Because this house has been heavily renovated in recent years, it is difficult to tell from the street if it might date from the 1940s when Emery L. Rann, Sr., and wife Vicie lived at “2012” / “2004” Patton Avenue.
Construction date is uncertain. The earliest record of a structure on or near this site is 1941 when owner Lee Kinney took out a permit for “repairs” to “2004” Patton Avenue.
The address “2012” first showed up in the city directories in 1942-43. Emery Rann, Sr., a college professor at Johnson C. Smith University, lived there with his wife Vicie Rann. In 1952 the address was evidently renumbered as “2004.” Mrs. Rann, now a widow, continued to live there until her death in 1954.
Emery Rann, Sr., had been born in Michigan to a family that had moved north from eastern North Carolina after the Civil War. Emery, Sr., reversed the journey when he relocated south to West Virginia to teach at black Bluefield State College. The family moved again in 1927 when Prof. Rann got a position at Johnson C. Smith University. They lived on campus til moving to McCrorey Heights.
Born in Pocahontas, West Virginia, Vicie Froe Rann (1888 – 1954) lived in Keystone, West Virginia, when she gave birth to Emery Jr., then moved to Charlotte. When her children were grown, she enrolled in college in her late-40s — even more unusual then than it is now. The Pittsburgh Courier, a national African American newspaper that often printed items from Charlotte, carried a photograph of her at Johnson C. Smith University in 1938: “Mrs. Vicie Froe Rann, a member of this year’s graduating class, … has had two children to graduate from Johnson C. Smith University. Both graduated with honors and she herself is an honor student and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Scholastic Fraternity.” She became a teacher, then the principal of Woodlawn School.
Two of the couple’s four grown children constructed houses nearby in McCrorey Heights:
- In 1951 son Dr. Emery Rann, Jr., built next door to his parents at 2008 Patton Avenue. Trained at JCSU and Meharry Medical College, Dr. Rann became of Charlotte’s most influential physicians and civic leaders. During the 1950s and 1960s he won major Civil Rights victories in desegregating medical care locally and nationally. In 1963 he became the first black doctor to be invited to practice at Charlotte Memorial Hospital, and in 1974 as president of the black National Medical Association he was named to Ebony magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential Black Americans.
- Dr. Emery Rann’s sister Blanche Rann Oliver, a popular music teacher, built a home two blocks away in 1956. She and husband William Oliver, a biology teacher and later a school administrator, lived at 1813 Washington Avenue for many years.
One-story Ranch style house. It has a low hip roof. There is a flat-roofed wing at the east side, probably an addition. The main block of the house and the east wing both have red brick on the lower walls up to the window sills, then aluminum “clapboard” above. At the rear is a flat-roofed wing that does not have brick, likely a later addition.
If this indeed dates from the 1940s, it is the earliest Ranch example in McCrorey Heights. The Ranch style, marked by horizontality, became popular after 1950.
The residence sits at an approximately 45 degree angle on its lot, facing the Patton Avenue / Condon Avenue intersection. A similarly sited house stands a block away at Condon and Washington avenues — perhaps related to this house in some way?
Date issued: December 6, 1941
Owner: Lee Kinney
Contractor: Frank Sitzer
Other permit info: make general repairs
Building permit files, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
See also Resources for 2008 Patton Avenue and 1813 Washington Avenue.
City directory collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.