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Midwood Elementary School Scrapbook, 1940-1960

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-2020-037

Content Description

The Midwood School Scrapbook has materials dated 1940-1960 and consists primarily of newspaper articles about the school, its teachers and students, and thank you notes. Included in the final pages are a few group photographs of students and staff members.


  • 1940 - 1960

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to duplicate or publish material from this collection must be obtained from the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Biographical / Historical

Plaza Midwood was established c1912 as a streetcar suburb of Charlotte. Originally named Chatham Estates for local developer Paul Chatham, it was one of the first streetcar suburbs, along with the earlier Dilworth, and later Myers Park areas. Central Avenue, originally known as Lawyers Road, ran through Plaza Midwood, and it was also home to the Charlotte Golf Club.

The expansion and growth of Plaza Midwood in the 1930s brought about the need for a school, so Lawyers Road Elementary School was built in 1934. It was built with eight classrooms in the traditional style by local architect M.R. Marsh. The school opened to students in 1935, but approximately eighty children had to be turned away to other schools due to space restrictions.

In 1940, the school was renamed to Midwood Elementary School. As time went by, additions were built onto the school. A 1941 fire damaged several classrooms resulting in heavy repairs and remodeling. Another addition in the late 1940s included three more classrooms and a visual education room. Dr. N.L. Englehardt was the architect and building consultant and Howard Duval was the supervisory construction engineer.

Midwood Elementary was in its prime during the 1950s, reaching a peak enrollment of 1,000 students. By the early 1980s, the school began to decline and served fewer than three hundred students. After its closure in June 1983, the building began to deteriorate, with vandals breaking many of the windows. The school was restored in 1985 when an arson fire at Albemarle Elementary School left several hundred students without a nearby school. Over the course of three days, over seventy workers brought Midwood Elementary School up to code. Children returned to school Tuesday morning.

By the early 2000s, Midwood Elementary was an alternative school for students who had dropped out of traditional schools for academic or personal reasons. Another part of the building had a hot lunch program for the elderly, as well as serving as a home to Teenage Parents Services (TAPS) dedicated to keeping pregnant teenagers in school.

Today the former Midwood Elementary School building serves the Plaza Midwood and Charlotte community as the International House. Founded by the Charlotte Area Clergy Association as the Community College and International Ministry of Charlotte, Inc. in 1981, the organization changed its name to the International House in 1989.

The International House moved into the old Midwood School in 2012 and opened a multicultural campus to host organizations such as the Language Academy, League of Women Voters, and All Ethiopian Community Center, among others. These organizations provide a variety of services, including direct services such as foreign-language conversation hours, cultural events, citizen workshops, and legal services to Charlotte’s growing international population.


0.28 Cubic Feet

0.87 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Midwood Elementary School was established c1934. Originally called the Lawyers Road School, the school was located at 1817 Central Avenue in what is now known as Plaza Midwood. The building underwent several renovations, and eventually Midwood Elementary School closed. This collection contains a scrapbook dated 1940-1960. Scrapbook contents include photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, and other miscellaneous materials relating to Midwood Elementary School.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The immediate source and date of acquisition for this collection is unknown.

Related Materials

Byers, Jeff. Plaza-Midwood Neighborhood of Charlotte. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2004 (CALL NUMBER: NCR 975.602 C479 B993p)

Neighborhoods—Plaza Midwood. (CALL NUMBER: NCR VERTICAL FILES)

Rogers, John R. Charlotte, Its Historic Neighborhoods. Dover, NH: Arcadia, 1996. (CALL NUMBER: NCR 975.62 C479 R72c)


Martin, Tracy A. and Mary Dominick. “Survey and Research Report on the Midwood Elementary School (Formerly Known as the Lawyers Road School),” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission: 2001 and 2009.

International House. “Who We Are: History.”

Hanchett, Thomas W. “Plaza-Midwood.” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.

Condition Description

Materials are in fair condition. Box smells slightly of vinegar and the binding of the scrapbook is falling apart.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of this collection was completed by Sydney Carroll, July 2020.

Midwood Elementary School Scrapbook, 1940-1960
Sydney Carroll
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Repository

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library-Main
310 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte NC 28202 USA