) helps facilitate the many activities that the neighborhood enjoys throughout the year. Most of us may not have expertise in the areas in which we volunteer, but the lack of specific knowledge is more than compensated for by the desire to participate and help shape the direction of the community. Your new or renewed membership in the ECA is the first step to positively affect your community. The small membership fee helps support many of the social activities we sponsor throughout the year, such as the recent Progressive Dinner, which was a wonderfully successful event, and the Elizabeth 8K Road Race earlier in the Spring. The fees also help support public landscaping (planting and maintenance) throughout the neighborhood, as well as the recently completed ‘Phase1” of the tree-replacement program implemented last year. While the fees are important, it’s your involvement and ideas that benefit our community the most. Among the activities and services we sponsor, many are traditional within Elizabeth: the road race, progressive dinner,

home tour, etc. Additional activities have been generated recently by initial discussions between residents who may have first met on the sidewalk during a casual evening stroll. That’s how the new Elizabeth Blog was started. The treereplacement program emerged from an open discussion on how to maintain the natural and unique beauty of our neighborhood. Ditto with the upcoming arts festival, Art!Elizabeth which will partner with the Elizabeth Home Tour this coming Fall (a fitting beginning for an arts festival in Independence Park, Charlotte’s oldest public park, which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary).

As we begin our annual membership drive, please take the time to renew your membership, or start a new membership involvement, and note on the form your desire to volunteer your time, talent and ideas to help steward our community. Areas of involvement may include: Beautification projects

• landscaping/maintenance (trolly path off 7th Street, traffic circle on 8th Street) • annual clean-up day

Community information

•q  uarterly newsletter: ad wrangler needed! • website • Elizabeth blog, “Under the Watertower” Social activities

• a nnual meeting and covereddish dinner (September) • Elizabeth home tour (fall) • Art!Elizabeth • winter holiday gathering • easter egg hunt • 8K road race (spring) • progressive dinner (spring) Elizabeth block party and membership drive by Dianna Desaulniers Get to know your neighbors! On June 26th, 2005 from 3pm until 6pm, residents all over the Elizabeth community will be invited to a block party. It will be the perfect time of year to come out and meet your immediate neighbors. All of Elizabeth will be divided up into streets and each resident will be given a specific location to join their surrounding neighbors for 3 hours of old fashioned socializing. We want to encourage community involvement, so plan to come out and mingle amongst friends. A signup table will be available for anyone that would like to become an Elizabeth community member, renew their membership or volunteer for any of our committees. Everyone attending will be asked to bring an appetizer and their own beverage.

If you have a yard ideal for a gathering and wouldn’t mind your neighbors dropping by, please call Dianna Desaulniers at 704-236-4286 or email the people pages

Cankerworm infestation in Elizabeth by Kris Solow We warned you it was coming, and unfortunately, it has finally arrived. If you didn’t band your hardwoods this past fall, your trees may very well experience the devastation of the cankerworms this spring. Our trees were wrapped in the fall and analyzed by Heartwood Tree Service in February and the result was positive. An infestation is a count of more than 10 female moths. Believe me, the wraps were infested. Defoliation of tree canopy and black droppings are all too common on trees that weren’t wrapped. There’s nothing you can do for this season, but I implore all Elizabeth residents to take action this fall before the first frost (October or November) and wrap your trees! Just because you can’t see the damage to the trees now from the defoliating effects of the cankerworms doesn’t mean it’s not happening. If we truly care about our tree canopy we have to be PRO-ACTIVE. Trees have to have leaves to survive. Elizabeth has invested too much in our trees to be complacent. Possible streetcar extension in phase I by Tony Miller CATS is studying the possibility of extending the initial phase of the Elizabeth Avenue Streetcar project to the Plaza near 

the people pages

Thomas Avenue. Whether this happens will depend on the costs studies.

