At its March 19, 2013 regular meeting, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners voted in favor of a resolution to authorize the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission
to renovate the George E. Davis House
. The resolution appeared as a consent item on the Board's agenda.
The project is in conjunction with Johnson C. Smith University, and when completed, the restored structure will "be used as a center to transition foster care children into university programs," according to agenda documents.
Those same documents provide information and an historical backdrop for the 1,582 square-feet, two-story brick structure. The house is a designated historic landmark:
"Built and occupied by George E. Davis, a significant figure in black education, a graduate of the Biddle Institute (now Johnson C. Smith University), its first black professor, dean of its faculty, the North Carolina agent for the Rosenwald Fund, as well as being a prominent black businessman, especially in real estate activities; and
"Built in the 1890s and has been deemed the most imposing example of pre-World War II black residential structure in Charlotte...."
The Board's resolution calls for the County to appropriate $442,000 of the Historic Landmark Commission's Revolving Fund for the work, which is one-half of the renovation cost. Johnson C. Smith University will provide funds for the renovation, too. As part of the agreement, the University will give CMHLC ownership of the property and pay half of the renovation cost. When complete, ownership will be returned to the University, and Johnson C. Smith will repay CMHLC the total amount spent on the project, according to agenda documents
The Board's vote on Tuesday included the authorization of a construction contract, which the County Manager has the authorization to negotiate and execute, to Andrew Roby, Inc. in the amount of $760,915.83 for the renovation.