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Jean Galloway

Maya Packard

Nancy Albert

Kara Gooding

Ruffin Pearce

Russell Crandall

Matthew Ipsan

J.T. Petersen

Michelle Dagenhart

Terry Lett

Todd Rubenson

Dianna Desaulniers

Tony Miller

Melanie Sizemore

Babak Emadi

Linda Nash

Peter Tart

beautification/trees 704 719 1255 newsletter 704 719 1255 traffic/block captain 704 894 2283 social 704 335 0280 membership 704 236 4286 zoning 704 334 1648

ECA treasurer 704 377 3936 cankerworm/trees 704 604 5660 communications 704 728 6364 social 704 377 0052 zoning 704 377 8500 HENF/block captain 704 332 9808

social 704 334 2196 parks and rec liaison 704 331 4989 advertising/Race co-chair 704 340 2529 secretary 704 386 4401 ECA president 704 335 0909 zoning 704 372 4147 Roxie Towns

zoning/beautification 704 342 1000

Scouting is fun! Are you a boy between

the ages of 6 and 10? Do you enjoy playing and learning with boys your age? Come join us for an introduction and sign up at St. Martins Episcopal Church on Seventh Street on Thursday August 30th at 7pm. Please call Rodd Workman at 704-375-8546 with any questions. By the way, you should probably bring your parents with you so they can learn what Cub Scouting is all about. 2

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ECA annual meeting

Please join us for the ECA Annual Dinner on September 25th at 6:30 pm, Broach Hall, St. John’s Church, 300 Hawthorne Lane.

front and back cover photos plus historic advertising (right) courtesy Peter Tart, photo this page (top) by Nancy Albert.

John Albert

European Romantic style: history and character by Peter Tart

The European Romantic style was so popular in America from around 1900 through 1940 that it’s believed every city in the country had at least one neighborhood dedicated to the type. Based directly on the Elizabethan style (named for structures built during the rein of Queen Elizabeth from 1558-1603) which was revived by Architect Richard Norman Shaw, this style borrowed from English cottages, manor houses and vernacular village forms. Like many architectural styles from the end of the 19th century, European Romantic forms and detailing illustrate a backlash with both the excessive ornamentation and impersonal mass-produced elements of Victorian

architecture. Following the lead of English Architect William Morris, many revival styles of the period were intended to also revive tactile and aesthetic qualities that were thought to result from “hand-made” craftsmanship and economy of form and detail.

deadline for winter 07:

Nov. 15th

Most of the Elizabeth Neighborhood’s collection of this style are small “builder’s” homes and may not include all the characteristics found on larger homes, but the specific forms and details are easy to recognise. Consisting of an elevation of variable forms, there’s usually a prominent, steep (at least 45 degrees or more), front-facing gable that hints at the basic plan of cross rectangles. The entry is usually understated (or slightly concealed) and is very rarely central or symmetrical. This seeming irregular composition is almost always balanced with window groupings, dormers (either gabled, shed, or hipped) and the strategic positioning of a massive, yet simple, chimney.

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While the basic wall material of European Romantic is either brick or stucco, it’s very common to include many natural materials and forms in the overall composition. Stone is sometimes used sparingly to accent a large expanse of wall or chimney. Likewise, wood lapped siding or split shakes can be seen accenting a gable top or small expressive addition. “Rough-hewn” timber

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posts and beams often frame a porch or act as structural header for window openings. Unique to this style is the standard grouping of windows, typically multi-paned casement units. Single units are used as accents and often are positioned in what may initially appear as irregular but always contribute to the overall composition of the forms. These accent, or “irregularly” placed windows often occur at interior “utility” areas such as stair landings, pantries, powder rooms, etc., and should always contribute to the dynamics of the elevation.


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The first floor elevation is typically located no more than 12” to 18” above grade to imply the casual, informal quality of this style. Essential elements

• Steeply pitched roofs with multiple dormers and shallow eaves • Eaves often do not align from one major form to another and often are extended asymmetrically toward the ground, visually reducing the overall height and scale of the building while appearing to be more integral with the landscape.

