Project Description

342 Ridegwood Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28207

Historical Context:

Preserve Mecklenburg is a privately funded, 501 (c) 3, real estate preservation group that works to save sites of historical and cultural significance in and around Mecklenburg County. As part of Preserve Mecklenburg’s preservation efforts, a rare opportunity is being offered to interested buyers for 342 Ridgewood Avenue in the heart of Myers Park. The Elizabeth Lewis Lawrence House and Garden (ELH&G), located at 348 Ridgewood and adjacent to 342 Ridgewood (see neighborhood maps along with property survey), which was acquired by the Wing Haven Foundation in 2008, is a living, breathing, and vibrant history of Elizabeth Lawrence’s life and work.

Not only is the property on the National Historic Register, but it is also permanently preserved via a conservation easement, assuring that the home and gardens will remain as they are into perpetuity. In 1948, Elizabeth and her sister Ann, took up residence on adjoining lots at 342 and 348 Ridgewood Avenue, and Elizabeth Lawrence began to design her garden. Already an accomplished horticulturist and author, Ms. Lawrence was not “interested in acquiring rare and difficult specimens because they are rare and difficult,” Elizabeth explained, “but the world is full of good things that we could grow and do not grow.” The garden is currently open to the public and managed by the Wing Haven Foundation. Ann’s children have recently decided to sell their childhood home at 342 Ridgewood. The Wing Haven Foundation, concerned with the potential (negative) impacts of residential infill that could result if a new home was constructed without regard to ELH&G, partnered with Preserve Mecklenburg to develop a preservation strategy that would not only allow the garden to continue to flourish, but would also ensure that a sale of the property and development of a more sensitive home could be achieved through a combination of collaboration and creativity. As part of that strategy, and due to the willingness of the sellers to entertain such an approach, Preserve Mecklenburg has entered into an exclusive, assignable, option to purchase the property from the sellers.

We are inviting you to consider 342 Ridgewood Avenue and the proposed (but adaptable) plans we have developed to keep the history of these two houses, and more importantly, Elizabeth’ gardens, living and growing far into the future. Included in this package you will find the property’s specifications, a viable (and adaptable) rendering with floor plans and square footage, proposed site plans, along with critical elements of the proposed Preservation Easement.

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