Uptown Charlotte NC - Fourth Ward - The Poplar
Located in trendy, upscale Uptown Charlotte's Fourth Ward, The Poplar remains one of the most majestic and well-built multi-unit buildings in the South. This landmark complex is representation of the growth, confidence and affluence of Charlotte in the late 1920s and the beginning of the Great Depression. Had construction been delayed six months to a year, it is doubtful that this unique building would ever have been constructed at all. The economic times of the early Thirties played a major role in the Poplar's early history, however.
The site where The Poplar now stands had been occupied by the residence of Professor George B. Hanna and his wife, Nola Alexander Hanna, an assayer at the Charlotte mint for nearly forty years, from 1868 to 1906, and president of the Charlotte YMCA for twenty-nine years. The property was subsequently sold by Mrs. Hanna's executor to Willetts Construction Company of New York in July, 1928.
Willetts' intented to build out the five-story Poplar as "cooperative homes," similar to those in New York, selling 99-year leases and issue stock in a co-op. To design the structure, the firm of Lockwood, Greene and Company was engaged, which was a major architectural and engineering company with offices in Charlotte. The building permit, taken out on January 25, 1929, the co-op was estimated to cost $250,000, which was a considerable sum for a residential building. The cost wound up being nearly $500,000, however.
In October, 1929, Willetts contracted with Home Real Estate and Guaranty to manage and handle leases for the co-ops. Despite the contract signing on the 24th, the day of a massive sell-off of stocks in New York, and just five days before "Black Tuesday," construction of the co-ops continued, and by March, 1930, the Poplar was completed and ready for occupancy.
The luxury, convenience and high quality of these stately co-ops appealed to many and Home Real Estate rapidly filled the 39-family structure with select and highly pleased apartment residents. The incredibly fine features and the high-end material that went into the construction of The Poplar in Fourth Ward, gave way to the showplace and grandeur which have survived throughout the history of the complex. The building was not only fireproof and soundproof (a major benefit for the times) but, every apartment had cross-ventilation and an unobstructed view! The 39-unit building ranged from 3 to 7-rooms, with each apartment equipped with a working fireplace, a completely equipped modern kitchen of the day including an electric refrigerator, tiled baths, the latest steam heating as well as an incinerator. The luxury didn't end there! There was also a garage beneath the building for the residents' "motor cars" in one of the first parking garages in Charlotte.
Although The Poplar survived the first five years of the Depression, the complex eventually fell victim to the times and the building found itself in foreclosure. Then purchased by W. Latimer Brown, his wife, Ruth Harding Brown and H.B. Lockwood for $32,000, the three assumed the mortgage in the amount of $135,000. Stockholders maintained the complex for many years and in 1978, NCNB Community Development Corporation purchased the building. In 1980, SYNCO Development converted the complex into condominiums, selling the last one that same year.
The Poplar is and was, clearly, one of the best complexes to be built in the entire Charlotte region. It remains a historic anchor for Charlotte's residential Fourth Ward. The Poplar was a major player in the revitalization of Fourth Ward in Charlotte as well. The luxury and solid construction represent the developers' dreams for the vitallity of the city, both then and for the future. This also rang true during the renaissance of Fourth Ward. Through the Great Depression and recessions, The Poplar has maintained the developers' vision of the landmark structure which houses elegant and elaborate features and lasting values in the Fourth Ward community.
This mid-rise Fourth Ward Charlotte Uptown condo complex features two and three bedroom floor plans. Elegantly unique, this building boasts the character of 1920's architecture. Condos in this complex are rarely available and are typically priced in the high $200’s to mid $300’s. The building these days features breathtaking skyline views from the fabulous rooftop terrace as well as the private underground parking which now also includes storage units.