1601 Madison Avenue

This is a draft, now being reviewed by members of the McCrorey Heights Neighborhood Association. Please share comments with Tom@HistorySouth.org 

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Built in 1963 – 64 for Marvin Rorie and his wife Jeanne, both lifelong educators in Charlotte’s public schools. 

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Marvin B. Rorie (9.28.1924 – 11.11.1981) grew up on Winchester Avenue in the small city of Monroe, North Carolina about an hour east of Charlotte. He taught at West Charlotte High in the 1960s then toward the end of his life became a guidance counselor at Myers Park High. His wife Jeanne Morgan Rorie taught at Cochran Junior High School. The couple raised a son here, Marvin B. Rorie, Jr.

Marvin Rorie’s older brother Raymond P. Rorie, Jr., had already built in McCrorey Heights in 1957 at 1644 Van Buren Avenue. Like Marvin, Raymond was an educator, teaching at Charlotte’s Carver College, then in Charlotte high schools and finally leading Westerly Hills Elementary as its principal. In 1968 Raymond Rorie became the first African American appointed to the Mecklenburg County Board of Health.

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Architecture

This Ranch-style house borrows its massing from the Split-Level designs popular in the 1960s. There is an east wing, two stories tall, and a west wing that is one-story tall. In a true Split Level the wings would be vertically offset, so that one enters the one-story wing, then goes up or down a half-flight of stairs into the two-story wing. In this design, however, there is no offset: the west wing and upper story of the east wing are on the same level.

The house has gable roofs. Walls are tan brick except for the upper story of the west wing which is sheathed in wooden clapboards. The living room has an unusually large front bay window made up of five floor-to-ceiling panes. There is no covered front porch, but rather a roofless front stoop of brick.

Building permits

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Date issued: 7-3-63
Owner: Marvin Rorie
Contractor: Claude Morgan, Rt. 1, Kings Mountain
Estimated cost: $18,000
Other permit info: Build residence

First appeared in city directory

1964 – not listed. 1967 – Marvin B. Rorie & Jeanne M.
He: Teacher, West Charlotte High. She: Teacher, Cochran Jr. High.

1981 City Directory listed them still there;
He: Counselor, Myers Park High. She: No occupation listed.
[note Marvin B Jr, student, lives at home]

Resources

“Marvin B. Rorie, Sr.” entry in the FindAGrave.com website. On-line at: www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=117601760

“Marvin Rorie in the 1940 Census,” Ancestry.com website. On-line at: www.ancestry.com/1940-census/usa/North-Carolina/Marvin-Rorie_5bv3p1