• Irregular placement of windows in a sometimes broad expanse of wall • Vertically proportioned windows in groups, with a few small accent windows • Prominent chimneys, usually located on the street side and often integrated into a wall mass • Understated front entry Façade composition

The overall front elevation is typically asymmetrical, yet always balanced with gables, dormers, entries and often a front-facing chimney mass,

broadly articulated. While the entry may be located toward the center of the overall composition it is usually understated and often concealed, in which case the chimney form marks the entry location and is usually wellarticulated and expressive. Windows are often irregularly placed yet contribute both to the overall balance and illustrate the informal nature of the style. Roof

photos courtesy Peter Tart

Main roofs will have pitched typically between 14:12 to 18:12, yet a 12:12 pitch could be used if the overall composition allows. It is recommended that mixed pitches not be used on main roof masses. Dormers that have gable roofs should match the pitch of the main roof, otherwise hipped and shed dormers may have a pitch of as low as 3:12, or nearly flat if the composition allows. Unlike most other styles of the period, dormers in the European Romantic language often are clad in the primary roofing material, rendering them as part of the roof rather (preferred) or double-hung, than an applied decorative the proportions are always detail. vertical and simple. Second Standard windows floor windows are usually European Romantic is shorter than those on the first characterized by tall, narrow floor and are generally windows with mullions grouped with between 2 and creating a vertically-oriented 5 windows per group. pattern. Whether casement

Special windows

Special windows are usually dormers, shallow projected bays (at special interior areas like dining rooms, etc.) and small, single windows sometimes irregularly placed to appear as random but actually serving the overall balance of the people pages


the facade composition and typically occurring at special, informal areas such as powder rooms, laundry rooms and stair landings. It is common for these irregular placements to form a diagonal between first and second floor windows. Doors

Most doors will be medieval in character with vertical plank construction and a small view panel, or simple panel doors with up to nine lites not composing more than 60% of the door area. Doors should be recessed as deeply as possible (as should windows) and typically have either orthogonal heads or halfround, or segmented, curved head. Typically these doors are painted or stained wood such as white oak or mahogany. Articulated trim, either wood, stone or brick, is common. Trim

Windows set in a siding will generally have wide trim (4” 6” wide) and those in stucco or brick should be about 2”-3” wide. Timber headers are sometimes used in brick structures and all exterior finishes are usually found with projected brick or stucco sills. Porches

Unlike other styles of houses from this period, European Romantic structures rarely have covered porches. If they are present, they’re usually understated and low in mass. Typically they’re framed in 6

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rough timber or material matching the main structure and just as often consist of merely a low stone-floored veranda with no cover at all, yet just as functional as a casual outdoor gathering place or entry transition. If a traditional sized porch is present, it’s usually located on one of the sides or the rear, and is typically integrated into the main form of the structure. Columns & railings

Porch columns can provide a simple variety to the overall structure and are generally composed of rough square posts sometimes with timber brackets, stacked stone or brick columns. Railings are almost always absent from this style, and are not necessary due to the close proximity to the adjacent grade level. Chimneys

While not always prominent as an elevational component, the chimney is often used as a large, bold articulated part of a front elevational composition. They‘re often a key marker for an otherwise understated or concealed front entry.

these striking structures. Topics on Trees: trees and energy costs by Kara Gooding The previous issue’s Topic on Trees column talked about the different ways trees can actually make you money by increasing your home and property values. This issue’s topic: how trees can save you money and help our environment in ways you might not have thought of. Most people are aware that shade from a mature tree can help lower home cooling costs by as much as 30% in the summer. Or, to put it another way, a tree planted on the west side of a home should reduce energy bills by 3% in 5 years, and 12% in 15 years. For those who can’t picture what this reduction in cooling bills actually looks like, the net cooling effect of a young healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.

