1808 Madison Avenue

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

Woodson G. Carson, Sr., took out the permit to build this house in 1951, making it one of the first post-world War II houses to go up in McCrorey Heights. Carson worked as a waiter on the Southern Railway. Railroad jobs such as porter and waiter were among the best employment open to African Americans in the mid-twentieth century, prized for their steady work and decent pay. Carson’s wife Willa M. Carson also held a desirable position as a teacher at Second Ward High School. After Woodson Carson, Sr., died in 1968, his son Woodson Carson, Jr., seems to have lived in the house.



One of the few two-story houses in McCrorey Heights, this dwelling shows an uncommon mix of Colonial and Modernist influences. The two-story massing and gable roof look backward to Colonial traditions. But the rest of the “architectural vocabulary” is forward-looking, drawing on Modernist ideas popular in the mid twentieth century. Window placement is asymmetrical, including an unusual tall stairwell window of glass block. The front door is placed off-center and sheltered by a curved canopy. A gable-roofed one-vehicle carport at the west side of the dwelling is a 1958 addition by the original owner, done in keeping with the rest of the design.


Building permits

Madison 1808 permit a
Date issued: September 7, 1956
Owner: Erwin Const. Co.
Estimated cost:
Other permit info: [may be for wrong address?]

Madison 1808 permit b
Date issued: September 15, 1958
Owner: W. G. Carson
Contractor: W. G. Carson
Estimated cost:
Other permit info: to build carport

Date issued: July 17, 1951
Owner: W. G. Carson
Contractor: E. W. McKnight
Estimated cost:
Other permit info: to build residence

First appeared in city directory

1952 – Woodson G. Carson & Willa M.
He: Waiter, Southern Railway
She: Teacher, Second Ward High School

1981 city directory – Woodson Carson, retired, with wife Ollie T.



“News of N.C. and S.C. Deaths, Funerals,” Charlotte Observer, May 19, 1968.