Hope still alive for the historic Excelsior Club, thanks to new deal

The Historic Landmarks Commission would have one year to purchase the property or find another buyer.

The Excelsior Club, located on Beatties Ford Road about one-half mile north of the main entrance to Johnson C. Smith University, was for many years the leading private black social club in the Southeast, and one of the largest of its kind on the East Coast. (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission)

Efforts continue to save the historic Excelsior Club, the property on Beatties Ford Road that served as a scene for the Who’s Who of black Charlotte for more than 70 years.

The Historic Landmarks Commission reached a deal on Tuesday with the club’s owner, state Rep. Carla Cunningham, for a one-year option to purchase the property or find another buyer. Dan Morrill, the commission’s consulting director, said that the organization will examine the feasibility of restoring the building. It could pick up the $350,000 price tag after a year, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The county commission would have to approve the deal, which could happen at its Oct. 2 meeting.

It’s been a long road for the Excelsior Club. The doors have been shut for more than two years after falling behind in payments. Cunningham initiated foreclosure after it was reported that the former club owner attorney James Ferguson owed more than $174,000 in unpaid taxes.

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