Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Plaza-Midwood: Then and Now

    One of the earliest 'streetcar suburbs', Plaza-Midwood real estate has gained in value in the last twenty years. Here are 1990 photos, newer pix from Meck Co GIS site, and tax values from 1991 and 2011 (the closest years available).

1424 Hamorton Place

1991 tax value:  $40,130
2011 tax value: $329,200


2100 The Plaza ('Kilgo House?')

1991 tax value: $150,750 
2011 tax value: $978,100


 1324 Thomas Avenue

1991 tax value: $36,040
2011 tax value: $249,600


 1216 Clement Avenue

1991 tax value: $30,140
2011 tax value: $224,900


1801 The Plaza ('Woodside House'?)

1991 tax value: $125,100
2011 tax value: $417,100

Not familiar with the Meck Co GIS? Here's a link .... go see what your neighbor paid for his house, LOL!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Looking back: Ivey's department stores

Remembering Ivey's department stores

Ivey's Ends an Era - Uptown's last department store pulls out 

By Ted Mellnik, Staff 
August 18, 1990

For the first time this century, Charlotte's uptown doesn't have a department store. Ivey's, the last one, closed for good on Friday. 'Good evening. We thank you for your loyal years of patronage, ' dock supervisor Sharon Bryant announced at 5:30 p.m. over the store's public address system. 'Ivey's is now closed. Ivey's is now closed.' Her purchase of a 99-cent orange-and-white striped tank top was the store's last sale. There was little else left.

For Ivey's, it was the end of a 90-year stand. For most of those years, uptown Charlotte, with three large department stores, was the southern Piedmont's premier shopping district. 'Nothing had the uniqueness this Ivey's had, ' said Yates Palmer, 51, who as a 9-year-old regularly came 65 miles from Valdese with his mother to shop. 'It was one of the most prestigious stores in the Southeast.' Palmer, now a Charlotte resident, dropped by the store at 127 N. Tryon St. on Friday afternoon, for the first time in 15 years, just to take a last look.

1920's. Charlotte Observer file photo.
Uptown Ivey's, 1972.

'The first floor was mostly empty, with only a few odds and ends of women's wear hanging near the last open cash register. Years ago, this was the floor where a grand chandelier hung from the two- story ceiling near the entry, where department store magnate J.B. Ivey mounded live tulips each spring. Jewelry, hosiery, handbags and accessories, cosmetics, menswear, lunch counter and candy store.

 Upstairs, on floors two through five: just about everything else. 'It was a real treat, coming down here when I was a little girl, ' said Priscilla Schmidt, a former Ivey's personnel manager who recalled visiting the store as a 7-year-old in the late 1940s. 'It was a big deal to come in Ivey's and go shopping. It was elegant. You walked in the front door and it just smelled elegant.' Then came suburban shopping malls in the 1960s and 1970s and a series of new owners in the 1980s.'

'A peek into Ivey's from the N. Tryon Street walkway reveals new boutiques.'
1978. Don Hunter/Staff

'First, Marshall Field bought Ivey's from the Ivey family. Then Batus bought Marshall Field. In June, the 23-store Ivey's chain was sold to Dillard Department Stores Inc., and the sales staff was given 60 days' notice that the uptown store would close. 'I would have thought they would have waited another year,' said Madge Entrekin, a retiring 29-year veteran in Ivey's children's wear. She wished that Dillard's had hung on to the uptown store until three nearby skyscrapers are completed. Said Elizabeth Hill, who spent 22 years selling lingerie: 'They didn't even give us a chance.'

'Cay Austin dances a scene from Coppelia while Missy (left) and Jane Pattishall watch in fashions they'll be modelling at the children's show at Ivey's downtown tomorrow night.'
1973. Elmer Horton/Staff

Cosmetic counters at Ivey's SouthPark.
1979. Elmer Horton/Staff

'Window display at Ivey's  ... advertising winter coats.'
1976. Staff. Not sure which location.

Kitchenware at Ivey's SouthPark.
1981. Jeep Hunter/Staff

Ivey's SouthPark. Undated.


 Ivey's at Cotswold, 1988. 
Photographer's notes: 'Ivey's is being taken over by a firm called Steinmart, we think, at the Cotswold Mall store. Ivey's won't let us shoot inside the store so we'd like to get a photo of the store from either inside the mall area or from outside in the parking lot.'   Bob Leverone/Staff


'Ivey's Charlottetown Mall store now sells only clearance merchandise.'
1981. Jeep Hunter/Staff

'Entrance to Ivey's Terrace: the amosphere is just a little bit formal.'
1976. Elmer Horton/Staff.
(This uptown restaurant had been serving food to its customers since before World War I and closed in 1989.)

Friday, July 18, 2014

WBTV turns 65

   Currently the oldest television station located between Richmond and Atlanta, WBTV first signed on the air on July 15, 1949. Happy 65th anniversary, WBTV! You're an important part of Charlotte history.

What are your memories of the station? I loved 'Those Were The Years' hosted by Mike McKay, late at night. He showed old TV episodes (followed by a movie?). Steely Dan's 'Reelin' in the Years' was the theme song. 

July 15, 1949, The Charlotte News

July 16, 1949, The Charlotte News

Undated. 1950's?

  'Bob Bean, second from left, joins Clarence Etters, Jeanne Alexander and Jim Patterson to broadcast the live "Studio Party" show.
Undated. Courtesy of Robert D. Raiford

Betty Feezor, 1962.

From our 'Television Cameras' file. Dated March, 1962.
I'd love some information!

Doug Mayes, 1966

'The WBT Briarhoppers on the Fred Kirby Show, WBTV in Charlotte, 1976 left to right: Jim Patterson, Hank Warren, Claude Casey, Shannon Grayson, Arval Hogan, Don White Roy Grant, Bill Davis, Fred Kirby.' Photo courtesy of Dwight Moody.

 Mike McKay, 1979.
I answered phones at the 1977 Boys Town Auction!

Bob Inman, 1987

 'Veteran TV newsman Mike Cozza, his box of supplies under his arm, hustles into the WBTV newsroom as he prepares to edit some videotape.' 2000. Christopher Record/Staff

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Red Magic Section, 1927

A Sunday section of puzzles and past-times for children

  ' 'Red Magic'.  These pages are called the Red Magic Section and were advertised prior to their appearance as pages personally edited by Harry Houdini, President of the Society of American Magicians. Red, this magic section was red with ink. Magic this section was not, save as parlor tricks and picture puzzles are magical. One was not taught how to exorcise satanic presences, to stir a cauldron fraught with 'eye of newt and tongue of toad,' to draw a charmed circle or utilize the mystical phases of the moon. 'Magic' was used in its popular, journalistic sense in naming the new section.' - Time magazine; November, 1924.

Can you solve the puzzles? Answers are at the bottom!



Scary looking Pelican.

They didn't run the solution to the maze --- maybe no one could figure it out!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Charlotte subdivisions: 1968

   Ads for new homes in 1968 paired with newer photos and 2011 values. 

'Register for a GE Portable Tape Recorder!'

3908 Blowing Rock Way
1968 price $29,200
2011 value $297,400

5646 Sharon Road
1968 price $23,300
2011 value $236,600

3933 River Bend Road
1968 price $24,350
2011 value $267,500


9724 Feldbank 
1968 price $11,375
2011 value $50,500


4900 Glenbrier Drive
1968 price $20,200
2011 value $138,900


411 Lansdowne Road
1968 price not listed but other Lansdowne homes were priced at around $35,000
2011 value $259,700

+ + + + + +
More:  1956 'homes to fulfill your dreams'

Even more1970's neighborhoods