The northeast corner of Church and Trade streets was originally the site of Mecklenburg County’s third courthouse building, a large Jeffersonian structure that sat here from 1847 to 1898. It then became the first home of Charlotte’s Presbyterian Hospital, which was located on the second floor of a converted hotel as seen in this photograph (below) from 1905. Several hospitals clustered around the downtown area in the early part of the century, and Presbyterian opened in 1903 as the third hospital in Charlotte after nearby St. Peter’s Hospital and the Good Samaritan Hospital for black residents. Nurses and patients can be seen on te upper floors watching the annual Mecklenburg Declaration Day Parade, which memorialized the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence from British rule on May 20, 1775.
In 1918 Presbyterian Hospital relocated from its downtown home on West Trade to the Elizabeth streetcar suburb, which had become the city’s new medical district. The hospital occupied the abandoned grounds of Elizabeth College, where it eventually erected a new building in 1972 and (now as Novant Health) remains as one of the city’s major medical facilities. The corner of Church and Trade was home to the Southern Hardware Company in the 1930s and the 1940s, and was later occupied by several other businesses, including two men’s clothing stores and Goforth’s Gifts. In the 1980s it became home to the Wachovia Commerce Center Building, which housed several commercial and financial interests. Today this important corner at the edge of Fourth and First wards is occupied by the luxury Marriott Hotel complex.
Until next week!
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Information taken from:
Charlotte Then and Now, Brandon Lunsford, 2013.
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass