William L. North took out the permit to build this house on November 13, 1950. When the city directory first listed the address in 1952, it showed him as a mail clerk for the Southern Railway. Later directories gave his name as “W. Leon North.”
A number of homeowners who built in McCrorey Heights during the 1950s and early 1960s worked as mail clerks for the Southern Railway or for the U.S. Post Office. With steady pay and some job security, those were among the best jobs open to African American men prior to the Civil Rights era.
The 1952 city directory listed Mr. North’s wife as Rosalyn E. North, no occupation given. An October 5, 1957 notice in the Charlotte Observer noted her death. In a later directory consulted at random, for 1961, listed W. Leon North as clerk at the Post Office, and identified his wife as Iris J. North. On February 26, 1971, the Observer marked the passing of “William Leon North, 71, of 1721 Patton Avenue,” with the funeral held at Gethsemane A.M.E. Zion Church.
1.5 story Cottage style dwelling in red brick. The Cottage style featured more compact massing and steeper roofs than the long, low Ranch style which was also popular in this period. This house has gable roofs that are steep enough to contain a partial second floor living space. There is a main gable roof plus a projecting front gable. At the east side of the house, a gabled screen porch extends. A prominent front chimney with decorative stone at its base towers next to the front door, which has a round-arched top; both are characteristic of the Cottage style. The metal awning over the front porch, supported by “wrought iron” columns, may be an addition by the original owner in the 1960s, a favorite modification in McCrorey Heights.
Date issued: November 13, 1950
Owner: W. L. North
Contractor: W. C. Whiteside
Other permit info: to build residence
[Note that house was preliminarily numbered 1717, then became 1721]
Date issued: February 25, 1960
Contractor: Mecklenburg Plbg. Co.
Other permit info: bathroom addition
Building permit files, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
First appeared in city directory
1952 – William L. North & Rosalyn E.
He: Mail clerk Southern Ry. She: No occupation listed.
1961 – W. Leon North & Iris J.
He: Clerk PTS [Post Office]. She: No occupation listed
City directory collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.