Three neighborhoods were chosen for the No Barriers Project: Genesis Park, Brightwalk, and Park at Oaklawn. With Anita Stroud Park as a common public space between the neighborhoods, it would serve as the perfect setting to bring people together.
The Double Oaks neighborhood began in 1949 as an African-American neighborhood, developed by the Ervin Construction company in post-World War II Charlotte. The first homes were erected along Oaklawn Avenue, an east-west thoroughfare that crossed Irwin Creek and now crosses I-77. Unlike many developers of the era, Charles Ervin built equal quality homes for blacks and whites in Charlotte.
By the 1970s, this once-booming neighborhood had declined. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was revived and renamed Genesis Park, which included the formation of a non-profit group to renovate and build new homes and rid the historic area of some of the violence and crime that had come into the community during its decline. Today, Genesis Park is a safer, strong neighborhood with a great sense of community pride.
Park at Oaklawn
The Park at Oaklawn is located on the 32-acre site of the former Fairview Homes public housing complex within the Greater Statesville Avenue Corridor. The Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) received a $34.7 million HOPE VI Grant, which served as a catalyst for the Park at Oaklawn project. The Housing Partnership served as the Master Developer of the re-development. The Park at Oaklawn has a community resource center, a gymnasium, computer lab, meeting space and classrooms. It is now a seamless neighborhood consisting of family apartments, elderly apartments, and single family homes.
The Brightwalk community is on the site of the former Double Oaks community, built in the 1950s by the CD Spangler Construction company. Double Oaks was initially managed by Fred Alexander, a businessman who become Charlotte’s first African-American city council member and later a North Carolina senator. Double Oaks was a vibrant neighborhood and Statesville Avenue, just across from it, was home to the Ford Motor Company plant for many years after it opened in 1920. During World War II, the plant produced several missiles and aircraft as the Charlotte Quartermaster Corps Depot. Before closing in 1967, the plant produced products for NASA and other military agencies.
Brightwalk is link in the evolution of Charlotte’s North End. Brightwalk offers both single-family residences and townhomes, and its master plan includes a variety of amenities.