Holding on to the Excelsior: Time and money will determine the outcome

Historic Excelsior Club could be demolished

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Saving what some may view as local icon is a race against time. Charlotte's Excelsior Club on Beatties Ford Road could face the wrecking ball summer 2019.

It has been vacant for months and in need of repair. The buildings historic protections expire in June of next year.

Doctor Dan Morrill of the Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission embraces the club's place in our community.

"The historic landmarks commission has to find out whether or not it can negotiate with the owner a reasonable financial arrangement that we own the property," he said. "It was an icon in some ways- not the only icon, but an icon of the civil rights movement."

Ken Koontz took over the business during the mid-1980's. Four decades earlier, the late Jimmy McKee opened the Excelsior.

"If it does not face the wrecking ball, it has one monumental task of educating people. It would be my desire that it could be saved, but the reality of is, the dollars just don't make sense," Koontz told WBTV.

Mecklenburg County building inspectors revealed parts of the structure are out of code. Any final offer would have to be approved by State Rep. Carla Cunningham who owns the property. The appraisal process is underway.

"And we are scheduled to get that information of the 27th of July," Morrill said. "The second thing we got to do is get an estimate of how much it will take to restore the building, and we hope to have that by the 27th of July.

Night club, social gathering spot and place of political action those are some of labels connected to the once popular business, but for many it will be memories of this long-time fixture along Charlotte's Beatties Ford Road.

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