Charlotte has long been criticized for not preserving the city’s history in favor of new development. Susan V. Mayer is the antidote to the philosophy that new is better.
Mayer is working to preserve the city’s history. She runs SVM Historical Consulting. They provide a variety of historical consulting and historical research services.
Mayer has experience in both architecture and historic preservation. This Louisiana transplant researches and writes historical reports for local, state, and national level historic designations.
“Architecture is essentially a distillation of our culture in built form. It’s interesting to look at modernist architecture and feel the optimism of the post-WWII period, then see the regression to revivalist architectural styles in the 1960s, which signified cultural insecurity. We can learn a lot about our history through architecture.”-Susan Mayer
She’s the one to go to for:
- Local Historic Landmark Designation Survey and Research Reports
- National Register Nominations
- Historic Property Research and Documentation
Her work has revealed details about who Charlotte was. She conducted exhaustive research into the history of public transportation in Charlotte, starting with the first mule- and horse-drawn cars in the 1880s. She blogs about some of the work like the Mammoth Oaks Golf and Swim Club opened in 1924 as the first public golf course in Mecklenburg County.
Occasionally her work reveals a darker side to regions past… like the culture of racism she found within a historical book.
Her work also goes a long way in assuring who Charlotte is and will be, often providing information that helps city planners make building decisions. Mayer just spearheaded a survey aimed at identifying significant examples of modernist architecture in Charlotte. The report offers some historical context of modernism between 1945 and 1969 (extended to 1980) in the city for future planning.
“As I’ll tell prospective clients (or anyone, really), I’ll research just about anything! But my favorite project so far has been the survey of mid-century modern architecture in Charlotte I conducted for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Charlotte actually has a ton of MCM properties ranging from contemporary tract houses to the amazing architect-designed custom homes!”-Susan Mayer
5 Points Realty finds this particularly interesting as we are big fans of the enduring charm and the classic, understated look of this style of architecture. We swoon over those vaulted ceilings, open concept floor plans, intricate roof lines. We’ve listed many Mid-Century modern homes around town.
Toby Witte of Witteha.us is a client of 5 Points Realty. His designs are inspiring and show how the modernist style can be part of contemporary, energy-efficient, affordable homes that make sense for how people live today.
If you’d like to tour some of Charlotte’s hottest Mid-Century Modern homes, the virtual @madaboutmodernclt Home Tour runs until October 22. This unique tour gives attendees insider access to five private homes representing some of the best Mid-Century + Modern architecture and design in the Queen City. All proceeds from MAM support the Charlotte Museum of History mission to save and share Charlotte’s history.
Charlotte is filled with incredible people doing some truly amazing things. We often profile them on our Instagram page, along with the neighborhoods around town, we share profiles of cool people like Christopher Lawing, the sign guy behind @cltsignsproject.
We applaud people putting their talents to work for good in our beloved city. If you know of someone doing amazing work to ensure the beauty and heart of Charlotte, let us know. We’d love to hear about it!