That same tree could be reducing your winter heating bill anywhere from 10 to 30%. Large trees help to slow down While most of the homes of this wind gusts, therefore reducing type in Elizabeth may not have the amount of heat that gets all the specific elements listed lost from your house in the above, the houses are easy to winter months. Folks who live identify with little or no effort. in some of the older Elizabeth There is a fine, large example homes can really appreciate located on Kenmore Avenue this fact. and other neighborhoods such Trees also do their civic duty as Myers Park, Dilworth, and by helping to lower taxes. Trees Wilmore have an abundance of can absorb rainstorm runoff by

photo by Nancy Albert

as much as 7 to 12%, therefore reducing storm water system and treatment needs. The shade from trees further saves cities money by lowering the temperature of paved areas and reducing the need for resurfacing roads by as much as 60%.

there are about 60-200 million spaces along urban city streets where trees could be planted. This translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of carbon dioxide every year, saving the world 4 billion dollars in energy costs.

emotional benefits of living amongst them. Band those trees! by Kara Gooding

If all this talk hasn’t convinced you how important your trees are, the imminent threat from the cankerworm should. Every So as we see more of 100+ fall our mature tree canopy is Finally, everyone knows that degree weather, planting and trees create oxygen, but did you caring for trees becomes one of threatened by the cankerworm know that annually a mature our best and most economical when the bugs (as wingless tree can absorb as much as 13 lines of defense against extreme moths) emerge from the ground and make their way up pounds of carbon monoxide in temperatures and extreme the trunk of trees to the top the process?! On a global level, bills. Next issue: trees and the the people pages


This year, the ECA is planning an organized approach to fighting the cankerworm. The ECA will be selling all the necessary tree banding supplies for $1.00 a foot. Neighbors are strongly encouraged to pre-order their supplies and to order enough supplies to account for banding not only their own trees, but any trees whose canopies touch the trees on their property. Residents can then pick up their supplies on October 27th in Independence Park, near the rose garden. Additionally, block captains will serve as more local points of contacts for their respective zones throughout Elizabeth. Because the cankerworm is especially adept at jumping from tree to tree, it is imperative that every tree in Elizabeth get banded. Simply put, please band the trees near your home, regardless of whether they’re your trees, city trees or shared trees. If everyone in Elizabeth banded 8

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4 trees, which would take approximately an hour of their time, Elizabeth would be 100% covered and protected from the cankerworm. With all the devastation our trees have suffered through this last year, we must do this one thing to make sure they are protected. To order supplies, email and indicate your name, address, phone number and the number of feet of supplies that you require. The ECA is not profiting in any way from the sale of these materials. The ECA tree banding materials are being sold at or below cost to Elizabeth residents in an effort to encourage participation. For more information about the banding effort or the cankerworm effects on Charlotte, check out the ECA website at www. treebanding. If you have additional questions or you’d like to serve as a block captain or just a general cankerworm volunteer, we’d love to have your help! Please email

quickly revealed. Violent storms such as this one can damage even the healthiest of trees, and sometimes nature will just have its way as it did in Elizabeth, Chantilly and Plaza Midwood during this storm. Trees along 7th, 8th, Pecan, Bay and Ridgeway were among several that were felled by this sudden severe storm. There are a few things homeowners can do to protect their trees and their homes. The Charlotte Observer carried several articles about tree care in the two days after this storm. They gave some useful advice.

