UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

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Park Road Shopping Center (Charlotte, N.C.) drawings

Identifier: MS0210

Scope and Contents

Primarily plans (architectural drawings) of one of Charlotte’s oldest shopping centers, located at the intersection of Park and Woodlawn roads.


  • 1953 - 1956
  • 1956


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Park Road Shopping Center is an open air strip mall located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is located northeast of the intersection of Woodlawn Rd. and Park Rd. in the south central part of Charlotte. Park Road Shopping Center opened in November, 1956 and was Charlotte's very first open area-type shopping mall. Developed by A.V. Blankenship, it is typical of Mid-Century modern architecture. When the mall was first envisioned, it was considered to be a shift in area business development. At that time, most of the shopping areas were still located in and around downtown Charlotte. Meanwhile, more and more people continued to move to the suburbs and outlying areas of the city. Park Road Shopping Center was designed to serve many of the surrounding Charlotte neighborhoods such as Myers Park, Barclay Downs, Parkdale, Colonial Village, Madison Park, Sedgefield, Ashbrook, and Starmount. In 1967 a local attorney named Porter Byrum bought Park Road Shopping Center. On June 16, 2011 Mr. Byrum announced that Park Road Shopping Center would be donated to 3 local colleges (Queens University of Charlotte, Wingate University, and Wake Forest University). Mr. Byrum had held ownership of the shopping center for nearly 44 years. Just one month later these 3 colleges sold the shopping center for $82 million to EDENS, a shopping center operator and developer. It is easy to walk or bike to the Park Road Shopping Center since it lies on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. In 2014 the center underwent a renovation. It was painted white, given wooden features, outdoor seating was added and the covered walkways got new lighting and floor treatment.

Robert Emory Holroyd, Jr., 1919-2008 was an architect with the firm of Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle and Wolfe in Columbia, SC. He opened their Charlotte office in 1950 after graduate studies at Columbia University in New York City. In 1953, he began his own firm of Holroyd, Folk and Gray which designed a variety of projects in Mecklenburg County including the Park Road Shopping Center. Eventually, Mr. Holroyd began to specialize in residential architecture and designed many homes in Charlotte and throughout the Carolinas. He was one of the founders of the Charlotte chapter of the American Institute of Architects, serving as the president at one time. For many years Mr. Holroyd was on the Charlotte Building Standards Board and was a member of the Clemson Architectural Foundation and the Mecklenburg Kiwanis Club.

Eugene "Gene" Richard Martini received his B.F.A. in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois in 1939. Martini spent the early part of his career as a land planning consultant working with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in Chicago and Atlanta from 1941 to 1946 before forming Eugene R. Martini and Associates, Landscape Architects and Planning Consultants, in Atlanta, Georgia. His work focused on community planning, parks, subdivisions, mobile homes courts, and federal initiatives that addressed the military family housing shortage following World War II. He was a design consultant for the southeastern region of the Public Housing Administration, an active member of American Society of Landscape Architects and a consultant to the book Landscape Planning published by Better Homes and Gardens in 1963. Martini helped establish a community of landscape architects in Atlanta throughout the 1950s and early 1960s and mentored Edward Daugherty, FASLA who worked in the office during his summer's while studying at Harvard's GSD (1948–1951). Daugherty noted that other landscape architects in Atlanta working on similar projects at the time included H. Boyer Marx and Willard Byrd. From 1963-1965, Martini was Second Vice President of the American Society of Landscape Architects and participated in various other memberships throughout his career including the American Institute of City Planners, the American Society of Planning Officials, the Urban Land Institute, the Georgia Engineering Society, the American Planning and Civic Association, and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

One of the most prolific subdivision designers among Charlotte's civil engineers was Alse V. Blankenship. A graduate of the engineering program at what is now Auburn University near Montgomery, Alabama, he set up his own business in 1935 after an internship with Charlotte engineer Wilbur Smith. From the late 1930s until the 1960s, he headed Charlotte's largest engineering firm, with over a hundred employees regularly on the payroll. Blankenship's first job was for E. C. Griffith, the Charlotte developer who took over Myers Park from the Stephens Company. In Myers Park, Blankenship laid out Kings Drive, Maryland, Sterling, Portland, Hampton, Chilton, and part of Queens Road East. He also designed the street systems of Charlotte's Lansdowne, Myers Park Manor, Tryon Hills, Mountainbrook and Cotswold neighborhoods. He created all subdivisions in the county owned by C. D. Spangler and George Goodyear and did work for the region's two largest post-WWII developers, John Crosland and Charles Erwin, including what is believed to be Erwin's earliest project, Smallwood Homes. Blankenship's widow remembers him personally designing the street layouts for his projects, rather than relying on a landscape architect. Because he began practice in the mid-thirties, he never met Nolen, the Olmsteds or Draper in Charlotte. But the curving streets of his designs testify to the impact of those men both on professionals like Blankenship and especially on the Charlotte development community.


3 Linear Feet




Consists primarily of architectural drawings of Park Road Shopping Center in Charlotte, NC.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of William Huffman, 1994.

Related Materials

Mecklenburg Iron Works Collection (MS0190)

Processing Information

Processed by Randy Penninger, 1994.
Park Road Shopping Center (Charlotte, N.C.) drawings
Randy Penninger
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated