The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission partners with Preservation NC to save Charlotte’s historic Charles E. and Edna Barnhardt home
CHARLOTTE—The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) has joined with Preservation North Carolina (PNC) to save the Charles E. and Edna Barnhardt House in the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte. HLC purchased the home with funds from its historic preservation revolving fund. Without HLC and Preservation North Carolina’s intervention, the home would have been destroyed.
Protective covenants have been placed on the property to protect it from future demolition. HLC plans to sell the home, and funds received from the sale will be returned to HLC’s revolving fund to be used for future preservation projects.
Charles E. Barnhardt was a prominent business and civic leader in Charlotte. The Barnhart House was completed in 1938 as the centerpiece of a 15-acre estate in Plaza-Midwood, the house is a beautiful, sophisticated example of revivalist design. The home was designed by noted architect was Martin E. Boyer, Jr. During the 1920s and 1930s Boyer designed many of Charlotte’s most elegant homes— his drawings of the Charles E. and Edna Barnhardt House are on file in the North Carolina State University archives. In 1948, George B. Cramer and Elizabeth Crooks Cramer purchased the house, and members of the Cramer family lived there until 2016. George Cramer was the son of textile engineer and industrialist Stuart Cramer, for whom the Town of Cramerton is named.
A new subdivision is being built at the site of the Barnhardt home, and with a Charlotte ordinance requiring connecting streets between blocks, a connector street was scheduled to go straight through the home. “We worked with the long-time owners of the property to save this important Charlotte landmark, but credit for saving the home also belongs to the subdivision developer” said Dr. Dan Morrill, HLC Director. “The Charles E. and Edna Barnhardt House will become someone’s home, and it will generate property tax revenue for the benefit of the community.”
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmark Commission protects properties by recommending the designation of individually significant properties as historic landmarks; buying and selling endangered historic landmarks through its revolving fund and placing preservation covenants in the deeds on properties; administering design review over intended material alterations of historic landmarks; and educating the general public about the significance of historic landmarks.
Preservation North Carolina (PNC) is North Carolina’s only private nonprofit statewide historic preservation organization. Its mission is to protect and promote buildings, landscapes and sites important to the diverse heritage of North Carolina. Through its award-winning Endangered Properties Program, Preservation North Carolina acquires endangered historic properties and then finds purchasers to rehabilitate them. PNC’s Endangered Properties Program is widely regarded as the nation’s most successful program of its kind.