1701 Washington Avenue

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

Little is known about the initial inhabitant of this house. Martha E. Reddick first showed up here in the 1961 city directory, indicating that the house was likely constructed about 1960. Reddick was listed as Librarian at West Charlotte High School.

She had been the librarian at West Charlotte, the city’s suburban black high school, since at least 1952. A national publication for school librarians mentioned her that year, calling her “Miss Martha E. Reddick,” indicating she was unmarried.

The only other information turned up in a web search for her was an item in the February 11, 1961 Pittsburgh Courier, which often printed notes about African American social gatherings in Charlotte. Identifying her as “Miss” Reddick it listed her among thirty-nine women attending a gala bridge-playing party and buffet dinner at the Phyllis Wheatley Branch of the YMCA in Charlotte. Many of her fellow celebrants were McCrorey Heights neighbors including Marjorie Belton, Cora Bouton, Gwendolyn Cunningham and Margratha Rann.

It was unusual in suburban America of the 1950s and 1960s for a single female to own her home since banks seldom made such loans. In McCrorey Heights, however, strong women were the norm. Most neighborhood women were highly educated, holding at least a bachelors degree, and the majority worked as educators or in other professional jobs outside the home. Martha Reddick was one of at least a dozen women homeowners in McCrorey Heights, including Miss Edna E. Morris, a school teacher who built next door at 1711 Washington.

 

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Architecture

Cape Cod Cottage, 1.5 stories in red brick. The steep gable roof has two gabled front dormer windows and a wide shed-roofed rear dormer. The front facade is symmetrical with large multi-pane windows (a variation on the “picture windows” favored in this period) flanking a central front door. There is no front porch; a small front stoop is sheltered by a metal awning. On the east side of the dwelling, note the prominent exterior chimney and the screened porch. The residence is located on a corner lot facing Washington Avenue with Clifton Avenue on its east side.

Building permits

none found

First appeared in city directory

1961 – Martha E. Reddick, Librarian, West Charlotte High School

1981 city directory — still listed.

Resources

“Mrs. Wilkins Host Warm Party in Bitter Cold, ” Pittsburgh Courier, February 11, 1961. On-line at: https://www.newspapers.com/image/40272842/

“News of Library School Personnel,” Newsletter (Association of American Library Schools), July 1952, pp. 13-17. On-line at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43945266?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents