South Charlotte

Historic status eyed in Pineville

Pineville's Park Avenue could be granted historic landmark status within the next month, pending town council approval.

A textile hub in the early 20th century, Pineville had its own mill village, where textile mills housed their employees.

The former Dover Yarn Mills, which opened in 1894, encompassed most of the south side of the small railroad town.

"The economy of Mecklenburg County was built on textiles," said Dan Morrill, consulting director of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. "There's no question (Pineville's mill) is the best and most significant former textile mill village in one of the outlying towns in Mecklenburg County."

The expansive, red-brick textile mill is immediately to the west of Park Avenue.

Park Avenue consists of 18 mill houses - modest, one-story, T-plan - along a paved street divided by a planted median. Sixteen of the houses date from the early 20th century.

Two were built around the late 1940s.

Each lot is roughly a quarter-acre, which is how they were originally laid out.

The application recommends that the exterior of the houses, the road, median and land from 408 to 427 Park Avenue be designated landmarks.

If an area is designated a landmark, that means the community recognizes it is a historical resource worth preservation.

Therefore, any substantial changes to the landmark's design, materials and appearance must be reviewed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmark Commission.

"The whole purpose of landmark designation is protection," said Morrill. "It's the highest level of protection provided under North Carolina law."

Owners of designated landmarks can apply to defer up to 50 percent of their annual property taxes, as long as the property retains significance and the integrity.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission completed a study of the area's history, and the state's Preservation Commissions Department decided the area had enough historical significance to be a candidate for landmark status.

There will be a public hearing - and more than likely a council vote - on the Park Avenue designation at the November town council meeting, said Town Clerk Barbara Monticello.

The exact date for the November meeting will be determined at the next town council meeting Oct. 11.