Vigilant inspection of tree limbs and trunks can identify dead, rotting or unhealthy limbs and trunks. Any reputable arborist or tree specialist can quickly do a survey, usually free of charge, to determine the health of your trees. If they recommend trimming of dead limbs or indicate further attention, the cost of caring for your canopy will in the end be a lot less expensive than repairing property damage. Damaged trees, trees with multiple trunks or unhealthy Microburst hits Elizabeth root systems are far more by John Albert vulnerable during even minor storms. However, beware of The sound of chain saws on companies suggesting radical Sunday morning was not a and costly removal – get welcome sound. Clean-up after another opinion. In most cases Saturday, July 7th’s microburst a healthy and well cared for and wind shear storm would canopy only increases the value be extensive, as any walk/ of your property and your drive through Elizabeth and its neighborhood. surrounding neighborhoods

photo by Nancy Albert

branches. If not caught in traps or bands as they work their way up the tree, these moths will then lay eggs (by the hundreds) and in the spring, the worms will hatch and chew their way through the leafy tree canopy on their way back down into the ground. The destruction to the canopy causes major stress to the trees, especially older trees, and this repeated stress can so weaken a tree that it causes it to die.

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This is a great way to meet other neighbors and learn more about the neighborhood, its history and how we’re responding to the challenges of our changing city. Please bring Homes Tour your friends and family and volunteers needed join other neighbors to discuss by Terry Lett how we can all work together to make Elizabeth an even better The Elizabeth Homes Tour is place to live and work. We’ll scheduled for Saturday October review the activities undertaken 13th from 10am to 5pm and by the ECA during the past Sunday October 14th from 1am year and upcoming events for to 5pm. 2007-2008. Board members The lineup of homes includes and committee chairs will the Middleworth’s on Pecan, discuss their respective roles The Hunter’s on Bay, Beth and achievements and want Rippetoe’s on 5th Street your feedback as to areas to be and a new neighbor, George addressed over the next twelve Kroustalis on Kenmore. Each months. house is unique and a must-see. If you’re new to the Volunteers are needed. A free neighborhood or are interested ticket to the tour is offered to in knowing more about the anyone working two shifts. changes underway in the community, the annual dinner The business participants this is your best opportunity to year are The Esthetics Center obtain information on issues and The Charlotte Garden such as the Road Race, ECA Council. Please call Terry Lett tree replenishment, zoning to volunteer. changes, new construction, the 704.377.0052 Home Tour, tree banding, the newsletter, the Crime Dawg and ECA annual dinner Crime Dudette, and many other by Melanie Sizemore issues undertaken by the ECA. We look forward to seeing you Please join us for the annual on September 25th! ECA dinner on Tuesday, September 25th 2007 from The Sunnyside 6:30 pm to 8 pm. The dinner of Elizabeth will be in Broach Hall at St. by Nancy Albert John’s Church, 300 Hawthorne Lane. The ECA will provide When walking around any beverages and a main course neighborhood it’s natural to and everyone is asked to provide wonder why it looks the way it a covered dish. does. Why are the streets laid 10

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out in certain ways? Which areas were developed first? Why are there sometimes huge gaps in the built environment? One of the first things one notices about Elizabeth is that it’s dramatically divided by Independence Expressway. Streets like Oakland, Louise and Lamar dead-end in brick walls and the Sunnyside neighborhood is in some ways an orphaned part of Elizabeth. Some of what is now known as Sunnyside was originally called Piedmont Park. In 1900, the Piedmont Realty Company purchased an 86 acre farm located at the intersection of East 7th Street and Lawyers Road, now Central Avenue. The property was divided into 286 lots. Today the strangely angled streets in this area reflect the trapezoidal property lines of the original farm. These streets include Piedmont, Beaumont and parts of Louise and Sunnyside Avenue. As soon as Piedmont Park was laid out, another piece of farmland near Central Avenue and the Seaboard Railroad line was purchased by the partners. A cotton mill and other factories were built and in 1903 Oakhurst, a second residential subdivision adjoining the factories, was laid out. It included part of what is now the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood, as well as Bay, Oakland, Lamar, Sunnyside, Hawthorne and Clement in Elizabeth.

The sculpture “Aspire” by Greg Wyatt stands in front of CPCC’s Overcash Building. Detail from a photo by Nancy Albert

If the tree of concern is a city tree, call 311, city services, and asked to be connected to someone who will have that tree looked at.

