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FAQ City: How Did Charlotte Neighborhoods Get Their Names?

Nick de la Canal

Here's a question that comes to us from WFAE listener Summer Cook. She wrote to FAQ City wondering where all of Charlotte's neighborhood names came from.

For example, who is Elizabeth? Or Cherry? What about Dilworth?

Some neighborhoods are a little more perplexing than others, she admits. Her neighborhood, NoDa, is pretty easy to figure out. It's short for North Davidson Street, where the neighborhood is located.

But others, like Plaza Midwood, are a little more puzzling.

"It doesn't seem to have any reason as to why it's Plaza Midwood," Cook said.

Today on FAQ City, we'll catch up with Charlotte historian Tom Hanchett, who guides us through the creation of some of Charlotte's most well-known neighborhoods (Plaza Midwood, among them). We also look at neighborhood-naming trends that have emerged through Charlotte history, and how they compare to some of Charlotte's newest neighborhood names.

Special thanks to Tom Hanchett for sharing his expertise in this episode, and also to Nicole Storey and Jason Prescott with the city of Charlotte for additional help.

To dive even deeper into Charlotte neighborhood history, check out the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission online: www.landmarkcommission.org/neighborhood-history/

You can also check out two of Tom Hanchett's books on the subject, "Charlotte And Its Neighborhoods," and "Sorting Out The New South City." Both are available in the Carolina Room of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Main Library.

Do you have a question about Charlotte's history, people or just strange things you see around town? Let us know! Submit your question in the box below, and we may be in touch.

While you're at it, make sure to subscribe and rate/review the podcast on Apple PodcastsNPR One, and Google Play.


Nick de la Canal is the host of Weekend Edition on Saturday/Sunday mornings, and a reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal