Fact Friday 435 - Before it was Optimist Hall

Fact Friday 435 - Before it was Optimist Hall

Happy Friday!

This week's Fact Friday comes to you from the UNC Charlotte Special Collections and University Archives. If you enjoy their content, please support by considering following on social media (@cltspecoll). 


Optimist Hall, the popular eatery with food stalls and bars representing many different cultures, began its life as Highland Park Mill No. 1, a part of Charlotte's booming textile industry, milling cotton and gingham. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Highland Park Mill No. 1 was the first in North Carolina designed to use electricity, and the nation's third biggest producer of gingham.

The Highland Park Manufacturing Company also owned Mill No. 3 in NoDa, which closed operations in the mid-20th century, and became apartments and offices in the early 2000s. Mill No. 1 merged with Admiration Hosiery and continued to operate as a mill, producing hosiery well into the 21st century.

White Point Paces Partners purchased the property in 2016 and Optimist Hall, the contemporary food hall, was born.


To read more about the history of Highland Park Mill #1 and #3 (which became Highland Mill Lofts, check out the Fact Fridays below: 

Fact Friday 74 - Historic Belmont, Villa Heights, & Optimist Park - The Mills & Their Villages

Fact Friday 75 - Historic Belmont, Villa Heights, & Optimist Park - The Privately Developed Subdivisions

Fact Friday 188 - The Forgotten History of NoDa, From Textile Town to Art District

Fact Friday 22 - NoDa Then and Now

Fact Friday 245 - Stuart Cramer & His Air Condiitoning Patent

Fact Friday 422 - Early History of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (The New South Era and the First Boom) 



UNC Charlotte Special Collections on Instagram, September  27, 2023. 

Email chris@704shop.com if you have interesting Charlotte facts you’d like to share or just to provide feedback!

“History is not the past, it is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.” - James Baldwin

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