What’s more interesting than the morning paper or the evening news? Answer: John McBride’s Elizabeth blog. Blog skeptics, change your ways: this one proves a worthwhile visit. Did you know Elizabeth has a revolutionary war-era graveyard? Did you know “dinner and a movie” could be an Elizabeth date soon? Did you know the city put the street car on hold? Get your cogs turning and your fingers blogging at: Under the Water Tower

www.eliza-blog. Got linx? Please mail the full web address to Nancy Albert, noalbert@ ----------------------------ECA website

www.elizabeth historic Elizabeth

www.landmarkscommission .org/educationhistlist elizabeth.htm CharMeck NC government the people pages


Central Avenue, as it passed through Piedmont Park and Oakhurst, became a fashionable residential boulevard. The trolley from downtown ran along its center to the intersection of Hawthorne Lane. Bungalows soon lined the side streets. Piedmont Park, closest to town, quickly attracted many 12

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prominent citizens who built fine houses. In addition to the single-family houses, multifamily structures were built on Hawthorne Lane and Louise Street. Located near enough to the trolley line for an easy downtown commute, they were also within walking distance of factories. The Rentzler Apartments, built in 1930

Piedmont Park’s developers set aside six acres at the heart of their neighborhood for parkland. In 1931 the park was planted with roses by the Charlotte Garden Club. Located on the north side of East 7th Street between Beaumont and Sunnyside, the garden covered a large tract of land six feet below street level. Sunnyside Rose Garden became a city showplace. According to a 1941 article in the Charlotte News, landscape architect Helen Hodge planned the first two beds. The club provided upkeep of the gardens through funds derived from their Annual Spring Flower Show. At that time the gardens contained 1,000 Polyanthas, 3,000 hybrid teas and perpetuals and three dozen climbing roses. Flowers were cut and delivered to hospital wards throughout Charlotte. The city, with the aid of the WPA erected the stone columns at 7th Street entrance to the garden. Sunnyside Rose Garden was a community showplace; people from all over the city gathered there on the weekends. It was featured on postcards and in promotional literature for years, until it was lost with the building of Independence Boulevard.

photo of the Rentzler Apartments by Nancy Albert

at 712 Louise Avenue are an impressive example of this type of building. This three-story red-brick structure with its Neo-Classical facade has just been beautifully renovated.

In 1946 the city planning board prepared a master plan in response to a NC Highway Department survey of local traffic that recommended “cross-town boulevards” to relieve congestion on downtown streets. Residents of Chantilly, Elizabeth and Piedmont Park gathered at Midwood School on Sept 8, 1946 to protest the city’s plan to build one of these boulevards through the Sunnyside Rose Garden and Independence Park. Despite protests from the residents of affected neighborhoods, on March 11, 1947 the city council approved the contract with the federal government to

build Independence Boulevard. The first section, between Morehead Street and 7th, opened in April of 1949. The section that ran through Independence Park, the Rose Garden and on to Chantilly opened in January of 1950. The two sections were 8 miles long and cost $2.5 million to build. The highway was widened in 1966 and during the 1990’s there was further construction. Independence was upgraded to a nearexpressway, closing 22 streets to through traffic. The two main crossing streets, Pecan and Hawthorne, received different treatments. The highway passes over Pecan and under Hawthorne Lane.

A walk through Sunnyside today takes you past numerous dead-end signs and the brick wall is evident everywhere. But the tree-lined streets retain their character and many of the fine old residences have been renovated. Indeed the area is booming, a new spate of residential construction is evident along Hawthorne Lane near Sunnyside. And if you venture all the way to the end of Sunnyside Avenue, a tiny bit of the rose garden remains; a solitary bench and a few scraggly rose bushes almost overwhelmed by the highway behind its brick walls. Material for this article comes from Dr. Tom Hanchett and from the archives of the Carolina Reading Room.

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ECA 3-07  

Elizabeth Community Association newsletter, Charlotte, NC

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