the past 40 years, Charlotte's road landscape has certainly changed.
Charlotte resident, Chris Curley, came across a book entitled, Aerial
Photographs of Mecklenburg County, N. C. from National Aerial Surveys,
Photogrammetric Engineering in Charlotte, it was copywritten by John
B. Lippard in 1965. Chris was able to share some of the photos in
scans he made from the book. Where possible, I also have included
modern day aerials of the same location. Photos can be accessed by
reaching the links below. Note: All images courtesy of Chris Curley
unless otherwise noted.
at Woodlawn. Park Rd (running across) and Woodlawn (running up
and down) meet in the middle of the picture. You can see Park Rd
Shopping Center at the intersection. Woodlawn runs to the left of
the split just below the shopping center and looks like it ends in some
neighborhood. The road running across the picture towards the bottom
is Selwyn Ave. Woodlawn currently changes into Runnymede Lane at
Selwyn and continues as a part of Charlotte 4. You can see the Myers
Park neighborhood at the lower right.
at Pineville-Matthews Road. In this picture, the intersection
of Providence Rd (NC 16) and Pineville-Matthews Rd (NC 51) is at the bottom
right. The picture is looking west, so 16 is running across the picture.
Where the pond is, to the left of the intersection, is where The Arboretum
shopping center is today. What is now Cedarwood Country Club is the
(Sharon at Fairview). Sharon and Fairview meet at the bottom
of the picture. The empty field at the top right of the intersection
is now South Park Mall. The building towards the top in the center
is the Celanese Corp.
I-85 in Western
Orientation: West is
the Top. North is Right. South is Left. East is Bottom
I-85 at Sam
Wilson Road (Exit 29). Today, construction of the I-85/485 Interchange
is happening just below the interchange (top right corner).
I-85 at Little
Rock Road (Exit 31). This interchange was overhauled in the early
1990's, and it is now a SPUI. (Bottom Left Corner)
The "29/49 Connector"
abrupt end at US 29 / NC 49 (Exit 42). In the bottom
of the photo is US 29. You can see where the then alignment of I-85
allowed for the continuation of the Interstate via the wide median in the
middle of the photo. In fact, a 'ghost stub' for traffic traveling
on the unbuilt I-85 South is visible. In 2003, construction began
to widen I-85 to eight lanes
including a redesign of this interchange.
Here is a June
2001 photo of where I-85 South began from a split at US 29/NC 49 South
taken by Brian LeBlanc.
and Downtown. This picture is looking west. The road to the top
left is Independence Blvd. You can see Elmwood Cemetery at the top
right. Just above the cemetery, you can see Irwin Creek. I-77
runs just to the east (below the creek in the pic) of it. There is
a big controversy about the city wanting to run a rail line through the
cemetery but you can see that they took part of it to put I-77 and the
Brookshire Freeway in. The top section of the cemetery is the intersection
of 77 and the Brookshire today. The Brookshire runs down the wooded
part at the lower right part of the cemetery. At the bottom right
of the picture, you can see an intersection that looks like an X.
That is where Graham St., Stateville Ave., and Dalton Ave. come together.
Graham runs across the railroad tracks. Statesville comes in from
the right of the pic (what looks like a line on top of the X).
1965. Specifically look at Memorial Stadium at the bottom left
of the photo. The road underneath the facility is Independence Boulevard.
In the top left corner is the North-West Expressway. It wasn't until the
1980's that 'Downtown' Charlotte was known as 'Uptown' Charlotte.
that photo to Independence Blvd. @ Memorial Stadium today. The
Independence Freeway before tying into I-277 is in the upper right corner.
photo was found via the Charlotte
Lady Eagles website.
Blvd. near East Mecklenburg High School. EMHS is at the top of
the photo and Independence Blvd. runs diagonally from top right to
bottom left. The ramp onto Conference Drive which turns directly
into Monroe Road was removed in the early 90's. Chris reports you
can still detect traces of that ramp today.
Three Photos taken from the former
ramp's location today. Conference Drive at Independence Blvd. is
now a signalized intersection.
The ramp, which was removed in the early 1990s, looking toward Independence.
Looking towards Conference. Notice the remaining utility poles, and
the shopping center's parking lot design. The parking lot and shopping
center were in place before the ramp was removed.
Another perspective of the ramps, utilities poles, and trees as the only
clues that something once was there.
at Central. Albemarle Rd is towards the left of the picture and
you can see where Central Ave merges in. The field to the right of
that is where Eastland Mall is now. The road going across the picture
towards the top is Sharon-Amity. The road that curves behind the
field from Albemarle to Sharon-Amity is Wilora Lake Rd. The city
blocked that road several years ago to prevent cut-through traffic.
The road at the bottom that goes off to the left near the Albemarle-Central
intersection is Reddman Rd. The city also blocked that road off in
the early 80's to prevent cut-through traffic to Idlewild Rd. A
look at the same area 33 years later, difference you are looking north
in the 1998 image; the 1965 image was looking west.
1965 I-77 Construction
to Metro Charlotte Roads @ All Things NC!
85 @ NCRoads.com Annex ---Mike Roberson
Historic Landmarks Commission
Sources & Links:
Page Created: September 16, 2001
Last Updated: October 12, 2006
© 2001-06 Adam Prince