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Have You Ever Wondered How Charlotte Neighborhoods Got Their Names?

Nick de la Canal

Editor's Note: A version of this episode originally aired Sept. 11, 2018.

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. We also look at neighborhood-naming trends that have emerged through Charlotte's history and how they compare to some of the city's newest neighborhood names.

Special thanks to Hanchett, Nicole Storey and Jason Prescott with the city of Charlotte for their help with this episode.

To dive even deeper into Charlotte neighborhood history, check out the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission online.

You can also check out two of 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.


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
Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.