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City of Charlotte announces new name for street previously named after Confederate leader Jefferson Davis

A public unveiling of the new street signs is planned for Sept. 25.
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 12:44 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2021 at 4:41 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The City of Charlotte has announced a new name for a street that was previously named after Confederate leader Jefferson Davis.

Druid Hills Way will be the new name for what was once named Jefferson Davis Street. A public unveiling of the new Druid Hills Way street signs is planned for Sept. 25.

Jefferson Davis Street was the first of nine streets to be renamed following the Charlotte City Council’s Feb. 2021 approval to adopt Legacy Commission recommendations to rename streets previously named for white supremacists as well as Confederate soldiers, slaveowners, and segregationists.

City staff began community engagement efforts with residents in June, including inviting them to provide feedback and new name recommendations in a replacement name suggestion survey.

There were 17 suggested names that met the new criteria recommended by the Legacy Commission.

A new name selection survey followed, allowing residents and property owners to rank their top three choices from the group of names.

Druid Hills Way was the overwhelming first choice for 55 percent of the respondents, compared to 9 percent for the next highest choice.

“Today we celebrate the new street renaming process and city staff’s collaboration with residents as they selected Druid Hills Way as their new street name,” said Mayor Vi Lyles. “The residents in this neighborhood are continuing the journey the Legacy Commission started over a year ago in reshaping the city’s landscape, representative of the dynamic and diverse city Charlotte has become.”

Phifer Avenue will become Montford Point Street, honoring the legacy of the first African Americans that enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942.

Some Charlotteans were among the early Black recruits who trained at Camp Montford Point near Jacksonville, North Carolina and contributed to the Allied victory in World War II.

Originally, Phifer Avenue was to be renamed with a similar survey process as Jefferson Davis Street, but unique circumstances regarding Phifer Avenue led to a change in the renaming method.

Currently, there are no homes or businesses on Phifer Avenue and the street is expected to be closed for an estimated five years due to redevelopment.

City staff had previously been contacted by members of the community regarding recognizing Montford Point Marines in new street names. Renaming Phifer Avenue in their honor was the perfect opportunity to do so.

The renaming discussion was most recently reignited in January of 2020 when the city established the commission, a group of individuals tasked with studying the names of streets and monuments in Charlotte.

At the end of the year, the Legacy Commission presented a final report to city leaders. One of its recommendations was to rename several Charlotte streets.

The other streets include:

  • Jackson Avenue
  • Zebulon Avenue
  • Aycock Lane
  • W. Hill Street
  • Morrison Avenue
  • Barringer Drive
  • Stonewall Street

The engagement process for renaming Aycock Lane, Jackson Avenue and Zebulon Avenue has begun with the same process as Jefferson Davis Street.

The name suggestion survey is now open to residents, property owners and businesses in surrounding neighborhoods through Sept. 19.

Replacement name voting will take place from Sept. 21 through Oct. 11. A public unveiling of these three new street names is expected to take place on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

Community engagement for Hill Street and Morrison Avenue will begin in late October.

Residents and property owners who live on any of the nine streets that will be renamed may locate resources at charlottenc.gov/legacy, by calling 311 or emailing legacy@charlottenc.gov for assistance.

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