Plans continue for a reimagined Latta Place, formerly Latta Plantation, set to open in 2023

The former Latta Plantation in Huntersville is expected to reopen in 2023.
Last summer, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation leaders chose not to renew the lease with the historical group operating it.
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Plans are in the works to reopen Latta Place, which was formerly known as Latta Plantation in Huntersville.

In 2021, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation leaders chose not to renew the lease with Historic Latta Inc., the group operating it.

This came after an employee of Historic Latta Inc. promoted a Juneteenth event from the perspective of a slave owner, causing public outrage. The employee continued to double down on his decision following the backlash.

The social media post promoted an event for Juneteenth called “Kingdom Coming,” and said the event would be through the eyes of slave owners. It referred to them as “overseers” and “white refugees” who were “out of a job.”

“That was not in accordance with the direction we were going,” W. Lee Jones, the director of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, told WBTV.

Jones and his team are now working with a consultant firm called Design Minds to create an interpretive master plan.

“We formed this diverse community stakeholders group that includes historians, educators, agency leaders and citizens and we toured about 17 facilities in four states to see how these things are run,” Jones said.

He says trained county employees will be the ones organizing events.

“We envision descendants of slaves or descendants of indigenous peoples or descendants of the families that owned these facilities to come and hear about the history and contribute to it,” he said.

The planning process is happening in three phases, which includes making improvements to the existing structures and opening the site in portions.

Project manager Liz Morrell sees this as an opportunity to flip the narrative.

“To see how it could be a great asset to the community and provide a space for really important conversations, for education,” Morrell said. “The programming and experiences that we will offer there are going to have implications for today.”

The team is in phase two right now, which includes community engagement.

They will be sharing information about how you can lend your voice to the conversation at upcoming events and you can also give input online at this link.

Related: Charlotte-area plantation rebranding as “Place” months after racially controversial event led to closure