1708 Patton Avenue

This was one of four houses in McCrorey Heights “spec built” by contractor Edwin O. Clarkson. Clarkson took out the permit on December 28, 1954. Houses speculatively built by Clarkson included 1704 Patton (1954), 1708 Patton (1954), 1613 Madison (1956), 1708 Madison (1956).  Neighbors evidently liked his work; several families who took out building permits on their own asked Clarkson to handle their construction: James McClellan at 1712 Van Buren (1955), Dr. Rudolph Wyche at 1713 Oaklawn (1959), Otis Young at 1700 Patton, Carrie Hart at 1607 Washington (1959).

The first occupant here at 1708 Patton Avenue was Sylvester Lee, Jr., a plasterer with Kirkland Construction, and his wife Alice.

Plastering was one of the many building trades dominated by African Americans from slavery times through the mid 20th century. During slavery, African American artisans did much of the “making”in the South, from blacksmithing and landscape work to construction trades including carpentry, brick-making, masonry and interior plastering. Such men usually had steady work and decent pay — enough to afford a house in stylish new McCrorey Heights.



One-story Cottage style house in red brick. The Cottage style had more compact massing than the long, low Ranch style which was also popular in this period. This house has a main gable roof, with a smaller front gable facing Patton Avenue. The front living room has a three-sided bay window, unusual in the neighborhood. Original owner Sylvester Lee took out permits for a small rear addition in 1959 and a large one, visible from the street if you look carefully, in 1972.

Building permits

Date issued: December 28, 1954
Owner: E. O. Clarkson
Contractor: E. O. Clarkson
Other permit info: Build residence

Date issued: March 11, 1959
Owner: Sylvester Lee, Jr.
Contractor: Jethro Mann
Other permit info: Addition

Date issued: April 12, 1972
Owner: Sylvester Lee
Contractor: Anderson Construction
Estimated cost: $8450
Other permit info: large rear addition

Date issued: January 17, 1974
Owner: Sylvester Lee
Contractor: Sylvester Lee
Estimated cost: $800
Other permit info:  add rear storage building

Building permit files, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

First appeared in city directory

1959 – Sylvester Lee, Jr. & Alice.
He: Plasterer, Kirkland Construction. She: No occupation listed

[see also 1712 Patton]

City directory collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.