Among the things that Charlotte has lost because of growth are its streets. Some roads have been altered or cut off, others may have had their named changed to honor someone or a community (an example is Thrift Road in West Charlotte which becomes Tuckaseegee Road at the Fifth Street Extension) or erased entirely like Spring Alley, or the Fourth Street Alley. Today, I will be talking about Boundary Street which was erased from the map when the John Belk Freeway (also known as I-277 or the Uptown Loop) was created.
Located south of Stonewall Street, it was the southern boundary for the Brooklyn neighborhood which was also called the Second Ward or Log town. Bordering on what would be the neighborhoods of Myers Park and Dilworth, it seemed logical that most of its residents worked “in service” to the white families in those neighborhoods.
But, with progress comes change. The growth in automobile travel and Charlotte’s population along with the Urban Renewal projects of the 1960’s and 1970’s spelled doom for the street and its residents. Today, nothing remains of this street and a lot of other streets in the old Brooklyn neighborhood but the memories are still there.
I hope that you will read more about the old Brooklyn Neighborhood, Myers Park and Dilworth and how these neighborhoods help shape Charlotte to the city it is today. Some good books (both electronic and hard copy) that are available from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library are:
An African-American Album Vol. 1 (Currently out of print, you can read it at the Main Branch in the Carolina Room). Volume 2 can be viewed via the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library at http://www.cmlibrary.org/cmstory
Plum Thickets and Field Daisies by Rose Leary Love. This is a memoir of Ms. Love, who grew up in the neighborhood and later became a teacher at Biddleville Elementary School.
Historic Charlotte: An Illustrated History of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County by Dan Morrill.
Charlotte, Its Historic Neighborhoods by John R. Rogers and Amy T. Rogers (This is also available at your local Barnes and Noble in Charlotte or by special order if you live outside of Charlotte and Park Road Books in Charlotte)