1826 Madison Avenue

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

Built 1951 – 52 by brickmason Tony S. Jordan. He and wife Francennie, a teacher, resided here for over three decades.

Bricklaying was a trade dominated by African Americans in the South into the mid-twentieth century. That dated back to slavery times, when African Americans not only made much of the South’s brick, but also handled nearly every aspect of building construction. Tony Jordan was one of half a dozen brickmasons whose solidly middle-class economic achievements gave them the money to build in McCrorey Heights, Charlotte’s most prestigious address for African Americans in the 1950s.

He may be the same “Anthony S. ‘Tony’ Jordan” whose death was noted in 2010 at age 101 by Charlotte’s on-line African American newspaper Q-City Metro.

It is likely that Jordan’s father was also in the masonry trades and shared his son’s name. A brief notice in the Charlotte Observer on July 22, 1900, reported:”Tony Jordan, one of the best-known colored plasterers in the city, died yesterday at his home in Biddleville. Tony was not able to speak above a whisper for many years and suffered greatly with asthma. He was polite, faithful in his work, and will be missed by his many white friends.” In 1873 Tony Jordan and two others chartered an organization called “The Society of Minute Men” which took responsibility for maintaining the cemetery in the Biddleville neighborhood.

Madison-1826-a-web
Madison-1826-b-web

Architecture

A compact example of Ranch style design, among the earliest post-World War II dwellings in McCrorey Heights. It is one-story tall under a gable roof with a low-pitched projecting front gable. Note the wall next to the front steps, pierced with three square openings — a modernist touch that was at the cutting edge of design in 1951.

 

Building permits

Madison 1826 permit a
Date issued: August 24, 1973
Owner: Mr. and Mrs. T. S. Jordan
Contractor: Bob Kidd Home Improvements
Estimated cost: $325
Other permit info: Enclosing porch

Madison-1826-permit-b
Date issued: August 13, 1951
Owner: Tony Jordan
Contractor: Tony Jordan
Estimated cost:
Other permit info: Build residence

First appeared in city directory

1953 Tonnie S. Jordan & Francennia
He: Bricklayer
She: Teacher

Both were still listed here in the 1981 city directory.

Resources

“Carolinas Strewn with Neglected Old Cemeteries,” Charlotte Observer, July 4, 1982.

“Death of a Good Negro,” Charlotte Observer, July 22, 1900.

“Mr. Anthony S. ‘Tony’ Jordan,” Q-City Metro, December 6, 2010. On-line at: https://qcitymetro.com/2010/12/06/mr_anthony_tony_s_jordan040216800/