Originally built in 1960, this house was displaced by construction of Brookshire Freeway and moved to this address in 1967 by JCSU Professor William E. Bluford, Sr., and his wife Ocala, a public school teacher. In addition to a long career teaching history at Smith, Prof. Bluford was among the early African Americans employed as visiting professor at Winthrop University as it desegregated. In 1968 he ran unsuccessfully for Mecklenburg County Commission, the first black Republican to do so in the twentieth century. As the Civil Rights movement opened opportunities for public service, he won appointment to several boards including UNC Charlotte’s Board of Trustees, and he became the first African American on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.
Built in 1956 – 57 for Otis Currie and his wife Revella A. Currie. Mr. Currie worked for the Southern Railway, considered one of the best employers in the segregation era, willing to hire African Americans in steady long-term jobs. Mrs. Currie was nurse’s aid at Mercy Hospital. The family lived in this house for over two decades.
Built about 1960 and first occupied by Eddie Byers, principal at several Charlotte Mecklenburg schools including Piedmont Junior High, and his wife Lois H. Byers, also a lifelong educator. Both were leaders in Charlotte’s civic life. Among other activities, Mr. Byers served as Vice Chair of Charlotte’s anti-poverty agency, the Charlotte Area Fund, and Mrs. Byers led the local chapter of Jacks and Jills, the enrichment organization for African American youth.
In 1956 contractor E.O. Clarkson took out the building permit to construct this house and in 1957 the residence appeared in the city directory. The first occupant, for over twenty years, was Mrs. Lucielle G. Harris who taught at Morgan School in the Cherry neighborhood.
One of a handful of houses in McCrorey Heights spec-built by Ervin Construction, one of Charlotte’s biggest suburban builders. By 1957 William T. Reeder, a mail carrier for the Post Office, and his wife Mae D. Reeder were at this address. A later longtime owner, from the 1960s into at least the 1980s, was Theodore G. Stewart, schoolteacher at J.T. Williams Junior High, and his wife Sara J. Stewart. In 1967 Stewart had Mangie McQueen — perhaps Charlotte’s leading African American contractor — add a room and a carport at the rear of the dwelling.
Built in 1957 – 58, this is the long-time home of Isaac Heard, Sr., and wife Gwendolyn. He was among Charlotte’s most highly skilled African American professionals when he arrived in the 1950s as an engineer with Douglas Aircraft. He became a upper-level official in Charlotte’s Community Development Office during the 1970s and 1980s. Son Ike Heard, Jr., became a well-known planner active both locally and nationally.
African American architect Harvey Gantt (later elected as Charlotte’s first African American mayor) designed the 1975 carport extension that accentuates the dwelling’s horizontal lines, echoing the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Built 1962 – 63 for physician Dr. Drayton P. Graham and his wife Carolyn. They sold in the late 1960s to Dr. Esther Page Hill and her husband Samuel. She was an artist who became one of the first African American professors at UNC Charlotte. Her husband Samuel Hill built a national reputation as a music educator.
This is one of the largest and most stylish Ranch houses in McCrorey Heights. The two wings, built in yellow brick with low gable roofs, form an L at the corner of Madison Avenue and Creek Street.