Myers Park is home to the county’s oldest suburban shopping center. Is it historic?

A Myers Park strip mall that opened in 1930 is being considered for historic preservation.
A Myers Park strip mall that opened in 1930 is being considered for historic preservation.

A Myers Park shopping center that opened on Providence Road in the 1930s may soon be officially historic.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission is looking into historic status for the site of the oldest suburban shopping center in Mecklenburg County.

Opened in 1930 in the 700 block of Providence Road, the Classical Revival buildings were originally called the Myers Park Shopping Center. Reid’s Grocery Store, its best-known tenant, was located there for more than 60 years.

Historian Dan Morrill said the commission will discuss the matter at its Jan. 29 meeting, and he expects there to be a recommendation that the site be added to a survey committee study for historic designation. “I’m sure the survey committee will approve it and I’m sure it will go the landmarks commission (for a vote) on Feb. 12,” he said.

The Myers Park Shopping Center was built by the Goode Realty Company in 1929 and consists of six store buildings, he said. It represents a period when rapid change was coming to uptown’s outlying neighborhoods. The introduction of the car meant Charlotteans could travel farther for their shopping, Morrill said.

“The automobile changed shopping,” he said. “People could haul a lot more in a car. The problem was to find a place to park. That gave rise to shopping centers.”

Should the commission vote to designate the buildings as historic, the next step would be to contact the property owners, he said.

The shopping center sits in a popular part of Charlotte where redevelopment is a constant threat for older homes and commercial buildings. Should a redevelopment project be proposed for the site of the old Myers Park Shopping Center, Morrill hopes it would incorporate the existing buildings to preserve them.

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