streetcar line travels along the two busiest bus routes in the system, Route 7 Beatties Ford and Route 9 Central Avenue, In order to cross Independence that carried over 2.2 million Freeway the route would turn passengers in 2004. from Presbyterian Hospital down Hawthorne toward To learn more about CATS’ Central Avenue. The only rapid transit planning, call feasible route to go over the (704) 336-RIDE or visit us on CSX train tracks is with a $2the Web at www.ridetransit. 4M at a favorable grade north org. Maps of four possible of the Independence bridge termination options at over Pecan. The path would Presbyterian and four more in take the Streetcar between the Thomas Avenue vicinity will Mechanical Contractors and be posted there in a few weeks. the Freeway. Whether the path goes directly through the Party Commissioner beat Reflections property or around by the political machine it on Sunnyside will depend on County negotiations with the Owner of Commissioner the property. CATS has publicly Jennifer Roberts committed not to use imminent is a part time domain for the project. professor in the International Studies Department at UNCC. Her previous work experience includes being a banker, a non-profit executive, and a diplomat: this is her first term in public office. Roberts is chair of the Commission’s Natural Resources Committee A streetcar is powered by an and its newly created overhead electric line and Community Building and operates in mixed traffic. Diversity Committee. She Each streetcar can carry up to also serves on the Economic one hundred and seventeen Development and the Effective passengers, which is equivalent and Efficient Government to three buses. Trees on Committees of the Board. Hawthorne Avenue would Contact her at roberjw@ be impacted to a minimum or call distance of 12’ beyond the (704) 336-2472. Now you can electrified overhead wires and even visit her online at guy wires. CATS’ proposed

Sound effects by Little Shiva Living in close proximity to other people is a skill I perfected during my seventeen years in Manhattan: it takes a certain amount of contrived obliviousness to live peacefully in a small space with screaming next-door neighbors who toss the contents of the cat litter box at each other during fights. The frequent Puerto Rican cookouts in the courtyard during the summer were big fun, but loud when I was trying to work; out front, the symphony of garbage trucks and traffic played 24/7, and even though I enjoyed hearing the boys across the hall knockin’ boots, that probably wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

photo by Babak Emadi

I made my share of noise, too, but it didn’t matter. The little three-storey apartment building on W. 17th and all the others that adjoined our coutyard were a neighborhood in themselves. Living so close, we all looked out for one another. Now that I live in a house, with easily an entire apartment’s worth of space between me and the teeming humanity on all sides, I try to be thankful that the yapping dog is all the way over in the next-door neighbor’s yard, not directly on the other side of the wall. Weekend lawnmowers have replaced garbage trucks, and I never hear the neighbors makin’ love. Darned houses! the people pages

“Go NASA!” artwork by Laleh Emadi

the people pages

photo by Babak Emadi

What is content? Anything in this newsletter other than ads, that’s what. Content is the announcement of neighborhood events, it’s your voice in print, it’s storytelling. Content is the gift you give your neighbors when you take the time to send in a short piece of writing or a really good photo you took, along with a caption telling us what it is. Sure, we know you’re a very busy and important person, but please consider giving the gift of content to the next ECA newsletter. It doesn’t even have to be that long! In newsletter terms, 250 words is a novel, so keep it short and sweet. If more of you Elizabeth neighbors would contribute, there would be less filler in the quarterly newsletter. Send content submissions to Hardin Minor: It seems that a lot of people mistake ads for content. Nope: content is your gift to the community; ads are spaces you pay for to promote your business. The ECA newsletter desperately needs a new volunteer ad wrangler to help coordinate our ads. If you’re good with people and know how to use a telephone and e-mail, contact Hardin Minor:

LaTeaDa quarter


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Fine Catering and Event Planning 704.372.9599

( 1942 East 7th Street • Charlotte, NC 28204



the business section

the business section



the business section

the business section


Open Door Ad Elizabeth


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An open door for movement and creativity. Dance and Fitness instruction for youth and adults in a non-intimidating atmosphere sure to challenge and inspire you.

Open House Sat., June 4th, from 9a.m. - 3p.m. Register for summer classes, camps or workshops, check out the space or try a free class. Please visit for more information. 704-576-5034 / 1221-B The Plaza (Beside the post office) email:


the business section

the business section


ECA 2-05  

Elizabeth Community Association newsletter, Charlotte, NC

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