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This is a contributing entry for Charlotte's Belmont Neighborhood - From a Mill Village to More Than a Century Later and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
As you walk along Kennon Street toward the next stop, you will see Soulshine Organics on the right, just past 1304 Kennon Street. Look for the open space between homes with a Little Free Library and mosaic design. Soulshine Organics is an urban farm that was started in 2012 by four residents of Belmont who decided they would use all-organic methods to grow their own fruits and vegetables, raise chickens for eggs and bees for honey. Continue walking about 300 feet and cross Kennon Street just past the intersection with Parson Street to 1405 Kennon Street.

694 square foot home

Building, Porch, Window, Tree

Head, Plant, Product, Tree

You are in the neighborhood once known as Sunnyside. It was created in 1902 by Charlotte real estate developer, Clayton O. Brown, and included present-day Kennon, Umstead, and Parson streets, plus the 1600-1700 block of Hawthorne Lane.  

The home at 1405 Kennon Street is only 694 square feet and was originally built in 1918 for residential use. The residence was sold for $100 in 1982 to the Apostolic Church of Christ, which is a Pentecostal Christian denomination founded in North Carolina in 1969 by Bishop Johnnie Draft and Wallace Snow. Church services occurred in the home until it was sold in 1998. The structure is once again used as a single-family residence.

Turn around to return the way you came, heading west on Kennon Street towards Pegram Street.

During the ’60s, Belmont was changing from a white mill village to a predominantly Black neighborhood while lending practices were favorable only to whites. As a result, many homes were rentals with absentee landlords. The housing stock ended up in disrepair, businesses lacked stability and crime increased. Belmont was on the decline, but as you can see now, the housing stock is vastly different.

This transformation began in the early 2000s, fueled largely by young, white professionals who moved to the neighborhood in search of housing close to Uptown. As demand for such housing continued to grow, so did the prices in Belmont. Former landlords sold their properties, displacing those who had cheaper rents. In 2020, the City of Charlotte estimated that an additional 34,000 units of affordable housing were needed to meet the demand. Yet options for those who were displaced are limited.  

Soon, you should arrive at 1201 Kennon Street, finding the medallion at the intersection with Pegram Street.